When I first donated some of my items to the animal charity auction, I didn’t think it would end up with a commission request. I usually don’t want to sell my items because it’s strictly a hobby for me and I want to enjoy making whatever I choose, for people I love and for myself. I also think selling hand made items is not easy, especially those that require more work: either they have to be under-priced (considering how time consuming they can be) or too expensive for most people to want to buy them. But somehow I couldn’t resist this request, mainly because it was for a doll, and I remembered how much I’d enjoyed crocheting them!
I haven’t done a lot of knitting or crocheting recently. Not really sure why, I think I just needed to slow down a little and take a break. So to get back in the crafty mood again, I decided to crochet a teddy bear, because toys are fun, little projects that don’t take too much time and bring a lot of joy.
This is Eunice, my second doll. Better one, I might add, at least in my opinion.
I spent the last week crocheting her as some details were a bit fiddly, and the hair were just a lot of work – not because they are very complicated but quite time- and wool-consuming.
But it was time spent well, a very nice, relaxing project, which gave me a lot of joy. I love making toys, each time I try I am quickly completely hooked and forget about the world around me – which is quite a good thing these days as it’s not the best time in my life.
I have some big plans for equally big projects: a throw, a shawl, and some smaller accessories… yet here I am again, stuck in the amigurumi land, and I can’t seem to be able to get out of it. In fact, I really don’t want to get out of it!
My first entry is going to be dedicated to amigurumi. Why? Because this is my latest love, joy and something I am still getting into. I never thought I could actually make my own toy, one that looks great and is a pleasure to create. Yet as it turned out, amigurumi – crochet toys – is something available to make even for beginners, and there are plenty of great patterns (free and paid) available online.
Perhaps I’d never have found out amigurumi, if not for my cats. My younger cat, Ciri, is crazy about small mice toys. I buy them all the time, and they keep disappearing in some secret places where neither I, nor my cats can find them. So it was only natural to start wondering – hey, what about making a few of these myself?
Now, there are many patterns and tutorials available online. But a mouse toy is pretty basic, there is not much philosophy in it, so I just made my own without keeping any kind of stitch count, just starting with six single crochets worked into magic circle (pretty common in amigurumi patterns), and increasing and decreasing when necessary. When I made a few of them, I decided to look for some nicer mouse patterns and that’s how I discovered the world of crocheted stuffed animals and other toys.
My first discovery was the fantastic website by Sharon Ojala, Amigurumi To Go. Sharon creates beautiful, elegant and simple patterns, and shares them totally free online. She also has a youtube chanel where she explains everything with great patience. Her small Teddy Bear and Little Big Foot Giraffe and Monkey were my first “real” amigurumis. To my surprise, they turned out pretty great!