Thursday, 10 January 2013

Fashioning The Fab Four (Part 1)

Do you like amigurumi? I have made many amigurumi and other little toys. I like them because they are quick, easy and cheerful. In 2012, these mirthful 'mop tops' captivated my crochet hooks and sparked my spirits but they were unlike any amigurumi I had ever done before.

A crochet adventure indeed, in every sense of the word, the Fab Four Amigurumi project proved to be (like its namesakes) quite an extraordinary project for me. After many requests, it is time to share the adventure with you.

PART 1—Background Information

My daughter is a musician, involved with numerous ensembles. Her school has a specialist music program which means her extra music tuition is integrated into the school curriculum and timetable (very convenient and what a privilege). During the year, there are many concerts, often involving opportunities to travel outside our district. Naturally, this costs money!

The parents of the music students run various activities to fundraise. Every little bit helps to subsidise student expenses. Frustratingly, my illness prevents me from a lot of involvement–evening meetings are impossible due to fatigue, weekend markets begin too early for me (it takes time for the medications to work so that I can move in the morning), extended outings and physical activities exhaust me and mixed connective tissue disease* is so unpredictable I cannot commit to undertaking important support tasks (I will not make promises I cannot keep.)

For some time I had been wondering, "How can I contribute without upsetting the fragile balance of my health?" Conclusion: crochet! It is the only reliable activity I can do on most days. It is a therapy as well as a technical skill. I can wait until I have made a project and then do something with it, instead of making promises in advance to meet a deadline. (Deadlines, even good ones, place stress on the system and my body can do without that pressure.)
The hunt for a suitable project was on...

I wanted the item to be related to the music program somehow. When I saw a "Music Issue" of Crochet Today! Magazine (Jan/Feb 2012)*, I grabbed it for inspiration. As I turned the page to reveal Monica Rodriguez Fuerte's "Fab Four Amigurumi" the decision was instantly made.
The "Fab Four" were relevant because (apart from the obvious):
  • Students from the school had been featured in a newspaper article about The Beatles, "Are The Beatles relevant to youth of today?"
  • Study of The Beatles in music context is part of the curriculum
  • 2012 was the 50th Anniversary year of The Beatles' first single release in 1962 (was it "Please Please Me" or "Love Me Do"?)
  • They are amigurumi, so very cute, bound to be highly sought after by music lovers and particularly Beatles fans
  • Amigurumi are small and should be quick and easy to finish in plenty of time for the student's interstate trip in June.
"Hooray! Now I have a project...but it is someone else's design. What are my legal responsibilities?" I will investigate in the next instalment of "Fashioning the Fab Four".

What is your experience with amigurumi?  What advice would you give for someone starting an amigurumi for the first time? Which amigurumi patterns would you recommend and why?


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