At my crochet class last week one of my ladies brought in a project she was having difficulties with, it was a pattern for an Amigurumi frog and she had some strange puckering on the rows where the stitches decreased to form the shape of the body. She wanted to try Frida the Flamingo next so asked me to take a look at the pattern to see if I could work out what she was doing wrong.
I had do do a little research as, although I had seen patterns for them, I had never made an Amigurumi animal before. I discovered that Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures. Reading up about it on Wikipedia
I learnt that the Japanese used an invisible decrease stitch that I had not seen before, so I then found a youtube video that showed how to do it
I went on to try the pattern for Frida the Flamingo using the invisible decrease stitch and it gave a beautiful smooth finish, so I decided to finish making the whole animal.
I noticed that the rows did not mention any kind of slip stitch at the end or chain stitch for the next row, but appeared to work continuously in a spiral so I had to put a marker in at the beginning of each row so I knew where it ended. I found this helped to make the body flawless as there was no change to the pattern where the rows changed.
The final toy measured 27cm (10.5in) from the base of the body to the top of the head and took me roughly 8 hours to make. In the original pattern the legs were much shorter and were made with pipe cleaners inside, but I thought this was probably not a good idea if the toy was given to a baby or young child so I stuffed mine with 4 strands of ultra chunky wool and left them dangly.
I am not able to post the pattern here due to copyright, but if you want to have a go at making your own Amigurumi Flamingo I did find a free download version for a Baby Flamingo: