How to Make Adorable Amigurumi with 5 Free Knitting Patterns

5 free knitting patterns for adorable stuffed toys

I’ve been knitting amigurumi for nearly as long as I’ve been knitting, thanks to my daughters. I’ve made turtles, seahorses, hummingbirds, chicks, and so on.

So what is an amigurumi? The literal translation of amigurumi from Japanese is “knitted stuffed toy.” It’s basically the Japanese art of knitting small animals and other inanimate objects with animate features (i.e. a tomato with a face).

The goal is cuteness, and if you love things in miniature, you’ll love knitting amigurumi.

I’ve had so much fun knitting amigurumi. They make great gifts, especially since their small size means you can whip them up in no time. They’re also a great way to use up yarn scraps.

Below are five fun knitting patterns to get you started in amigurumi. Be careful, though… knitting amigurumi can be mightily addictive!

Five Adorable Amigurumi Knitting Patterns

Marisol the Mouse
Photo: Rachel Borello Carroll

1. Mouse A cute little mouse is a great pattern to start making amigurumi. Experienced knitters can embellish the mouse with a little piece of cheese. Create a whole family of mice with different colors, sizes, and attributes. I recommend embroidering on the eyes and nose before you stuff and close up the head, as it’s much harder, and sloppier, to do afterwards.

2. Penguin I especially love the knitting instructions for this penguin because they include very helpful photos. Check out the photo with the knit pieces, and see how the amigurumi is really the sum of its parts. Separately, it looks like a lot of knit scraps. Combined, the penguin pieces create a wholly lovable creation.

3. Cat Cat lovers will appreciate this kitty. She’s small enough that you can adopt several without them taking up much space. Plus, she doesn’t shed or use a litter box, or pounce on you in the middle of the night.

4. Lovebug Valentine’s Day is a few months behind us, but this sweet Lovebug makes a great little gift to say “I love you” for any occasion. With a little creativity you can turn him into a butterfly or bumblebee. Perfect to sneak into a lunchbox, briefcase, or purse to let your special somebody know you’re thinking of them.

5. Turtle More knitting instructions courtesy of Knitty.com, this turtle is perfect to use up that green yarn you didn’t know what to do with. This pattern will take you longer than the others, but is well worth the time and effort. The removable shell is a charming added touch.

Amigurumi have function besides their charm. Little stuffed toys make great knitting for charity projects for a variety of children’s organization and also cat and dog rescues or shelters.

Whether you knit for yourself or a charity, these five different knitting instructions will introduce you to the fun of amigurumi.