My Hello Kitty cupcakes

23 Jul

I celebrated my 31st birthday last week!

My lovely colleagues, who have become a bunch of great friends, bought me these supercute Hello Kitty cupcakes.

It was too dark for a good photo but sweet baker @tinylikeme on Instagram took one right before delivery!

Aren’t they too fantabulous for words?

hello kitty cupcakes birthday

Photo courtesy of the super-talented @tinylikeme on Instagram.

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Hello Kitty Crochet in The Star newspaper

7 Jul

Ohayou! It’s 72 days till the release of Hello Kitty Crochet. Have you pre-ordered yours yet?

On another note, the Sanrio bunch and I were in the news recently! We appeared in Page 6 of The Star Newspaper, Malaysia’s leading English daily.

My craft room was in a mess but that did not stop the photographer from taking some lovely shots for the story.

To read all about it, go HERE.

Yay!

amigurumei hello kitty crochet in the news

amigurumei hello kitty crochet in the news

amiguruMEI’s Butterfly Girl in Simply Crochet Issue 19

26 Jun

amigurumei butterfly girl in Simply Crochet

We’re in Simply Crochet Issue 19!

Several months ago, I was asked to design a sweet butterfly girl for the magazine and boy, was I excited to start!

The pattern took several weeks to perfect — I had originally made the wings in black and blue (pretty like the Blue Morpho butterfly) but had to change them to lighter colours so that they would stand out a little more.

Cho-Cho (蝶 or Chō is butterfly in Japanese) can be seen on the cover and also on the mag’s web. I was delighted to find it hovering here at this page!

amigurumei butterfly girl amigurumi in Simply Crochet

Here’s a closer look at Cho-Cho, the tiniest queen of the garden:

amigurumei butterfly girl in Simply Crochet

amigurumei butterfly girl amigurumi in Simply Crochet

amigurumei butterfly girl amigurumi in Simply Crochet

Here’s what Cho-Cho looked like from before. What do you think?

amigurumei butterly girl

P/S Grab a copy of Simply Crochet Issue 19 to make your own Cho-Cho! :)

Free amigurumi pattern: Princess P

8 Jun

pig piglet crochet kawaii

Sweet and well-mannered, Princess P (P for Peanut) loves all things sweet and yummy.

Unfortunately, mommy has just put her on a month-long diet.

How nice it would be if she could just have a lick of ice cream…or two…

Shared in collaboration with Craft Passion, you can find the FREE AMIGURUMI PATTERN HERE.

pig piglet crochet kawaii

I promise I won’t eat the whole cone…

pig piglet crochet kawaii

After just an hour (of dieting), I feel lighter already!

Happy Sunday! :)

The big reveal: my first book!

2 Jun

Last year, I took two and a half months off work to focus on a special project. I’ve kept mum all this while but now it’s finally time to spill the beans: I’ve been working on my first book and it’ll finally be out in September!

Yes, it’s an amigurumi book alright…but it’s also an official Hello Kitty amigurumi book!

It’s called Hello Kitty Crochet and here’s a sneak peek of the cover:

Hello Kitty Crochet

It’s been an honour being chosen to work on this supercute project and just in time for our favourite feline, Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary too!

When Quirk Books first e-mailed me about the project early last year, I practically woke everyone up in the neighbourhood because I was jumping up and down and making whooping noises at 12 midnight (there’s a 12-hour time difference between Malaysia and Philadelphia, where Quirk Books is based). I’ve always had a soft spot for Hello Kitty growing up so I said yes almost right away and the journey has been a dream come true!

Some of you may have already noticed the title at Amazon — thank you so much for sending me e-mails and messages to check if the Mei Li Lee listed as the author of the book is really me (yes, it is!).

Now I’m sure you’d want to hear more about the book; you can read more at this page here (written by the wonderful team over at Quirk Books), but what I can tell you is this: there are 25 Sanrio characters for you to fawn over and most of them even come with their very own crochet accessories! If your childhood was peppered by Hello Kitty and Sanrio merchandise (like mine was), you’d be delighted to have a copy of this book, whether you’re an amigurumi beginner or just plain in love with crafts.

