Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Keeping Tidy and Knittin’ Mittens

Yes, the miraculous has happened – after over a week of constant use since my tidying spree my studio has remained at least 90% organized, with the odd 10% of chaos being caused by the general creative flurry of a busy life with more yarn and ideas in it than time. As you can see, we’re still pretty ship shape around here!

My-Tidy-DeskNew Washi tape arrived last week to swell the collection. I now have all these!Washi-collection

Washi-tape-drawerCraft hoarder that I am, I do actually use some of my stuff some of the time. This week I put some of the Washis to good use sprucing up a set of folders that had been used by my middle son for storing his A-level coursework in. These folders weren’t the prettiest of things with their big black and white branded labels on the spines, but because I actually went with him to choose them a couple of years ago, they are a rather pleasing collection of rainbow colours (he was overruled on the ‘let’s just go for black ones, it’s easier’ line of thought) so there was definitely some salvage potential there.

I rifled through my collection of coloured papers and found a match for each file then I paired them up with their closest complimentary washi tape partners.WashiCo-ordinated heaven!

After a little bit of measuring, cutting and sticking, the slightly tatty, bog standard A4 lever arch files were transformed into something bright and neat and pretty.folders2Makeover complete and here they all are, harmoniously nestled into their new home.foldersNow if I’m going to be really fussy here, and I am pretty fussy generally, I’d probably say that the pink Washi tape isn’t really a close enough match. Oh well, it’ll do for now. In the meantime, deep pink Washi tape goes onto the shopping list.

I’ve begun to fill the folders already. I’m cataloguing my vast yarn collection to keep a track of which colours I’ve used for each amigurumi design, complete with brand and shade numbers. The idea is to make it much easier to re-stock a particular colour, or at least track down its nearest equivalent when I run out. Sometimes guess work just isn’t good enough. It’s a big job and is still ongoing but so far, so good. A stack of plastic sleeves meant for storing business cards in are the perfect solution for identifying all those yarn shades at a glance.yarn-cataloguingMy recent mass yarn sort out has been useful for reminding me of all those glorious oddments and single balls of variegated yarns. They were mostly found buried in the bottom of boxes under mounds of all the solid colours that tend to get much more regular use in my normal line of work, but now they have a box all to themselves.multi-yarnWith an urge to put some of this rediscovered kaleidoscopic yarn to good use I focused my attention on making a few pairs of fingerless mitts. I have to say that working crochet in the round with just a single hook is a doddle by comparison, but I do love the look of knitted gloves and socks so much better than crocheted ones and the four needle juggling act is becoming much less clumsy the more I practice.mitts-galoreMulticoloured yarn is my new favorite thing. All the pleasure of pretty patterning without the pain of constantly swapping out balls of wool. I even managed to create two pairs of mitts containing every colour of the rainbow with just two balls of yarn.reds-and-bluesI do enjoy working up these little projects – I can get a single mitt made in the course of an evening – the almost instant gratification is, well… gratifying! I always find myself fascinated by how each yarn orders itself. Some yarn stripes its way along in more or less single rows as with the first pair I made in this lovely mix of blues.blue-mittThe second pair of the week were a little more random in their patterning. Love these tutti frutti colours. A wearable tonic for the dullest of wet winter days. I made these a few rounds shorter to mix things up a bit.tutti-frutti-mittI also finished off a dark blue pair of mitts which had been languishing since last spring, thereby removing another project from the work-in-progress pile. Yippee!mittThe patterning on this one reminds me of ripples on the sea.teal-mittOr even the canal. No wild and untamed sea around here but plenty of gently choppy canals.ripplesAfter two and a bit pairs of plain stocking stitch mitts my brain started craving something a bit more challenging so the final finished pair of the week has a chunky cable detail.cable-mittsThey were going to have a pompom flourish but my youngest son has decided he’d really like to be their owner and has vetoed the pompom idea as silly, so I’ll save that for the next pair I make for myself. I’m not at all afraid of a bit of silly!

