Amigurumi Designing Spreadsheet

March 15, 2009 in Amigurumi, Tips and Techniques

My friend kindly pointed out yesterday that it’s been five weeks since my last post.  Now that I’m settled in my new home and caught up on my backlog of crochet projects I think it’s time to get back to posting.  When I first started designing amigurumi I had a hard time figuring out how to do increases and decreases so I did some research and came up with a set of formulas to determine how to do them.  I took those formulas and built a spreadsheet around them that will make written instructions based on just a row stitch count.  It’s very basic right now but I think it could be useful for newbie designers or those who are good at designing but have trouble writing out the patterns.  Now when I design I just have a sheet of paper with a column of stitch counts and then I plug the numbers in to the spreadsheet to generate the instructions. I’ve save the sheet in both Microsoft Excel and OpenOffice.org Calc versions.

Open Office | Microsoft Office

Feel free to use these for generating instructions, even for patterns you intend to sell.  I don’t have any plans right now to do major updates to the spreadsheet but feel free to leave a comment if you find a bug.  Enjoy!

Amiwhatsit?

December 7, 2008 in Amigurumi

teacup_and_saucer

Several years ago, a boyfriend’s grandma gave me a set of crochet hooks for Christmas. I tried to make a scarf but I’d get a few rows in, realize I’d done something wrong, and rip it all out again. After someone posted some pics of some cute neck warmers from Etsy, I decided to give it another go. This time if I made mistakes I’d just keep going so at least I’d get through the whole thing. I didn’t use a pattern or anything, I just did rows of single crochets. It took me about a week to complete in the evenings after work and my rows were six stitches shorter at the end than when I started, but at last it had clicked.

Then, while searching for a real pattern to make I came upon some patterns for something called amigurumi (am-ee-goo-roo-me). They were little crocheted and stuffed toys. Most of the patterns said they could be made in an evening and didn’t take much materials. It sounded perfect for my limited budget and attention span. I’d learned to crochet from a book so I figured maybe there was a book that would teach me how to make amigurumi too. That’s how I found Anna Paula’s book “Amigurumi World – Seriously Cute Crochet.”

The first thing I made was a turtle. It took me nearly 4 hours just to make the head because I kept losing count. I also did’t have anything to make a face with so I used some scraps of black ribbon to give him some eyes and that was it. He was so poorly made it was almost sad to look at, but my boyfriend loved it. He immediately claimed it for his desk at work. As for me, I was hooked!

I went to the local craftstore where it turns out the buyer for the yarn section is also a big fan of amigurumi and had a whole display stand of books and various eyes and noses to use. Since then I’ve made a cup cake, a pink kitten, a dragon, and my own pattern for a teacup.