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Substitute Yarns In Amigurumi

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I am honored to have Stacey from Fresh Stitches to be today’s guest tutor. She is going to show us how to substitute Amigurumi yarn and also how to choose the correct hook for the yarn. I have touched a little about this topic in my recent amigurumi post of How To Amigurumi, and today, Stacey will bring you a detailed tutorial about the amigurumi yarn, hook, and how to substitute yarns for changing the size of your amigurumi without modifying the pattern.

Substitute yarn in amigurumi

Stacey is the author of the popular Cuddly Crochet: Adorable Toys, Hats, & More I recommended in “How To Amigurumi”. You will find most of her patterns are suitable for making into soft toys for small kids. There are 3 ways to get Stacey’s pattern: 1.) purchase her book for the amigurumi pattern, 2) go to her online store to buy her latest amigurumi pattern, or 3) download the free e-book for the beginner.

Be sure to browse through her fantastically informative website for all the amigurumi helps & tips and follow her blog for any latest updates.

Guest tutor: Stacey Trock

fresh stitches amigurumi

Step-by-Step Guide to:

How To Substitute Amigurumi Yarn Size

You probably already know that amigurumi crochet animal is adorable and fun to make… but you might not have known that you can substitute any amigurumi yarn into any pattern that you’d like! In this post, I’m going to show you how to successfully substitute yarns, and you’ll only be limited by your imagination!

Let’s start with the basics. If you use a smaller yarn than is recommended, you’ll need to use a smaller hook, and you’ll end up with a smaller amigurumi. Check out the two monsters above: the monster on the right was crocheted with the (recommended) worsted weight yarn, and the monster on the left was crocheted with smaller yarn and hook. Look how much smaller the one on the left is… isn’t he adorable?

substitute yarns in amigurumi

Let’s get down to the details on substitute amigurumi yarn – how do you know what sized hook to use? Amigurumi patterns typically recommend that you use a hook smaller than is recommended for the yarn, so to substitute successfully, you’ll want to use a hook that’s the same amount smaller than is recommended for your yarn. Let’s look at an example.

Let’s pretend we’re looking at a pattern that recommends using a worsted weight yarn with a size F (3.75mm) hook. A worsted weight yarn usually uses a size H (5.0mm) hook. How do I know that? I peeked at the size hook recommended on the yarn label of a worsted weight yarn!

worsted yarn label

That means that the pattern recommends that you use a hook that is 1.25mm smaller than what is recommended on the yarn label.

So, now I have a smaller yarn that I want to make an amigurumi from. The yarn label for my smaller yarn recommends a 3.5mm hook.

substitute yarns in amigurumi

To calculate what size hook we need, just subtract 1.25 from 3.5, and we find out that we’ll want to use a 2.25mm, which is a size B. So, grab your B hook and start crocheting! Easy!

Does it work the same way for bigger yarns? Of course! Let’s say we have a bulky yarn.

substitute yarns in amigurumi

The bulky yarn label says that we want to use a size 10, which is a 6mm. 6 minus 1.25 is 4.75! Since there isn’t a 4.75 mm crochet hook, we’d probably round up to a 5mm (size H) and get started!

A couple of other points to keep in mind:
• If you’re using a bigger yarn, you’re going to also use slightly more yardage than is called for in the pattern. Smaller yarns will use less yardage.
• Scale your eyes accordingly! In the monsters above, the big monster uses 12mm eyes, but I used 9mm eyes for the smaller monster.
• Are you confused about what size in millimeters your crochet hook is? You might want to check out a conversion chart. This is especially helpful if you’re reading a pattern that’s from a different country than you.

And remember, amigurumi is about having fun… so don’t worry too much about the exact hook size! If the little animal you’re making looks good in the amigurumi yarn that you chose, then go with it!

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Saturday 4th of June 2011

Oh my! I wish I had known this before, I feel like a prize plum. Brilliant knowledge, thanks so much for posting this. Oh, and wicked amis up the top there.


Friday 27th of May 2011

Great guide - thanks for sharing!