Knitting a stuffed animal delights everyone. We think that knitting is an activity reserved for our elders. Think again, it’s a trendy vintage, but also very practical. A bit of culture is necessary to better understand this attractive and efficient art. Originating in Japan, amigurumi is a creative hobby that consists in making small animals, fruits and vegetables personified in crochet. Etymologically, amigurumi is formed from two Japanese words: “ami” which means crocheted or knitted and “nuigurumi” plush.
In terms of history, crochet techniques were developed after the Second World War. During the period when Japan was going through a serious economic crisis because of the war. Amigurumi became its only way to create toys for children. Then, in 2003, this art was exported and became popular in other countries. There was even a competition to make your own woolen teddy bear.
Knitting is an activity that stimulates our brain and also develops our creativity. The same goes for parents who are at home most of the time looking for things to do. This also applies to those who are looking for a challenge to give their children pleasure by offering them a toy. You have found what you need, that is to knit a plush toy to your children. So, today we offer you our best tips to make the most adorable stuffed animal for your kids. You can certainly knit a comforter and a plush even to beautify your home decoration.
Why knit a stuffed animal?
When you are decided to knit, you need to have the right methods so that you do not venture out on your own. And if you are still not very convinced, here are the reasons why you may change your mind.
Crochet and knitting: two easy and fashionable activities
- Crochet is an easy exercise. We think that since we have never crocheted, we will not be able to knit a stuffed animal. Think again, all you need is good teachers and good advice. You can follow video tutorials or buy crochet how-to books. Or even since we are here to advise you to make the best woolen plush and any other models.
- Is it because crochet has been an activity for a long time that it is old fashioned? On the contrary, like fashion in general, vintage is coming back. Well, crochet is definitely in that line of fire. There was a time when it was forgotten, but now it’s back on trend.
- You can
- vary your work when you crochet.
- choose your own model.
- refer to the model of teddy bear to knit for example. Whether the size, shape, color, knitting methods, you will find the best suited.
Crochet and knitting help to fight against stress, develop brain activity and senses
- Did you know that knitting reduces stress? So, anxious people, you have found the most practical and simple method to calm yourself. In addition, you will be able to treat yourself to new decorations or to please your toddlers.
- Crocheting develops the brain. For those of you who stay at home, but don’t have time to do brain activities. We suggest you take up crocheting. Learning the techniques will help you develop your thinking skills and increase your attendance.
- When you crochet, your hands stay nimble. Because aside from using your head, crocheting involves manual labor. By practicing it, you will remain skilled with your hands. This is very important for those who are afraid of losing their agility with age. Well, we suggest you knit a cuddly toy or a stuffed animal.
Knitting a stuffed animal is less expensive and is an enjoyable activity
- Financially, the tools needed to knit your stuff ed animal are less expensive than buying a new one. If you are afraid of spending too much to please your children. Well, find some time to practice crochet. All you have to do is make them a new stuffed animal.
- Crocheting helps you to be more patient. When you crochet, by its very techniques, you have to develop a passion. It is your heart that you put into your work. So, you want to please your family by making gifts for them, young and old. Decide to start with easy knitting animals for example.
- Similarly, if you choose to knit a stuffed animal. You have the opportunity to personalize the stuffed animal: whether it is very small, very large or of any color. When you have the right methods, you can create various stuffed animals: knitting pattern for bear or other figurative. In this case, your children will be happy and you can even make gifts for others.
Fashionable style of woolen plush
Knitting a woolen plush can be a very good gift idea. Especially, if you have the fishing to make a gigantic plush. It will not cost you a fortune, but will have the result like that in a large plush store. As we told you earlier, woolen plush toys are currently back in fashion. There are models that you should know that are the most loved. To help you get inspired or if you really want to practice them. These models are :
Amigurumi cactus: you can use as interior decoration or at your darling’s office.
Easy knitted animal amigurumis: rabbit, cow, elephant, octopus, panda, sheep, fox, mouse, bear, etc.
- For fans of manga, there are the small stuffed animals of Pokémon that your children love. In this case, you must have the right model and pattern comforter or plush if you do not know what they are talking about. Because you will have even more work if you get the wrong little beasts.
- Amigurumi ice cream: your children will be able to use and play safely, even if they put them in the mouth. The same goes for fruit and vegetable amigurumis or any other food.
- For the older ones, to embellish their room. You can make amigurumis cushions in geometric or animal shape.
- And for you ladies, you can make a plush pot holder or key ring. Like that, the whole family is happy.
The tools needed to knit a plush
You can’t just start knitting raw, you need to master certain techniques such as decreases and increases. That’s why we suggest you follow our tips. This is to prepare yourself mentally to knit a teddy bear and to do it until the end. So, are you ready to take on the challenge of knitting a teddy bear yourself? Take notes, because you’ll need a few essential tools.
The raw material: the ball of yarn
The ball of yarn is the basic fabric you will use to make your teddy bear with needles. It can be either wool or cotton, depending on you and where you buy it. You can find them in fine art and hobby stores.
Knitting plush wool
Wool can have a curly or furry effect. This depends on the effect you are looking for in the end. This type of wool gives a curly, fluffy look to your knitting teddy bear pattern. The choice of wool is important, because it adorns a softness to the plush. It would be unpleasant to touch a plush that itches on the body or becomes puffy and loses its hair.
