Amigurumi patterns go BIG (+ free pattern!)

Why is amigurumi so popular? Because it’s over-the-top adorable! Who can resist a tiny crocheted bunny, mushroom, cupcake, or … just about any item you could ever dream up? From friendly monsters and angry birds to any food you could find on a restaurant menu, amigurumi designers have crocheted it all. But one designer in particular has gone in a bigger direction with her amigurumi patterns—quite literally.

In Durby’s interview below you’ll meet Stacey Trock, author of the popular books Crocheted Softies and Cuddly Crochet. When it comes to crochet for kids, Stacey’s struck a chord. She’s combined the whimsy of traditional amigurumi with the cuddliness of larger stuffies. The results are not only delightfully charming; they’re worthy of the tightest squeeze a little one’s arms can muster.

It’s not only kids who love Stacey’s crochet animals; Ravelry has lit up with projects, posts, and favorites from both of Stacey’s books. Check out two Ravelry members’ delightful projects from Crocheted Softies (don’t you just love the cute photo styling that these two talented crocheters came up with for their softies?):

From Ravelry members teresacompras and mamafish13

To give you the opportunity to try Stacey’s amigurumi patterns—and to experience her easy-to-follow amigurumi how-to—we’re thrilled to share a free amigurumi pattern from Stacey with you today.

Meet M. Richard the Whale:

Download the “M. Richard the Whale” pattern when you sign in or register at our site.

Of M. Richard, Stacey says: "This big whale was tired of the spotlight, so now he goes by his middle name. No need to go out into the deep to find him. This cute and cuddly guy is right at your fingertips when you’re holding a crochet hook."

In Stacey’s free amigurumi pattern, the whale body is worked from the tail up to the face. You’ll attach features and stuff the body as you work to ensure that your hands will fit inside when they need to. Download the free pattern now. You can see more of Stacey’s playful designs at the bottom of this post.

Now, let’s meet Stacey—take it away, Durby!

An Interview with Stacey Trock

You’re quite an accomplished crafter for someone so young. How did you first get “hooked” on crochet?
Aw, thanks! I started crocheting when I was six years old. My mom taught me, to give me something to do, and it just took off from there. I started coming up with my own designs and entering them in the county fair before I was 12 years old. I was motivated by winning those little ribbons at the fair, so I kept going. In high school, I crocheted afghans during math class and, since I was a good student, I got away with it. I kept going, so I think I have about as many “crochet hours” as someone twice my age.

Your entertaining Fresh Stitches blog is filled with great tips, patterns, and stories. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
What I like best is reaching an audience. As a designer, I work from home, so I usually only leave the house (and talk to real-life people who aren’t my boyfriend) a couple times a week. Blogging (and reading comments left on my blog) gives me a way to connect to the outside world and keeps me from getting too lonely! I’m also continually (pleasantly) surprised by how much people enjoy my blog. I’ll go to my weekly sit-and-stitch, and someone will come up to me and say, “I just loved seeing your stuffed monster visit Philadelphia.” Hearing that makes me happy all evening long!

How else do you stay connected with the knitting and crochet community?
Ravelry has changed my world! It’s a place where I can chat with others about knitting and crochet and also look at new yarns and patterns. I love talking to people at all different levels in their needlework lives. I learn so much from the experienced designers, and when I talk to people just starting out with crochet, I also learn how I want to present my instructions. Seeing where beginners run into trouble helps me refine how I want to explain my techniques.

I go to a weekly sit-and-stitch at my local yarn store, where I also work once a week. There, I can chat with others and see what everyone else is doing. Being an employee in the store really helps me stay involved, because I see the new products that come in and have customers who keep me up-to-date on the hottest patterns and yarns!

Your books, Crocheted Softies and Cuddly Crochet, are chock full of delightful toys and more for kids. What inspired you to create these projects?

I’ve always loved and been inspired by children. They’re so free-spirited and creative, and it’s a joy to create items that will make them happy.

