Interview with an Amigurumi Designer: Crochet to Play

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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!

 

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Jennifer from Crochet to Play

  1. 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.
  2. 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!

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    Daniel and the Lion’s Den

  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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    Little Red Riding Hood

  5. 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!
  6. 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.

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    Felicity Fawn

  7. 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.
  8. 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.
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    Christmas ornaments

     

    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

 

 

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Amigurumi Pattern Directory

This is a running list of all the amigurumi patterns I have personally used and where to find them! I added my own photos of each recommendation so that you can see an example of the patterns these designers offer. Hope you all find this helpful! Updated on 12/22/18

Crochet/Amigurumi

1. Animal Friends of Pica Pau: Gather All 20 Colorful Amigurumi Animal Characters by Yan SchenkelIMG_3007

2. Cute Crocheted Animals: 10 Well-Dressed Friends to Make by Emma Varnam

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3. Little Owlet Shop

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4. Dudu Toy Factory

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5. Tiny Curl

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6. KikaliteIMG_4397

7. Amigurumibyguli

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8. Crochettoplay

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9. Mary Jane’s Tea Room

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10. Les Petites Mains de Khuc Cay

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Disclosure: Please note that two of the links above are affiliate links, and at no cost to you, I will earn a teeny, tiny commission if you decide to purchase them from Amazon. These are books that I know, love, and trust. I have and will continue to recommend them regardless of my affiliate relationship with Amazon. Thank you for supporting Le Petit Saint Crochet!

The Sweetest Little Lamb: Pattern Review

IMG_7179Have you ever been desperately pouring over Pinterest to find the perfect lamb late into the wee hours of the morning? No, just me?  A friend had asked me if I would make one for her niece who would be turning one. She wanted something on the small side and I didn’t have a pattern for one. I began scouring Etsy and Pinterest to find something that was on the small side and that was completely adorable. I finally came across Little Owlet and knew this was the one.

I was a little worried about buying the pattern online. Marina, the creator, is Russian so I was concerned about the translation into English. But she had good reviews and the pattern was only $4.40 so I decided to click “Buy It Now”.

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The pattern downloaded right away and I jumped right in. I read over the entire pattern first and was pleasantly surprised that everything made complete sense. As I read the words I heard them all in a heavy Russian accent. Perk! She even has an option in the pattern that allows the head to rotate, which I did not do. But she has also written the pattern for those that don’t want to utilize that option.

I used a DK weight cotton yarn and a larger hook size than the pattern calls for so my little lamb is a bit bigger than hers but it turned out SO cute. My friend was delighted with how it turned out. I highly recommend Little Owlet’s crochet patterns and I will definitely be buying more!

Little Owlet Shop

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