Thursday, 30 January 2014

Amigurumi - Ami what?

As you will probably know, if you have read my blog before or follow me on Facebook or Twitter, I like to try my hand at anything creative.  One craft that I had never been able to master up until recent years was crochet.  Only about three years ago I started to learn the basics so to be sharing my latest Amigurumi project with you makes me feel quite proud of myself.  I finished her earlier this week and I love her to bits. This is "Kira" the Kangaroo!


I found a link to the pattern for "Kira", one day while browsing Pinterest, on a lovely french blog called, Tournicote... à cloche-pied.

My love for crocheting began at a 17th century reenactment weekend (don't ask, that's for another blog post!) when my good friend Charlie got out a crochet hook and a ball of wool.  I instantly wanted to learn.  She started by showing me how to do a basic chain and we then went on to make a rose.  I loved it and was 'hooked'!  Since then there has hardly been day when i haven't picked up a hook!

I really wanted to develop my new skill so I turned to good old You Tube.  I started on small, simple projects and learnt new stitches and techniques.  I gradually improved after a lot of hard work and a few mistakes along the way!

One branch of crochet that I could never seem to master was Amigurumi.  Ami what, you say?

For those of you that have never heard of it, Amigurumi originated in Japan around about 2003 and has steadily grown in popularity over the years.  In fact, in 2006 it was reported to be one of the most popular items on Etsy.  The word, Amigurumi (pronounced, 'Ah - mee - goo - roo - mee) is derived from a combination of ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll.

My first attempts at Amigurumi were a bit embarrassing.  I was rubbish at working with smaller hooks, typically used to keep the stitches small and tight.  My stitches always ended up baggy and the stuffing showed through.  I wasn't going to post a picture of my first little project but here it is anyway. No laughing, we all have to start somewhere!

I eventually got frustrated and gave it up as a bad job.

It all changed just before Christmas.  I wanted to make a Kokeshi doll for my fiancé's Sister-In-Law but the pattern called for a knowledge of Amigurumi.  I was annoyed that I'd failed at my first attempt at Amigurumi so this time I was determined that I was going to master it.

And this was the result...

A cute little Kokeshi doll complete with beaded chopsticks in her hair.  I found the pattern over at the wonderful blog, All About Ami.

I then went onto to create a new Kokeshi doll that also serves as a little trinket box designed by HandmadeKitty.  She was a lot more challenging but I got there in the end and learnt a few new tricks along the way!

So it just goes to show that you are never too old to learn a new skill even if learning it didn't work out first time around!

“Everything is hard before it is easy”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Crochet is such a great art to learn.  There are so many different styles that I truly believe that there is something to appeal to all tastes.  

If you fancy having a go and need any advice about where to start please do not hesitate in contacting me.  I'm not perfect at it but I would always attempt to help if I can.


P.S. Happy Birthday to Charlie, the wonderful friend that gave me my passion for crochet.