March 5, 2010

Fab Finds on Aloha Friday - 3.5.2010 -- and -- March is National Crochet Month

Did you know March is National Crochet Month?  I recently learned of this while hanging out on Twitter.  Honestly, the art of crochet is loved and appreciated worldwide, I think it should be called "International Crochet Month", but that's just me.

I picked up a crochet hook over 7 years ago while we still lived in Hawaii.  I was intrigued by the crocheted lei so prevalent during special occasions and especially during graduations.  I asked some family members if they were easy to make, and the general response was "yes."  So, I went to the local Ben Franklin and picked up a small kit, which included the grosgrain ribbon and all the fuzzy yarn required.  But alas!  It required the most minimal of crochet skills -- the chain stitch and the slip stitch -- skills of which I had none.  I turned to my mom one weekend afternoon and asked her to teach me.  My mom learned to crochet in grade school in the Philippines and hadn't picked up a hook in ages,  but she took to it pretty quickly.  All of a sudden, the crochet lei was finished, all without me even holding the yarn or the hook.  Hee hee.  After picking up some more fuzzy yarn (and incidentally, a hook for myself), I finally made my own lei; and it blossomed from there. 

My education in crochet came from the desire to have the finished object.  Oftentimes, I spied a pattern and I dove in headfirst to crochet it, even if I did not know the techniques involved.  I learned the skills through the different patterns I tried.  I went online and viewed tutorials for help.  I bought books and tackled projects without apprehension.  I am by no means an expert, but seven years later, I am selling crocheted coffee sleeves in my "cafe" (Manoa Road Cafe) and I am still amazed at creating fantastic things from one long skinny yarn and a hook.  

One of the things I love to make is amigurumi -- which by definition, is the Japanese art of crocheting small stuffed animals or anthropomorphic creatures.  But in the last few years, with renewed interest in the art of crocheting, I've observed amigurumi has exploded to much more than that.   I love amigurumi because they are usually small and generally easy to make -- in other words, the instant gratification factor is very high.  Also, there are so many talented pattern artists in the crafty community who have dreamed up fabulous stuffed creations -- from animals, to superheroes, to food -- all of which are uber-cute!  However, in today's Fab Finds, I've discovered a a few pattern creators who have made objects you wouldn't think were cute in real life; but made in amigurumi, are hard to pass up.

Check it out:

Mind you, these are PATTERNS designed by the following cool folks and are for sale on Etsy.

1:  Crime Friends by Taschenmaedchen
Safer than the real thing, I suppose?

2:   Atomic Alien Zappers by rosieok
I can see my kids running after each other with these zappers in hand.

3:   Flashlight and Battery by Sans30
for those fun camping trips in the living room

4:  Flying Saucer & Martian by APerryPatterns
Very cute!

5:  Octopush by Woollythoughts
Tactile and stress-relieving. 

6:  P3 Airplane by MayRaeCrochetKnit
Who knew you could crochet an airplane?

7:  Horace Behr by MrFox's Toy Emporium
Creepy and fun.  I am loving those teeth!

8:  Where the Wild Things Are by CraftyisCool
Wowness.  I've purchased a number of patterns from Allison, and her designs and instructions are awesome!

9:  Baron Ripper Von Sharkenstein by The Tattered Pickle
I love the name of this shark.  The eaten leg in his mouth is a nice touch.

10:  FrankenSquid by VoodooMaggie
The Kraken ain't got nothing on this guy.

Unconventional? Yes. Fun? Absolutely.  Perhaps, like my experience with crochet lei, these patterns may inspire you to pick up a hook and try out crochet for the first time.  Happy (Inter)National Crochet Month and Aloha Friday!


Allison said...

Great post! I just found out yesterday that it was Nat'l Crochet month---guess its not something you'd find on CNN or anything :) Thanks for featuring my Wild Things!!

Seema said...

Thanks for featuring my flashlight and battery jane...

Voodoomaggie said...

Thanks for putting up my frankensquid, your blog is just adorable!

Anonymous said...

thanks for including me.

^-^ taschenmaedchen

Amber said...

Great post! Lots of great crochet out there!

Jane O said...

Thank you, everyone! I really had a lot of fun finding these really cool patterns.

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