International Neighbors Crafts and Crafters
It seems knitting has always been a part of my life. My mother taught me to knit when I was 9 or 10. I never even came close to her abilities, but I enjoy the process of creating something from two needles and some yarn. It is almost like meditation and keeps my fingers busy.
I had never knitted with others until I joined the IN Knitting group in the early 2000's. We share patterns and techniques. It was in this group that I learned there are two basic knitting techniques, the English method (yarn held in the right hand) and the Continental Method (yarn held in the left hand). The finished product is the same. Once you learn to knit you don't forget, so if you want to refresh your skills, just sign up for our group on the IN Website.
Some years ago, a friend of mine invited me to come with her to an Amigurumi group at the library near me. She was taking her girls to the meeting and since she knew I could crochet, she thought we could help the girls learn while we all worked. I had never heard of Amigurumi and didn’t know what that was about but spending time with a friend seemed like a good excuse to learn something new.
According to Wikipedia: “Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures. The word is a compound of the Japanese words 編み ami, meaning "crocheted or knitted", and 包み kurumi, literally "wrapping", as in 縫い包み nuigurumi "stuffed doll".” And as you can see from the photos, these stuffed toys can depict anything: fruits, animals, objects… you name it. What you can count on is that the crafters are always trying to make it as “kawaii” (cute) as possible. The stuffed toys are supposed to bring you a smile and a sense of contentment.
We were in the Amigurumi group for 2 or 3 years before it disbanded, but in those years we made a lot of stuffed toys; I have given several toys away to friends and family. We mostly taught girls 9 years and older, but several boys tried their hand as well. At some point, the adults in the group (me included) took over leading the group and that is when I made the friends Molly, Dolly and Olly, which were used to advertise the Library group.
September: Molly studying with apples (for snack and for her Teacher)
I still enjoy making these stuffed toys, and I also enjoy seeing the smiles whenever I give them away. I find that crafting things with my hands is rewarding on many levels and so much nicer when I can share it with others.
If you want to learn more about Amigurumi, check out these links:
Summer: Molly, Dolly and Olly relax at the beach
I was raised in those days in India when we had no TV, no phone, and only a small radio. In winter, there was no school, because there was no heating. During those days I learned knitting. After finishing life’s responsibilities, I started knitting again, and I am enjoying it a lot. I make baby blankets and hats. So far, I have donated about 50 blankets.
When I was young, I slept in an unheated bedroom under a heavy quilt. I’m pretty sure that quilt was made by one of my relatives. I don’t know how old it was, but it could have gone back several generations. I’ve always been interested in quilting, but the idea of working on a large quilt for years was just too challenging. A couple years ago, though, I decided to start a quilt, but on a much smaller scale: a quilt for a baby. Since then, I’ve donated two quilts to Motts Hospital and given one away as a baby shower gift to our own Eri. I hand-stitch my quilts because I prefer that to struggling with a machine, and it allows me to watch TV while I’m stitching. Instead of stuffing the quilt, I use a double thickness of flannel for the back, making it much easier. It’s a very rewarding hobby: I’m all set to start a fourth quilt!