Meet the Maker


My twin boys are both autistic and years ago one of them asked me to crochet a dinosaur for him. Seeing the joy he got from a little wooly brachiosaurus made me want to share that joy with others and so I decided I wanted to make amigurumi full-time. (Amigurumi is a Japanese word coined to describe creatures made from yarn).

I got into designing amigurumi because I had problems finding patterns for the toys I wanted to create: small, cute characters who were easy to recognize. I also wanted to build a supportive community of like-minded crocheters and I hope you will join ours.

My childhood reading, two history degrees and the extensive travel I enjoyed before I had children have given me a fascination with fairy tales, folklore and myth. I firmly believe these stories are not just for children but a way for all of us to reflect on and process important things in out lives. The inspiration for my designs and play sets comes from these traditional tales and characters.

Having children with a developmental disability I’ve seen the enormous benefits of providing kids with space, time, and letting them learn to play in a way that’s meaningful and engaging for them. Maria Montessori said that play is a child’s work, but providing play opportunities shouldn’t be work.

My amigurumi are comforting to hold and small enough to be portable friends. The faces on my characters are intentionally made with eyes only, to encourage kids to imagine how their crocheted friends may feel in different situations. The stories and materials I have written that accompany the play sets are designed to support educators, parents and others in encouraging the development of literacy, language and emotional intelligence.

Thanks for reading and I can't wait to get to know you.

Deanne Shoyer.