Hello Yarnies <3
Well, it finally happened! I have been waiting sooooo patiently for this day! My darling little dolly made her debut in the WITB live stream last night (ﾉ◕ヮ◕)ﾉ*:･ﾟ✧ I'm so excited to share her with you. She has been kept a secret for months and now she is out in the world!
❀ Hey you, Frankie-Lou! ❀
This is a little weird for me! Once a new Yarnish Makes pattern is released, I do a little write-up and formally introduce it (and the new artist) via the blog.... so what happens when I release a Yarnish Makes pattern for the first time? I would have to say:
"Allow me to introduce...myself!" ✌.ʕʘ‿ʘʔ.✌ hehehehe
In case you're not sure what's going on, I'm Reneé! Audrey's Mummy and indie Amigurumi Designer from Sydney! A few months ago, I joined the Yarnish Team as a designer and then as their shiny new blogger. I introduced myself via this blog post. If you're interested, have a little read!
And this is Frankie-Lou with her little Baby Bear, my very first Yarnish Makes creation:
Everything's shiny, cap't!
I started up my brand 'ShinyGurumi' in 2015. After making so many designs by others, I soon became 'itchy' to make something from my own imagination! The name 'ShinyGurumi' derives from my obsession with Pokémon, my love for the series 'Firefly', and my addiction to making amigurumi.
My amigurumi style comes from watching lots and lots of cartoons and playing video games. I love squishy, pudgy, adorable characters! I also love big-heads, slightly smaller bodies and colour for days! The Japanese words for cute are kyuuto and kawaii. I always try to think of this when designing my latest creation.
Although I have been designing for years, from the day my daughter was born, it was like I could see the world like never before! It's like my whole world has been filled with life, colour and whimsy! She brings me so much joy. Crochet is my art and I feel so inspired by my little girl and the life I have with her.
Professionally, I am a qualified Social Worker providing psychological assessment and treatment to torture and trauma survivors. Not only do I provide individual counseling but I also teach crochet as a form of healing. I am such a huge believer in self-care and I find that crochet is a beautiful way to self-regulate our emotions. Almost like a peaceful meditation - until you miscount a stitch and have to start all over again ;)
So that's what ShinyGurmi is to me, my own little slice of crafty goodness and calmness.
She used 'crochet', and it was super effective!
I first stumbled upon crochet, specifically amigurumi, out of pure convenience. Quite simply, I could stuff it into my handbag or sock drawer and it wouldn’t take up too much space! Before crochet, I would cross-stitch and quilt, but for my final Social-Work placement (almost 10 years ago! eeeekkk!) I ended up moving to the little town of Orange, NSW, and couldn’t take my sewing machine or embroidery frame with me (literally, I was moving to a shoe-box for a bedroom inside a nurse’s station). Knowing that I would not be able to survive 9 months without any crafty down-time, I bought a ‘how-to’ book, a ball of yarn and a hook and taught myself crochet. The rest, they say, is history. I don’t think a day has gone by where I haven’t crocheted since!
Frankie's Story (●´ω｀●)
Fun fact! My darling little baby, Audrey, was alllllmosst not an 'Audrey'. Hubby and I were super close to calling her Frankie! I love this name so much; so much so I had to use it when creating my first Amigurumi Dolly!
Frankie was born out of my absolute love for my little girl. From the moment I knew I was pregnant, I have felt a crazy unfathomable love, a feeling I have never felt before! Sadly, during my pregnancy, I suffered severe complications and went into threatening preterm labor at 24 weeks. I was told that my baby was on its way and they would do everything to save her. We are forever in debt to our amazing medical team who were able to keep little bubby cooking for a while longer! Audrey arrived super safely, full-term! It was an absolute miracle and we are forever thankful.
However, my little one suffered further challenging conditions when she was 4 months old. She became severely malnourished and was marked as a severe failure to thrive. Little Audrey is doing so much better now! She is a bright, happy, gorgeous little angel, and we love her so dearly.
Nothing can prepare you for these crazy times as a parent. As a way of coping, I started to doodle quite a bit. I wanted to capture the beautiful love between mother and baby; the tenderness, the closeness and the feeling that 'everything in the world is whole and complete'. That's where my gorgeous friends at Vixsa come in!
Photo credit: Charline and Lekisha from Vixsa.
When Audrey was 6 weeks old, I answered a modeling call for an Aussie-made baby-wearing business named Vixsa. Charline and Lekisha are two gorgeous Mummys and sell the most stunning baby-wearing gear. Bubby and I were super lucky to be chosen to model many of their beautiful wraps, slings and even tees. We absolutely loved our time at Vixsa, and Audrey and I love our carriers. Nothing brings us closer ♥‿♥
Photo credit: Charline and Lekisha from Vixsa.
So from all of the above, my amigurumi baby-wearing dolly was conceived. I think Frankie perfectly captures all my love for my girl!
Creating Frankie (✿◠‿◠)
Frankie has been crocheted using the stunning Scheepjes Stonewashed, Catona and Stonewashed XL. All three yarns, in varying weights and blends, create my Frankie Dolly. The cotton skin creates a silking fleshy texture, while the blended yarn gives a beautiful cloth feel, perfect for her clothes. She is pretty tall too, measuring 40cm in length. My biggest piece of advice for when creating Frankie is:
"Enjoy her and enjoy the process <3"
There a quite a few components to Frankie, but she comes together in the end, promise! xxx This was a huge therapeutic design process for me, so I hope she is a super calming making-process for you v(=∩_∩=)ﾌ
Now available exclusively at Yarnish!
Kits for Frankie are now available at Yarnish! There are two colourways available:
The original Frankie Colourway.
And the alternative colourway, who we have named Gwendolyn.
But you can mix and match your stonewashed yarn to create your very own customized dolly!
Kits are $60, and the pattern is available here for $8.
Shinygurumi's Survival Guide <3
Sometimes amigurumi can be a little daunting, and I want everyone to feel that they can make Frankie! So, I have developed a 'Survival Guide' to help you on your amigurumi-making journey! You can purchase my 24-page 'Shinygurumi's Amigurumi Survival Guide' at Yarnish.
Here's a sneak peak:
I sincerely hope you like Frankie and her baby Bear! Frankie means so much to me, and I'm so excited she is out in the world!
Social Media Handles
If you want to check out my social media you can find me here:
Thank you so much for reading my story! Happy Yarning <3