This tutorial is more a collection of some information to make the best of your amigurumis than a real tutorial that explains a certain technique.

But before we start let me show you the classical version (top) and the improved version (bottom) of a simple round shape.

increases

decreases

You can easily see that the classical version starts to form to a hexagon whilst the improved version is more round. It’s a simple but very effective trick that creates this result:

Shaping

Shaping ends with stuffing your doll. With a good stuffing you can give your doll the final form and even smooth out little mistakes.
But shaping also starts within the crocheting process itself!

A lot of patterns give information like
increase 6 sts and spread evenly
or
increase 6 evenly spaced
or
*2sc in first sc, 1sc in next sts, repeat from * around

so you often will increase one stitch at the beginning of every ‘increasing interval’ and therefore all your increases will be on top of each other.
There is nothing wrong with this, especially at smaller diameters like we often find when making dolls. But the bigger your diameter gets the more the hexagonal form will want to show off and stuffing will no longer be a solution. Therefore it’s a good trick to alternate increasing intervals. In uneven rows start with the increasing as usual, but at even rows make increases in the middle of every section.

example:
uneven rows: (make 2 sc in first st, x number of sc) repeat six times around
even rows: x/2 number of sts, (make 2 sc into next st, x number of sts) repeat 5 times, make 2 sc into next st, x/2 number of sts

so in uneven rounds, you more or less only divide one increasing section and make a certain number of sc before you start increasing. This way you will have 12 sections instead of 6 and your hexagonal form will become rounder.

This also works great for the decreasing of a round shape.

Decreasing invisibly

Decreasing most often is done with pushing and pulling your hook through the next two sts one after the other, yarning over as you do so, and finally drawing the yarn through all three loops on the hook:


you will end up with one stitch instead of two – you decreased one stitch. If you click on the picture above you can see more details but also you can see that the decreased stitch is easily recognised: the loops lean to the left.
When you compare the two pictures of the decreases in the classical and improved version (above) you can also see that making decreases on top of each other makes them recognizable even more easily – so try to avoid this like described under shaping.

The next series of pictures illusrates how to decrease a stitch and don’t have anybody recognize it.


1 – before you started a decrease
2 – push your hook through the front loop of the next stitch
3 – push your hoop through the front loop of the next but one stitch as well
4 – yarn over
5 – pull yarn through the first two loops on hook
6 – yarn over again
7 – pull yarn through all loops on hook (two)
8 – decreased stitch (right in the middle of picture, 5 sts from hook end)

you can hardly see the decrease at all, isn’t that great?