Since it is now the holy-day season, my second review pertains to Christmas—specifically a doll.
Indulge me in some context…
I had to wait fifty-seven years to receive my first doll. Oh, sure, as a father of four daughters, I frequented (with extended pinkie) many a doll’s tea party through the years, but, alas, no doll in attendance at these delightful occasions was ever mine to behold.
Mini-me-lad growing up in West Auckland, New Zealand, did have a one-eyed teddy bear named Ted (great thought was put into the naming), but no doll ever shared my childhood escapades.
And then for my birthday: hello, dolly!
Upon opening my gift from my wife and girls, I was at first shocked. A doll? Wait?…what?…whoa? They have all been blessed with a sense of humour, but their body language, facial expressions, and tone did not telegraph that the crocheted doll I now held in my hands was some sort of bizarre joke, or prank.
She was the real deal. She is the real deal. She is amigurumi Christmas Yve.
As a writer, I am continuously fascinated by adaptations of an author’s original text. One of the most famous examples is J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter fantasy series. It has been made into a play, video games, films, and a theme park! So this review is more a celebration of how a title character from a book can be reimagined in crochet.
Amigurumi is the Japanese art of crocheting small, stuffed creatures, although artists all over the world now practise it. The word is a compound of two words—“ami” meaning “crocheted” and “kurumi” meaning “wrapping.”
One such creator is Brazilian grandfather João Stanganelli Junior. What started out as a retirement activity is now a thriving international business. My wife and daughters contacted him to make an amigurumi version of Christmas Yve.
Stanganelli has vitiligo (a disorder in which the skin loses its pigment cells in patches), and many of his dolls also reflect this condition. A personal philosophy of inclusiveness—especially for children—has manifested in other amigurumi creations that display many of the conditions that his customers experience: some dolls are in wheelchairs, or have alopecia, or use hearing aids, et cetera.
Since writing Christmas Yve: A Kiwi Elf’s Dream to Join Santa, I did adapt it to a Christmas play that our church teen group presented in 2015, but I never, ever imagined Yve as a crocheted doll.
Obrigado, João Stanganelli!
If you are interested in acquiring one of Stanganelli’s amigurumi dolls, check out the Facebook page: