Monday, August 20, 2007

Amigurumi Mania

A couple weeks ago, I was IMing with Mee and she innocently sent me a link to a site with some books of amigurumi patterns. There was all sorts of cute little animals, as well as garden gnomes and flowers...and thus, a new obsession was born. So what the heck am I talking about? For those of you that don't know, amigurumi is a japanese term for cute little crochet dolls or critters, usually made in the round from the top down. I started poking around, searching on google, and I realized that this would be an excellent way to use up a lot of the cheapo yarn that I don't have any other use for. In fact, the more I surfed, the more I couldn't believe that I had never stumbled upon this before! Besides being a good way to use up all the random odds and ends of leftover yarn, amigurumi are also very quick and easy to make. Gotta love anything that's easy and FAST.

One odd thing I discovered though is that there aren't a ton of great patterns out there, at least, not free ones (yes, I am a cheapskate). There's a lot of people who are creative and talented enough to come up with their own patterns (the best of which are for sale on Etsy), but it seems like the rest are making them from a series Japanese pattern books that seem to be readily available on the west coast. Grrrr. I found the books both on Ebay and on Amazon Japan, but I'm not sure I'm ready to spend $20-$30 for a book that originally cost about $10. Actually, I probably would spend that much if I didn't know that A) it would only feed my compulsion to buy more crafty amigurumi-related stuff, and B) T would kill me.

I finally found a pattern that I thought was both easy to follow and very cute - the Amineko Cat. It turned out pretty well (see above), for a first effort, although it did end up being a lot bigger than I expected. I kinda assumed it'd be little, like beanie baby size. It's actually more like a regular stuffed animal, maybe 20 inches long. I think this is one of the first times I worked on a project nonstop from beginning to end (usually, I get bored halfway through and abandon it to start something else). I'm actually a little bit proud of myself.

With that under my belt, I decided to try my hand at making my own amigurumi without a pattern. I'd seen these very cute little birdies on another site and figured I could wing it (no pun intended...well, maybe a little intended) just by looking at the picture. didn't go so well. I won't say it looks bad. It's just...weird. For one thing, it's not quite as round and bird-like as I was aiming for; it's more bullet-shaped. The other problem is that I put the face and wings on before I put the tail on, and they're not quite lined up right, so it looks all crooked. I took one wing off to reposition it and haven't gotten around to putting it back. I'm thinking about pulling the face off too. He looks like a demented baby bald eagle.

But I've already moved on and started another critter with some super soft yarn that was leftover from a blanket I made. I'm not quite sure what it's going to be yet. Maybe a bunny? Or maybe just some sort of random made-up animal. We'll see.

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