Chances are, you’ve admired a pattern by All About Ami, whose kits are featured on our website & in our Manhattan Studio. She visited our NYC home recently for our Blogger Bash, and it was such a pleasure to have her in our midst! We thought you might like to get to know her, too. We’ve also put together some of our favorite All About Ami patterns & kits, so you can craft right along with her!
The woman behind All About Ami is Stephanie Lau, a lifetime crafter and amigurumi wiz! The name of her blog, Ami, refers to amigurumi – the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals (or other creatures!). She’s been making them her whole life, starting with a long-limbed, floppy bunny for herself, and a cat for her sister. She learned all her crafting from books – reading diagrams of step-by-step stitch instructions.
Confession: Stephanie started several afghans. They remain unfinished.
She and her new hubby had moved into a new home, and she found herself looking up ideas for crochet cushions for their sofa. She found amigurumi by chance, and fell in love with these kawaii (cute) creatures, and their whimsical proportions. There weren’t many blogs, so she soaked up patterns of other designers, learning techniques, and how to create different shapes.
The beauty of inspiration is that it is ever-evolving. Once drawn to amigurumi artists like Ana Paula Rimoli, Pepika, Berrysprite, and Wolfdreamer Off the Hook, Stephanie finds herself drawn now to colorwork in knitting. She keeps a running list of ideas, which grows all the time. Inspiration is everywhere! When shopping, she might try on a sweater, get inspired, and figure out how it was put together. Or, a new stitch will inspire spin-offs, like her crochet kits pictured below: the Granite Cape & Granite Cardigan. She combs the list to see what jumps out for her next WIP.
#Goals: To knit a pair of socks!
For their first original design, All About Ami pair Stephanie and hubby Ryan crafted a Chinese New Year Doll. Ryan sketched, and Stephanie crafted that drawing to life – and they knew they were onto something. The next step was writing out the patterns so anyone could follow along.
The Best Feeling: “When people started sending me pictures of their amigurumi made using my patterns, I was blown away and so happy that people were successfully following my patterns and crocheting our designs all around the world!”
After choosing a project, she chooses yarn. Then, stitches. She thinks about the combination of stitches, & how they’ll play together. Like with her Cross Bobble Blanket, she loved the juxtaposition of bobbles with cross double crochets. She starts crafting, and based on how it’s looking, decides if the hook size is right! This is the most important part of her process – trial and error. She makes notes as she goes, and she’s never afraid to frog if things aren’t going well.
Sometimes, a piece just isn’t coming together how you imagined it! Stephanie describes neglected WIPs in her workspace, abandoned over the years. Some she’ll pick up again when the motivation returns. But if it doesn’t, she’ll frog & salvage the yarn. She writes: “I take pride in my work and do not want to complete a project that I am not 100% satisfied with.” It’s important to remember that it’s a process. Certain ideas required skills that Stephanie didn’t have yet, and taking time to focus on other projects meant she could tackle them with what she needed to bring them to life!
Advice: “It is important not to be discouraged & allow yourself to take breaks, try another craft, develop new skills and even abandon a project if you are not feeling passionate or motivated by it anymore.
Stephanie has been thrilled to receive messages from people who were inspired to take up crafting for the first time! “It is so incredibly empowering for people when they create a piece of art with their own two hands,” she says. In her wildest dreams, a piece would gain enough exposure to cross into non-crafting realms and reach people who’ve never considered handicrafts.
Celebrity Crafters? “I was a huge ‘Gilmore Girls’ fan growing up so I think it would be amazing if Lauren Graham or Alexis Bledel ever crafted one of my ideas!”