After a long and busy work day, we have just been sitting on the porch sharing some Beamish ale, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, though we aren't sure either of us has any traces of Irish ancestry (Glenn has some English and I some Scottish, does that count?). We do love good beer though!
While out there absorbing the end of an early spring day, I snapped a photo of the next amigurumi creature to enter our lives.... a baby bee. Very cute, maybe even better than the turtle...
I seem to be a bit obsessed with crocheting little creatures, in fact dreamed I had a whole washtub full of finished ones last night... that said, crochet is not as easy on my hands as knitting, so I am going to have to pace myself.
I am partway through my mouse, though I got to a point where I needed pink felt to line his ears (and forgot to get it this afternoon). So, I started on a gift for Glenn's sis, a kitty with a lacy dress. Hopefully, she will be finished and my handwarmers and vest back to getting some attention later this week.
In the meantime, you might be getting inspired to try these yourself, so let me tell you I have found multiple kinds of eyes (which attach on the inside with locking washers to keep them in place) at my local 'big box crafts store". I also have collected two different books of patterns, both by Japanese authors.
The first one, Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts! Amigurumi, by Tomoko Takamori, was selected from Amazon based on reviews and the fact that Chronicle Books published the English edition. They are a dependable crafts publisher whose works I have liked in the past. There are more animal patterns in here than in the other books I checked out, including a donkey (yup, one of those went right on the queue!). The patterns are well written and there are excellent color photos about assembling all of these parts once they are crocheted into something that will truly look like the professional photoshoot examples. This book gets highest marks because of the assemblage instructions and wide range of patterns.
The other book, Mr. Funky's Super Crochet Wonderful, by Narumi Ogawa, is also well written and pretty much the only book (and one of the few patterns anywhere) that used graphs to outline the stitches/projects. Lace and color knitters have become accustomed to using charts to help us visualize the item we are trying to make, and I am enjoying developing crochet-chart-reading skills for the same reason. The kitty with dress pattern is in Mr. Funky. Her animals are well made, and she shows multiple variations to help you launch off and make your favorite animal that isn't included, as well as offering several very cute hat and scarf patterns for hip crocheters... in fact a flower-shaped motif scarf may well be in my future, and another gift is "on the hooks" for a surprise recipient from one of her accessory patterns.
I also picked up a copy of the hot new graphic novel, Handknit Heroes, just for fun. Now, I have a family that includes several comic/graphic novel fans, but haven't been as caught up in the craze over the years, preferring a good, long read myself. I did want to support the whole concept and the author, artist and handknit designer, for their team effort and wasn't disappointed. It is a fun concept and I will have to follow and see how it develops.
The best read of the month, though, has been The Lost City of Z, which Glenn's sis Linda, manager of Lafayette Book Store, sent to us, just after I had listened to an interview of author Dan Grann on NPR a few weeks ago. He traces the history of Percy Fawcett, a famous English explorer of the Amazon in the first few decades of the 20th century, who vanished in 1925, and also discusses when mere questing crosses over into unhealthy obsession. It was a thrilling read, maybe made more so by the fact that it was extensively documented and very real.
I am heading off to enjoy the last of this funny American holiday celebrating an Irish priest... have fun y'all!