So with that plan in mind I started another pair today, on a short Sunday car run over to visit my parents. This time they’re in softly striping shades of pinks, lavenders and taupes. Too girly to be appropriated by any of my three boys, or hubby either, so I can be quite confident I won’t get hoodwinked into parting with my latest mitts. I’ll be adding a bit of pompom magic to these instead.new-cable-mittsI’ve certainly got enough pompoms going spare at the moment.minnieIf Minnie ever lets me near them!

I haven’t only been organising my craft stuff and knitting mittens though. I also have a new pattern on the way. So before I go, here’s a sneak peek at my newest Moji-Moji family members.peekersI couldn’t resist adding some pompoms to these either!


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Bright Beginnings

In order to well and truly kick 2016 into action I’ve been giving my studio a thorough clean out. New year, new beginnings and all that, so what better way than to start as I mean to go on with a tidy and efficient workspace?button-rainbowI sorted out my buttons and made a rainbow… now they fit neatly into my chest of drawers along with my other treasures.buttons-and-beadsDon’t congratulate me just yet though. I should have said that I’ve sorted out some of my buttons. I’ve still got a rather sizeable jar to go…button-jarBut I’m saving that for another day. There’s only so many buttons a girl can handle at any one time.

I’ve got enough colour coded pots of buttons to turn a search and sew situation into a grab and sew situation. You see it’s all about not spending ages looking for the things I need when I’m in the full flow of creativity. These days, the longer I take to find something the more chances I have of getting completely distracted by something else and forgetting what I was after in the first place. Organization is definitely the key to success here.

The thing I spend the most time looking for is yarn, so that’s what received my full attention next. This gave me another excuse to play with rainbows, this time by making a bunch of labels to pin to my yarn baskets. I found some plain brown swing tags hiding in a drawer, and raided my newly sorted pots of buttons.Button-tags2Then I indulged in some glue gun fun.glue-gunningThat was the easy bit over with – the real challenge was yet to begin… the sorting of the yarn itself. After all, fancy new labels for the baskets are no good to anybody if they don’t represent the contents.

So the beginning part of this week and quite a lot of last weekend was spent going through my jumble of yarn and colour coding that too. Not a task to be undertaken lightly, but one that is hopefully going to make me much more time rich over the coming months.studio-sortingI find that the best way to get tidy is to get really, really untidy first. If you tip everything out onto the floor in a grandly dramatic gesture, then you’ve just got to get on with it! There’s no leaving a mess like this to fester, although I think the cats would be delighted with such a yarnglorious playground to frolic in.  Bad luck cats… it’s all going back.

Ta-dahhhh ! Now hows this for organization?!rainbow-yarnrainbow-yarn-2rainbow-yarn-3Impressive huh?

There are also baskets of white, black, grey, beige, natural undyed and multicoloured yarns, all snuggly nestled away in their own shelf spots.yarn-basketsThat jumbled old top shelf needs my attention next, but I’m all done with yarn sorting for now. Just like the button sorting, I’m leaving the rest for another day.

I can also tell you that the wonderwall of yarn next to my computer has stood the test of staying neat in over a month of use. I really am getting into some good habits these days!rainbow-wallNo excuses for yarny chaos now, not with everything ready to find at a glance.buttons2buttons1buttons3I’ve also got me a rainbow of washi tapes to play with and a bucketful of rainbow pompoms to turn into a cushion cover. There’s a definite theme going on here in the studio this January!rainbow-washiMy set of clover crochet hooks might be up for a splash of colour treatment next. I love these hooks for the way they glide so smoothly through the yarn and their ergonomic handles are essential when you spend as many hours crocheting as I do, but they’re not the prettiest tools in the box. I’ve covered one with washi tape already and I’m liking the result.washi-hooksA coat of varnish or two and they should hold up to many zillions of miles of crocheting. The different colours will make it more difficult for me to grab hold of the wrong size too, as has been known to happen when I’m in full crochet swing. That little project is definitely going on the to do list.

