Interview with an Amigurumi Designer: Crochet to Play
Have you ever thought that something looked fairly simple, but when you actually tried doing it yourself you found it incredibly difficult? No, just me? Haha!! Well that is exactly what amigurumi design is! When a designer does it well, they make it look easy and that certainly is the case with the talented Jennifer behind Crochet to Play
Jennifer’s style is whimsical and full of the wonder that fills childhood play. I found Crochet to Play just last year and was immediately impressed with her unique designs and adorable characters. I feel lucky to now consider her a friend. Jennifer’s designs are so imaginative and I want to make every single one of them! I was honored to be able to pattern test her Felicity Fawn pattern last month! Isn’t she adorable?
I’m not the only one noticing Jennifer’s work, recently her Little Red and Wolf pattern was published in Crochet Now magazine! She is currently designing animals for her Forest Friends collection and has released Mrs. Millie Mouse and Felicity Fawn. Jennifer just finished designing Mr. and Mrs. Hedgehog and they are the cutest pair you ever did see!
I am amazed with Jennifer’s “scope for the imagination” (bonus points if you know where that phrase comes from) and I can’t wait to see what is up her sleeves! I hope you enjoy this interview and I just know you’re going to love her work!
- Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, husband, kids, job, favorite food, movies, hobbies outside of crochet. I’m from the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where I met and married an amazing guy and where we’re now raising our three sweet kids together. We met at a golf course over 18 years ago – I was a cart girl and he worked in the restaurant. The rest is history! I’m a part time teacher (I work with students with reading difficulties like dyslexia) and mostly I’m just a busy mom. I love Mexican and Italian food and tend to binge-watch Hallmark movies while I crochet at night. Crochet is definitely my main hobby, but if I don’t have a hook in my hand, I love making memories with my family – going on walks, to the zoo, or to the beach.
- When did you start crocheting? I started crocheting about nine years ago when my oldest daughter was a baby. I wanted to be able to make her cute things and was intimidated by knitting, so I learned to crochet. I knew a little bit from my mom and grandma and learned the rest from the public library!
- When did you start making amigurumi? One day, a few years ago, I was browsing the yarn aisles at Michael’s and I stumbled across Ana Paula Rimoli’s book Amigurumi World. To say I was mesmerized by the cuteness is an understatement! I fell in love with amigurumi right then and there and haven’t stopped making it since.
- When and why did you start designing amigurumi? I designed my first amigurumi pattern (Goldilocks and the Three Bears) three years ago. I was ready to transition from selling made-to-order items, mostly hats at the time, to something totally different. So I gave designing a try, and knew right away I wanted to design amigurumi. I had (and still have!) notebooks full of ideas that I couldn’t keep inside. It was a slow start, maybe a pattern every few months at first, but it has built up over time.
- What does your creative process look like? Like I just mentioned, I have notebooks full of toys, themes, and sketches of amigurumi I’d like to make. When I officially begin a project, I generally do a quick sketch and then decide on yarn colors. This can be painstaking for me. I can always “see” the finished design ahead of time and then have to find yarn to match my vision. Once I finally do, I map out the parts and pieces I’ll need to shape and join and then I start experimenting until I get it right!
- Why do you think people should make amigurumi? Oh, so many good reasons! I think amigurumi makes people smile. It’s such a unique niche in the fiber arts. It’s very satisfying to make a toy from start to finish, especially as your skills improve and you can enjoy it more and more.
- What makes you excited about the yarn and crochet community? I am crazy about the crochet community! I absolutely love the connections I’ve made with other makers in this craft – people from all walks of life who get just as excited as I do about a yarn delivery, or a new finished project, or a pattern release that has roped us all in. Social media has given us a window into how many amazing makers are out there right now, putting their fresh stamp on crochet. It’s being modernized in a lot of ways and I love getting to see it and being a part of it.
- What are your goals and dreams for Crochet to Play? This year, I’d like to continue releasing patterns from series I’ve started – more animals for the Forest Friends, more Bible stories, with a few other patterns in between. I would like to grow Crochet to Play in the future as my kids get a little older, but I don’t yet know what that will look like. Perhaps books, perhaps with a blog. It’s been a dream come true already so I am open and excited to how it’s going to grow.
You can find Crochet to Play on Instagram and Etsy
If you enjoyed this post you may also like:
Making Amigurumi: The Artistry is in the Details
Do it Scared…Explore Your Creativity
Loved the interview with Jennifer. She creates beautiful designs. I’m not hip enough to get the reference, unfortunately, to “scope for the imagination.” Clue me in?
Haha! It’s from Anne of Green Gables!
Wow, such beautiful work! Not sure I could ever create my own designs for anything much less Amigurumi! But I might brave myself to try a pattern after I finish my daughter’s mermaid tail blanket ❤️
Thank you, Jayme! I’ve only published one design and I found it extremely difficult! Jennifer is a master at designing!
So much talent! Seriously so so cute. I can’t even imagine what it takes to make these little guys (and not make them lopsided or something 😉).
Thank you so very much! They are definitely a labor of love for me!
It so obvious how much love goes into these designs. I just showed my little ones the Christmas ornament picture and they went crazy for them. 😊
Jennifer’s designs are so adorable! I enjoyed making her Felicity Fawn pattern so much!
Oh, how beautiful! I’ve always wanted to learn crochet. I’m creative but not sure if I could grasp this lol. Pure talent!!
Awww, thank you so much! It was difficult for me in the beginning but I was bound and determined to figure it out!
So happy I was introduced to your blog! I feel like I’m being introduced to a whole new world. I’ve never seen such cute things made from crocheting. They are adorable and I love the designs Jennifer made, especially the Bible story ones. That’s such a neat idea 💛 perfect for my little guy once he gets older and ready to play with toys!
Thank you so much, Baylee!! I really enjoy crocheting!
I’ve been knitting mostly, but today picked up a crochet hook for the first time in a LONG time… why does it seem easier?
Love her story, and really want to create beautiful things like this too! Thanks for sharing!
Crochet is easier, at least for me it is!
So interesting! Just beautiful work!
Thank you so very much, Jenn!