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Editor's note: Elizabeth Harac, creator of this amigurumi murloc, makes these adorable critters for a charity she established, Hands of Hope, which designed to help inspire and empower children in third-world countries. Read more about Hands of Hope, and join us after the break as Elizabeth shares the pattern along with a step-by-step photo guide on how to make your own amigurumi baby murloc.
I have been doing various needlework since I was a child and Mother was trying to keep me still for more than five minutes. Last October, I had the idea that since needlework taught me a lot of things -- like self-confidence, purpose, planning, and relaxation -- it might be helpful as a skill or hobby to other people. I had seen a TV segment about a sewing program in the projects somewhere and how the confidence the girls had gained was flowing into schoolwork and other areas. My original idea was just to find ways to teach needlework to girls in third-world countries where they could use the skills to also raise money for themselves. I needed to make money to make embroidery teaching kits, so I started making amigurumi and selling them.
Then I met Betty Makoni. She was a CNN Hero 2009. She runs the Girl Child Network Worldwide. She rescues girls in Africa who have been raped, abused, sold into slavery, forced to be child brides and worse. She loved the idea of the embroidery. In May 2010, we sent 52 kits to Zimbawbwe, and we have requests now for hundreds more. The girl are teaching each other; they are making clubs and using the time to talk about dreams, planning how to reach them, and working through the trauma of abuse. As a victim of rape and abuse myself, my heart went out to these girls.
Reaching "throw-away" children
In April, we added support to a second charity, the Efata School for the Deaf in Iquitos, Peru. I worked there for a summer back in 1993. This is another case of children that are considered "throw-aways." This is the only deaf school east of the Andes Mountains, and it only goes through 6th grade. By request of the principal, we will be starting an embroidery program there, too. But we are also helping with monetary support to keep the school open and send Christmas presents of shoes, clothing and backpacks to the students.
I now have a kobold pattern. It is about as complicated as the murloc, but there is some sewing involved for the clothing. I am hoping to do an amigurumi for each of the races in time.
I started Hands of Hope in January, and I have made 226 amigurumi since I started and raised about $5,000 in donations, sales and contributions in kind. We are a pending 501c3 charity -- I may be the only person in the United States who is eagerly waiting for a letter from the IRS.
Every bit goes to charity
Hands of Hope has plans this coming year to add scholarships to both charities and expand the embroidery program. Everything that is earned through sales of amigurumi, my original patterns, the commission work and writing, goes in whole to these two charities. I am personally covering office expenses and some material expenses. The proceeds cover materials for embroidery kits, tuition help, purchase of items and shipping for Operation Christmas Hope (shipping on Friday), helping to keep the Deaf School open and other needs as they come up.
I was a victim of rape and sexual abuse for 13 years. Working with my hands has often been the only thing to hold me together. So many people have helped me over the years, and there are so many children in need of help and sometimes just encouragement. Hands of Hope may be small, and only helping a few children, but that is how change is made -- one child at a time. It doesn't matter if they are in Africa or Peru, these are kids that need an opportunity, and I want to be part of helping them have that chance.
Amigurumi Murloc: Supplies list
1 skein of Plymouth Encore Colorspun Worsted (200 yards, color 7129)
1 skein of Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn (Hot Green, color # 01712)
Crochet hook, size H or size preferred
2 12-mm yellow cat safety eyes
6 pipe cleaners in a color as close to murloc spines as possible
black embroidery floss (DMC #310)
needle and thread
Photo Guide: Make your own amigurumi murloc
Free Personal Use This pattern has been made for your personal use. You may download or print a copy, keep it on your computer or in a notebook, and create as many copies or variations on that project as you like, providing the use is personal. Personal use includes creating a project to give to someone as a gift but does not go so far as to cover selling the finished project or donating the finished project to raise money for a charity. For these issues, you must contact the creator at Handsofhopeneedlework@hotmail.com to work out an agreement.
Visit Hands of Hope for more information on how to support these charitable projects.
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