Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Crochet Alfresco

It’s so nice to have all the family together over this lovely long weekend. We’ve had plenty of sunshine here too and so lots of opportunity to get out in the garden.

My first Granny Square blanket is finished. Complete with a stripy border and a pretty scalloped edge. It’s been great for wrapping up in as the sun goes down and the evening chill settles in. I love it’s bright colors out here. It kind of makes up for the fact that I’m not very good at growing flowers. Here’s the finished blanket looking bright and zingy on my favorite garden bench – my perfect outdoor crochet and reading corner.

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I found the whole blanket making process so relaxing I’ve started another one already. I chose a daisy pattern this time, if I can’t grow them then I’ll crochet them instead! I found this great tutorial on Laura’s tillie tulip blog with lots of helpful photos too.

So far I have these squares made up and am still at the color experimenting stage.

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You can see that the color picks are much softer in this picture of the old blanket next to the new squares I made today.  I’ve also made a bunch of purple squares and a couple of pink ones too. I think I’ll just keep on experimenting with different color combinations for now and decide on the look for the next blanket later. I can always make cushions with the squares that I don’t choose. They’ll look great in the garden and will make lounging around outside even more appealing.

Have a lovely Easter everyone!

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Bradley the Badger

I’ve been working on this pattern for a while now. It’s been one of my more experimental designs as I’ve tried a different kind of pose to a lot of my other animals. He’s had several different incarnations, but I’m finally happy with how he looks. So here is my latest little critter, Bradley the Badger Cub.

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He’s already made good friends with Hedley the Hedghog. These two will be up to all sorts of adventures together I’ve no doubt! Hedley has been out foraging wild strawberries for his supper and because he knows they’re Bradley’s favorite treat he saved some for him too. How sweet!

 

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Then Bradley spent the afternoon exploring the garden with Mojo. I think they just heard something rustling in the bushes. The naturally nocturnal Bradley is a bit outside of his comfort zone in broad daylight.  Ah well, not to worry, safety in numbers. If these two little black and white fellas stick together and look out for each other then I’m sure they’ll be fine!

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Pattern now available in my Etsy, Ravelry or Craftsy stores if you want to make your own Bradley.

He’s so looking forward to meeting you!

 

 


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Hippopotamus Pyjama Party.

At last I’ve managed to finish a new pattern. It’s been a while this time due to book commitments, family life, a granny blanket obsession and getting out and about a bit more at weekends thanks to all the lovely spring weather we’ve been having. So I’m very pleased to finally introduce you to Harriet and Harvey, the baby Hippos who love bedtime, snuggly blankets, soft pillows and fancy pyjamas!

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Sleepover parties are one of their most favorite things, snuggled up in their blankets, chatting with friends into the small hours. There’s usually a secret midnight feast too, with cheese and crackers and chocolate biscuits, but only after they’ve crept around the house to make sure all the grown-ups have gone to sleep!  Harvey and Harriet also like a quiet night in. When it’s just the two of them they happily toddle off to bed for an early night with hot chocolate (marshmallows on top of course) and a good book. After all, little hippos don’t get to be this good looking without getting lots of beauty sleep!

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 The pattern has all the instructions you’ll need for Harvey and Harriet Hippo as well as their pretty matching bedding.

 Good night little hippopotami. Sweet dreams!


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Granny Blanket, Nearly There!

Well, I’d be a lot closer to finishing this blanket if it wasn’t such a cat magnet. Mojo’s loves a little wooly tent. Perhaps I should make him one of his own!

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A rare photo of my crochet covered lap without a cat on it. Here I am, opportunistically steaming ahead to finish joining all the motifs together.

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A later crochet session was halted yet again by the usual problem of feline infiltration!  That’s the sort of face that says ‘move me at your peril’.

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I do have nearly four rounds of border finished now though, so I’m not doing too badly, and there’s no hurry anyway. It’s good for me to stop rushing at everything sometimes. That’s certainly one of the main lessons my cat’s have taught me. Slow down and smell the catnip roses! They’re so good at relaxing for hours on end, as if relaxing itself was one of the higher art forms, which I suppose that for us humans in today’s hectic and distracting world, it really is. So no stressing, this blanket will quite simply be finished when it’s finished – and on a more practical but less philosophical note - will also need a good wash to get rid of all the cat hairs!