A lot of customers at my local yarn store make baby items either for their own children or as gifts, and I noticed some gaps in the patterns available. I heard a lot of requests for gender-neutral baby patterns, since a lot of parents don’t know the gender of their baby until it’s born, which can make gift giving tricky!

Also, many customers want a great baby project that will “grow up” with the child. So, I was inspired to create baby items that spanned childhood. The designs from my books are great for a newborn and will still be wonderful when the child is five years old.

How are your stuffed animals different from most amigurumi?

Most amigurumi tend to be fairly small, only a couple of inches tall. If you intend to make a toy for a very young child to play with, that size just isn’t practical. Most of the toys in my books are 7″ to 8″ inches tall, which is a great size for hugging and carrying around.

Also, it’s always my goal to keep the finishing (seaming, embroidering) to a minimum. A lot of amigurumi make use of felt, paints, or detailed embroidery to make adorable facial features. I admire that style, but I find that crocheters sometimes have difficulty replicating the exact details that the designer used. My amigurumi have less-detailed faces, which I hope allows people to easily replicate my results!

What’s one tip you’d like to give to someone just learning to crochet?

Don’t beat yourself up! The first time you learn anything (whether it’s crochet or cooking), you’re going to make mistakes. If you learn to play a musical instrument, you’re not going to play songs on your first day. And in crochet, you won’t have a perfect item on your first day either! Play around with practicing the stitches, and if you make a mistake, learn from it and keep going. You’ll get there eventually.

28 Comments (leave a comment)

  • Great interview! I actually just started making amigurumi after I saw some tutorials from Stacey 🙂 I knit more than I do crochet, but these creatures are so much fun, and it’s easy projects to bring along anywhere. I’m totally hooked 😉

    Eva | Little Cool Toys on April 28, 2012
  • Thanks for the free pattern. It was great reading about and how you got started crocheting. This pattern comes just in time to make for my niece that is expecting twins. Just might have to check out your books to see what else might catch my eye.
    Happy Stitching,

    —Jean B on April 28, 2012
  • Absolutely love all the projects and creativity involved. Great Job. Unfortunately, the download did not seem to work. I’ll try again later. I’d really like to try it to see if I can learn to crochet again. I use to love doing it before I got hooked on quilting.

    —Sandi Makowski on April 28, 2012
  • I love your crocheted animals. I only knit – do you have animals in knitting? Would love to knit some of the animals.

    —Betty Taylor on April 28, 2012
  • Love the free pattern. Thank you so much. Crochet setting by my chair ready to start when I get tired of stitching. I love switching things up!

    Jeanne from Missouri on April 28, 2012
  • would love to try this project it looks like something i can do. Can’t seem to get the download to work. I will try later thanks.

    —Sharon Meyer on April 28, 2012
  • The second time it downloaded just fine thank you. Happy crafting

    —Sharon Meyer on April 28, 2012
  • Love your amimals. I fell in love with amigurumi they make wonderful gifts. I am intrigued by the pattern you have created by using the the back loop only. I hope mine comes out looking as nice as yours.
    Are your books available at Amazon?

    Thank you for sharing

    —Rebecca D. Jeffers on May 22, 2012
  • i couldn’t find information about selling items made from your free patterns. point me in the right direction? thanks!

    —mj on July 26, 2012
  • Love your Crocheted Softees book, so many cuties to make in there. I love mine! Keep em coming!

    —BlondeeinNV on August 6, 2012
  • These patterns are really cute, but they all look inside-out in the pictures?

    —Meagan on September 14, 2012
  • Hi Meagan, we’re not sure what you mean by inside-out, so we’ll take a guess here. The pictures of the class show us basting the paper to the wrong side of the fabric. The pictures of Mary G. and Karen S’s hexagons do show the hexagons with the basting stitches still in place. Once the pieces are stitched together, the basting is removed and the paper template is popped out. Hope that helps explain what you are seeing.

