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Thursday, December 15, 2016

What is Amigurumi?

What is Amigurumi? As a person who has crocheted for over 10 years (I know right! Such a crazy long time) I learned so much and I am still learning so much more about the crochet and knit world. When you think you knew it all, you end up finding something even more to love about fiber arts. 

 When I first learned Amigurumi was I was amazed and fascinated to know more about it. I came across it at a local craft show about 8 years ago but I did not really know what it was called, I just knew that it was making dolls out of yarn. I did not really think much about it until I started to see more shops selling them and calling them "Amigrumi" which I thought was just a name they made up.

What is Amigurumi you may ask! Many have seen this word, many have even bought items that are Amigurumi and didn't even know it!

Amigurumi first is defined as a cute stuffed doll that is knitted or crocheted. It is popular and originated in Japan and has taken over the handmade world. Japanese items has risen to an all time high in the handmade world and the most searched for items are Amigurumi items.

To break down the word, Amigurumi ... ami means knitted or crochet and nuigurumi means stuffed doll in Japanese.

Amigurumi has taken many forms beyond just dolls, such as crochet or knitted food (Pies, candies, cake slices etc..., home objects (tea pots, pencils, pots and pans,  etc...) to emotions/emojis (hearts, happy faces, etc...) the list can go on from what can be made.

Majority of Amigurumi items being sold and made are that of stuffed characters. One can find a stuffed Mario or even a cute crocheted Pikachu from Pokémon.

But I also learned that not everything super cute is super safe! I know, I know not everything is "SAFE" but when you have children you just tend to buy a doll because it is cute and not check it out first to know how sturdy, and how well it was made. 

I bring this up becuase in the fiber arts, we make things out of a strong of yarn, and we make these items with certain "tension" and by tension I mean how hard we hold the strong being stitched together to close and make this fabric of crochet and knitt goods. If the tension is not strong certain embellishments and eyes that Amigurumi  tends to have may come out, fall off and be harmful to your child. Another thing is that the stitches can come undone if they are not knotted and glued to ensure they are closed. Many Amigurumi get washed which loosens things up as well. 

One must take caution though because even though these are stuffed cute items they are not made, nor manufactured with regulations. Many dolls have safety eyes but can still come out or get broken. Some dolls even have embellishments that can fall off and be swallowed. 

Also since these items are handmade and sewn together the smallest tips of needles can break off during any type of sewing and can not be seen by the eye. It can be felt when squishing the doll. Please take caution when giving an Amigurumi made item to younger children and always have adult supervision when your child plays with them. As cute and tempting they seem, they can be just as harmful.

Please take in consideration that Amigurumi dolls should not be for new borns, toddlers and children that chew and stick objects in their mouths.