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Amigurumi Part Two: Knit dolls and creatures

Amigurumi (編みぐるみ) is the art of crocheting or knitting small animals, dolls or other anthropomorphic creatures. This post is part two of my amigurumi book recommendations, please click here for Part One on amigurumi crochet. This list of books primarily recommends books on knitting fabulous animals and other creatures. Of course people knit and crochet toys long before the term amigurumi hit our shores, so the books below cover a variety of different kinds of toys and techniques to get your project going.

There are many different embellishments you can use for your toys, but your basic supplies will include different color worsted-weight yarn, scissors, stuffing, safety eyes (or you can use felt and fabric glue, or additional yarn), double-pointed needles, circular and a blunt tipped needle for sewing your pieces together.

Below is a list of books that will get your started with knitting amigurumi creatures.

Huge & Huggable Mochimochi: 20 Supersized Patterns for Big Knitted Friends by Anna Hrachovec
While many amigurumi projects focus on making small toys, Hrachovec likes to take things to a larger scale. Mochimochi promises super-sized patterns and delivers on them. From a huge blue rolypoly to Lupe, the giant stuffable piñata, there are a ton of patterns to tickle your fancy. Hrachovec has also included tutorials for using double-pointed needles, using circular needles, techniques to finish off your project and lots and lots of resources for knitters. 

Knit Your Own Zoo: Easy-to-Follow Patterns for 24 Animals by Sally Muir & Joanna Osborne
With 24 animals to make and stuff, Knit Your Own Zoo really will allow you to make many of the animals you would see at our own National Zoo here in DC. Though double pointed knitting needles are used in many patterns of the book, all of the creatures are made at the same gauge (U.S. size 2 knitting needles). 

Itty-Bitty Toys by Susan B. Anderson
A comprehensive manual, Itty-Bitty Toys really focuses on toys for small children. Techniques include using circular and double-pointed needles, seems as well as basic crochet and embroidery techniques. Patterns are soft and friendly and include classic stuffed animals, babies, puppets and even play food.

Knitted Toys: 21 Easy-to-Knit Patterns for Irresistible Soft Toys by Fiona McTague
Though a bit of an older book, Knitted Toys has great patterns for larger toys, dolls with clothes and even finger puppets to knit. Patterns in the book are soft and classic and McTague's patterns are simple and easy to follow. There are also some nice embroidery stitches and techniques for making embellishments and facial features on dolls. 

Knitted Bears: Eight Special Friends for You to Knit and Crochet by Claire Garland
This book is a combination of knit and crochet in the form of knit bears with patterns for several pieces of crocheted clothes. Bears are made with regular knitting needles, felt, glass eyes, button and embroidery embellishments. There are even smaller patterns for teddy bears of bears. 

Hope this list inspires you to look into amigurumi, whether you're a beginner or firmly in the knit or crochet camp. If you do end up making one of these projects please share it with us! You can tweet us @dcpl or share it on our Facebook page.

Be sure to also check out our crafting magazines through Zinio - with access to magazines on crochet, knitting, quilting, jewelry making and more.

Looking for kid friendly knitting books? Check out what we have in our catalog or visit a library branch and look in the 746.43 section of non-fiction!