August 9, 2019 DIY Join me at Thread for an Amigurumi Workshop! In the months before my first grandchild was born, I determined to make something special. Knowing we were having a girl to be named Aggie, I would be ahead of the game for gender appropriate items. But, already, the great grandmothers decided on baby afghans. Since my daughter, Claire, had the one I crocheted and brought her home from the hospital swaddled in, I knew she wouldn’t need yet another. Other creative folks made delightful quilts and blankets in lovely patterns. So what did I do? I went to Pinterest and discovered animals! Now, the animals I even searched for would not be ordinary. I was not interested in kittens or puppies. These for Aggie had to be unique. I stumbled upon a lama, went to the source, and found the most unique collection of Amigurumi animals I had ever seen! Yan Schenkel, an Argentinian professional crocheter, created twenty colorful characters for her book Animal Friends of Picapau. When the book came in the mail, I wondered how in the world I could possibly narrow down the animals I would be able to crochet before Aggie’s birth. As it turns out, I chose my favorites and ended up with thirteen before Aggie’s arrival in mid April. I often wonder what is so special about these animals. Why do they make people so happy? Part of it, I believe, is that Schenkel personified them. She gave her creatures names and stories. I found this notion particularly clever and called each of Aggie’s by name as I crocheted them. (I changed a few names along the way to fit us better, however. The captions with the photos below will explain.) I dream of the day when Aggie and I will tell stories about the adventures we have with the animals. My plan is to write them down with her. Bonny the Puffin and Aggie just chatting What I found while working on them was that the animals became everyone’s favorites. I took them with me to work on wherever I went as well as to my Wednesday Knitters group and to Thread, my favorite yarn store located in Florence, Alabama. People started texting and messaging me to please send pictures or bring the animals over so they could see them. They became my little friends. After I turned them over to their new mommy named Aggie, I found myself missing them. So I started on more for a few very special young ladies expecting babies. All of the animals have safety eyes and are washable. In crocheting the animals, I became familiar with Amigurumi techniques and found myself able to adjust and change instructions as I moved from one to another. I would enjoy sharing these techniques with anyone who would like to join me for workshops at Thread. We will start with Pedro Von Dito Pig in four three-hour classes on Tuesdays starting September 10. After we finish Pedro, if enough of you are interested, we will choose another animal that requires more difficulty to complete. I am also open to having a workshop in the evenings if there is enough interest. Workshop Schedule for Tuesdays, 9-12 a.m. September 10 September 17 September 24 October 1 Skill Level: Intermediate Workshop Fee: $75 (This covers the 4 three hour classes plus gives you access to me anytime for questions and issues as you work on your animals at home.) Supplies: Animal Friends of Picapau (For those who don’t have this book, Shai will have them at Thread for the same cost as sold on Amazon.) DK cotton yarn in various colors. (Shai will have all of the colors you will need as suggested in the book. However, you may bring your own yarn as you wish.) Safety eyes in 8mm & 10mm (Shai will have these; otherwise you will need to purchase online.) US C or 2.75mm hook (Stocked at Thread) Stitch markers (Stocked at Thread) Scissors (Stocked at Thread) Yarn needle Polyester Stuffing To register for the workshop, please go to Thread’s website: https://www.threadfabricstore.com/ Ramón Donkey became Juanita. She is one of Aggie’s favorite friends. She is from the Andes. Harry the Wolf looks fashionable but denies being a hipster. Mostly he’s distinguished and very intellectual. He has a library in his house. We changed Pedro Von Dito Pig’s name to Penelope because Aggie needed more girl animals. I crocheted her a little bikini bra and voilà! Penelope shares her floaties with Murray Sea Otter. She wears them because she really can’t swim. He just likes to borrow them to look fashionable Murray Sea Otter is from Ireland’s west coast. He’s a fisherman who bought a yellow bicycle and called it Calypso. René Yacaré Caiman is ready for a party. He hails from Pantanal, Brazil. We changed Victor the Frog to Jeremiah Figaro (aka Jerry Fig) because you know, Jeremiah was a bullfrog, and he wanted to sing opera. I changed his feet too from flippers to feet & toes. This is the original Victor the Frog. I quite like his grey-green body and flipper feet. His swim trunks are removable, and his underwear is white with red spots. Hugo Bat and his family are from India. They prefer to be called “flying foxes.” His specialty is languages since there are officially about 30 spoken in his country. Marcia Alpaca was born in Patacancha Valley, in Peru. She’s an expert at textiles and weaving, and delights in weaving her own blankets. She also wove her friend, Juanita’s blanket, calling it her finest specimen. Audrey the Gazelle, lithe and graceful, is a comic artist, writer, and illustrator. Hans the grizzly bear moved to the beach near Tofino Bay, in Canada. He catches his own fish for his favorite dinner. Marcos Coati, from Missiones, Argentina, is a ranger in the Iguazú National Park. Marcos loves baby hugs which makes him an ideal present for a baby shower. Bonny Puffin is best friends with Murray Sea Otter. They have sailing adventures to Greenland and the Caribbean. Me with my little friends in Aggie’s room. On the wall to my right is the hanger I crocheted to house them.