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Feb 15, 2015

Adventures in Amigurumi

About 2 years ago I ventured into the world of amigurumi. Well, that's not completely accurate. Before amigurumi was called amigurumi, way back in the day, I actually did crochet a Nativity set, consisting of Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus in a manger, an angel, a shepherd, and a few sheep. The pattern included wise men and donkeys and I think even camels but I never got beyond the basics. I gave the set to my mom for Christmas probably in the late 1980's. That pattern is now long gone unfortunately. I've looked for it online but haven't been able to locate it. I believe it was included in a Christmas issue of Family Circle or Woman's Day magazine.

But I digress...

Two years ago, or thereabouts, I began my current adventures in amigurumi. Once bitten by the ami bug, I've discovered, there is no cure, not that I'd want to be cured in the first place. This is top notch fun all around. Watching a ball of yarn "become" is quite thrilling, if I do say so. Of course that's true of all creative works but watching an ami "become" a character is really something.

There are so many talented amigurumi designers out there, many of whom offer their patterns for free. I just cannot get over the generosity I see all over the web. Don't get me wrong though. There's nothing wrong with charging a price for your creativity and I've purchased a number of patterns. And even the patterns I've purchased are almost free. I mean a few dollars for a pdf pattern complete with pictures, illustrations, and detailed explanations is more than worth it, considering how many hours the designer put into creating, perfecting, and pulling it all together.

A wonderful ami designer is Sharon of Amigurumi To Go. Not only are her patterns free but she also offers video tutorials on her blog. I mean how great is that? I've made several of her animals and am in the process of a pink Little Big Foot Monkey.

Now that I've retired from homeschooling I've been able to indulge my ami habit as never before. If it weren't for some arthritis in my right hand I'd be sorely tempted to crochet all day long, and that, my friends, would be unacceptable, especially to those I live with. Things like laundry, cooking, cleaning, and various and sundry other duties would be totally neglected. I guess arthritis does have its advantages ... at least to some people in my household anyway.

At the moment I'm working on dolls. Have you seen the dolls Beth makes over at By Hook By Hand? Those are the most beautiful crocheted and knitted dolls I've ever seen. They are a work of art and extremely detailed.

But these dolls are to be given with caution in a household with a Calvin living in it. I shared about Violet's adventures with Calvin here. Sweet Calvin! You know I love my grandson but he certainly can be a little Dickens at times! My daughter tells me he was more active in the womb than any of the others. They have a small trampoline set up in the dining room as a means for venting excess energy! Thankfully, his smiles and hugs go a long way.

I did manage to make a doll on the order of Beth's Bluette. My doll is nowhere near as detailed as Beth's Bluette but I am happy with how she turned out. She is jointed at the elbows, knees, shoulders, hips, and head, and she has hands with 5 fingers. Unfortunately, they don't show up too well in the pictures below. This is the first doll in which I've attempted to embroider a face, if you call 2 simple straight stitches embroidery. My embroidery skills leave much to be desired but the 2 stitches weren't all that challenging, thankfully, and I think I pulled it off OK.



Unfortunately the blush on her left cheek didn't show up too well in this picture. She will definitely need a touch-up before going out!

I spent more time on that doll than any other amigurumi I've made so far. In fact, at one point my husband asked me if I had been tracking my time spent. No. Probably not a good idea.

Vanja of Amigurumi BB is doing a series on designing your own doll at this time. She guides her readers through the process of designing a doll from the initial sketch, to how to crochet different shapes, to the finished product. Plus her blog also has many free patterns.

I can't even begin to name all the blogs with pages devoted to amigurumi. There are many! I've picked up so many tips and techniques, ideas and inspiration. Just type "amigurumi" or "crochet dolls" into Google or Pinterest and you could easily spend the greater part of the day clicking from link to link, being inspired by all the possibilities.

I am an Amigurumi designer "wannabe". As it is, I usually tweak just about every pattern I've ever done. Reminds me of my homeschool days when I was always tweaking the curriculum. It seems like each time I make a doll I come up with ideas to change or vary the design as I move through the pattern. I might want the head rounder or more square; the arms or legs thinner or longer; shoes on the feet with colorful socks and maybe even a lacy cuff. I hope someday to design removable clothes, some even made out of fabric as well as yarn. And I like the idea that the doll can sit as well as stand. All of the dolls I've made so far (not counting the monkeys, Ivy Anastasia and Violet or my Bluette) only stand. And last, but not least, I want my doll to be Calvin-resistant, or at least be able to withstand the occasional rugged treatment that you find in a family. I'm making dolls that will be loved and played with and not for show only.

Below are 3 of the dolls I've made. The one on the far left can actually stand unassisted. Not sure how that worked out!

Three dolly friends




At the moment I'm working on a doll. I have her body finished and she's all dressed but unfortunately her hair and makeup are not done yet. I wanted to include a picture of her but she pleaded with me to reconsider that idea.  She will be happy to pose for a picture as soon as her hair and makeup are complete. And really, who can blame her? Would you want to pose for a picture if you weren't quite "finished"?

Do you dabble in amigurumi? Care to share what projects you're working on at the moment? 

5 comments:

  1. awwww they are adorable... we need to learn to make them

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  2. Thanks Silvia....There are dozens of great tutorials on you tube to get you started with crochet if you don't know anyone personally who can teach you.

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    Replies
    1. I have this as a mid term goal, this and some gardening I've never done.

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  3. Taking time to catch up on the blog posts I've missed. I know of a granddaughter who would be really interested in these cutie dolls! haha
    We love your snowman wreath too!

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  4. Thanks Angela! I have several little dolls in the works, aside from the 3 I introduced in this post. They are all looking forward to new homes with some special little girls I love, probably for their birthdays, but maybe even sooner!

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