As for the pompoms, I’ve made as many as I’m going to need for the cushion cover, and a quite a few extra as well.Minnie-in-the-basketI think the finished cover is going to be highly popular with the cats – especially Minnie, she can’t seem to keep away.pompom-minnieMojo wants to know if it’s his turn next. Not that he usually bothers asking!mojo-pompomsAt the end of all the frenzied yarn and button organising, pompom making and washi tape buying I even managed to clean up my desk area. Now I’m ready to start testing my patterns for the circus book. Everything is so much easier when things are tidy. I hope it lasts!tidy-deskbutton-rainbow

*A very heartfelt thanks to all who voted in the circus competition for my trapeze mice and dancing dogs. Both designs got picked for the new book so I’m a very happy bunny!*bunny-button


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Penny the Pine Tree

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The Christmas Decorations are well and truly squirrelled away for another year and to help chase away the post-Christmas blues, I’ve written up a new pattern to share with those of you who either aren’t at all happy to have had to say goodbye to all things Christmassy just yet, or who are already eagerly planning ahead to next year. Or even for those of you that (let’s all sing together now…) wish it could be Christmas everyday!

The honest truth is that I had every intention of posting this pattern sometime last December but the pre- Christmas rush, a dose of the winter sniffles and a painful cricked neck all coerced to set me slightly off track and suddenly the whole festive season seemed to run along faster than I could keep up with it. Well, better late than never, as they say.

Penny-the-Pine-Tree

So, without further ado, here’s my pretty, potted, rosy cheek spotted, Penny the Pine Tree, who’ll be happy to add a touch of greenery to your desk whatever the time of year.

Are you all ready for an out of season Christmas fix? Yes? Great!

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First of all, here are the materials and notions you’re going to need.

tree-materials
Size D (3.25mm) crochet hook.
DK yarn in Green, Light Pink, Dark Pink and Red.
Polyester toy stuffing.
2 x 6mm black plastic safety eyes.
Small piece of pink felt.
Yarn needle.
Stitch marker.
Fabric glue.

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And here’s the pattern.

(Please note: I prefer to use US crochet terms in my patterns. If you are more familiar with UK terms a handy stitch conversion chart can be found at the bottom of my Free Patterns page along with an explanation of the abbreviations used.)

Size: Penny is approximately 7″ (18 cm) tall from base of pot to top of star.

Plant Pot

Make 1 piece, starting at base. Working in continuous spiral rounds.
With Dark Pink yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 4: [sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 5: [sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 6: working in back loops only: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 7-8: sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Rnd 9: [sc in each of next 9 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (33 sts)
Rnd 10: sc in each st around.
Rnd 11: [sc in each of next 10 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (36 sts)
Rnd 12-14: sc in each st around. (3 rounds)
Change to Light Pink yarn.
Rnd 15-18: sc in each st around. (4 rounds)
Rnd 19: Working in back loops only: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 20: [sc in each of next 4 st, dec] 6 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 21: [sc in each of next 3 st, dec] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 22: [sc in each of next 2 st, dec] 6 times. (18 sts)
Stuff Plant Pot.
Rnd 23: [sc in next st, dec] 6 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 24: dec 6 times. (6 sts)

Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Thread yarn tail onto yarn needle, pick up front loop only of remaining 6 stitches. Pull tight to close the hole.

Insert yarn needle down center of plant pot, coming out at the center of the base.

pot1-and-2

Re-insert yarn needle one stitch apart from where it came out, finally emerging at the top center.

plant-pot-3-and-4

Pull gently on the yarn to form dimples in the top and bottom. This will help your tree to stand up straight by flattening the base.

plant-pot-5-and-6

Fasten off securely at the top and weave in the yarn end.

Star

stars4

Make 2 pieces for each star, starting at center. Working in continuous spiral rounds.
With Light Pink yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 5 sc in second ch from hook. (5 sts)
Rnd 2: working in back loops only: [slst in next st, 3 ch, slst in second ch from hook, hdc in next ch, slst in same st as first slst] 5 times.

