Are your amigurumi dolls looking like Swiss cheese because of the holes? Are the stitches so tight you swear your doll is airtight? Can’t get the hook in the stitches? All those questions lead to only one conclusion = you’re using the WRONG HOOK!!!
I just had to make this post after seeing some interesting looking amigurumi dolls. And no, I am absolutely NOT making fun of the dolls or those who made them. It’s just a simple fact that some people are using the wrong hooks. And most often they don’t know it. That’s what this post is for. To help those people.
You’re probably thinking “what formula????”. There’s this formula or rule people have made. It says for amigurumi you should take the number on the yarn label and do minus 1 = if the label says use a 3mm hook, you should use a 2mm hook. That is indeed the formula I use for myself. Buuuuut, I am not saying you should do this too. Confused aren’t you? 😄 Don’t worry, I’ll explain why below here. Keep reading and you’ll know which hook you need.
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So which hook do I use now?
Bet that’s what you’re asking now. Well, there’s several factors you have to keep in mind:
- do you crochet tight stitches?
- do you crochet loose stitches?
- are you planning on using yarn under stitches? (click on the highlighted text to go see what yarn under is)
- are you planning on using yarn over stitches? (click on the highlighted text to go see what yarn over is)
- are you using fuzzy/chenille/other “weird” looking yarn?
- do you have wrist pain?
All these questions will lead you to a different hook size. I’ll explain them all one by one. But a quick tip before I start explaining things: DO NOT OVERSTUFF! No matter how perfect your crochet work is, you’re gonna have holes if you overstuff. Even with the right hook size.
- Do you crochet tight stitches?
= Take the smallest number on the label. So if it says use a 3-4mm hook, you take that number 3. Do minus 1 = 3-1 = 2 = use a 2mm crochet hook. That being said, don’t crochet too tightly. Doing so stretches the yarn way too much and this will not only make the yarn thinner but also result in a hard doll with a rough texture. That doesn’t feel good when holding it and it doesn’t look good either. Try to relax a bit. Your life doesn’t depend on it so no need to pull that hard 😁
- Do you crochet loose stitches?
= Take the smallest number on the label. If it says 3-4mm then you take that 3 and to minus 1 or 1.5 = use a 2 or 1.5mm crochet hook. This way you’ll avoid holes in your work. If you use a 2mm and still have holes, then I definitely recommend a 1.5mm crochet hook. Make sure you do not overstuff because loose crochet stitches + overstuffing = HOLES. Lots of them.
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- Are you planning on using yarn under stitches?
= I personally would not use a really small hook. This is because yarn under stitches are smaller than “regular” yarn over stitches. If you were to then use a really small hook, the hook might get stuck in the yarn. And also because these stitches are smaller, using a small hook would create really small stitches. That would make the doll hard. If that is what you want, then definitely take the smallest number on the label and subtract 1. Meaning size 3-4mm hook = you use a 2mm. But if you want your doll to still be soft, then I recommend you take that 3 from 3-4mm and subtract only 0.5 = you use a 2.5mm hook.
**Just a tip: if you are making a doll that absolutely must keep its shape, then yarn under is much better than yarn over.
- Are you planning on using yarn over stitches?
= Yarn over stitches are bigger than yarn under stitches. They are also more loose and will show holes faster. Even if you crochet tightly. So definitely take the smallest number on the label and subtract 1. If you crochet loosely, then you can even subtract 1.5 from the smallest number on the label = hook size 3-4mm minus 1.5 = 1.5mm. This will create stitches that don’t show holes. Unless you really overstuff. Then your doll will look like Swiss cheese 😬😬
- Are you planning on using “weird” yarn?
= I call chenille, hairy, fuzzy, … yarn weird 😄 Not because it looks weird but it feels weird when working with it. When it comes to this yarn, DO NOT you a small hook. Just take the smallest number on the label and subtract 0.5. Do yourself a favor and don’t go for tight stitches and a tiny hook. You’ll want to kick yourself before you’re anywhere near halfway done. Seriously, don’t do it…
- Do you have wrist pain?
= Yikes. Really yikes! Nothing worse than wanting to finish a crochet project with wrist pain 😣😣 But we’ve all been there unfortunately. And if you haven’t, don’t brag cause it’s coming. Trust me, it really is. To avoid the pain getting worse, you’ll want to use a hook that isn’t too small. So the smallest number on the label minus 0.5. That’s the hook size I would use. And no yarn under stitches till the pain is gone. Yarn under stitches are the worst for wrist pain. Choose a project that can be made with yarn over stitches and does not require very tight stitches.
**Just a tip: wear a wrist support bandage the minute you start feeling pain. Don’t wait till it really hurts. Just wear that for a bit and take it back off when the pain is gone. I’m not a doctor, so this is NOT expert advice. It’s just what I do and I guess it’s worth trying if you suffer from that dreaded wrist pain.
If after reading all this you’re still a bit confused, don’t worry, you can send me a message (in the comments section below) and I’ll see what I can do for you. Do add a picture in the comments section if you have holes in your project or need to show it to make things more clear.