Save the date: September 16 2014 is when Hello Kitty Crochet will be officially made available to the public.

Before then, you can make pre-orders here:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

In Canada

In the UK

Working with Quirk Books and Sanrio has been amazing and super-fun, I really can’t wait for the book to be out — Hello Kitty is a wonderful character to crochet, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges (getting the facial features just right, or the unique shape of the head) and my book, Hello Kitty Crochet, hopes to address all these tiny grievances for the first time ever, and in the English language.

I still can’t get over how I got the chance to collaborate with Sanrio on designing Hello Kitty and her friends’ amigurumi patterns. It was difficult playing favourites but I must say that I’ve fallen in love (all over again) with each and every one of the kawaii characters that I’ve had the pleasure of spending the past year with in my craft room. Can you guess which character patterns made it into the book? (hint: picture below)

Hello Kitty Crochet by Mei Li Lee of amiguruMEI

I’ll be sharing more fun stuff in the next few months so don’t forget to check back in to hear more about Hello Kitty Crochet!

P/S I’m now an official Hello Kitty addict so if you don’t hear from me very often, you know I’m off on one of my tirades making more of them cute faces…

Hello Kitty Crochet behind the scenes

 

amiguruMEI patterns in Hand Made Toys bookazine

7 May

I have good news everyone!

Three of amiguruMEI’s patterns can now be found in Hand Made Toys! (The cover below should give you a hint as to which ones!)

Hand Made Toys by Future Publishing

Hand Made Toys is a special publication brought to you by the brilliant team behind Future publishing, the publishers of craft wonders Mollie Makes and Simply Crochet magazine. It’s packed with 40 super-cute toy designs that you can crochet, knit or sew together on your own.

The bookazine will be going on sale Thursday, May 8 (tomorrow!), and will be available worldwide by mail order from My Favourite Magazines. It will also be sold in WH Smith stores and leading newsagents in the UK, and in Barnes & Noble stores in the USA.

I’ve also been told that the Apple Newsstand will feature a digital version for the iPad — simply go HERE to download the free Simply Crochet container app, and the digital version of Hand Made Toys will be available there.

And now, for the big reveal: Hand Made Toys features not only our ever-popular Chiyo-chan and Tako-Yaki bear brothers patterns, but also the Little Red & Baby Wolf amigurumi pattern that everyone has been asking about! (The fairytale-ish pattern was earlier featured in a special booklet attached to Simply Crochet Issue 10, which has since been sold out.)

Here’s a glimpse of the amiguruMEI pattern pages in Hand Made Toys:

amigurumei's Little Red & Baby Wolf pattern in Hand Made Toys

amigurumei's Chiyo-chan pattaern in Hand Made Toys

amigurumei's Tako-Yaki bear brothers pattern in Hand Made Toys

I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Hand Made Toys for sure!

If you do want to know amiguruMEI a little more, go grab a copy because we have a special page dedicated to answering some personal questions about the whole business with amigurumi and how I first fell in love with the craft.

Check out the picture below for a sneak peek!

CYZ60.mei_li_lee2

We’re super excited about this and I hope you are too! Please grab yourself a copy (or two) of Hand Made Toys before it’s all sold out!

Little My saves the day (or Moomin, to be exact)

22 Apr
...

Help! Somebody!

...

*grunt*

...

What would I ever do without you, Little My?

Little My from The Moomins free amigurumi pattern

21 Apr

Free amigurumi pattern for Little My!

It’s finally here! AmiguruMEI is proud to present the Little My free amigurumi pattern!

If you don’t know already, I’ve always had an obsession with The Moomins and especially Little My, a cheeky character from the storybook characters created by the late Tove Jansson, a Swedish-speaking Finnish comic strip author.

The Moomins are a family of white, roundish hippopotamus-looking cuties who live in a quirky blue house with a red roof right in the heart of Moominvalley. The central character of the series (as told in books and animes) is a little boy named Moomintroll, who is ever the sweetheart. I’ve made two different Moomin amigurumis in the past, but none has quite captured the Moomintroll spirit yet (when I’ve mastered the Moomin pattern, I’ll definitely share it, of course!).