Fasten off. Weave in the yarn end on first star. Leave long yarn tail on second star for sewing. With right sides facing outwards, whipstitch the edges of both stars together.

stars5

Pine Tree

Tree-tops

Make 1 piece, starting at tip. Working in continuous spiral rounds.
With Green yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 3 sc in second ch from hook. (3 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 3 st. (6 sts)
Rnd 3: [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (9 sts)
Rnd 4: [sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 5: [sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (15 sts)
Rnd 6: sc in each st around.
Rnd 7: [sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 8: sc in each st around.
Rnd 9: [sc in each of next 5 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (21 sts)
Rnd 10: sc in each st around.
Rnd 11: [sc in each of next 6 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 12: sc in each st around.
Rnd 13: [sc in each of next 7 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (27 sts)
Rnd 14: sc in each st around.
Rnd 15: [sc in each of next 8 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 16: sc in each st around.
Rnd 17: [sc in each of next 9 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (33 sts)
Rnd 18: sc in each st around.
Rnd 19: [sc in each of next 10 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (36 sts)
Rnd 20: sc in each st around.
Rnd 21: [sc in each of next 11 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (39 sts)
Rnd 22: sc in each st around.
Rnd 23: [sc in each of next 12 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (42 sts)
Insert safety eyes between Rnds 13 and 14 spacing them 5 stitches apart.
Rnd 24: working in back loops only: sc in each st around.
Rnd 25: working in back loops only: [sc in each of next 5 st, dec] 6 times. (36 sts)
Rnd 26: working in back loops only: sc in each st around.
Rnd 27: [sc in each of next 4 st, dec] 6 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 28: [sc in each of next 3 st, dec] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 29: [sc in each of next 2 st, dec] 6 times. (18 sts)
Stuff Tree.
Rnd 30: [sc in next  st, dec] 6 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 31: dec 6 times. (6 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Thread yarn tail onto yarn needle, pick up front loop only of remaining 6 stitches. Pull tight to close the hole. Fasten off and weave in the yarn end.

Frill

Tree-frill1

Holding tree upside down, pull up a loop of Green yarn in first leftover front loop from Rnd 24, (sc, hdc, dc) in next st, (dc, hdc, sc) in next st, slst in next st, [slst in next st, (sc, hdc, dc) in next st, (dc, hdc, sc) in next st, Slst in next  st] 29 times.

tree-frill-2

Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing. Now all the leftover back loops from Rnds 24-26 will have stitches in them.

tree-frill-3

Sew Rnd 26 of Tree to Rnd 19 of Plant Pot. Make all stitches on top of pot neatly behind the leftover loops from Rnd 19.

top-to-base

Weave in the yarn ends and sew the Star to the top of the Tree.

Pine-Tree

Cut out two tiny felt circles and glue them just below the eyes. Last of all, embroider a small V shape for the mouth using a strand of red yarn and you’re done.

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Of course, if pink is not your style then this little pine tree will look just as fabulous dressed up in any other colours you prefer.

To prove the point, here’s Penny with two of her other potty pals.

pine-tree-pals

And here she is trying on her bling ready for the next Christmas party.

Penny-Bling

Wowzers. That’s a knockout, fancy pants outfit! She’s sure to be the Belle of the Ball and I’m going to know exactly who to ask if I need to borrow a pin or two.

A very merry un-Christmas to you all!

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My Year in Pictures – 2015

I’m finally getting back up to speed again after all the Holiday madness and, to focus my thoughts, have had a jolly good look at the old year and some of the things I got up to. I made a 2014 montage this time last year and it was great for reminding myself of all that I’ve done and it also helped me think about all the things I hoped to achieve, create and do over the coming year.

That year has now whizzed by in a flurry of yarn, a ton of crochet, a spot of knitting, a half ton of pompoms, and a new batch of amigurumi characters to add to my ever growing woolly family.

I thought you might like to see a summary too, so I made another montage. I hope you enjoy my trip down Memory Lane with a few of my favorite snapshots of 2015.

January

01January-2015

February

02February-2015

March

03March-2015

April

04April-2015

May

05May-2015

June

06June-2015

July

07July-2015

August

08August-2015

September

09September-2015

October

10October2015

November

11November-2015

December

12December-2015

So there we have it. Some of the highlights from another wonderful year.

Now I’m really looking forward to seeing what 2016 brings. One thing I know for sure, I’m going to need a lot more yarn!


