If you’ve ever tried your hand at amigurumi (the Japanese art of crocheting or knitting stuffed dolls), you are likely already a pro at increasing and decreasing your crochet.
When crocheting amigurumi, increase and decrease stitches are used to expand or shrink your piece. Using an increase stitch INCREASES the number of stitches in your round by 1 stitch for every increase you do. If you begin with 7 stitches and your increase once, you will end up with 8 stitches.
Using a decrease stitch DECREASES the number of stitches in your round by 1 stitch for every decrease you do. If you begin with 8 stitches and you decrease once, you will end up with 7 stitches.
Here’s the problem – standard increase and decrease stitches tend to leave small holes in your doll where the stuffing can show through. That’s no good!
One of my favorite tricks for improving amigurumi is to make those increase and decrease stitches INVISIBLE! When you use invisible increases and decreases, your stitches sit closer together and less stuffing shows through. I use invisible increases and decreases for all of my crochet dolls.
Click below to learn how!
A normal increase is done by making two stitches (for amigurumi, it’s likely to be two single crochets) into one stitch of the previous round. You’ll usually see a single crochet increase marked as single crochet 2 in 1 stitch (sc 2 in 1 st) or single crochet increase (sc inc).
To make an invisible increase, you are still making 2 single crochets into the same stitch. The difference is the first single crochet of the increase is made only in the FRONT LOOP of the stitch you are working in. Then, you work the second single crochet of the increase through the entire stitch – both the front and back loops of the stitch.
I made this video tutorial showing you how to make an invisible increase:
A normal decrease is done by pulling up a loop through your next 2 stitches and single crocheting them together. You’ll usually see a single crochet decrease stitch marked as single crochet 2 together (sc2tog) or single crochet decrease (sc dec).
To make an invisible decrease, you will work only in the FRONT LOOPS. Insert your hook to pick up the front loop of your next stitch, then insert your hook into the front loop of your 2nd stitch. You should have 3 loops on your hook. Yarn over and pull through 2 loops (the front loops you picked up), yarn over again and pull through the last 2 loops on your hook.
I made this video tutorial showing you how to make an invisible decrease:
That’s it! Now you know how to make invisible increases and decreases and you are on your way to making even better amigurumi!