Happy Amigurumi: the Fun Creatures that Make Us Smile

I crochet primarily pillow covers and blankets of all sizes, shawls, scarves, and the occasional odd practical “thing.” Recently, however, I found a few photos of crocheted furry and non-furry stuffed beings I made over the last few years. These creatures have been gifted to friends and family, big and small. I no longer work on small patterns, preferring less time-consuming and less fidgety things – though the temptation is strong when I come across some beautiful and cute designs.

The weighted preemie doll in the featured photo is one I made for a good friend and neighbor who gave birth to the most precious preemie ever under challenging circumstances. It is based on a pattern by Hayden & Hill. I adjusted for length, width, and weight at birth and gave my version extra character by adding a rainbow scarf and taking a photo of the finished crocheted doll in peaceful repose snuggled under a made-to-size blankie. She turned out well.

Simon (the sheep), Boris (the squirrel), and Emma (the bunny) are a few of the characters you can crochet following the patterns by Kerry Lord in her book series “Edward’s Menagerie.” Kerry was a mom-to-be when she started crocheting and quickly developed an absolute love for stuffed crochet animals. Her patterns are not written conventionally, but they are easy to understand. (And yes, written in UK terms, so be prepared to convert to US terms if that is what you are used to).

“Koniyetta” is the name I gave this small, crocheted bunny baby lovey (comfort blanket) which I made for a colleague of my wife when he and his wife were expecting an addition to the family. I did not follow a single pattern for this one but took inspiration from a few to create something different in their chosen colors. This lovey was used and loved for quite some time, making me truly happy. There is a specific feeling of joy when one can craft and gift something with a unique imprint.

The last is the MeiMei Baby Elephant, a pattern by Dedri Uys of LookAtWhatIMade. I crocheted this one for one of my wife’s coworkers because she enjoys African animals and miniatures. This version sat on her desk for a long time and was a source of smiles and cheer. I remember thinking whether I should add the optional rug and then decided not to because the mini elephant was supposed to be in its “natural” environment. Meimei has a crochet sister and mother in different styles; the patterns can be found on Dedri’s website.

In case you are wondering, amigurumi is a Japanese art of crocheting or knitting small, stuffed creatures made of yarn. Amigurumi became popular about twenty years ago and is loved for its aesthetics. There are no limitations to the size or look though hooks and needles are used to work in a tight gauge to prevent the stuffing from poking or showing through. All types of stuffing can be used to give shape and distribute weight as needed. Plenty of ways to be creative! Give it a try.