Friday, April 9, 2010

Amigurumi Friday!- designing your own amigurumi

Disclaimer: I am absolutely not an expert at designing my own amigurumi. I speak out only out of a couple weeks of experience. I have however, been making amigurumi for a couple years, and have been crocheting for at least 6 years. So I do (kind of) know what I'm talking about.

1. Familiarize:
First things first: Get to know the shapes and techniques of increasing, decreasing and magic circle before you ever try to make your own amigurumi. Try some free patterns first- there's tons on LionBrand, FreeCrochetPatternCentral, and Ravelry. Check it out!

2. Visualize/conceptualize:
Once you feel you have a hand on some familiar construction techniques, shaping and such, decide what it is you want to make. I suggest drawing it out. That will give you a more solid idea of the sort of shapes you'll want to make, get you thinking on the construction of your ami, and get you excited to get started!

3. Go for it! 
Some people attempt things in a very loose manner, just going for it, and hoping by the time they have their ami stuffed and closed up that it resembles what was in their mind. As a Type A personality, that just does not work for me! I write out exactly what I'm doing, continually referring back to my drawing to make sure my proportions are correct. And if I ever decide to start selling patterns, I've got it all written out. I just need to edit, type, and have someone test the pattern. If I get half way through a feature or body part and realize it's all wrong, I rip it out and try something different. Frustrating? yes! But that way I know my finished product will end up being something I'm proud of. Even something I'd be willing to sell.

4: Don't be afraid to step away
So after all those really specific tips and instructions let me just say one last thing: I crochet because I love the craft, and I love the people I crochet for. 99.9% of what I make is gifted immediately following finishing it. If this whole process gets really frustrating and stressful- stop! Put it down and walk away. It's not worth losing that love of the craft over. You can try it again some other day!

Well, I hope those tips are helpful and inspire to try your hand at designing!
I'll leave you with a few images of the creatures I've designed in the last couple weeks: