Saturday, March 24, 2012

Getting Crafty: Amigurumi Crochet Animals!

Pig by GreenOrganicMama - Inspired by the Chipotle "Back to the Start" Pigs 
About two months ago, I was inspired!  My friends already know I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, and I just happened to be looking at Gryffindor house scarves.  They are really cool, but I thought to myself, "These look pretty easy to make."  That's what prompted me to pick up crochet again.

I have to thank my third-grade teacher, who first taught me, and my entire class, how to do many crafts, including crochet.  I hadn't really made anything since that potholder for my mom, but a few Google searches later, I was in love with all the amazing patterns, and the HUGE variety of crafts that can be made.

I still have every intention to make that Harry Potter scarf using this free pattern. I've got the yarn and everything!  However, I've been side-tracked, making little animals instead, which the Japanese call Amigurumi.  Google Amigurumi, and you'll find pages and pages, devoted to this art of making adorable little crochet toys.  They are also super easy and inexpensive to make.  Crochet, and its sister, knitting, are both re-surging as popular and cool crafts.  We're not talking grandma's doilies here; with a little time, patience, and imagination, you can make some truly awesome things.  Come see for yourself on my Pinterest Crochet board.

The nice thing about crochet is that it's very inexpensive to get started, and the materials are cheap, and very easy to find.  You can take your hooks and yarn with you pretty much anywhere, and you can do as much or as little as you want, in one sitting.  It's really quite relaxing!  As for the hooks, I've already tried a few different types and brands of hooks, but I certainly have a favorite.  Check out Clover Soft Touch which are available individually, or in a great value pack of eight popular sizes (C, D, E, F, G, H, I, and J).  My value pack also came with a great travel case to store all the hooks.

Yarn is super easy to find practically anywhere, online and offline.  Still, it's nice to be able to walk through a store, and touch and feel, and match up colors.  Most Amigurumi patterns call for "worsted weight" yarn, which is clearly marked on yarn labels. While you're at the store, pick up some safety doll eyes, and a bag of polyester fiber-fill.  Maybe a good pair of scissors, too.

You'll probably need one more thing, which is a set of stitch markers.  Now, you can certainly buy a small pack for less than $2 at the craft store, but if you're like me, you probably already have a cheaper alternative at home: plastic-coated paper clips.  I don't know why I haven't seen any other crocheters mention using paper clips; I think they're much easier to find, and way cheaper than even safety pins.

Getting started is super easy.  There are plenty of great books out there, but I found the best tool was actually YouTube.  Nerdigurumi is a great resource, with an entire series of how-to's:

Once you have the basics, the hardest part is choosing just one pattern to start with.  There are thousands of free patterns, as well as those available for sale on Etsy, and in traditional books.  

Here are a few of my recent projects, which have been so much fun to do.  This is Timmy, from the awesome British cartoon series, Timmy Time, which was a spin-off of Shaun the Sheep (which was a spin-off of Wallace & Grommit) ;)  My Timmy was based on this adorable free pattern, with a few of my own modifications:

And here's another picture of my little pig, inspired by the "Back to the Start" Chipotle commercial:

I've already been asked to make another pig, so I'll have the pattern available ASAP :)

Happy crafting!


No promotional consideration was paid for this post.
Images copyright  

1 comment:

  1. That animal crochet is pretty cute. Thanks for sharing that to us.