I have recently taught myself to crochet. I have always been drawn to knitting and never really liked the look of crochet. I remember seeing my grandmother crochet afghans, and true to the 'granny' squares she was making, I've always had the idea that crochet looks very granny-ish. But something changed my mind.
I was looking for a pattern for a knit animal to make as a present for a friend. I search online and though there are quite a few, the ones that were the cutest (which was the goal in this case!) were the crocheted Amigurumi. These are small crocheted toys with origins in Japan and tend to have the low, wide set eyes and overly cute features seen in a lot of Japanese pop culture (think Hello Kitty...).
So I taught myself to crochet and it was really just to make some Amigurumi and that's it. I don't think I'll use it for anything else, but I will use it quite a bit for making these cute little toys.
I did end up making a penguin. The pattern was taken from Ana Paula Rimoli's book, "Amigurumi World." (You can see what the penguin looks like in the upper right hand corner of the book cover)
After that I got a little more ambitious and made a bigger toy, an Amineko (toy cat) from a Japanese designer. He is a present for my Mom for her birthday and is winging his way (via the USPS) to her as I type this. I thought I'd share a couple of pics so you could see what I've been up to.
Hope all is well with everyone and I hope to be posting again soon!