I’m thrilled that Liz has asked me to guest post for her, so I thought I would share with you the last custom piece that I made. It was a request to be made as a gift for a religious education teacher for her to use with her class – an amigurumi Jesus. I felt this was quite challenging, as amigurumi by nature is meant to be cute and a little bit kooky, so how to combine being respectful to someone’s beliefs while getting that cute balance was something I thought quite hard about.
As usual, when I get a bit stuck or start to have a bit of doubt in my abilities, I think back to Liz’s encouraging words when she first taught me to crochet – ‘just go with the flow, trust your instincts’. I have to say, this advice has always stood me in good stead; the times when I do end up having to pull out some of the stitches in my work, or drop-kick a particularly frustrating piece of work across the room is when I haven’t paid attention to the little nagging voice in my head telling me to try something different or start over.
So, with Jesus, I just thought it best to make a start with something I felt confident about, and work my way on from there. I used as a starting point the humanoid pattern from Elisabeth A. Dohety’s book ‘Amigurumi!’ I do like this book, I’m not sure it’s ideal if you are just starting out on your crocheting adventures, but it’s great for those who have a bit more experience and want to boost their confidence. I didn’t follow the pattern exactly, as like I say I followed the Amigurumi Barmy advice of going my own way, but was really pleased with the result for the bodyshape.
The more challenging part for me was making Jesus’ robe and sandals. Because I had made his body to my own design, there was no reassuring pattern to follow to make his clothes. So, after a couple of experiments and more than one false start, I made a loincloth by simply crocheting an oblong of rows of single crochet, and then a waistband of single crochet chains. For his robe, I took a few measurements, and then basically just crocheted a foundation chain for the diameter of the hem, joined it with a slipstitch to form a circle and double crocheted in the round, decreasing slightly towards the waist, until I had a tunic shape. I crocheted the arms separately and sewed them on, and it turned out fine.
Now I know that all this sounds a bit confusing, and it would be lovely to be able to show you a complete pattern and say ‘this is exactly what I did’, but the whole point is that sometimes it’s ok to just go for it and enjoy creating something that you’re making up as you go along. I LOVE following patterns, I really enjoy the process, but there was something really satisfying about having the confidence to make it up and it turning out fine! I think my enthusiasm showed when I embroidered his face because he looked so happy and friendly. The only ‘oh-oh’ moment I had was that I gave him too much hair in the first instance and he had the fullest bouffant hair imaginable, but that was easy to sort out.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy seeing my first foray into making something all my very own. Thank you to Liz for letting me witter on!