ELINA – Creator of DIBI AMIGURUMIS
Elina Hiltunen, author of the Dibidogs Amigurumi book, chatted with three fourth-graders, Heini, Emilia, and Anni, about the book and how it came about.
Q: How old were you when you became interested in crochet? A: I got into crochet four years ago, when I was 38.
Q: What, in your opinion, is your most successful crochet project? A: Since I like dogs, I think my crochet dogs are fun.
Q: Where did you get the idea for the Dibidogs crochet book? A: I know Jim, whose kids invented the Dibidogs. We were having coffee and talking about my interest in crochet when Jim suggested that I do a crochet book on the Dibis. I immediately got excited about the idea!
Q: Whose idea was it to ask the Finnish president’s dog, Lennu, to become the patron of your book? A: We were sitting with the book’s production team at a planning meeting and were trying to come up with a good patron for the book. The king of the Dibidogs is a Boston terrier and I remembered that the presidential couple’s dog is the same breed. So that’s how we thought of asking Lennu to become the book’s patron.
Q: Why did you decide to donate one euro per book to assistance dogs? A: Since there are a lot of dogs in Dibidogs, it was natural to support assistance dog activities. They do really important work, like helping people with physical handicaps. So far, we’ve collected enough money with the book to fund two new assistant dog puppies!
Q: How did you come up with all the crochet patterns in the book? A: Because I wanted the book to help people to learn to crochet, I just developed easy patterns off the top of my head. Once you learn to crochet with the help of the patterns, you can start to crochet the Dibidogs and other Dibi characters.
Q: There’s a photo of you with a puppy in the book. Do you have several dogs? A: In that picture I’m holding Uno, our Labrador retriever. My family also has an old Labrador named Elvis and a miniature poodle named Barbi.
Q: What is your favorite character in Dibidogs? A: Definitely the ‘Bad guy’ dog with the hat!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Q: Where did you get the idea for skateboarding Dibidogs? A: My son Otto suggested that Dibidogs could skate on miniature skateboards.
Q: Did your family help you a lot with the making of this book? A: My children helped me with ideas for the crochet characters. The news anchor Emily and Trickster the Magician were my children’s ideas.
Q: What next? A: We’ve just had the book translated into English, and there are versions in French and Chinese coming up – possibly also in Japanese and Korean. So we’ve got our hands full!