Sunday, March 11, 2012

I Hate Doing Amigurumi, And Yet...

I really do hate doing amigurumi, the popular Japanese-influenced practice of crocheting cute little animals and other things. First, I find it boring; I prefer complex stitching patterns. Second, I hate doing any stitchery where I have to join parts together.

And third, I don't do little figures well, whether amigurumi or simply lacy little Victorian birds. Usually my shapes are out of proportion and the edges don't match up well. The result is a sweet little example of fiber roadkill.

That being said, I did crochet my sister, The Warden, a '70s owl for her birthday. It's actually a Christmas ornament pattern offered by Red Heart yarn on their website (go here for the pattern if you'd like to make one). The original, designed by Nancy Anderson, is gray with colorful accents. However, since this owl needed to reflect The Warden's love for the gold/avocado/burned orange color scheme, something that usually makes me want to poke my eyes out with a No. 14 crochet hook, I changed out all the colors.

I also used perle cotton and cotton crochet thread instead of yarn. I'm not fond of working with yarn (hence why never attempt to crochet socks or afghans or the like). I had enough bits of this and that in my stash to come up with an appropriately hideous owl The Warden loves. I didn't have avocado green, so I substituted some lime green that was almost day-glow. I also added some purple for the darker features and to give the accents added contrast. (By the way, you'll notice in the photo above that my owl's ears don't mirror one another. It could have been worse, I guess.)

I didn't do direct substitutes for Colors A, B, C, D, E, and F in the original pattern. I kind of eyeballed it. Basically I used orange for the owl's body; orange, purple, and lime green for the wings; lime green, burned orange, variegated yellow, and purple for the stomach patch; variegated yellow for the feet and beak; and purple and variegated yellow for the eyes, with a black bead in the center of each eye. (If you use the Red Hearts pattern, note there's some confusion in the way the feet are explained; I wound up simply repeating Row 2 as needed to shape the little claws.)

The Warden is considering hanging that ugly little owl from her rearview mirror in the van. Whatever. The sad thing is, The Warden has a couple of '70s-ish things I've made for her, and I'm not bad at recreating the proper retro style--a fact that disturbs me no end. I didn't even like this stuff when it was new and popular back in the day.

If you, unlike me, are entranced at the thought of crocheting some darling little varmints, here are some books you can try:

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