And so this brings me to Little My, who is known as a “small, determined and fiercely independent ‘Mymble’.” Being brash, aggressive and mischievous seems to be a natural trait for Mymbles, somehow. The strange obaachan-mitai girl starts out as a friend, but is later adopted by the Moomin family.

Can’t wait to make your own Little My? Look below for the instructions!

Little My from The Moomins Free Amigurumi Pattern

Abbreviations
• Ch: chain
• Sc: single crochet
• Dc: double crochet
• Inv dec: invisible decrease

Materials
• 2.3mm hook
• Similar-sized yarn in beige, light orange, red, black and pink
• Crochet thread in black
• 2 x 6mm green brads
• White felt
• Craft glue
• Darning needle
• Polyester fiberfill

Head
With beige yarn:
Round 1: Sc 6 in magic ring {6}.
Round 2: [Inc] around {12}.
Round 3: [Inc, sc 1] around {18}.
Round 4: [Inc, sc 2] around {24}.
Round 5: [Inc, sc 3] around {30}.
Round 6: [Inc, sc 4] around {36}.
Round 7: [Inc, sc 5] around {42}.
Round 8: [Inc, sc 6] around {48}.
Round 9-16 (8 rounds altogether): Sc around {48}.
Round 17: [Inv dec, sc 6] around {42}.
Round 18: [Inv dec, sc 5] around {36}.
Round 19: [Inv dec, sc 4] around {30}.
Round 20: [Inv dec, sc 3] around {24}.
Round 21: [Inv dec, sc 2] around {18}.
Stuff.
Round 22: [Inv dec, sc 1] around {12}.
Round 23: [Inv dec] around {6}.
Fasten off and weave in ends.

Body
With black yarn (I used a sparklyキラキラ yarn from Daiso):
Round 1: Sc 6 in magic ring {6}.
Round 2: [Inc] around {12}.
Round 3-12 (10 rounds altogether): Sc around {12}.
Fasten off and weave in ends.

Dress
Turn the body that you just made upside down.
With red yarn:
1) Make a slipknot on your hook. Leave a long yarn end at this end for sewing the body + dress onto the head later.
2) Now, you’re going to surface crochet on the body – do this by inserting the hook into one stitch and bringing it out in the next, from right to left. Yarn over and bring the hook back to the first stitch. Yarn over again and bring the yarn through the loops to complete the stitch. Don’t worry!
It’s quite simple really; you’re basically single crocheting in the same way but on another piece of amigurumi 
Round 1: Sc in each st to end of the body, in the body’s first round {12}.
Round 2: Ss to the first st (counts as first stitch). Continue sc around {12}.
Round 3: Sc around {12}.
Round 4: [Inc, sc 1] around {18}.
Round 5: [Inc, sc 2] around {24}.
Round 6-12 (7 rounds altogether): Sc around {24}.
Clean fasten off and weave in ends (or if you’ve forgotten to leave a long yarn end at the beginning, you can always do that here and weave the ends through to the top and use it for attaching the dress onto the head).
Fold dress down to cover the body (if you haven’t already).
Stuff body.

Ears
Make 2 with beige yarn:
Round 1: Sc 5 in magic ring {5}.
Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing.
Give the piece a slight nudge to turn it knob-like.

Cheeks
Make 2 with pink yarn:
Round 1: Sc 6 in magic ring {6}.
Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing.

Arms
Make 2. Start with black yarn:
Round 1: Sc 6 in magic ring {6}.
Round 2-3 (2 rounds altogether): Sc around {6}.
Change to red yarn.
Round 4-8 (5 rounds altogether): Sc around {6}.
Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing.

Legs
Make 2 with black yarn:
Round 1: Sc 7 in magic ring {7}.
Round 2-5 (4 rounds altogether): Sc around {7}.
Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing.
Stuff lightly.

Hair
This will be for the tail that juts out. With light orange yarn:
Round 1: Sc 5 in magic ring {5}.
Round 2: [Inc] around {10}.
Round 3-8 (6 rounds altogether): Sc around {10}.
Stuff.
Round 9: [Inv dec] around {5}.
Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing.