We’re off to Cardiff next weekend to pick up my oldest son from Uni, ready for the Easter holidays so I’m thinking with another 3-4 hours of car crochet time this blanket will surely be finished then, if not before.There’s a big bonus for working blankets in the car as it is, by necessity, a cat free zone. Consequently progress should be more than satisfactory for a change. Whizzing up and down the Motorway with my ever expanding blanket has it’s own challenges however. The main one being not to encroach on the drivers seat and all those boring things like handbrakes and accelerators and control panels that apparently shouldn’t be covered or obscured from view by anything, not even crochet!

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Here it is with the last bit of the fourth row of border completed. Now it’s definitely being put away until the weekend. I really should be getting on with my new amigurumi patterns, after all.

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Now that I’ve got the basic Granny Square under my belt and the finishing line for this project is within sight, I’m starting to think about my next blanket design. Maybe something floral or circle based this time. I can’t wait to have a houseful of these colorful snugglies. Next to being able to yarn bomb everything in the house that doesn’t move, (hubby is strangely against this idea, but then there’s no accounting for taste), this is the next best thing. Yarn bombs that can move around from room to room invading and spreading their crochet loveliness by stealth!

I’m also planning on making  some crochet bunting to liven up my bike basket now that the weather is milder and the River Severn has finally spit my favorite cycle route back out again. As I’ve just treated myself to this new book I’m in no immediate danger of being stuck for ideas. There’s even a whole chapter on triangles in here – total bunting heaven.

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Looks like Mojo’s made his mind up and given this one the Cat’s Paw Seal of Approval. Good choice Mojo, I’m on it!

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Slow down and smell the roses? I can do that while I crochet in the garden, cat’s permitting!


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St Patrick’s Day Celebrations

I hope you all have a great St. Patrick’s Day and that you’ve got something fun planned later that involves at least one pint of Guinness! Franklyn the Frog has started his celebrations already…

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Heaven knows what state he’s likely to be in by the time I finish work and get to join him in the garden!

 Here’s Franklyn with his cousin Fernando doing a bit of sun basking earlier today.

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Though I have to say that being tropical forest frogs (Fernando is a Red Eyed Tree Frog and Franklyn is an Australian Green Tree Frog) they have certainly been enjoying the record levels of rain during their vacation to the UK. They never got used to the icy temperatures though and couldn’t wait to get out and warm up their cold blood with a bit of sun after all those gray skies. Hopefully the sunshine and mild temperatures we’ve been having in recent days are going to last a bit longer yet (please!). I keep eyeing the sunny patches of my garden enviously and hoping I’ll get to enjoy some sunshiny St. Patrick’s day shenanigans with my little green friends later on. But if the weather takes a turn for the worst I might take them to the pub instead, if Franklyn is still sober enough to hop that is!!

Enjoy your celebrations!


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Granny Square Tutorial

I’ve been having fun today making a little tutorial for those of you out there who may have never made a Granny Square before but would like to have a go. I have recently started on my own Granny Square adventures and I’m loving how quick and easy they are to make. The perfect wind down after a busy or stressful day. For this project, which is slowly turning into a super snug blanket,  I chose 12 of  my favorite colors, wound off some yarn cakes and just combined them randomly as I went along. Variety is the spice of life so far as these vibrant squares are concerned.  I might try experimenting with a more limited color palette in subsequent projects, but at the moment I’m enjoying a major color festival as you can see below! Keeping the cats off this project has been a challenge too. As far as they’re concerned any area of soft and cuddly crochet is fair game for a spot of napping, It does look rather inviting though!

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Here’s how I made the Granny Squares for this particular project. I’ve included some photos to help out too.

Materials: Light Worsted Weight yarns in all your favorite colors, 4.5 mm crochet hook, Scissors, Yarn needle.

US Terminology: Sl st/slip stitch, dc/double crochet, ch/chain, ch sp/chain space.

UK terminology, replace dc/double crochet with tr/treble crochet

Round brackets ( ) indicate a group of stitches to be worked into the same ch sp. Square brackets [ ] indicate a group of stitches to  be worked the amount of times stated after the brackets.

Pattern:

With color 1 make 4 ch, join with a Sl st to form a ring.

Rnd 1) 3 ch (counts as first dc), 2 dc into ring, [2 ch, 3 dc into ring] 3 times, 2 ch, Sl st into top of 3 ch to close the round. Cut Color 1.

