Because starting a business, filling new orders, marketing, and preparing to be a vendor at my first show – on top of working full-time and having a family isn’t enough on my plate, I decided in May that I wanted to participate in amigurumipatterns.net‘s monthly Ami-Along.
What the Ami-Along is, is for a small fee ($5 for recurring membership/$6 for one-time Ami-Along) you receive a pattern for the month – this month it was a little boy and girl giraffe named Lyly and Lip – and you work “alongside” other crocheters who are creating the same project.
(Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with amigurumipatterns.net and receive no monetary compensation from them; I am just a member of the Ami-Along forum and wanted to share this unique experience).
There’s a forum to post pictures of the works-in-progress, a place to ask the designer questions about the pattern (or about life in general), and to post your finished project. At the end of the time frame (usually a month – the May Ami-Along ends June 3), pictures of the finished projects are sent to the group and everyone can vote on their favorites. The favorites have a chance to win different fun prizes. It’s a really cool little set up. Also, some of the interpretations that other crocheters come up with – the creativity – is just astounding to watch: It sometimes makes me feel a little inferior, but also gives me goals to strive toward.
I’ve been a member of the forum for about three months, but I’ve never actually done the project along with anyone, so this month I was determined to change that.
Above is what the pattern designer RNata provided as an example of the finished product (aren’t they so sweet?). I’m looking at this going, I’ve totally got this. I’m going to get started and I’m going to be one of the first ones done. Fast forward to May 28 with only a few days left in the process and I just finished it. Well it was the thought that counted.
One of the things I thought was interesting about the pattern from the start was most of my Luvvies start with a conventional magic ring – a method to work the pattern in the round and spiral round and round from that center point. This pattern didn’t begin that way. It started with a foundation chain of stitches and then worked around both sides of that foundation chain to create the spiral effect. This was a new technique for me, but I found I really enjoyed it and felt it created a more interesting shape.
The other thing I liked about the pattern was that for the bulk of the body, it was one continual piece (through one leg – the other leg had to be done separately and attached). I have mentioned before that I am not so good at sewing and attaching the pieces after the fact, so a continuous head, body, and one leg was a lovely surprise.
The body of my lil’ giraffe worked up really quickly. I was making good progress, and then – for reasons known only to my ADD addled brain, I set the project aside and started working on something else. I mean, I had the majority of this done – I just had a few finishing touches, and yet, instead of finishing it, I moved on to other things.
With the Memorial Day weekend in front of me, I decided this was the perfect time to clean up some of my long standing works-in-progress, this project among them. So, I went back to the project and started making my final touches.
I mentioned in a previous blog how I’ve been experimenting with different fibers in the same project – this lil’ girl is a perfect example of that. The multi-colored pattern in her skirt is from a yarn from Darn Good Yarn (in their monthly subscription box for May). The white embellishments on her skirt and the pieces of her hair are Vanna’s Choice diamond glitter (I love sparkles and wanted her to be pretty). The horns and embroidery of her eyebrows and nostrils are Cloudborn fingerling yarn from Craftsy. The bulk of the body was done with Caron Simply Soft. There definitely was a lot of fiber mixing in this project, but overall I was very pleased with how she turned out.
She maybe didn’t turn out exactly as the pattern picture showed her – and she may not have been as creative of some of the other ami-along participants, but she is super squeezable and I am happy with her. It was a good learning and growing experience, too, to share the journey with other crocheters during the month and to learn that sometimes it is okay to color outside the lines – maybe that will be something I can take more to heart the next time around.
Who knows? Maybe for June, I’ll be able to focus more on the ami-along and get it done first. Hahaha, who am I kidding – it will be down to the wire again; but, dang, if I’m not looking forward to it.
Hugs and cuddles,