Bow
With pink yarn:
Row 1: Ch 18 {17}.
Row 2: Sc in second chain from hook to the end {17}.
Row 3: Ch 1, turn work. Sc to the end {17}.
Fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing.
Fold the edges to meet in the centre. Make a few small backstitches to secure the shape (using the starting end of the tail).
Weave the long tail through to the centre of the piece. Loop it through this middle for about five times. Thread it through to the back and leave the long tail for sewing later on.

Designing the face
1) Cut out two eye whites from white felt, following the shape of Little My’s infamous “judging” eyes. They should be slightly crescent-looking. Match this to the size of the green brads.
2) Glue the eyes whites along with the brads below Round 12 of Little My’s head.
3) With black crochet thread, sew on Little My’s nose, frown and lips. You only need backstitches for these. The base of Little My’s nose should fall below Round 14 of the head.

Creating the hair
1) Little My’s crowning glory is made up of a series of vertical backstitches, which stem from the top centre of the head and down to the front, side and the back of the head accordingly.
2) Start by cutting a manageable length of light orange yarn. Thread it through your darning needle. Bring the yarn in through to the head anywhere near the top. Have it exit at a spot below Round 9 of the head. Then bring the yarn back up to the top near the centre. Continue in this manner till you’ve covered the front part of the head.
3) For the side part of the head, you may want to sew on Little My’s ears to gauge how you can create a lifelike hairstyle – which simply means making the hair slightly longer here. I gradually increased the length of the hair in a diagonal manner, and had the length stopped when I reached the stitches below Round 13 of the head. Repeat the same for the other side of the head.
4) The hair at the back part of the head would look just fine if it ends right below Round 13. You can also make the hair longer, if desired. Do note that if you’re crocheting in a spiral, the stitches won’t always match when you go around in a circle. To ensure that the back of your hair does not suddenly look like it’s descending/ascending in any manner, just make sure that you match the other length of the sideburns to the length of the hair at the back. But it’s really no biggie :) 

Little My from The Moomins. Free amigurumi pattern!

Little My from The Moomins. Free amigurumi pattern!

Little My from The Moomins. Free amigurumi pattern!

Little My from The Moomins. Free amigurumi pattern!

A peek at Little My while she’s napping…

Little My from The Moomins. Free amigurumi pattern!

Assembly
1. Sew the body/dress onto the head.
2. Sew on the ears if you haven’t already.
3. Sew on the bow.
4. Sew on the arms and legs.
5. Sew on the additional hair piece at the top of the head, making sure that it covers any bald spots that may still be lurking about there.
6. Sew on the cheeks. I liked mine a little pinker and a different colour from the bow, so I dabbed on some pink blush with a Q-tip :) 

As this is an original amiguruMEI pattern, kindly do not claim it as your own. You may place a link to this pattern from your site, but please do not repost it onto your page. Remember to share a picture of your own kawaii versions of Little My with us once you’re done :)

Little My from The Moomins. Free amigurumi pattern!

Whatcha looking at?

 

New Easter bunny amigurumi pattern: Ichigo-chan!

20 Mar

crochet pink rabbit amigurumei

Easter is just weeks away and we’re back with a brand new pattern for all you bunny lovers out there! :)
Please meet Ichigo-chan, an excitable little bunny who absolutely loves getting her pictures taken!
Her favourite treat is candy sours and she is known to charm the hearts off any honey-bunny she meets.
crochet pink rabbit amigurumei

I wonder if this tastes sour too?

crochet pink rabbit amigurumei

All set for the egg-hunt!

Sweet lil’ Ichigo-chan was designed in exclusive collaboration with Craft Passion.

Get the FREE amigurumi pattern here!

Rory’s fantabulous magic trick

4 Mar

 

amigurumei crochet

Behold my most famous magical attempt! I call it the quick-as-lightning invisible Rory trick!

amigurumei crochet

amigurumei crochet

Rory…I can still see you.

amigurumei crochet

Ah hah! I was so quick that you didn’t even notice that I was invisible! And now I’m back!

 

amigurumei crochet

Right…

 

 

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