Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Woobles Makes Hello Kitty Come Alive Through Crochet

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Amigurumi is the Japanese art of creating knit or crocheted stuffed yarn creatures. The Woobles took this concept and ran with it, developing a line of amigurumi toys at different levels. 

Hello Kitty’s Once in a Milk-ion Bundle” is part of the Sanrio x The Woobles collaboration which also includes Cinnamoroll and My Melody. When the kit is finished, the crafter is left with a Hello Kitty plush and a small milk bottle. It’s advertised as a beginner’s project that takes 3-8 hours on average. I managed to go beyond the average and spend over 12 hours trying to complete the kit. It’s a cute final product, but it was not a cute journey for me to get there.

The Process

The kit comes in a bag that has a zipper to safely store contents.

  • White, blue, yellow, red, and black yarn
  • Safety eyes
  • Tapestry needle
  • Crochet hook (with Hello Kitty decorating the handle)
  • Stuffing
  • Instruction code cards
the contents of the Hello Kitty Woobles kit, showing the yarn, stuffing, crochet hook, and zippable bag.

The Woobles uses “easy peasy yarn” which is a thicker yarn that helps the crafter see their stitches better. It’s very soft, but because it’s a tube of threads it was easy for some plastic clips used to get caught on the smaller strands that make up the yarn. Another observation – the package shows blue yarn that is much lighter than what comes in the kit.

Step-by-step video instructions are accessed by using a code, with options for both left and right handed people. For someone more experienced, there is a downloadable pattern available with a few photo references. The instructions are divided by the pieces of the craft – for Hello Kitty it was divided into the basics, the head & body, the arms, the ears, the tail, the embroidery, and the bow.

Within each instruction section are even more videos – and the videos are divided into 30-60 second sections that pause after the section is complete. This results in a lot of clicking, which is fine if one’s using a touchpad or phone screen but is difficult if using a standard mouse. Being able to see what I was supposed to be doing was helpful when I had to redo sections and duplicate objects.

The kits are pre-started, which was extremely helpful for me because I did have to start over multiple times. I was able to simply pull the working strand and unravel it to the beginning due to a knot at the end of the starting section. To help the crafter know where stitches are supposed to go, orange and green plastic clips are woven through the first three loops.

The clips are moved during each stitch round to keep things pretty organized. Theoretically it’ll help avoid stitching errors, but at the beginning I wasn’t fully sure where the clips were supposed to loop so I’d clip on the wrong section and have to start over because my stitch count would be off.

I kept running into that problem – inaccurate stitch counts. Part of that was because I ended up matching stitches of inconsistent sizes, so it’d look like the yarn was being fed into a certain hole but it wasn’t. The instructions suggested writing down what stitch number you were on, but this was difficult because I didn’t want to constantly put down what I was working on to write.

Counting out loud and writing things down ended up being about as effective as each other because sometimes I’d forget that I was in the middle of a stitch when I indicated the number and then would forget that I’d already written down/said the number.

This led to inaccurate stitch counts, which is really bad when trying to work in rounds. It led to full rows being redone, which wasn’t as bad because the orange clip indicated the first hole of the new round and I didn’t run into the problem of undoing more than I needed to do.

The instructions are fine but some of the techniques don’t feel beginner friendly. When making Hello Kitty there’s a switch in yarn color because her head is separated from her body. It’s a little tricky, but because the rounds are fully different colors it’s not too bad of an adjustment. What was a bad adjustment was when a round used two different colors in the same round. The two yarn colors overlap briefly and trying to hide the yellow yarn behind the blue yarn for the rest of the round was very difficult and I wasn’t fully successful. 

The skills taught through making Hello Kitty make me confident that I’ll be able to do other simple projects. However, the bonus milk bottle is considered beginner+ and although I was able to learn how to do the back loop only stitch, when it transitioned into decrease stitches again I got stuck and ultimately considered it a loss. 

The struggles I had can be seen in the final product, but I tried my best.

final Hello Kitty plush.
Final Thoughts

The Woobles have created a world that invites people to learn a new craft. Having a cute toy at the end of one’s efforts is satisfying. “Hello Kitty’s Once in a Milk-ion Bundle” gives crafters the skills they need to continue their crochet journey, but the starter difficulty is misleading. It requires patience and self-grace. My final result wasn’t quite as put together as I would have hoped but I did, in the end, make Hello Kitty.

I’d recommend this kit to someone who has a little bit of crochet experience. There are so many other options from The Woobles that can be tried for people who’ve never picked up a hook before. When I recover from the Hello Kitty ordeal, I’m going to make the unicorn.

You can pick up the “Hello Kitty’s Once in a Milk-ion Bundle” directly from The Woobles for $45.

Kit and images courtesy of The Woobles

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