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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amigurumi [Paperback]

June Gilbank
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 5 2010 The Complete Idiot's Guide
Creating an Amigurumi of one’s own...

Amigurumi, the traditional Japanese art of knitted or crocheted stuffed figures, is a craft that is sweeping the country. In The Complete Idiot’s Guide(r) to Amigurumi crafters will learn the basic stitches of crochet, how to make basic shapes (heads, arms, legs, torsos), stuffing techniques, and embellishments such as hair, eyes, and tassels. They will also learn how to make flowers and vegetables, and will acquire the tools to be able to let their imaginations run wild and create their own unique and adorable Amigurumi.

  • Easy-to-follow instructions and patterns for the absolute beginner
  • The only book that teaches readers how to make their own Amigurumi (not just follow patterns)
  • Includes several complete patterns
  • Author is a foremost expert on Amigurumi

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Holly
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great reference and skills builder. It also can be supplimented by the author's videos on YouTube and her website. One major price I thought the book was missing sadly was the techniques on the web having to do with perfect stripes. I would have loved a photo reference for those. Overall the book was very useful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential book for making Amigurumi! Feb. 5 2013
By Sarah
If you want to make good Amigurumi, and especially if you want to create your own patterns, you NEED this book.

I just started crocheting a couple of months back and have had this book for about 6 weeks. It has been invaluable and I've already made several toys from my own patterns.

The other Amigurumi books available are great for patterns, however they do not help if you need to learn the craft itself.

This book has everything you need to make amigurumi and has great and simple tips for making your work better.

This should be the first book you buy if you want to learn how to make amigurumi. I cannot recommend it highly enough!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, clear instruction Nov. 28 2011
By Lee
I've been making amigurumi for about a year but I learned a lot of great tips and tricks from this book that have already made me a better "amigurumist." (And just in time for making Christmas presents!) June's background in technical writing shines through with her clear, easy-to-follow instructions and I love that she continually encourages the reader to be creative and make modifications to make their own unique creations. I'd highly recommend this book for any budding amigurumist or anyone just wishing to kick their craft up a notch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wow Sept. 10 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is very detailed on everything you need to know to crochet Amigurumi. I found it fascinating and easy to follow.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  92 reviews
93 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book! Oct. 5 2010
By Patricia R. Andersen - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Generally, I don't buy books that start off with "The Complete Idiot's Guide To..." anything. Sometimes those books just aren't worth the money.

BUT, June Gilbank's* new book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amigurumi does not fit into that description.
I am familiar with M's Gilbank's whimsical work through her blog site, Planet June. I've purchased a few patterns from her and have found the patterns to be well written and concise. Obviously, she tests these patterns thoroughly so there isn't that thought while you making something that "yeah, it's supposed to look like groundhog but it looks more like a monstrous snake". If the pattern is describing how to make a groundhog, you will achieve a groundhog that you can be proud of and show off.
Plus the directions are easy. If it says "start off with a magic ring", that's what you do. And if you don't understand how to make a magic ring, M's Gilbank walks you through the procedure, complete with black and white close-ups so you can understand what is being produced. This is a great help for those of us that needs the visual to go along with the written word.
M's Gilbank includes directions to make tubes, cones and circles so you can plan to make your own amigurumi design. Maybe you want to do one of your cat and you can't quite find any suitable pattern. With M's Gilbank's instructions, you will be able to figure out exactly what shape the body parts should be. You'll also be able to figure out, with M's Gilbank's instructions, where and how the color changes should be executed. She also offers various options to give your amigurumi a special look - maybe handmade eyes?
There are a total of four patterns in the book - hamster, mushroom, boy and girl. Normally I'd say "only 4 patterns!" but it's not just about the patterns. "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amigurumi" is just the starting point for your amigurumi adventures. You will be inspired to make up different amigurumis just to see how they will look.
If you crochet, you should definitely buy this book. If you want to learn how to crochet, you should buy this book. And if you just want to see some cute toys, buy this book. This is a great book and I think every crocheter should own it. You will really enjoy this book.

