Saturday, April 2, 2011

Amigurumi Love

I've been wanting to try my hand at amigurumi for a while now. This is the Japanese crochet technique of making stuffed dolls and animals using single crochet, very tight, using a circular, spiral pattern to create the head, body and arms of your project. Stuffing is done as you create your animal with standard polyester fill.

I planned to make my granddaughter a crochet animal for her 2nd birthday this month, so I bought a Pound of Caron yarn in a light brown color and small amounts of red and bone colored Caron's Simply Soft. Using an amigurumi monkey pattern, I made the usual changes (I can't crochet without changing some part of the pattern) and created a Sock Monkey!

Sock Monkey on Laptop and Quilt Rack

I think he turned out great! The original pattern called for the bone color for the entire muzzle and the nostrils and  mouth were to be embroidered on. The body was entirely to be done in the brown. For a true sock monkey, the mouth was to be red and the little bottom was also to be red (for the original work socks had red toes and red heels). So I took the small amount of red and crocheted the red mouth on the muzzle and worked out the placement of red for his little bottom!

I think this was completely successful!


Before I started the monkey, I tried my hand at the technique of holding 2 strands of yarn together to obtain interesting colors or textures. My friend, Sue, who donates yarn to me for my cancer hat project, provided 2 nice spring colors of Caron's Simpy Soft, a soft yellow and sage. I began making a hat with these two colors together, but soon found the stitches to be thicker and stiffer. So I made the circle for the crown of the hat a little larger to accommodate the stiffer stitching. Wouldn't you know, after I began creating the sides, I realized that the hat was waaaaaayyyyyyy too big. I took it to my friend Sue to get her opinion and yes, it was too big. But, as I held it with the top in the palm of my hand, Sue exclaimed that the piece would make a great bowl. So instead of tearing the previous rows out to make it smaller, I just continued until it was a nice little bowl. Then to make it more spring-like, I added a crocheted daffodil!

Now the amigurumi part . . .

Since no one would supply Easter candy for my bowl (this is our Spring piece at my job), I decided to see if I could find a pattern for Easter eggs.

Wouldn't you know it, my favorite yarn website (Lion Brand Yarn) had a great pattern for amigurumi eggs! My young friend from the nearby university gave me for my birthday some wonderful Red Heart yarn in a multi-color skein that just shouted out EASTER! So in between making the arms and legs of the sock monkey, I created little gems of Easter eggs!

I also took the opportunity to try my hand at spike stitches as you can see on the egg in the upper left!

The eggs looked a little lost in the bowl, so I created "grass" from green copy paper cut very thin on an office paper cutter.

I think the entire effect is wonderful!

What do you think?