Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Amigurumi

Amigurumi

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Amigurumi (編み包み? lit. Knitted stuffed toy) 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. Amigurumi can be either knitted or crocheted. In recent years crocheted amigurumi are more popular and more commonly seen.

Amigurumi are usually crocheted or knitted out of yarn. The simplest designs are worked in spirals. In contrast to typical Western crochet the rounds are not usually joined. 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. Amigurumi are usually worked in sections and then joined, except for some amigurumi which have no limbs, only a head and torso which are worked as one piece. The extremities are sometimes stuffed with plastic pellets to give them a life-like weight, while the rest of the body is stuffed with fiber stuffing.

The pervading aesthetic of amigurumi is cuteness. To this end, typical amigurumi animals have an over-sized spherical head on a cylindrical body with undersized extremities.

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