But, that was a long time ago and the (somewhat) recent rise in popularity of Amigurumi in the U.S. has been slowly tempting me back to the world of crochet. You certainly can’t walk around a comic convention or craft fair without it calling to you. All that cuteness screams out, “Buy us . . . buy us!” Or, perhaps better, “You need to learn how to make us!”
Enter the Thunder Bay Press Crochet Kits . . . Star Wars, Peanuts, and Classic Disney characters brought to amazing, miniature life with a some yarn, stuffing, and little plastic eyes. Each kit comes with a project book with 12 separate characters to make, instructions, and the materials needed to make 2 or 3 of the projects in the book. And, all of those selling points aside, it’s the characters themselves that will reach out and grab you.
Let me tell you about the cuteness level in these kits. It’s a planetary gravitational field of cuteness. A nuclear cuteness. One look at the Ewok on Page 34 of the Star Wars kit, or the Peanuts' Flying Ace Snoopy, or the Pluto in the Disney kit (little droopy ears!), and you’ll be crocheting for the rest of your life. By the time you get to Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt, you will die from woolly goodness.
The authors of the respective kits bring a nice variety of characters across the 12 projects included in each. There are all of the popular characters and a good mix of secondary characters as well (e.g., Jiminy Cricket, Lady from Lady and the Tramp, Peppermint Patty, and more). An added bonus in the Peanuts kit is a paper craft doghouse you can make to house your Snoopy.
These are fundamentally kits for intermediate-level crocheters, but include easy-to-follow instructions for all of the stitches used in Amigurumi. I immediately found it a bit challenging to tie together the individual stitch instructions to the abbreviated step instructions in the projects. If you are just starting out with crochet, and you’re a visual learner like I am, I highly recommend taking advantage of some beginner-level crochet videos on the internet.
I went straight to Craftsy.com and the amazing Kim Werker, former editor of Interweave Crochet magazine and author of Make It Mighty Ugly: Exercises and Advice for Getting Creative Even When It Ain’t Pretty. Kim’s “Crochet: Basics and Beyond” course is 8 instructional videos with over 3 hours of crochet stitches and techniques. Worth every penny! (And, Kim is all-around awesome . . . check out more of her crafty expertise on her Blog.)
Since starting this review, I’ve mastered the chain stitch and am well on my way to constructing a recognizable Yoda from the Star Wars kit. Then, I have grand plans for a little army made up of Ewoks, Plutos, and Snoopies that will conquer all with their epic cuteness.