The Magic Loop

Today we begin a 6-part series detailing everything you need to know to make amigurumi like a pro. "Amigurumi" is a Japanese term that refers to a crocheted or knitted stuffed doll, like this one:

Since The Animator's Wife is teaching her first amigurumi class next week, I thought now would be a good time to go over the tricks of the trade with our followers. Some you may have seen somewhere else before, some may be completely new to you. Some you can even apply to other types of crochet projects. But by the end of our series, you should feel confident in attacking any amigurumi pattern or even creating your own!

To start, we'll go over the magic loop. Almost all amigurumi is worked primarily in the round, and while there are several techniques for starting in the round (see Crocheting in the Round), starting with a magic loop has the advantage of not leaving a hole in the middle of your project.

As an example, the project below was started in a ring of chain stitches. Do you see how there is a tiny hole in the middle of the stitches?

While this is okay for projects like granny squares, your amigurumi is going to be stuffed, so the fewer (and smaller) the holes are, the less stuffing you'll see peeking out through your stitches. The magic loop eliminates that little hole, which is why so many people prefer to use it to start projects like amigurumi and hats. The magic loop can be used as a substitute for any pattern in the round that starts in a chain stitch or in a ring of chains.

Now for the how-to.

Note: If you'd like to turn our amigurumi series into a CAL, download our Basic Amigurumi pattern and follow along!

1. Begin by wrapping the yarn around two of your fingers. It only needs to wrap completely around once, so that your fingers are completely encircled in one loop of yarn (the magic loop!). Wrapping more than once will make it difficult for you a bit later.

2. Keeping your two fingers in the magic loop, insert your hook under the top of the loop.

3. Yarn over and pull a loop through the magic loop. You should now have one loop on the hook and the magic loop still on your fingers.

5. Yarn over and pull a loop through the loop on the hook to complete a chain stitch. The chain stitch will hold the magic loop together so that you can remove your fingers from it.

6. Now work your stitches in the magic loop as you normally would for the first round. Amigurumis typically start with 6-8 single crochets in the first round.

7. Once the desired number of stitches are finished, grasp hold of the short tail of the magic loop.

8. Pull the tail tightly so that the stitches form a ring. Voila! No hole in the middle. Continue your project as usual.

Lesson Two: Invisible Shaping


  1. Thanks so much for sharing that. Hopefully this time I'll be able to master the magic loop. Ali x

  2. Wow! So much easier than the other "magic loop" I was doing! Thanks so much!
    @ Amyfishgirl

  3. Oh my this is so easy. I dispared of ever making this silly loop with 2 loops to began with.
    Thank you for this forth right tutorial.

  4. I have avoided some patterns in the past because I didn't know how to do the "Magic Loop". Today I was determined to learn. THANK YOU for your easy to follow tutorial :-) "Aunt Karen" <3

  5. thanks so much; been doing needlework for years and had no idea this was out there..