Sunday, October 29, 2023


I was blindsided. I was innocently minding my own business at a book promotion event, when I looked at the table next to me. The vendor was selling writing software. To gather attention and contacts, he was raffling off some amigurumi otters, the otter being the mascot for his company Plottr.

If you’re wondering, amigurumi is the Japanese art of crocheting small, stuffed dolls and animals. I wasn’t the only person intrigued by those adorable crocheted critters. They attracted a steady stream of admirers. Neither was I the only one to try to buy one. But the only way to acquire an otter was through entering a raffle or purchasing the software.

Some examples of amigurumi. You can see the appeal!

The wheels in my brain were spinning. I’m not above steal borrowing a smart marketing idea. The characters in my two children’s books would lend themselves perfectly to this craft. The only thing I had to figure out was how to acquire some amigurumi bearded dragons and frogs.

Excellent candidates for amigurumi, right?

This proved to be more difficult than I’d imagined. Purchasing them was possible (yes, there were even amigurumi bearded dragons), but out of my price range at approximately $30 a pop. After much deliberation, I decided I’d try to make them myself. Way back in the seventies, I’d had some experience with granny squares. How much harder could frogs and lizards be? At the advice of a crocheting friend, I scoured YouTube for instructions. 

 As it turns out, amigurumi is much tougher than crocheting granny squares. Just mastering the “magic circle”—the starting point for all amigurumi—is challenging. But many frustrating hours and failed attempts later, I got the hang of it. With a few bearded dragon and frog heads under my belt, I moved on to other creatures. 

Having mastered frog and lizard heads,
 I was ready to move on!

There are so many options, and they are so cute! So far, I’ve created Halloween ghosts and rats and spiders. Thanksgiving pumpkins came next. I’ll soon be moving on to Christmas stars and snowflakes and Santa hats.
From Halloween goblins to ...

Thanksgiving pumpkins

What's next? Santa Ron?

No one warned me this was going to be habit forming. I’m becoming like those gardeners who chase down neighbors, friends, and people who have the misfortune of crossing their paths to give them zucchini. People see me coming with my crocheted offerings and refuse to answer their doorbells. You’ve probably seen those Facebook memes of crocheted car seat covers and crocheted men’s suits. I used to laugh at those; now I realize they are signs of a sickness. 

I no longer laugh at Facebook posts like these.

Dust is gathering on every flat surface in my house; dishes are piling up in the sink; laundry baskets are spilling over. But the crochet hook is flying. In fact, the other day I could swear I smelled smoke. Does anyone know where I can purchase fireproof yarn?

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