Malaysian crafter crochets her way into Hello Kitty world

By Chung Joo-won
  • Published : Oct 28, 2014 - 20:43
  • Updated : Oct 28, 2014 - 20:43

As a little girl, Lee Mei Li longed to play with her elder sister’s Hello Kitty supermarket set, but to no avail ― she wasn’t even allowed to touch it. Instead, she made do with her Hello Kitty mug, which she drank from throughout her primary school years.

Imagine little Mei Li’s joy had she just known that two-and-a-half decades later, she would be delighting fans the world over by authoring a book on making crocheted Hello Kitty dolls.

Featuring step-by-step instructions on creating 24 characters from the Hello Kitty world, including fan favorites like Keroppi, My Melody and Tuxedosam, Lee’s book is believed to be the world’s first official Hello Kitty crochet book in English ― it even has the stamp of approval from Sanrio, the Japanese company behind the celebrity cat.

“This whole experience has been a wonderful surprise for me. Truth be told, I was never artistic as a child!” laughs Lee, 31, during a recent interview.
The Star journalist and Star2’s Craftypedia columnist Lee Mei Li has published “Hello Kitty Crochet,” an “amigurumi” book on how to create crocheted dolls from the world of Hello Kitty. (Raymond Ooi/ The Star)

“I never found anything I was particularly good at, though it was not for lack of trying. My mother was always so supportive, making homemade Play-Doh, pillow dolls and so on, hoping to find what I had a flair for. So, although I didn’t know it then, I think I got my crafting side of me from her.”

A writer by day ― she is a journalist with The Star ― Lee is an avid crafter by night, and writes the popular Craftypedia column in Sunday Star2. Her real passion, however, is entangled in amigurumi, the Japanese art of crocheting small stuffed dolls.

By Sharmilla Ganesan

(The Star)