Well it seems quitting a PhD opens your brain up to more interests! In addition to getting into my photography hobby, I have discovered, fell in love with, and started to learn how to make Amigurumi. Amigurumi is the Japanese art of crocheting/knitting (ami) small stuffed dolls (nuigurumi). These small dolls/toys of course should be very kawaii (cute!) and can be animals, objects with faces, cartoon characters, retro game characters, anime characters, and more.
I first discovered them on Saturday while looking through Explore on Flickr and fell in love. My grandma taught me how to crochet as a kid (she made so many blankets and toys and donated a lot to charities) and I really enjoyed it. Sadly, I hadn’t crocheted since I was a kid, and I only made a few small things back then, such as a small “scarf” for Barbie (several rows of stitches) and a rainbow scarf for a doll that I got bored with halfway through. So my skills needed to be refreshed and improved just a tad.
Luckily I discovered these fantastic video tutorials at Hooks and Needles personal blog, that teach you the basic crochet skills you need for Amigurumi. Watch them and practice if you want to learn – they are SO helpful! Don’t worry if her way of holding her hook and thread is unusual, just do a search and find a way that works for you (her hand holding the thread faces up, mine faces down).
Once I did a few practice rows of crocheting, I decided that making something would be the fun way to practice. I had already found lots and lots of free amigurumi patterns, but one of the simplest was the Little Birdy from Bittersweet.
The pattern was very easy, but the first few rows had to be restarted three times: the first time because I read the pattern wrong about how to increase, and the second time because I lost track of my counting :P But they were good learning experiences each time!
Here are some more shots of Mr Birdy:
The “worm” is just my first crochet practice – chains with one row of single crochet (the Australian/UK version of single crochet. I am not sure what the US equivalent of this stitch is, but the US version of single crochet is thicker). It came out looking like a worm so I gave it to my boyfriend and told him it was my first “amigurumi”. I failed to impress him. He was impressed with my bird though!
Fortunately, making Amigurumi is a nice cheap hobby – which will counterbalance my expensive DSLR photography hobby! I have so many free patterns printed up and ready for me to make, so keep an eye out for more.
AmyGurumi (my new name hehe) xxxx