This pattern was inspired by the Mexican folk art of 'Alebrijes'. Alebrijes are brightly coloured fantastical wooden sculptures originally created by Pedro Linares in Mexico, quite often a mix of two or more creatures. In the 1930’s Linares fell very ill and had a vivid dream where, the story goes, in a forest, the rocks and clouds were turning into strange creatures, for example a lion with an eagle head or a donkey with butterfly wings. They were all shouting one word ‘Alebrijes!”
This pattern was originally designed for Simply Crochet Magazine’s ‘hook to hook’ challenge and the theme was ‘fantasy amigurumi’. Now, although I love a mermaid or a unicorn as much as the next person, I felt they had been a little over-done in amigurumi.
My two children had recently watched the film Coco where Alebrijes were depicted as the Spirit animals and that sparked my idea. I’ve based mine on a fennec fox with a bit of rabbit thrown in!
There are so many amazing Alebrijes sculptures, as a quick online search will show, and it's the unique colourful markings that really inspired me. I use surface stitching over the top of the crocheted piece to replicate these marks. Choosing yarn colours is also great fun, the more colourful and clashing the better!
The posture of the sculptures are also very unique, which is why I choose this creature to be standing very upright on 4 legs.
I have many more ideas in the sketchbook for more Alebrijes designs (and maybe a mermaid or unicorn to boot)!
You can buy the Alebrijes pattern here.