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Making Basic Amigurumi Shapes, Part 2: Cones, Cylinders, Spheres, Tubes, and Ovals

Now that you have learned how to stitch the basic foundation pieces in Making Basic Amigurumi Shapes, Part 1, let’s dig in to the more advanced shapes that can be used for heads, hats, arms, legs—really, anything you can think of!

Cone (3D) or Triangle (2D)

A cone shape can be used to make the nose of an animal, a pointy hat, or an ice-cream cone. Flattening a cone shape gives you a triangle, which is great for making pointy ears or to start pointed flower petals or leaves.

To create a basic cone shape, start with as few stitches as possible in your magic ring, and add 1 to 3 increases in every round. The fewer stitches in your starting ring, the pointier the tip of the cone will be. The number of stitches you increase per round determines how wide your cone becomes: 1 increase per round gives you a very narrow cone; 3 increases per round gives you a fatter cone.

Making Basic Amigurumi Shapes: Cones and Triangles

Use 3D cones (left) and 2D triangles (right) to make amigurumi pieces with pointed tips.

Cylinder (3D) or Oval (2D)

Different size cylinders are commonly used to form bodies, arms, legs, etc. Flattening a cylinder gives you an oval shape. This could be used for ears, wings, or rounded flower petals.

Making Basic Amigurumi Shapes: Cylinder and oval

Use 3D cylinders (left) and 2D ovals (right) to make amigurumi pieces with rounded tips.

To create a narrow cylinder, begin with a flat circle. When the circle reaches the desired diameter of the cylinder, stop increasing, and single crochet into each stitch around to form the sides of the cylinder.

When the cylinder is long enough, stop crocheting if you want an open-ended shape to attach onto other pieces, or close the top by making a flat circle in reverse—use 6 decreases per round until the gap is closed.

Sphere (3D) or Circle (2D)

Spheres are useful for creating heads, balls, etc. Flattening a sphere gives you a circular shape, but crocheting a flat circle, as described earlier, looks much neater and more even than a flattened sphere.

You create a sphere the same way as you would a cylinder, but with less straight rounds in between the increase and decrease rounds. This makes the height of the finished shape the same as its width at the widest point.

Tube (Open-Ended)

Sometimes you might need to make a tube that’s open at both ends—for example, a long neck that attaches to the head and the body, or an arm onto which the hand is crocheted separately.

To do this, you won’t be able to use the magic ring technique. Instead, begin with a foundation chain of as many stitches as you’d like around the circumference of your tube. Single crochet into the first chain you made (the chain farthest from your hook) to join the foundation chain into a ring. Then continue to single crochet into each chain stitch around the ring. When you reach the final chain, continue to spiral around by crocheting into the first sc you made and each sc around until the tube reaches the desired length.

Making Basic Amigurumi Shapes: Sphere and tube

What uses can you think of for a 3D sphere (left) and an open-ended tube (right)?

Flat Oval

A flat oval can form the sole of a foot, an oval appliqué, or the end of an extra-wide muzzle. The magic ring technique produces a circle, so to form a long, flat oval shape, you need to begin with a foundation chain instead.

Single crochet into the 2nd chain from the hook, and into every chain across. When you reach the end of the chain, make 3 single crochets into the last chain. Turn your work 180 degrees and begin to single crochet into the other side of the foundation chain. Continue to spiral around, increasing at each end of the oval in each round, and single crochet along the long straight edges. You’re making 2 halves of a flat circle, with a rectangle in between.

Making Basic Amigurumi Shapes: Flat oval

You’ll start a flat oval around a foundation chain.

With practice, you can create more complicated amigurumi shapes by increasing and decreasing strategically to form more subtle curves. As you become more familiar with the effects of increasing and decreasing, you can try placing all the increases or decreases at one side instead of spacing them equally around the shape to create bends and twists. If you want to design your own creations, play around and try modifying the simple basic shapes presented here until you come up with the shape you’re looking for. And don’t be put off if your first amigurumi piece doesn’t look quite the way you visualized it. Remember, practice makes perfect! Happy stitching!

From The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi by June Gilbank