    —Jenny on September 14, 2012
  • very nice animals, i hope i can make them

    —Janniei on September 17, 2012
  • Is there anyway to convert this to knitting? I can’t crochet to save my soul.

    Hi Cassandra, we aren’t able to convert these to knitting patterns, but we do have some really cute knitted toys for babies and kids at this link. Enjoy!

    —Cassandra on April 26, 2013
  • Do I have to turn it inside out when i’m done? I don’t get those lines on the out side as shown on the picture….

    —Anne on March 10, 2014
  • Anne, hope you’ve figured it out already but to get that ‘stripey’ look you have to crochet through the back loop ONLY.

    —Lena on March 24, 2014
  • Could anyone elaborate on the instruction for rounds 21-33? I’m sure it’s simple, I am just not understanding exactly what do and am stuck. Help please!

    —Sarah on March 26, 2014
  • I think your toys are adorable, however, I worry about the eyes being a choking hazard. Since they are so simple, I will leave them off or embroider them on. Thanks for all the great ideas!

    —Rhonda on May 21, 2014
  • I LOVE this whale, SO ADORABLE!! I LOVE making Amigurumi but they do tend to be small and I was thinking of making them bigger so this pattern is a good first project to start with. Thank you so much for sharing and also LOVE your blog!! 🙂

    —Aida F. on November 4, 2014
  • With the tail fin do you work it in the round? As soon as I know I am going to make one for a baby I know!!

    —Gail on November 6, 2014
  • I’m working Richard the whale right now. I have experience crocheting animals, this pattern is incorrect. Its described having the ridges because of crocheting in the back loop when its really the front loop. If I was to crochet in the bl, I’d have to turn it inside out but that wouldn’t be correct, especially if you’re stitching pieces together as you go. This is a cute whale, but the pattern should have been tested by another before being published. Thank you!

    —rachel on December 12, 2014
  • How do I sign up for this site? Your projects are SUPER!!!

    —Mary Greenlie on December 29, 2014
  • Hi Mary,
    Look for a sign up button on our site, or click here:
    Then we’ll send you an email for each of our posts. You can also choose a weekly email option. Karen at Martingale

    —Karen Johnson on December 30, 2014
  • Boa noite, adorei seus trabalhos e gostaria de saber como faço para adquirir essas revistas.

    (Translation: Good evening, I love your work and would like to know how do I get these magazines. Thank you.)

    Hi Valéria, you can get Stacy Trock’s crochet books at our website, here: Thanks for your question! –Jenny

    —valeria rezende on June 8, 2015
  • Hi. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful whale pattern. At the start of 2015 I made one with baby soft super chunky yarn and it turned out so cute and snuggly soft. I actually use it every time I sleep. Its huge because of the super chunky yarn. I am wondering if we are allowed to sell completed projects. I got a few requests when I shared my photo on Facebook. Again, thank you so much for sharing!

    Hi Candace, I’m afraid that selling finished projects made from the whale pattern is against the copyright laws that govern it. But we’re so glad you’ve enjoyed making it – thank you for asking an important question! –Jenny

    —Candace James on July 24, 2016
  • Why are the vast majority of amigurumi on a smaller scale?

    —Cindy on June 20, 2017
  • My grandson is a bass guitar player in a band. He asked me to crochet a guitar shaped pillow. I have searched online for a free crochet pattern for a guitar, but so far all of them are more like appliqués rather than a 3D guitar.I did find a patter for a guitar to fit an American Girl doll, but it did not look nice. Do you have a pattern for a guitar? I thought if I couldn’t find one for a guitar pillow, I would try an afghan with a guitar and maybe notes. I haven’t found that either (I am a little past a beginner level, but not much more than that. Thanks for any help.

    Hi Linda, sounds like a fun project! I can’t think of any guitar patterns in our books right now, but check this link and see if you find anything that might work? Thanks for your question! –Jenny

    —Linda on December 14, 2018
  • The red crab, I don’t fine the pattern

    —Alicia on January 16, 2019

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