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Hello everyone!

So I'm working on designing my first amigurumi (crocheted dolls and stuffed animals) pattern and it's basically just all basic shapes based on what I've learned from amigurumi patterns in the past. After making several amigurumi I've got the basic shapes down -- sphere, oval, elongated sphere, cylinders, etc. I can basically make any symmetrical shape.

But when it comes to amigurumi there are times where you want a less symmetrical shape especially for things like heads, snouts, tails etc. I haven't been able to find any advice on more advanced amigurumi shaping. Obviously sometimes in a pattern I follow there is more advanced shaping but it's going to be different for each project once you get away from the basic shapes. Is it just trial and error? I look at these 3d shapes as a big math problem and I understand that the shapes are symmetrical because you increase or decrease evenly all the way around. So in theory increasing or decreasing only on one side should give a less symmetrical shape. But I guess I'm having a hard time envisioning how to make it work. Does anyone have any references or advice on more advanced shaping?

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Needle sculpting looks good for eye indents and I will probably try it on my next project, but isn't really the kind of shaping I mean. I mean for more advanced body shapes or neck or head shapes. I've included some examples of amigurumi patterns I've seen with more advanced shaping that I'm talking about. Even just a less spherical head. Obviously there is tons I can accomplish with basic shapes, but as someone who always is trying to advance my skills advanced shaping is something I'd like to be able to accomplish.

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The best way to advance your skills would be to work as many different patterns as you can especially those incorporating the look you are after.  You will learn new skills and techniques and then with some trial and error you will be able to incorporate them into your own designs.  Some of shaping is just figuring out where to increase/ decrease your number of stitches. Takes a fair amount of trial and error and a lot of time.

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You can also research amigurumi design.  There are people who write about the subject. and give you hints on ways to fashion different looks.  There is also quite a bit of information on the math involved in creating different shapes out there as well.  While my DH doesn't crochet his is my crochet math consultant.

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I guess that makes sense -trying patterns with similar shapes I'd like to replicate- since that's how I learned basic shapes in the first place. It seems like math and figuring out the right places to increase or decrease.

 

As for researching amigurumi design, I've done a lot of googling and haven't found much on the subject yet. Just basics of amigurumi, nothing more advanced and certainly nothing about advanced shaping. I just find the same tips over and over (how to do a magic circle, invisible decrease, etc.) and I'd love to find something else more on the subject. 

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I have seen that one, but once again its a symmetrical shape. But it does increase and then decrease and then increase again, so it's a bit more of an advanced shape than the basics. It's the shapes that are bigger on one half than the other or shapes that turn that I don't really know how to tackle. Things like toes or curvy necks or oddly shaped heads or bodies that have one side bigger than the other. 

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I was looking at it more from the concept they were trying to get across.  Break down in sections.  Look at it.  See where you need to add more stitches or make fewer stitches.  Sounds like you have probably found all the info available to study so that pretty much leads back to my suggestion of working different patterns with features you are interested in learning how they were done.

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First you have to decide specifically what it is you want to target and then search for those specific items.  It may mean finding someone who has already designed the type of style you want different size body types, curvy necks, etc. and buying the pattern and making it to learn how it is done.  While some people give away stuff for free others have worked hard for the knowledge and they write patterns and they expect to earn something for the knowledge they've gained.

Clearly you've seen ami's you like and styles you want to learn or you wouldn't  have specific things you want to learn. 

There are some amazing designers out there and while some of them are incredibly generous and share others expect you to pay so that may be what you need to do.  You see a pattern with a neck you like, buy it, learn how the designer made it and then make it your own way.  I've learned most of my ami techniques by making patterns not by reading about how to make ami's.  I do have to research something when a designer isn't clear about instructions but honestly I've rarely sat down and watched how to videos or read how to books on the topic once I got past the basics. I'd rather learn by doing.  That's just me.

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So it seems like a combination of trial and error and trying some more complex patterns with shapes I would like to learn. Along with breaking my pattern down into sections. I have learned basically everything up to this point by trying patterns and have no hesitation to buy them especially when they're complex. Nearly every pattern I've done has taught me something semi new or a completely new skill like embroidery or adding hair. Another recommendation that I got was to use stitch markers. If I'm only increasing one half of the body to add stitch markers to divide my piece further up. It seems like the more I try things out the better I will know what to expect. Drawing out my pattern to scale sounds like something that might come in handy too, rather than just drawing out basic shapes.

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