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Holiday Happiness

The Christmas and New year holidays are officially over and it’s back to work in earnest today. Not that I’ve been completely idle over the last few weeks of course but I’ve chosen to give pattern designing a bit of a break in favour of other less demanding projects that don’t require heaps of concentration and can be dipped in and out of and transported around much more easily. Basically, things I can do while out and about on car trips or sitting in the lounge watching festive films and Christmas Specials with the family and the decorations. I put so much effort into decking out the lounge that it’s a shame not to spend as much time in there as I can, tucked away among the twinkly lights and all the sparkly, shiny, glittery things that I love so much.

snow-mantel

The fairy lights make everything look so welcoming and warm and it’s been fun to add the finishing touches to my decor with some of my new designs. The snowman doorstop was elevated out of the draft and onto the mantelpiece where he has a much better view of the festivities.

snowman-mantel

Tiny crocheted stockings were hung over the fireplace and had sweets for Santa stashed inside them.

stockings

Evie and Elvis sat around the tree on Christmas eve, keeping an eye on the presents to make sure the cats didn’t get into the gift pile and cause an avalanche. Luckily my moggies were much more interested in pulling decorations off the tree and chasing them under the TV unit where they sat patiently waiting for them to emerge again. I think they have confused the characteristics of baubles with those of mice. They’re going to have to be very patient…

cats

Minnie preferred to steal pompoms off the tree then pretend it wasn’t her by gazing innocently out of the window and denying any involvement in this wanton act of sabotage.

minnie

I did catch her out indulging in a spot of high speed pompom juggling though, when she thought I wasn’t looking!

minnie2

Pompoms have taken up a large chunk of my holiday down time. I’ve made hundreds of them over the past few weeks. Some have been used to decorate the tree and the window…

My-Tree

…and others are destined for a circular cushion cover, which I kind of wish I’d never started! I think I’m in too far now to give it up even though my hands are rather chafed and sore from winding and tying way too many pompoms already. Having said that, I’m loving the lush shagpile look so much and am pretty certain that once I’ve finally made it to the end I’m going to be very pleased with the result.

Elvis-and-the-Pompoms

Three more rounds of pompoms to go before I can start to work out how to construct it so that it’s nice and sturdy and fit for purpose. It’s already passed Elvis’s comfy butt test with flying colours so that’s a good start!

Elvis-and-the-Pompoms-2

Now Evie wants me to make a pompom saddle for her reindeer so that next year’s trip to help Santa out at the North Pole will be much comfier.

evie

Better get winding a snipping a few more then.

pompom-trimmimg

As an occasional alternative to chafing myself to death with endless pompoms I dug through my work in progress pile and dragged out the Autumn Berries Poncho that I began back in October. Originally inspired by the combination of blackberries and raspberries it was lovely to spend a few dark wintery evenings going back over the memories of sunny hedgerow picking. I love how handmade projects can be so tied up in the memories of the times in which you made them. We haven’t had much sun around here at all recently so I had a good daydream about the joys of basking in that elusive yellow orb from last year’s bright and shiny autumn.

poncho-fringe

I chose the same edging from Edie Eckman’s Around the Corner Crochet Borders book that I used for my Mexican blanket. Now it just needs a bit of blocking to bring out it’s full fringy glory. Blocking isn’t exactly one of my most favorite parts of the crochet process and is usually to be avoided wherever possible, but in this case I think the pain will be worth the gain.

poncho-edging

I also found a little spare time over the holidays to crochet some strawberry embellishments in matching yarn which I intend to add to the ends of the neck ties. They’re more of a summer berry than an autumn one I know, but I’m exercising a bit of artistic licence here! I’m also crocheting them in the winter and will, at this rate, be finishing it all off in the spring so it will be a poncho for all seasons in the end :-)

strawberries

The strawberries still need stuffing and sewing together but you get the idea. I’ll be doing a post about the poncho once it’s completed so I’ll save all the details for the big reveal later on.

One of my favorite Christmas presents this year was given to me by my lovely boys. Old enough at last to feel inspired  to go shopping on their own they bought me a very thoughtful gift. A little Christmas tree for my bedroom and a wonderfully presented pack of 100 miniature glass baubles from Paperchase. Almost too pretty to unpack!

mini-baubles

They know what a magpie I am and this made me very happy indeed. I spent a few hours making and attaching little silver plated wire hooks to each one.

baubles

I used most of my jewellery making stash of wire for this but now they will be easy to hang year after year and I enjoyed the calming repetition of the task. Now I can enjoy having my very own tree to light up my bedside table while also giving an added glow to a rather dashing kind of elf who doesn’t necessarily have anything at all to do with Christmas!

mini-tree

Lovely! It makes it much easier to tear myself away from the twinkly grotto downstairs at the end of every day.