*no, I'm not her sister, agent, mother, friend, just a very satisfied customer
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Ami Book Out There! Oct. 14 2010
By Jana Hunter - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
June Gilbank's book, The Complete Idiot's guide to Amigurumi, is one of a kind! There are plenty of Ami pattern books out there, and most offer one or two tips and simple stitches. However, June's book is unique because it doesn't just give you patterns, it tells you HOW to make Ami's step by step with lots of pictures!
Part 1 of June's book is all about the basics: materials, how to hold your hook and yarn, and following patterns. June shares some of her individual techniques that make your Ami's not only polished, but easier to construct!
Part 2 of the book takes a tremendous step forward from any other kind of Ami book out there-she tells you how to make the various shapes that can help you to design your OWN! Ch. 8 explains various ways you can make jointed Ami's, so that they can stand or be posed. This is great information to have, especially if you are making an Ami for a child to play with.
Part 3 is all about the finishing touches: Eyes, hairstyles (I found this section especially fun, since I have a baby granddaughter and want to make her some dolls!), and fancy stitches and other materials you can use to make your Ami's truly unique!
Finally, June includes four of her own designs for you to make. There are hamsters (she is famous for her animal patterns), a mushroom and toadstool, and a boy and girl Ami.
I have made several of June's patterns and every one of them has been the best written pattern available anywhere. June pays particular attention to detail, and her patterns are thoroughly tested before she publishes them, so I have yet to come across a mistake! With each of her patterns, you also get wonderful photographs to aid those visual learners.
This book is a MUST HAVE for anyone who crochets, from the beginner to the experienced. I cannot recommend it highly enough!
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words of Wisdom Oct. 27 2010
By Roz - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful reference book for amigurumi.
The book is indexed in a way to instantly go to the section ones needs.
The pictures are excellent and the tips throughout the book are wonderful guides to making the best creations possible.

If you love making this type of project, do yourself a favor and purchase this book.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Focused, clear, and fun! Dec 17 2010
By A. Merlino - Published on
I read every single word ... and loved every bit of it.

Starting From Scratch

The book is designed to tell you everything you need to know to get started creating your own amigurumi - even if you've never crocheted before. You can learn everything from the anatomy of a crochet hook to how to make an invisible decrease ... and the magic circle (below).
The instructions are clear and are accompanied by helpful photos that June took herself.

Tips And Tricks

After she's armed you with the basic crochet skills you need, she reveals the nitty gritty of designing amigurumi (or ami, for short), which is how to make shapes like flat circles, tubes, cones, and spheres.

June offers guidance about whether you want to make your ami-parts as closed shapes or open shapes depending on how you want it to look. And then she gives you several ways to stuff, close, and assemble your ami.

Not to mention the details about using different colors and types of yarn, creating expressive eyes, making your ami poseable. There is a whole chapter about all the ways you could make hair. It's clear from the amount of information she's packed into this book, that she's thought about all the ways you could do something and tried them all to see what works.

Pattern Boot Camp

Once you've absorbed all that information, you can hone your skills using the patterns she provides at the end of the book. They are arranged in order of difficulty and incorporate many of the techniques she reveals in the book.

I made the mushroom pattern. Easy and cute! The colorful mushroom cap was a perfect way to use up some tiny bits of leftover yarn. I also used her surface crochet idea to make gills under the mushroom. I think this took me around half an hour to make.


This book teaches you about amigurumi and gives you the skills to start designing your own.

I kept thinking as I read it, "I wish I'd found this book as a kid." I always thought I needed a pattern. I think a lot of people think that way. This book would have empowered me to create my own.

This would have been the perfect gift for the 14-year-old me (or the 23-year-old me!). Wrap this book up with a crochet hook and a couple skeins of yarn, and it would be a great gift for a creative maker.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Guide for Learning to Crochet Amigurumi! Jan. 3 2011
By Ash - Published on
Awhile back, I decided I wanted to learn how to crochet the really adorable amigurumi dolls I kept seeing everywhere. I spent quite awhile trying to look up instructions online instead of buying a book, in order to save money. No matter how many online guides, videos, and close-up photos of stitches I pored over, I still could not seem to do it properly, which was really frustrating for me. Finally, I got sick of trying to follow instructions that basically amounted to "In order to do a double crochet, do a double crochet!" and broke down and got this book.

Let me assure you, it was worth every penny. Included in this book are clear instructions, helpful tips, and detailed images, so you know you're doing everything right. I would recommend it to anyone who was trying to pick up this hobby. I heard crocheting was hard, but as the title implies, this book makes learning it really easy. I've been making all kinds of stuff ever since.
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