Monday, November 8, 2010

What is Amigurumi?

According to Wikipedia, "Amigurumi (編み包み) is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. The word is derived from a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll."

Amigurumi can be cute and cuddly, a little off the wall, realistic, or even downright scary. There is plenty of argument as to whether amigurumi must follow in the Japanese tradition of kawaii (cuteness) or if anything goes so long as the end result is a knitted or crocheted stuffed doll. For example, are the amazing designs of Hansi Singh any less amigurumi than the uber-kawaii cuteness found in every pattern ever written by Anna Paula Rimoli?

Praying Mantis by Hansigurumi
To many, the true amigurumi technique involves knitting or crocheting in a continuous spiral (as opposed to joining rounds). However, as amigurumi has gotten more popular, that line has blurred too. Even purists find occasions where the spiral round just doesn't result in the look they want.

So, while we can put together a rudimentary definition for amigurumi, there is still a long way to go before the rules of this art form are set in stone. It's my hope that through this new Etsy team and this blog, we will have the opportunity to explore the boundaries of what amigurumi really is and where it belongs as an art form and a means of expression.


  1. Wow I never knew thanks for sharing!! They are so cute!

  2. Awesome first post to start off the blog! hooray!