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Amigurumi - the Tiny Craft from Japan

Hello Gang!
Well I'm back again and I've been let loose! Vicki is jet-setting around the Americas on her Honeymoon with her new husband Richard so whilst their sunning for the next 3 weeks on a well earned break we're all beavering away at Minerva HQ. I come to you today with something that has taken the crochet world by storm. Amigurumi! It's an amazing new style of toy making that had made its way over from the epi-centre of cuteness Japan. Often crocheted, but can be knitted, they're little figures of Animals or Personified objects, usually with large heads and small limbs (commonly referred to as a Chibli style outside of Japan). In true Japanese style, these things are always cute! 
Often with solid black toy eyes, brightly coloured cotton yarns are always the best accompaniment for a lovely polished finish, but regular Yarn can work well for a textured feel. They're very simple to do, too! More often than not you'll work in a double crochet in a spiral, as opposed to finishing off a round and chain stitching up. The smaller the cuter, obviously, but on my travels around the webesphere I spotted Zpagetti Yarn Amigurumi! Could you imagine how big they'd be?!
You can really see the spiral technique in the feet of the elephant.
Another fab thing about Amigurumi is there's a big online community for it and lots of free patterns as well as pre-made kits (great for yourself hehe). The best online blog I've found is All About Ami. Run by a lovely lady by the name of Stephanie, she shared her yarn based adventures with the world as well as a collection of patterns and darling pictures of her children! My favourite by far is this Little Dragon and it's the perfect example of Amigurumi.
HOW CUTE IS THIS GUY?! Worked in 4 Ply, and a 2mm Crochet Hook this would be a great introduction to working with a low ply yarn. NOTE: Amigurumi is often worked on a smaller hook than the yarn recommends to keep the stuffing in!
Now Amigurumi doesn't have to be purely decorative and cuddly. For those who beauty is only in function, Sanda of Pepika has the answer. Her Bear and Bunny boxes are adorable, crafty and functional! Though I'm unsure if I could take their heads off to use them!
Possibly great in a nursery? The possibilities are endless.
So that's animals, admittedly one of them mythical. What about objects? Surely you can't make them cute? WRONG! Matt of According to Matt made this awesome Jammie Dodger, posted it, and got a million requests for the pattern. So he wrote it! You can find it here and it's just so fun! 
I'd be tempted to add eyes and a smile to the bottom. Watch this space ;)
So this is just a quick introduction to this little craze. I'm sure I'll end up featuring one of these gems for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network sooner or later, they're too adorable!
I always say this, but PLEASE share one of these with us if you make one! We needs the cutes!
Speak soon crafters!
Katie B xo

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