How it all began…

About a year and a half ago, I had too much free time on my hands. In a way, just drinking tea, reading a good book or watching my favorite shows on tv just wasn’t good enough for me anymore. I decided I needed to do something productive with my life. So I set out on the great quest to find myself a genuine, real life hobby.

Now, I never thought of myself as very talented. I couldn’t draw very well, got bored quickly with making music and I certainly couldn’t see myself writing a book (even though I have sure read my fair share of them). Basically, what I needed was something to pass the time where I didn’t have to think too much, or be very creative myself.
There was one thing I loved and that’s going to anime conventions. And on one of those, I found the inspiration I needed.

Among the many stands with manga, dvds and figurines, there were a couple of ‘arts and crafts’ groups. The one that caught my eye was that of a small handcraft group called ‘Tegendraads’. They sell their own amigurumi, tote bags, felt plushies and pretty much everything you can think of that can be hand-made. Especially the amigurumis: small, crocheted dolls, got my attention. Of course, I am no stranger to the great and all-knowing medium that is The Internet, so I had seen some pictures of those cute little guys float by in my days online. And that’s when I thought: “Hey, here’s something I can do! (I hope)”

So when I got back home after a wonderful weekend, I set out to find a pattern book. That sure wasn’t too hard to find, since the fine art of amigurumi making had just blown all the way from Japan to the Netherlands. As I soon found out, crocheting dolls and toys wasn’t all that new in the craft-world and plenty of books could be found. So I picked one up cheap at an outlet bookstore, just in case it turned out that I sucked at it.
My mother had crocheted quite a bit in her younger days and she let me have all of her hooks. I picked up some wool and stuffing from the craft store and settled in at home to start with my new way of life.

That’s when, much to my horror, I realised I am a lefty. And it just so happens that all the stitches are explained in a right-handed way. I quickly saw my dream of becoming a crochet-goddess falling to pieces. Everyone in my family is right-handed, they even had to ask a friend of the family to help me out with learning to tie my shoelaces.
But I had despaired too soon. That evening we went to eat with my family-in-law and I decided to take my equipment with me to try and practise for a bit. As it turned out, my mother-in-law could crochet as well. She showed me how to do the stitches, we tried together and low and behold: I actually learned to crochet right-handed!

My first few projects were a bit messy and clearly showed I was a beginner, but pretty soon I got the hang of it and learned more about how to do certain stitches and what looked good and what didn’t.
The finished products make great baby-gifts and more and more of my friends started to make requests. As I started to want to make more, it turned out that just the pattern books weren’t going to cut it. So I ventured out to the most trustworthy of media in order to find more and, most importantly, free or cheap patterns. The internet is a great friend to have! Most patterns I found were in English, which made it hard for me at first. But luckily, pretty much anything can be found online. So a translation scheme was googled and onwards I went, deeper into the glorious and cute world of amigurumi.
But suddenly, there I was, asked to make something there was no pattern to, or at least, not one that met my needs. So I went one step further and decided to try and make a pattern of my own. After quite a bit of fidgeting, trying and taking things apart, I succeeded. I had never expected I would be able of such a thing and I guess I was pretty much the only one who hadn’t thought I would be able to do it.

So nowadays, I make a mixture of my own patterns and those that others kindly share with the world, either be it in a book or online.
And then, one gloomy fall-afternoon, I decided it was time to go ahead an share my work with the world, as so many others have done before me.

Which brings us here. Basically, to make an awefully long story short: I hope to give back a little to the crochet-community and the world, for letting me in on this amazing secret and passtime. And I hope you will all enjoy my work as much as I enjoy yours!

Cheers, Lydia

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