Tuesday 4 March 2014

Handmade Geek: Hobbes the Tiger Amigurumi

Crocheting a New Best Friend – My First Foray into Amigurumi 

I was 9 years old when I first picked up a crochet hook. I decided that Marie Magdalene, my Cabbage Patch Kid (yes, that was her real name), desperately needed a blanket. I can’t remember whose idea it was, but before I knew it, my mom had taught me how to crochet one giant granny square made of scrap yarn. 

My crocheting skills have come in handy through the years – my friends always knew what to expect when they moved into their first house or had their first child. About two years ago, though, I reached an age where all my friends had settled into their homes and started their families, and my house was saturated with blankets. What were my itchy fingers to do while watching Game of Thrones?

While searching for something new to make, I stumbled across a pattern for a hat in the shape of a minion from Despicable Me (my son’s favourite movie). I had never crocheted anything other than a blanket, but I ordered the pattern and was surprised at just how easy it was. With that one simple pattern, my eyes were suddenly open to all the fun, cool and geeky crochet opportunities out there!

Late last year, I was asked to crochet my first amigurumi. Amigurumi is a Japanese term used to describe crocheting stuffed animals, people and other creatures. MJ had found a pattern for her favourite comic strip character, Hobbes. I will admit I was nervous taking on the project. Blankets and hats are one thing, but stuffed animals seemed out of my league.
MJ with her new best friend.
With a bit of apprehension, I applied my almost 30 years (!?) of crocheting and gave it a go. I started crocheting Hobbes in September and finished in January. While the stitches were mostly basic, he was by far the most complex thing I’ve ever made. The hardest adjustment was the amount of attention it took! I was used to monotonous patterns (perfect for crocheting while watching TV), but amigurumi patterns change quite frequently. He took a lot of concentration and patience, but the satisfaction once he was stuffed and sewed together surpassed anything I’ve made before. And the look on MJ’s face upon receiving her new best friend was completely worth it.

I’ve learned this past year that there is a world of crochet patterns for every geeky pursuit, from Star Wars to My Little Pony. I would recommend beginner crocheters start with basic blankets or hats (like my minion one). Given their complexity, amigurumi should probably be left to intermediate to advanced crocheters with lots of patience. Many crochet patterns are surprisingly cheap and easy to fine with simple online searches.

I’m always happy to discuss crocheting, so if you have any questions on the hobby itself, please ask below.

If you’re interested in making your own Hobbes, the pattern I used can be found online for free at: http://sukigirl74.blogspot.ca/2011/03/free-hobbes-crochet-pattern.html.

Happy hooking!

Sandi is a 30-something environmental engineer and mother of two from the metropolis of Stittsville, Ontario. Writing for Capital Geek Girls is a new adventure for her, with previous writing experience limited to technical documents, briefing notes and Facebook updates. In her spare time, Sandi enjoys playing board games and video games, reading books, watching movies, and crocheting. She looks forward to sharing her geeky endeavours with you, as well as reporting on the next generation’s response to those endeavours.


  1. Thanks for this post about crochet and amigurumi! I've only been crocheting for about 14 months, and am always intimidated when I see amigurumi patterns. One way I'd like to make some of my projects more geeky is by choosing colours that match particular characters or franchises, but I always seem to second-guess myself or be missing just one colour that I would need. Do you have any suggestions for yarn choices that would add a subtle touch of geek to crochet or knitting projects?

  2. Hi Katherine,
    I haven't come across too many patterns so far in which I was looking for a particular shade of colour. In the two instances where a particular shade was important, I have had success at a store that specializes in yarn (in my case, Yarn Forward in Kanata, but I've also heard of a store called Wool-Tyme on Colonnade Road). While a bit more expensive, they tend to have more selection.

    Of course, there are lots of online stores to buy yarn - Craftsy, Ravelry and Mary Maxim come to mind. However, ifI'm looking for a particular colour, I personally prefer to see it in person before I buy it.

    With all that said, I've found with the projects I've done thus far, the colours haven't had to be spot-on. Used in certain combinations, or with a particular pattern, if someone can figure out the connection, their eyes will automatically adjust the colour.

    I may have more experience to share when I take on the next project I'm hoping to do, in which I'll be looking for a particular shade: http://www.stitchingupastormcrochet.blogspot.ca/2012/01/star-wars-twilek-hat-pattern.html



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