I couldn’t resist filling the empty bauble box with some of my spare pompoms for no better reason than because they were the perfect fit. Maybe I should make a square cushion with these. But I think I’ll wait and see how the round one works out first in case it’s a total disaster and ends up just falling apart. The box will be a good little tool for getting the colour combos just right if I do decide to go ahead.

pompom-square

Christmas was also about putting feet up and donating spare lap space to needy cats. Mojo likes to remind me that hands aren’t just made for crafting but for fussing fur babies too. How could I resist?!

moji

Tigger is not quite such a fuss ball as Mojo, being more emotionally needly than needy but he still appreciates a bit of company on the sofa from time to time.

tigger

He’s the self anointed King of Grumpsville and nobody messes with the King when he’s wearing that face! Not even when he turns this basket of harmoniously placed pompoms…

pompoms

…into this…

tigger-basket

…because he couldn’t resist doing this…

tigger2

Ahh, we do love him, hisses and all!

tigs

It really has been a most refreshing break but I’m oh so ready to get out the hooks and yarn and start designing some new patterns again. I’m looking forward to finishing the pompom cushion and the poncho, but I’m feeling especially joyful at the thought of all the brand new projects that 2016 will bring.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing the journey with me throughout 2015. Here’s to another year’s worth of colourful, yarn obsessed adventures!


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Pom Tiddly Om Poms

Yes, I’m all about pompoms at the moment and I’ve been busy winding and tying, snipping and sewing and now have a huge supply of these gorgeously fluffy cheap and cheerful homemade baubles to finish off this years Christmas decorating.

It all started with just one bowl, made on a winter’s evening with a view to filling a few gaps in the Christmas decorations. I have a lot of red and gold ornaments as well as lots of white snowflakes and clear glass icicles but was craving a little bit more colour this year.

pompom7

The  pompom idea seemed like the perfect way to jazz everything up a bit without necessitating either as trip to town or spending fortune.

I sewed some short lengths of fishing line through the first batch to make them into hanging decorations…

pompom12

…and hung them on my twiggy tree over the mantelpiece along with my Halloween pompom garland I made earlier in the year (minus the scary characters of course). Those pops of colour look really cheery by day…

pompom-mantelpiece

…and just as lovely by night.

pompom-tree

Suitably inspired by my efforts, I couldn’t help but get busy making a whole load more. With my little pompom makers by Clover , a bit of patience and a few cosy nights in I have to confess I got a little carried away.

pompom13

As of right now I’ve made over 350 of them in a week of evenings and a couple of car journeys. These are just a few of them as I used each day’s quota to decorate the lounge as I went along.

A little trim with some sharp scissors quickly gets rid of all those unruly ends.

pompoms3

I used sparkly yarn for some, and plain yarn for others in all my current favorite colours.

pompoms2

I’d love to make a cushion cover from pom poms next.

pompom10

I have a fancy to string them up tightly and then sew them to a piece of fabric so they are really dense and luxurious.

pompom8

How huggable and snuggable would that be? Just perfect for cuddling up to.

pompom9

All of these ended up as garlands or baubles but I’m definitely making a note of the pompom cushion idea for the New Year, I just need to work out the constructional details. Oh yeah, and make a couple of hundred more pompoms too. No time for that right now with Christmas day really just hours away but I’m sure I’ll be able to squeeze some more pompom making in over Christmas week.

So back to my current batch of pompoms…

pompom5

I strung them up on a few lengths of baker’s twine.

pompom11

I made a string of fifty and two strings of forty with all of the colours randomly arranged.

pompom14

Then I hung them in the window, above our big tree…

pompom-garland

…with some of the leftover pompoms plugging the gaps between my other baubles.

pompom15

All together I think the tree is now finished… maybe. I never really know when to stop. I don’t really do ‘understated’ very well!

pompom16

Still, if you can’t go a bit over the top at Christmas then when can you?

