Guinea Pig

The Guinea pig seems to be a traditional beginner amigurumi project. (“Amigurumi,” by the way, means a small knitted or crocheted stuffed creature.) It’s a small animal with a simple shape and simple limbs—it’s essentially a chubby little blob with tiny feet you can hardly see. You can make it bigger or smaller and fancy it up with color patterning, but to start out it can be a very simple project.

So I made a little brown one a few months ago. I used a “Baby Guinea Pig” pattern by designer Kati Golusz that’s available free on Ravelry. I wrote a few days ago about the various ways to make things smaller, focusing then on using finer thread and hooks. This pattern demonstrates the other basic method for making things smaller: you can use fewer stitches, and make any additional body parts as simple as possible by using integrated, sculptural-type stitches. In reality you generally use these two methods together—you use fine yarn AND fewer stitches to make really small pieces—but I like thinking about them as separate concepts to make sure I’m making the best use of both that I can.

So that first little brown Guinea pig was made with the same Tamm acrylic fingering weight yarn as the little bird and egg in the previous post. I was at the time trying out some nicer hooks from @addi_by_selter, still using the 1.25mm size. This little pig was about 1.5” long, and when you see him standing on the base of my magnifying glass, he looks really tiny! He has a maximum of 20 stitches around at his chubbiest point, and the whole piece is only 16 rounds of stitches.

So my next thought was, hmm, what if I use the same basic pattern, but fewer stitches and rounds? In the interests of learning to wing it and improvise, I didn’t write down exactly what I was doing but I picked up some cream-colored yarn of the same type and made a smaller pig, about 10 stitches around and 10 rounds long. He came out about 0.75” long and you can see from the photos of the two together that he looks significantly tinier!

The next logical step is to also use thinner thread with the same pattern. I haven’t done that yet but it seems a worthy challenge.

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