Thursday, April 30, 2009

Amigurumi Crochet

Amigurumi are toys which originated from Japanese tradition. Amigurumi means “knitted or crocheted doll.” They are usually worked in rounds with single crochet stitches and is quite simple to learn for any crocheter. Usually, amigurumi is crocheted out of yarn and worked in spirals, meaning the rounds are not joined. They are also worked with a smaller hook size in order to create a very tightly crocheted or knitted fabric. The tightness prevents gaps which could cause the stuffing to show or come out.
Although amigurumi can be either knitted or crocheted, I think crocheted amigurumi is more popular since it is easier to master, and results in a more firm and detailed structure.
Amigurumi are usually worked in parts and then joined by sewing, except for some designs which have no arms or legs. These are worked as one piece. The extremities are sometimes stuffed with plastic pellets to make them more life-like, while the rest of the body is stuffed with fiber stuffing. The creativity and uniqueness will show in the colors, details and embellishments added to the project.
Amigurumi are usually cute animals but can include inanimate objects like food. Maybe it could also include any mini object that is stuffed :p

There are plenty of crochet amigurumi designs now available. For free amigurumi patterns go to Crochet Pattern Central.
These are some amigurumis in my to-do list:

Paddy O'possum

Amineko, cat

Lastly for the sake of posting, some of my designs that may be considered as amigurumi:

Fruit keychains
Yin yang ball keychain

Monday, April 27, 2009

Crochet a Souvenir

For her baby's Christening, my niece requested me to make the souvenirs. (I was just waiting for her to ask - didn't want to assume that they would like my handmade souvenirs...) I wanted to design something new, but I didn't have that much time since I had to make around 40 pcs. so I chose my old design, flower frame souvenir. I made a different edging that looked like rounded petals. I also crocheted the tie instead of using satin ribbon.

Here are the steps in making the souvenir:
1. Crochet the base using green thread

2. Crochet the edging using pink thread (pardon my blurry photos...)

3. Crochet the tie using yellow thread

4. Finish off the ends and weave in the tie around the frame

5. Cut the photo and cardboard to fit the base

6. Insert the cardboard and photo and attach keychain or magnet

I made some into fridgies, since I had some spare magnets. Then the rest I made into keychains...

I didn't realize how making 30+ of these little souvenirs would be so tedious! Also, I had to come up with a neat packaging to add to the creativity and personalized look ;)
Here's the design of the box:

I got the box shape from here. Since I don't know how to design it on the computer, I just cut out the box pattern, and made a layout from the photo and text elements that I printed separately. Then I just scanned/copied it several times (2 boxes per board sheet).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day and a tribute to a metal sculptor

April 22 is earth day...I love it when Google comes up with such cute logos to remind us of significant events.
I didn't do anything to celebrate, though. But the weather did remind me too of the earth and our vulnerability. In the middle of summer here, it suddenly rains! The day started sunny, and in the afternoon it turned gloomy. The strong rains lasted less than an hour, but showed that nature has more power on us than we are conscious of. Its sad how we unconsciously destroy it thru depletion of natural resources, trash, pollution, and much more...

This April I'm also reminded of someone I didn't really know, but a year ago, (in April 2008) he died in a tragic motorcycle accident in Dallas, Texas. He is Thomas Davidson, 38, a metal sculptor. I found out about his death when I followed up on his order of a Japanese crochet book. He wanted the hat on there, and I think he'd ask his mom to make him one. The book I mailed was not claimed at the P.O. there so it was sent back to me. I emailed him asking why he didn't get the book, and his mom emailed back informing me of the tragedy that struck them. It was so happened on his way home from the opening of his exhibit of metal sculptures at an art gallery :( (more on this post)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

More on the Romantic Shrug and my latest crochet project

Same picture as this one, different effect ;)
Want to polaroid your pictures too? Its a free download I found here.

My latest shrug design is fast-becoming popular (by my standards)...hehehe...over at Ravelry, 114 have favorited the pattern, 32 have queued it. That isn't a good indication of sales though, but I'm quite satisfied with how its coming along ;)
I would like to thank those who are making the shrug as of now. Bheng, who went over to my house so she could get more tips and buy my extra Tulip hook (the same hook that I used for the shrug); Tin(who is the fastest crocheter of shrugs that I know of...) and Tina, who wants so much to finish the shrug but needs some more photo illustrations. I would very much like to do it now, but...
I still have to make 3x more of these:

Or a total of 40 pcs of souvenirs:

I need to finish it by Friday :p
I'll show here the finished product when its all done ;)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Romantic Shrug - crochet pattern now available

My latest self-published crochet fashion design is now out :)

You can see the details here on Ravelry.
You can also take a look on my Etsy shop.
Or, you can view it on my website ;)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Organizing Ravelry projects and update on Lacey crochet shrug...

Its almost ready - just needed to make sure everything is right.
I modeled it this morning and can't wait to show how it looked on me. So here's another sneak peek...

...I am liking the pencil sketch better than the real picture :p

Btw, if you haven't noticed yet, Ravelry has some cool features for organizing your projects. Just click on the organize tab (next to the all projects tab) on your projects page, and you can group your projects and easily tag each one. Ravelry just keeps getting better :)