Tuesday, November 5, 2013

She's Crafty | Amigurumi

Confession: I, Malia, collect mascots.

Little friends that dot my living spaces with their cute little faces. Throw in some zany, goofy, and slightly creepy elements and it's all over--I'm an embarrassing, giggly mess. The latest adoption was a set of three Matryoshka dolls that hang out near my sewing nook with a stuffed Bilbo and Gandalf. I even have mascots that actually help me craft, other than just keeping morale high with their cute little selves.

I keep pattern pieces in line, most of the time.

A few years back I wanted to learn how to make a crocheted hacky sack for my nephew. Searching for tips online about keeping the stitches super tight and starting the project with a move known as the "magic ring," I kept coming across a term: amigurumi. What is this business? I kept digging and stumbled upon a definition similar to this one I found on M.E. Williams's DIYlife post, Amigurumi Knitting Tutorial (Plus Free Patterns!):

What are amigurumi? Well, nuigurumi (noo-ee-goo-roo-mee) is a Japanese word that means stuffed doll, but it refers to sewn fabric items. Ami (ah-mee) is from a word that means crocheted or knitted. So, an amigurumi (ah-mee-goo-roo-mee) is a crocheted or knitted stuffed doll.

Basically, it's crocheting in the round to make a doll that is then stuffed. If you're a beginner crocheter, amigurumi is an awesome area to explore since it's not too difficult to learn and the result is a new little friend or gift to give! I was hooked and tried to find all the information I could about amigurumi. After making a few friends, I moved on to my next craft obsession...

But now that the weather is turning cooler, I'm in the mood to crochet and knit so I've been thinking a lot about amigurumi again. When I first learned about it I started a little blue octopus. I finished his cute little head and two tentacles then moved on to other projects. Maybe I'll go back and finish him up. Although, I did start to refer to him as my shy little guy--you know, he's just hiding his tentacles, which makes him even cuter! Maybe I'll make him some underwater friends to hang out with instead.

If you're interested in making your own little friends, we have a few Amigurumi specific books at the library:
Amigurumi Animals 
Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts. Amigurumi 

We also have some great titles that can help a beginner learn how to crochet:
Happy Hooker
Kids Crochet: Projects for Kids of All Ages 

You can find even more amigurumi instruction and pattern books in Link+:

Go ahead, make yourself a little mascot to cheer you on when the crafting gets tough. Or when the book is getting zany and you need someone to point your surprised face at and squeal.

And, of course, let us know all about your amigurumi adventures!

Stay Crafty!

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