PETALING JAYA: Hello Kitty and her kawaii (cute) friends are taking the amigurumi world by storm, with a little help from one very talented Malaysian fan.
“Hello Kitty Crochet” by award-winning blogger Lee Mei Li, 31, has 25 ultra-cute patterns for amigurumi (the Japanese art of crocheting dolls) lovers to create the popular Japanese characters from yarn.
To be launched on Sept 16, it is believed to be the world’s first official English Hello Kitty crochet book.
Her “dream come true” pattern book will bring other well-loved characters like My Melody, Bad-Badtz-Maru and Kerokerokeroppi to life.
To research the characters, Lee, who is a journalist with The Star and Star2’s Craftypedia columnist, even took Japanese classes.
“Getting Hello Kitty’s facial features and unique head right can be a challenge but I’ve got some good tips. Kerokerokeroppi was the toughest to perfect though,” Lee, whose favourite character is Hangyodon, said.
Early last year, she was picked by US-based Quirk Books and Sanrio, the owner and producer of the Hello Kitty brand and image, to do a book on amigurumi in conjunction with the iconic kitty’s 40th anniversary this year.
Quirk Books contacted her after stumbling upon her Tuxedo Sam and Pandapple dolls on her blog, www.amiguruMEI.com.
Since 2012, her blog has gotten 523,888 hits while her Instagram has nearly 10,000 followers.
Unlike her siblings, Lee said she was “never great in crafts” and only picked up crocheting in 2011.
Frustrated initially, she nearly gave up until her husband found some helpful YouTube videos.
Thus, she does not mind others using the free patterns on her blog to make dolls for sale.
Her dolls, numbering more than 100, are only between 5cm and 30cm tall.
Hello Kitty Crochet is her first book and in the pipelines are an amigurumi pattern book of her own dolls and a children’s book.
She is also working with HTC Malaysia to promote amigurumi.
Lee will conduct a free craft workshop at Menara Star, 15, Jalan 16/11, Petaling Jaya, this Saturday. To book a seat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.