My favorite stuffed animal designer is also an amazing craft business blogger – Abby Glassenberg of While She Naps. She is currently running a series on her blog talking to sewing/crafting people about the Pattern that changed their life! This got me thinking about what my inspiration was for getting all crafty and diving into the sewing/crafting/kids toy world with jeni ro designs. I really thought about it and it really boiled down to one book that I found at Joanns about 4 years ago.
And yes it’s not a sewing book! I remember being at Joann Fabrics with my Mom and looking at the craft book section. A super cute toy book caught my eye – it was a book of patterns for crocheted toys (also know as Amigurumi) – catch was I didn’t know how to crochet. So I grabbed the book and announced to my Mom – “You have to teach me how to crochet, because I need to make these toys!” (ok I don’t know if that is exactly what I said, but I know that is what I felt).
My Mom taught me how to crochet with a simple granny square and I took off. The first year I made a ton of toys from Amigurumi World – and Ana Paula Rimoli’s subsequent books – Amigurumi Two! and Amigurumi Toy Box. I made a crocheted toy for each of the babies in my mom’s group for their 1st birthdays – and working on those cute toys totally made me fall in love with making toys.
I still crochet toys – mainly for my kids now. I haven’t jumped into the realm of selling crocheted toys frankly because they take more time. I can sew up a toy in an evening – but it would take several evenings to crochet a decent size toy.
I have dipped my toe into designing crocheted toys – but only a tiny bit. I took Stacey Trock’s Design your own Monster Amigurumi class on Craftsy and it was fabulous. That class gave me the confidence to try and design my own toys (I made a whole slew of original monsters for my son’s 1st birthday party) – but I still prefer designing sewn toys. I will let the crochet artists out there make the amigurumi patterns for the world. 😉
Funny how one pattern book (full of crazy cute patterns) really did launch my love of toy making. I know I am early on my journey but I am enjoying the ride so far!
All pictures in this post are amigurumi that I crocheted using patterns from Ana Paula Rimoli’s books!