Last Friday night I was struck with the desire to finally make something from one of my Japanese pattern books my sister sent me for Christmas. She had a few favorites from the book and these worms were at the top of the list, so I thought they would be a great place to start.
I actually tried to find this book on Ravelry with no luck. I've found a seller on Etsy who sells it though (check it out here). The book is almost entirely in Japanese (only random English words like "how to" and "artist" are there), but the crochet instructions are diagrams which are a kind of international crochet language, so once you know the symbols you can make up these cute animals :) Reading the pattern did take some getting used to, but the nice thing is that the book begins like most English craft books and shows detailed photos of how to do each stitch. So even if you couldn't find a key to the symbols online, you could still look at the beginning of the book and decipher what stitch it is (I had to do that with HDC for the hat).
You are left on your own for the sizes of eyes you need and the felt accessories (unless you can read kanji). Luckily with the shape of the head on these guys, I was able to make the head pieces and then add the eyes after. I just held up a few different sizes and went with 9mm. I think they were pretty close to the ones used in the example from the book. Here is the inspiration photo:
Pretty cute, huh? I did add a great deal of accessories to these that I normally wouldn't do - all in an effort to look like the originals. First off, I added pipe cleaners into the body pieces to help the bodies want to curl - next time I think I will use something stronger like garden wire since the puny little pipe cleaners can't quite coax all that fiber fill into a good curl like the worms in the book. I embroidered the mouths, and added felt pieces for the bow-tie and the red band on the hat. I even gave Mrs. Wormsley a pearl necklace, lol. The hat is stuffed with poly-fill to help it stay round and stand up.
They are even cute from the back :) My nephew really likes holding these and he smiles when I hand them over. He treats the bodies like handles, lol.
In light of being my first ever amigurumi with a pearl necklace, I just had to name this little lady June - in homage of June Cleaver.
And of course June would not be complete without Ward :) Isn't he dapper? I just love the little bow-tie. It was such a simple addition, but it really did make all the difference in how cute he ended up.
I'm really excited about the new possibilities of using Japanese patterns! After all, they are basically the home base of everything super cute - they did come up with amigurumi after all :) I can't wait to make more from my book! The world is now, literally, my oyster!Tami's Amis' Blog.