Today I’m sharing a classic amigurumi piece, the simple but expressive cat named #Amineko. He (or she) comes from a book published in Japan in 2005 by the author Nekoyama called “A Day in the Life of Amineko,” and in English as “Hello My Name is Amineko” in 2010.
The pattern for the original Animeko is part of both books, but it’s also available for free at http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~mite/diagram/crochetedCat.html. I like the fact that Nekoyama has effectively given the pattern to the world for free, and also insists that no one should sell the pattern or toys that are made from it. An Amineko is meant to be truly a gift, from the pattern’s designer and from anyone who makes one.
Amineko is known for her enigmatic expression—is it sleepy? Pensive? Wistful? Lots of makers photograph their Aminekos in various places and poses that let you interpret her thoughts as you wish. This simple face, made with just a few stitches, is a masterful example of creating maximum expression with minimal materials. It also lets you immediately identify a toy as an Amineko, and not just “any” crocheted cat, even though the shaping and details are quite simple.
This is my first Amineko, and technically she’s a miniature version, made from a (free) pattern adaptation available at http://laganchilleria.blogspot.com/2013/05/mini-aminekos-con-patron.html?m=1. Note that this adaptation is in Spanish, but if you’re familiar with making amigurumi you can decipher it pretty easily. Mine is made from a tripled strand of Tamm 3-ply acrylic yarn, which is fingering weight but works like a heavy-ish worsted when tripled. (See how to turn one ball of yarn into three strands as demonstrated by @knitpicks at https://www.knitpicks.com/learning-center/triple-stranding.) I’m going to be working on micro-Aminekos soon, so watch for this one’s tiny cousins.