Friday, 31 May 2013

Amigurumi, Anyone?

I’m thrilled to introduce Sara Scales, author of Mini Amigurumi, a collection of cute crocheted critters! She’s also an accomplished miniaturist and crafter. Read on to hear more about her work – and enter my competition to WIN a copy of Mini Amigurumi! {info on the competition can be found at the end of this post}

Mini Amigurumi by Sara Scales

Can you tell us about yourself and how MiniDreamz began?

MiniDreamz as a name has only existed for about 2 years. I decided I wanted to make my crafting and miniatures my life. I realised I was not cut out for working 9 - 5 and started to struggle with depression. I am now 46 years old, very happy, a mum of 2 - Charlotte (20) and Thomas (15) - and have been married to my husband, Shaun, for 21 years. We also have many pets: a dog, three cats and three rabbits.

I have a busy life, I run a craft/dolls house shop with my friend Julie, who is a paper crafter and jewellery maker. We also run many classes and workshops there between us. I also contribute miniature projects on a monthly basis for Dolls House Magazine. These projects are mainly miniature cross stitch (my other favourite craft) plus crochet.

mini amigurumi panda

What made you decide to work in miniature scale?

I think it is in my blood. From when I was tiny myself, my mum has recollections of everything I drew or made being small. Because I come from a long line of crafters the tools for me to create have always been there, so if I found a scrap of fabric I would start to make little things.

funny bunny amigurumi

How long have you been practicing the art of crochet, and what attracted you to Amigurumi?

I only started to crochet about 6 years ago and it was Amigurumi that attracted me to it - I mean, what is there not to love about it? It’s just sooo cute! I had to teach myself as this is the one craft my mum could not seem to get me to achieve when I was younger, although she is very accomplished herself. I feel now that this is because of the rigidity of old school methods on holding of yarn and hook, I hold mine very different to her.

When teaching a class this is something I try not to make an issue out of and I allow people to find their own individual way of working. Since I started I don’t think there is a day goes by when the crochet hook is not in my hand. And of course as soon as I had built up a bit of skill the obvious progression for me was to miniaturise it, as I by now already had a dolls house and had been creating other miniatures in different mediums.

cheeky crochet chicks

Who or what inspires your work?

What inspires me? Everything and everyone, I am one of life’s observers and I have quite a vivid imagination. It could be a flower, an animal, a person or a place. I love to be given a challenge and it’s great when people randomly ask if I can make something unusual. My answer is usually, “Why not, I’ll give it a go" - thankfully it usually works.

Do you have a favourite project from your book?

My favourite project has to be the kittens, although this is one of the simplest designs, it has a sentiment for me. The three cats symbolise my 3 cats, Jack (the black one), Poppy (the multicoloured one) and Thai (grey). As I said previously, we now only have two cats as we sadly lost Thai to cancer last year aged ten, I still miss her so much.

three little kittens

Finally, what advice would you give to someone who is considering writing their own craft book?

Hard one this, perseverance, just keep trying, this book was not my first suggestion to the publishers. I basically researched the publishers to find out their requirements and then went straight to emailing them with fingers crossed. I think sometimes it is luck of the draw as they have so many submissions, so don’t be hard on yourself if you get a rejection it is not always that your work is not up to standard, perhaps I wore them down! No seriously, they were great even before I was accepted, giving advice and explaining the process. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process of making the book but it is hard work. I don’t know if I will get another book accepted but I will live in hope that I come up with an idea they may like.

Crochet Kokeshi Dolls

Check out Sara's blog or you can follow her on facebook. You'll also find Mini Amigurumi, published by GMC Publications (The Guild of Master Craftsmen) on Amazon.

For your chance to win a copy of Mini Amigurumi, just leave a comment on this post with your contact details. Competition closes on the 15th of June at 12 noon (GMT). EDIT: Competition has been exented until midnight (GMT) on Sunday 30th of June!  A winner will be chosen at random from the entries submitted.

P.S. This giveaway is open to all - I am happy to post the book internationally!


CarryYarnCaro said...

Hi Cat, I've just found this blog via a Twitter post, and it's great, especially the resouces you list in the DIY section. It's always great to connect with another UK crocheter, look forward to talking to you. Caroline.

Unknown said...

Hi there! I agree with Caroline, it's so great to meet another UK crocheter and blogger! They seem so far and few between.


Cat McLaughlin said...

Thanks for your comments ladies - I hate to disappoint, but I wouldn't want to mislead anyone...I can't really crochet much more than a simple chain! I hope you enjoy reading my blog all the same ;)

Gracey is not my name.... said...

Is this international? Because I'd love to make some minis..I actually make quite a few amis...but not many can reach me through my google profile or I am TammyG on Ravelry..

Cat McLaughlin said...

Hi Gracey/TammyG, yes! I am happy to accept entries from outside the UK. (I've updated the post too to clarify this)