This week I’ve had a lot on my mind and I needed a project that didn’t require me to pay rapt attention and that I could finish in a short period of time. Browsing my favorite internet haunts, I quickly realized that Amigurumi was the answer. Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. Of course I needed patterns and more information so I did what I always do and went to the library. Let me tell you all about the book I found.
The book wastes no time and simply begins with the patterns. There are 30 in all and they don’t seem to be in any kind of order (easy – difficult, similar shapes, kinds of animal etc.) The Patterns are followed by: Techniques, Conversions, Abbreviations, Index and The Art of Amigurumi.
Taking a closer look at the patterns, they list the materials required, special techniques (stitches used) and the size of the finished item. It looks like the majority of the projects call for something other than yarn to be used for the eyes. The instructions are given round by round as well as in a chart. Making Up tells you how to assemble the pieces you’ve made.
The Techniques section offers information that I would have preferred to see in the beginning. It’s made up of a page on What is Amigurumi? Then a brief description of crochet, hooks, and choosing yarn is followed by detailed written instructions and pictures of the basic crochet stitches. There are 9 pictures to show you how to make the Magic Circle and more for joining rounds and changing colors. There’s also a bit on spiral charts.
After reading through I felt ready to give it a go and I decided on Mini Mouse. I thought I should practice the Magic Circle since this is the beginning of all of the pieces. I struggled and struggled, but I just couldn’t get it. I am very adept at following instructions, but I could not make this happen. Luckily, I had seen instructions for an Adjustable Ring in the resources section of the July/August 2012 issue of Crochet Today!. Four steps, first try, bam! I’m in business. The next hurtle I needed to overcome was the dc. Every pattern uses a dc for everything! I’m typically pretty bright, but I could not figure out why they wanted me to use a dc when everyone knows that these little guys are always made in sc. At least they are when you’re in the US. And silly me, I just assumed (yeah, you know what that means!) that my book was from the US. I’m not sure when the light bulb went off, but it did and I realized that even though the pattern says dc, I should go ahead and use the sc in its place. Well thank goodness for that! Now I’m really ready!
I started with the ears. Round 1: Using MC (that’s an adjustable ring to me! – not Main Color or Magic Circle) and B, work 6 dc (that means 6 sc!). Okay I got it. Change to A. Round 2: 2dc into each st. 12 sts. No problem, I’m cruising now! Round 3: (dc in next dc, dc in next dc) rep around 18 sts. Break yarn, leaving a long tail. What?? You want me to dc in next dc, and do it again and repeat it around and end up with 18 stitches? That’s not possible. There’s something wrong! Clearly there is a mistake in the pattern. I realized I needed to increase in every other stitch to get to 18 stitches. And there you have it, an ear! Happily it was easy going for the rest of the pattern and by the end of the morning our kitty had a new toy. I’m not sure that this is the easy distraction I had in mind when I began, but it did keep me busy.
Thanks for joining me for today’s book review. Next time it’s back to fiction with my thoughts on the most recent Faith Fairchild Mystery, The Body in the Boudoir, by Katherine Hall Page.
Until next time friends,
Be blessed and stitch & read with love!
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My name is Robin. I am a wife, mother and strong believer in the power of faith. I'm a maker, a crafter and an artist. I love exploring new mediums and sharing my adventures with you.
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