Crocheting with Scraps
Have you ever wondered what to do with your leftover yarn? You don’t have enough to finish another row and you don’t see yourself using that yarn in another project? In quilting you can take all your scraps and sew them into a patchwork quilt and I guess you could do the same with yarn. Personally though I don’t think a “patchwork” scarf would be as cute. That left me with a small ball of yarn and nothing to do with it until I discovered the art of amigurumi
Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. Amigurumi are typically cute animals (such as bears, rabbits, cats, dogs, etc.), but can include inanimate objects endowed with anthropomorphic features. On Flickr or Etsy you can see all sorts of crocheted food and even a crocheted microscope. Amigurumi can be either knitted or crocheted but crocheting seems more prevalent recently. The simplest designs are worked in spirals which are pretty easy once you master the art of the magic round. They are also worked with a smaller size hook in proportion to the weight of the yarn in order to create a very tight-looking fabric without any gaps through which the stuffing might escape. The end result can be simple or incredibly elaborate but they are all cute. If you are looking to use up scraps then something small like the cupcakes above would be a safe bet but if you are looking for a christmas gift you could crochet a cat or a doll complete with ensemble.
In order to even attempt to make these you need to learn how to crochet in the round. This was a rather daunting prospect to me since I know two simple crochet stitches. My first resource was CrochetMe.com that seemed popular with other novices. It has links with detailed instructions to master the magic adjustable ring or the amigurumi double ring which are the two methods are making a tight circle so that no stuffing can come out. The photos definitely help although I still needed to a video to help me out. It still took another hour of fussing and figuring it out but once you get it then it’s super easy.
You could go out and purchase a book full of patterns or purchase them individually on Etsy but I’m all about free and you can find quite a few links to free patterns here.