Here are different types of wool used in plush knitting:
- Mohair: Mohair is made from the fleece of a small Tibetan angora goat. It gives the curly effect like goat hair.
- Cashmere: Cashmere is made from the wool of goats from the Kashmir province. This wool is very rare, as it is considered a luxury fiber. It may be a little difficult to find. However, it has a good quality and is very soft to the touch.
- Alpaca: The wool comes from alpaca. It has a soft and strong fiber like sheep fur and has the advantage of coming in different shades. So if you want a softness to knit a bear with needles for example, you can choose this wool.
Cotton plush knitting
If you are concerned about the origin of the wool. There is another alternative to knit your plush and comforter. It is cotton, a lighter material of vegetable origin. This material is as light as wool. But when you buy this material, we advise you to prefer organic cotton. Because, not only to give you pleasure, this cotton respects the environment.
Other kits needed to crochet a plush
- Knitting needle
There are several sizes of knitting needle. But if you can afford it, we recommend buying them all. That way, when you make different stuffed animals, you will have the necessary tools at your disposal all the time. You will no longer need to search for the tool to knit a bear with different kinds of needles. You should know that the needle also depends on the stitch you want to make. So, it is better to stock up than to have to stop in the middle of the work.
The right methods to knit a plush
Crocheting is a learning process that is accessible to everyone. You just need to be motivated and not get discouraged at the first failure. To learn the basics, there are many video tutorials and photos on the internet that allow you to learn about plush crochet and amigurumi. To learn the techniques and correct methods of making a comforter or plush pattern, you need visual guidance.
Don’t worry, the videos and pictures are very explicit and easy to follow. This is open to you who are afraid of getting lost and not being able to follow. So when you have the right fiber, the right sizes of needles to knit a plush, get to work.
Also, you need to choose the right stitch. For your information, the stitch is the stitch in knitting. It depends on the size of the stitch and its shape. There are several stitches such as: wheat, rice, tar or jersey, honeycomb stitch, etc.
How to knit a teddy bear easy?
There are several teddy bear knitting patterns adapted to each level. Beginners, we advise you not to choose a teddy bear pattern that is too complicated and may discourage you. Because, if you get derailed as soon as you start, you will not want to continue. Therefore, avoid adding complicated elements to your plush. For example, whiskers, eyes or nose, a tail, etc.
A stuffed animal has a lot of value, more than a toy for your child. It is his friend, a confidant and his favorite object. So, choose a pattern that will arouse curiosity and reassure your child. Avoid a bear knitting pattern that will scare him and that he won’t even want to hold. Whether it is for the color or the shape. The simplest models are bears, rabbits, sheep, foxes ..
- You only have to cast on 8 stitches and knit 16 rows. Then you have to cast on 8 stitches to make the other leg and knit 16 rows. Then you knit all along the 16 stitches for 8 rows. Finally, knit 8 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows. And you will see your teddy bear form as you knit.
- Here is another method: At 4 cm of jersey height, knit a row right side up on the purl row and knit it like this, 1 st right side up for the selvedge stitch, then knit 2 stitches to the end of the row. Together, knit a purl stitch, and finish with an edge stitch. There are 14 stitches left (18 stitches).
A teddy bear to knit according to your inspirations
If you really want to make a teddy bear, here is another method:
- For the head: knit 10 stitches with yarn A with 5mm needles. For each row, add 10 stitches. So, at the end you will have 50 stitches.
- For the snout: 1 row is enough, but you will knit it with 2 other stitches. You will connect them together. Fold down the stitches.
To assemble, thread the end of the yarn to the back of the head and pull. You just have to stuff the head and the muzzle by closing the opening.
- For the ears: make 6 stitches with the A thread and 5 mm needles. It is not enough to make 1 row.
To assemble, gather and fold the raised side to the flap side. Join the two rounds with the overcast stitch.
- The body: make 25 stitches with thread A and the same needle. Knit in stitches to a height of 8 cm. Well, stuff and leave an opening for the legs and arms.
Sew the back gap to the bottom part, place at the stitch in the middle back and close the bottom part edge to edge. Well, stuff and leave an open neckline.
- Arms and legs: cast on 4 stitches for 2 rows until the last stitch. Repeat rows 1 and 2 until there are 18 stitches on a needle.
To assemble, sew from the bottom to the top of the arm. Well, stuff before finalizing it. And you give your child a stuffed animal.
Conclusion on the article how to knit a plush?
To take care of your wool plush, comb the knits to get rid of pilling. In order to avoid that it falls into the mouth of his child.
When you choose a ball of wool , check that it can be machine-washed. Because even in wool, the plush always needs to be all clean. Limit small accessories that will bother your child when he is wearing his plush or that can be swallowed.
You should also pay attention to the quality of the wool so that your child will want to keep his little companion by his side. Because children are more sensitive than us adults. So, if your fabric bothers you, he won’t want that stuffed animal. So don’t forget to consider the different types of wool and cotton that we have recommended.
For parents who are looking for a new activity. We suggest you start with the plush. A woolen plush is new and currently fashionable. This way you stimulate your brain, you develop your sense of creativity. But also you will please your child. Now that you have all the tools in your hands, it’s your turn to start knitting.