Thursday, December 2, 2010

Theme Knitting: Amigurumi

When worlds collide, awesomeness ensues.

I'm of course talking about my favorite online store - Think Geek - and my favorite hobby - knitting.  Think Geek has come out with a knitting kit - for a knitted NINJA!  It's an amigurumi ninja knitting kit, complete with yarn, felting, needles, thread and stuffing!!!  

For those who don't know, Amigurumi is defined by wikipedia as: 
the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. The word is derived from a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll. Amigurumi are typically animals, but can include artistic renderings or inanimate objects endowed with anthropomorphic features.
Does not produce dark matter.
I haven't quite attempted amigurumi quite yet.  The closest thing I've done is the Crochet Coral Reef program (which landed me in the Smithsonian, in case you haven't heard! :) )  I do have a couple amigurumi projects in my ravelry queue, including Lief and Astrid from this season's Twist Collective, and Nibbler from Futurama.

No formaldehyde necessary.
There are whole pattern books dedicated to amigurumi.  People will knit or crochet anything in amigurumi - animals, landmarks, pop culture items, food.  One of my personal favorites is the amigurumi knitted dissected frog entitled "Biology 101."  The person who designed this must be brilliant.  This kind of pattern requires knitting math (not always easy, especially when it comes to symmetry and gauge), an artistic eye, and a knowledge of anatomy/biology. 
I have this pattern if you want some!
Another good use for amigurumi is making "food."  One book has a whole bevy of fruits and vegetables that can be knitted or crocheted.  I've seen cupcakes, cakes, salads, fish, meat, and even sushi!  It's great for kids who like to make believe - especially playing "store" or in a playskool "kitchen."  They're easily washable, soft, and made in the USA (or wherever you are) so you don't have to worry about Chinese plastic! 

In other knitting news, I finished both the blankets for Amy and Emily and have sent them on their way.  Right now, I'm making a Snapdragon Tam to go with the flip-top mittens I made a couple weeks ago.  I'm also making an "Emily" capelet by Ysolda Teague for my grandmother. I figured it would be apropos as I'm named Emily Elizabeth after her.