Rnd 2)  Join color 2 in any ch sp, 3 ch (counts as first dc), 2 dc into same ch sp, [1 ch, (3 dc, 2 ch, 3 dc) into next ch sp] 3 times, 1 ch, 3 dc into next ch sp, 2 ch, Sl st into top of 3 ch to close the round. Cut color 2.

Rnd 3) Join color 3 in any corner ch sp, 3 ch (counts as first dc), 2 dc in same ch sp, [1 ch, 3 dc into next ch sp, 1 ch, (3 dc, 2 ch, 3 dc) into next ch sp] 3 times, 1 ch, 3 dc into next ch sp, 1 ch, 3 dc into next ch sp, 2 ch, Sl st into top of 3 ch to close round.

Rnd 4) Join color 4 in any corner ch sp, 3 ch (counts as first dc), 2 dc in same ch sp,  [(1 ch, 3 dc into next ch sp) 2 times, 1 ch, (3 dc, 2 ch, 3 dc) into next ch sp] 3 times, (1 ch, 3 dc into next ch sp) 2 times, 1 ch, 3 dc into next ch sp, 2 ch, Sl st into top of 3 ch to close the round.

At this stage you will have a square motif. Each corner will have 2 blocks of 3 dc separated by 2 ch. Along each side there will be 2 blocks of 3 dc separated by 1 ch. (17 stitches per side)

You’ve probably got the hang of it by now! To make your blocks bigger just keep increasing the rounds putting (3 dc, 2 ch, 3 dc) in each corner chain space and single groups of 3 dc separated by 1 ch in each chain space along the edges. Here are a few photos of the various stages to help give some visual clues.

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Now to darn in all those ends!

 

To join all the squares I used a slip stitch on the back of the work and by crocheting in only the two outside loops I got a lovely neat finish on the front.

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Now I just have to join the squares at right angles to close all the gaps and crochet a pretty border for the finishing touch. I’ll post a photo when it’s finally done.

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I’m really pleased with it so far. I love the randomness of the color blocks. I can’t wait to show it off when it’s finished! However, I’ve got my gardening squirrel  to get ready for a book due out this spring so I think my Granny Blanket might have to take a back seat over the next week or so while I focus on some pattern testing and other half finished stuff. I’m currently working through a Beaver pattern by Ildikko Struning that will also be in the book. He’s looking very nice so far but is going to look even better when he has his legs, hat and tail finished off. I’m also keen to finish off a new set of monster patterns I’ve been working on, a badger pattern and some Easter bunnies, as well as a scarf for a present and a pair of cable gloves, just for me. Hmm, I seem to remember a New Years Resolution about only having three projects on the go at any one time. Oh well, what the heck, everyone knows New Years Resolutions are there to be broken! A bit of creative rebellion is good sometimes. I’ll be making sure I finish all these back boilers off before I start anything else though, or things are just going to get plain silly around here!


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An Amigurumi Army!

I just wanted to share with you this fabulous compilation of amigurumis! This expansive animal collection is the culmination of several years collaborative work between Joke Vermeiren and the designers whose work features in the Zoomigurumi series of books. I reckon if you’re an amigurumi enthusiast or just amigurumi curious you’ll surely be inspired to pick up your hook and get making a zoo of your own with these cute critters to tempt you. Its full of beautiful quality photographs too, as you can see from Joke’s lovely montage below.

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What’s really exciting is that all three Zoomigurumi books are available at a special price of £31.50 (52 USD) until the 22nd March 2014 (including shipping). Thats 45 original and fun designs and, if my maths is correct (reaches for idiot proof, jumbo sized calculator…) that’s a mere 70 pence (or $1.15) per pattern . Who could possibly resist? As an added bonus you get a PDF version of each book available to download as soon as payment clears. If you’re an impatient so and so, (like me!) you’ll be happy not to have to wait for the postman before you can start bringing you own amigurumi army to life.

If you’re interested you can order online here: www.amigurumipatterns.net

I’m always excited to see my designs in an actual book, on an actual bookshelf, (or on the virtual bookshelves of Amazon), so I’d like to brag about it -just a little bit- by showing you some close-ups of my pattern contributions! And here they are…

Lulu and Lollo Lamb (Zoomigurumi 2)

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Tom the Tiger (Zoomigurumi 2)

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And Hedley the Hedgehog (Zoomigurumi 3)

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Ok, I’ve stopped showing off now. Thanks for indulging me! Back to more pattern designing I think. I’ve got a badger as a work in progress at the moment but I wonder what animal to do next? Has anybody got any requests? I’m always open to suggestions :-)

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