The latest issue of Twist Collective came out this week and on page three I stopped short when I spotted an ad for a new book, Hello My Name is Amineko (ISBN: 9781589235717) by Nekoyama, a book published in English about crocheting amigurumi cats. Without hesitation I ordered a copy, for it is the same book as Amineko no iru Seikatsu (ISBN: 4391130122) which I bought in Tokyo in 2005, not knowing any Japanese, but enamored nonetheless by the pictures of the cutest crocheted cats. It was that book that completely blasted me into the modern age of crochet from the dark ages of the ’60s and ’70s when my grandmother would crochet toiletpaper roll covers in the guise of doll dresses (the doll would stand inside the roll and the dress would wrap around the roll) or brown, orange and white granny square vests that gave me chills every time I found one lovingly placed under the Christmas tree for me (sorry Nana!). In fact, I would hazard a guess that this little book from Japan was instrumental in really changing how a lot of people viewed crocheting toys. Within a few weeks of arriving home from my trip to Japan I was on my way to making my very own crocheted cats using the charts and photos in the book, despite the fact the much of the book remained a mystery to me due to my Japanese language deficiency.
My copy of Hello My Name is Amineko has arrived and now I know that the cat pattern has a name, Amineko. The softcover book is in essence the same as the Japanese version, but with more color photos and a little formatting change in the charts. It is such a treat to pour over it’s pages and finally know what all funny captions for the cats “in action” say and to have the English instructions for all the extras, like making a fish-shaped pillow or a dried cuttlefish pillow for amineko. Aside from the complete translation of the original edition, I am very pleased that the original photos haven’t been omitted or changed to “appeal” to readers not in Japan, such as myself, and like the original it is filled with photos. Throughout the book there are still photos of aminekos clustered around a cup of green tea on a tatami mat, playing with a sushi roll, divvying-up a satsuma orange, contemplating eating a bowl of miso soup, and getting hit by a futon beating tool. This is a great book to have both for the pattern and for its fun photos, and I think it would make a great gift to accompany the gift of an amineko, especially for kids because it is 104 pages of fun. Thank you, Nekoyama and Quayside Publishing Group for making this English version.
I might just have to break-out the old crochet hook again and make a couple amineko to celebrate.