Thank you for all your lovely comments about my little crochet creations! I never realized how fun and cute crocheting could be. I know a lot of you want to make them yourself so here are some helpful links.
Just to explain, Amigurumi is what this kind of crocheting is called and is defined as the Japanese art of knitting and crocheting small stuffed animals. Just had to clarify so that you all weren't doing a google search for "crochet animals" which still brings stuff up but Amigurumi is the proper name for it.
Amigurumi only requires very basic stitches so once you get that down, you're pretty much set.
Planet June has the best tutorials for beginners so I suggest that you start there. Amigurumi is always done in the round meaning you always work in circles rather than straight lines so when I started, I found a basic pattern to make a round coaster and just practiced until I got the hang of it. The pattern I used is from a book I bought but I'm sure you could google for a coaster pattern and try it yourself. All you really need to learn is how to do a single crochet in the round.
When I got stuck on a stitch I didn't understand (because really, reading crochet instructions is not the most clear) I did a quick search on YouTube and found very helpful videos like this one on how to do a Double Crochet stitch.
It definitely takes some practice, as you can see from my very first ami turtle, which wasn't the best, but helped me learn the basics.
I will warn you though, once you get the hang of it, it's too hard to stop!
You can peruse my flickr set for the other ami's I've made. I have several that I have to take pictures of so will update the set soon.
Happy crocheting and feel free to email me with your questions!
Updated with answers to questions:
What do you use for stuffing?
For stuffing I use fiberfill found at the craft store. This is always in the same aisle with the pillows and foam. I just looked on the package for ones that say that they are for toys and crafts. A little goes a long way with these little guys so if you buy one package you can make a lot of amigurumis.
What size crochet hook should I use?
The pattern will always tell you what crochet hook to use but in general, I only use two sizes, the F or G. I bought this pack, and F and G are the two smallest sizes. I have yet to even touch the other hooks!
Other tools you will need:
Stitch Markers: When working in rounds, you will not know what the beginning of your row is (unless you are very diligently counting each time!) so I use these stitch markers to hold the place of the first stitch in the row.
Stitch Counter: For most patterns, you only work one or two rows before you move on to the the next stitch pattern but for some of the bigger ones (like the pear) I lose count pretty easily so I rely on my handy counter to tell me what row I'm on. I use this one.
Crochet Hook Cushion: Your fingers will be sore from all the back and forth crocheting motion. These little cushions have been a life saver! Just slip it over the crochet hook and there you go, a cushy little pad for your fingers.