It’s been a while since I’ve been able to update things thanks to the craziness of Easter. But I’m back and intend to post regularly, at least once a week.
Our topic for today is amigurumi – but specifically amigurumi made with bulky yarn. I recently began experimenting with Bernat blanket yarn (which I LOVE, by the way) but quickly noticed a lack of patterns available online for bulky amigurumi. In general all I was able to find were a few patterns for things like teddy bears and bunnies. And one owl.
So I thought I’d write about how to find patterns to use with bulky yarn that were not written for bulky yarn. It’s definitely possible to come up with your own patterns, but if you’re not comfortable doing that, or simply don’t want to spend the time experimenting to find something that works, here’s a guide that may help.
The first thing you want to do is make sure the pattern you are considering has a result that is relatively small. Switching from worsted weight to bulky yarn will dramatically increase the size, so unless you want a pillow instead of a cuddle buddy, small is good. As a good rule of thumb, I like to make sure the pattern’s widest point (since most amigurumi are worked in rounds) does not exceed 36 stitches.
To find patterns small enough, you can search for “mini” patterns or keychain patterns – these are almost always small enough to convert to a bulky pattern. The first pattern I decided to use is an adorable little duck from Hookers Don’t Bite. First, I made the original pattern, using Red Heart Super Saver yarn in yellow and orange. The resulting duck is barely two inches tall. When I started the second duck, which I used Bernat Blanket Brights for, I couldn’t resist popping the little one inside the body of the bigger one for quick picture.
The finished larger duck is a little over five inches tall. A tip if you decide to try this pattern: remember not to join the rounds – crochet in spirals. It is much easier to isolate the stitches for the beginning of the head this way. Also, I feel the need to share with you the fact that a duck without a beak is a rather terrifying sight.
That being said, here are the two ducks side by side, with a crochet hook included for scale. They are made using the same pattern, but look very much like mother and baby.
The second pattern I used for today’s demonstration is a tiny dinosaur from Green Fox Farms Design. My tip here is…..BEWARE THE TAIL! I dread seeing a pattern begin with 4 sc in a magic circle, because closing that circle and proceeding to round two can be very painful for the fingers. But alas – tiny pointy things must start with tiny numbers. But if you struggle through the tail, the result is super cute. The worsted weight dino ends up about 4 and a half inches long, while the large one grows to a bit over 10 inches. The large one stands up on its own quite well, but the little guy topples over without something to lean on. However, he does stand up on his mother’s back quite nicely due to the incline.
Finally, I found my favorite of these three – a jellyfish!!! This pattern comes from Storyland Amis. I used the larger of the two tentacle options described. Don’t be daunted by the number of tentacles – tying them in place takes a while, but it’s so worth it to see them waving happily when you’ve finished! The baby jelly, including tentacles, is about 3 and a half inches long, while the adult jelly is about 8 inches with tentacles. I love using variegated yarn for amigurumi – the effect can be really cool if the shape is relatively simple. For this one I used Bernat baby blanket yarn, which is much softer than the regular blanket yarn.
And that’s all there is to it! A small worsted weight pattern can deliver an appropriately cuddle sized friend if you use bulky weight yarn instead. Hopefully you’ve found this helpful!