Let's Talk Ami

     Have you ever seen that plushy on Pinterest and wondered, how is it that humanly possible to actually CROCHET that thing? 


I was at that point as well. Yes that was a long time ago for me, but the same question still crosses my mind. This is called amigurumi, the Japanese art of crocheting 3-D objects such as stuffed animals and characters(stay tuned to see my first amigurumi project). First though, we have to know where it originated from.

Amigurumi started evolving from Japan to the world in the 50's. According to Wikipedia, western cultures didn't actually explode over amigurumi until 2003. They also mention that in 2006 it was the most popular selling item on Etsy. You tell that now its much larger than that, and still counting.

Yeah, okay, its from Japan and all... but what does the word amigurumi(編みぐるみ)mean?  'Ami' means knitted or crocheted; and  'nuigurumi' means stuffed toy or doll. Just as Rachel from Little Yarn Friends said,"...so knitt it, stuff it, and you have amigurumi." Pretty self explantory.

Most ami projects include, worsted/DK yarn and a hook smaller than the usual. Typically I use a 3.75mm F hook. The reason for this is to create a gauge that keeps the poly-fill stuffing in the crochet stitches. You'd hate to make something so looses and open that it falls apart. Safety toy eyes and stitch markers are also used. Safety toy eyes are an alternative to embroidered or button eyes. You can find them in various sizes and colors, from black to neon. Stitch markers help you keep your round end and start visible.  Amigurumi is worked in a spiral to leave out the stripe effect of color changing.

Last but not least, I wanted to prove to you that I wasn't an expert from the start. Here is a look at my first amigurumi project. An adorable baby pink elephant!


     Everyone welcome Ellie!! She was made by a pattern from Crochet by DK Publishing. As you can see, her ears and eyes are crooked and uneven, her tail still has an undarned thread, but heck. Its not that bad. You can imagine my excitement when I finished her. Surprised my parents didn't throw a party for me and my friends!!

Thnx,

          Lisa
Me after my first orchestra concert...

Meredith Slouch Hat~ FREE PATTERN


This page is being revised as of February 13th, 2017.

Meredith Slouch Hat Pattern

Materials

  • Size 2 weight yarn
  • Chunky weight yarn
  • 4mm crochet hook & hook to match chunky yarn
  • Buttons (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Darning needle

Notes

  • You will need two different weights of yarn (for help with buying yarn or understanding yarn weights). Fingering weight and chunky. I am using a size 2 wool blend from a local farm and Loops & Threads Charisma. Use whatever you have!
  • I used crochet hooks to match the recommendation on my yarn Use whatever you are comfortable with. Remember, the larger the hook the more your slouch hat will drape.
  • The main portion is crocheted with your fine yarn and 4mm hook, and the band is crocheted with your chunky yarn and it's recommendation.
  • The buttons are optional... they are the embellishment I used for this particular hat. Feel free to add anything you'd like!!
  • Be wise when choosing your hook and crocheting tension, the hat will stretch over time!!

Hat Body

Row 1- Begin with a mr and dc 12.

Row 2- 2 dc in each st.

Row 3- *Dc, 2 dc in next. Rep from * to end.

Row 4- *Dc in next 2, 2 dc in following. Rep from * to end.

Row 5- *Dc in next 3, 2 dc in following. Rep from * to end.

Row 6-  *Dc in next 4, 2 dc in following. Rep from * to end.

Row 7- *Dc in next 5, 2 dc in following. Rep from * to end.

Row 8- Dc in each st around.

9 to End-  Keep on rep row 8 until your hat has the desired slouch you want. Keep in mind that the forehand will add about 2 or so inches to your project. Fasten off.



Hat Brim/Band

For the brim... take your 6mm hook and thicker yarn. Tie on your yarn in any random stitch.

Row 1- Ch 9.

Row 2- Sc in 2nd ch from hk. On the hat,skip on stitch,sl st into the next.You might find its easier to skip 2.

Row 3- Ch 1, turn.  Sc into the back loops(bl) only. By doing this you're creating a ribbed effect.

Row 4- Ch 1, turn. Sc in bl. Join to hat like we did in row 2.

Row 5 to End- Rep rows 3 and 4 until you've reached all the way around the hat. Fasten off with long tail left.


Once I finished, I stitched the two together, the starting chain and final row, now I had made a complete circle around the body. If you wish to add any embellishments this is the time to do so!! 

Simple Cowl | Free Pattern

This pattern has been revised on January 9, 2016.


Hello and welcome back!

This past week, I was at Michael's picking up the last of the post-holiday sales when I came by a new yarn. Country Loom by Loops & Threads is a soft and chunky yarn with color ways you won't forget. 

After picking up a skein for myself in the shade Kiss Me, I grabbed a 9mm hook and started brainstorming. I ended up chaining a foundation of 60 stitches. I then made a slip stitch into the first chain that I made to form a big ring.



For the the first row, I chained 2 and double crocheted into each stitch. At the end I slip stitched into the first double crochet. Once I had decided to make the entire body of the cowl in a simple double crochet stitch I continued on until I ran our of yarn.


Once I fastened off, I wondered what I could add to the cowl to give it a little extra detail. After considering flows, motifs, and many colors of yarn I chose to add a simple chain. 

I got out my favorite shade of Vanna's Choice and a 3.75mm crochet hook and chained about 140. My chain started to form little curls... and so I began calling it a 'frill'.



To attach my little frill, I took a 6mm hook and wove it in and out of each row. You can see below how easy it was.


Then I took the end of my chain and pulled it through the rows. Now it looked kind of like a dotted line!


Next I repeated those same steps, on the other side. I was left with a U shape.


Afterwards, pull on the two ends to scrunch up the fabric.



Finally, I tied a bow to finish it up. Now you your very own beginner-friendly cowl!!

Here's the free pattern...


Simple Cowl Pattern

Materials

  • 1 skein of Loops & Threads Country Loom yarn
  • Scarp yarn of your choice
  • 9mm crochet hook
  • A darning needle ( for sewing in ends)
  • A pair of scissors

Notes

  • The body of the cowl will be made using the Country Loom yarn. The scrap yarn of your choice is for the accents (frill, flower, motif, etc).
  • I used a 9mm hook because it was recommended on my yarn label. However, even though is no gauge, you may use whatever hook you'd like too.
  • Make sure that since it is a chunkier yarn that you use a large eye needle.
  • I used one full skein for the main part of my cowl.

Pattern

Ch 60. Sl st into the first ch, make sure not to twist.

Row 1- Ch 2, dc in each st. Join to the very first dc.
Row 2 to 10- Rep the first row.

That's it! Fasten off. From here you can add any embellishments you'd like.

I can't wait to see what you guys come up with! Tell me below what you added to your new cowl.



That's all I have for today, if you're ready for more remember to subscribe to the blog on your right side. If you love this cowl as much as I do, please share it with your beginner friends. Its a fun and easy introduction to crochet so invite them.

I'll see you next week!!