 

Mojo likes the tree a lot. In fact all the cats do. They especially like hiding behind it in the windowsill, keeping an eye on all the owls and other assorted birds nestling in the branches while still having a good view down the street to watch the comings and goings of the neighbouring cats.

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There does appear to be a few spots of foliage around this side that are crying out for a few more pompoms. Looks like I missed this bit. Although I can’t really see this part from the sofa it’s only fair to furnish the cat’s favourite side as lavishly as I’ve furnished mine! I have a few left over so that can be easily rectified.

I also made a bunch of pompoms in white – a perfect project for the Christmas visit car journeys. What with all the presents and extra passengers we were carrying there really wasn’t all that much room in the car for multiple balls of wool so I just picked up a 100g ball of white yarn and got busy.

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Even if it’s raining outside we can still have snowballs in the car.

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And here are the fruits of my labours.

snowballs

Now they’re finished I shall try to find the time to string them up to finish off the bay window. I want to hang these vertically so they look more like snow falling, but as time is rapidly whizzing away, maybe I’ll save that project for next year and let the snowpeople enjoy a snowball fight with them for now.

I want to use the holiday week to complete a few of this year’s unfinished projects. After boxing day is over things get a tad quieter around her until New Year at least. The poncho that I began in October really needs it’s last details adding so I can actually wear it and I have tassells to attach to a shawl that was started around the same time. There’s also a whole bunch of tiny stars to sew together to add the finishing touches to a new pattern that’s in it’s final stages.

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But I’ll leave all that for another post. I think I’ve waffled on enough already!

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Wishing you all a wonderful time over the next few days. Happy Christmas everyone!


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Evie and Elvis

Ooooh, it’s nearly Christmas and the elves are busy making and wrapping presents at the North Pole. So busy in fact that Santa himself asked me if I could possibly come to his rescue and conjure up another couple of these eternally helpful little creatures to fill a vacancy at the Stocking-Stuffing Gingerbread Hut. Apparently there are just soooo many girls and boys who are on the nice list this year that it’s getting difficult to keep up with getting all the toys ready. Santa’s been so incredibly kind to me over the years and brought me lots of treats and toys when I was a little girl that I could hardly refuse his request. So I set to with my trusty crochet hook and before you could say ‘Sugar Plum Fairy’ (several hundred thousand times) I managed to create a pattern for these two little pointy eared cuties.

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Evie and Elvis are their names and they’re just bouncing off the walls with excitement at the prospect of meeting Santa and the other elves, not to mention all the cuddly reindeers.

They’re already practicing stuffing stockings with these miniature versions that are just the right size for their little arms to reach to the bottom of.

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boy-elf

I have a sweet tooth so at this time of year there are always candy canes and chocolate coins galore around here. These mini stockings are going to make very handy gift bags and their small size makes them perfect for hanging on the tree. In our house these will be given out to any little people, elves or otherwise, who come visiting over the Christmas holidays.

Mini-Stockings

It’s been oh so cosy tucked up in the lounge with balls of red, green and white yarn, the tree installed and all lit up, sitting in front of a Yule log burning away brightly on the TV to the sounds of traditional Christmas Carols.

Elf-workshop

If you can’t have a real fire, then this has to be the next best thing. Unfortunately for us our Victorian chimneys are full of building rubble from upper storey renovations that happened well before we moved in. The previous occupants must have decided it was cheaper than using a skip. As a result it’s all round easier to have this Netflix version. There are other added bonuses to this approach of course, such as not having to clear out the ashes, not spending a fortune on Yule logs and not having to send for the fire brigade when things get out of control.

When I can bring myself to leave such comfort and joy it’s back up to my studio where the computer is put to good use laying out and writing up a final version of the pattern.

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A little bit of picture formatting in photoshop goes a long way towards making the finished document neat and easy to follow.

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After the finer details of the elves are added the final stage is to get some good shots of the finished dolls. Luckily, all my amigurumi love posing for their portraits – they’re not nearly as shy as I am. All the photography for the pattern takes place at the far end of the desk. (When Mojo is ready to vacate the set of course).

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I don’t think he’s moving on until he finds that bit of broken candy cane. Who knew cats had sweet teeth too?

Just before Evie and Elvis head off on their winter adventure there’s just enough time to put their elvish talents to good use. They’re more than happy to lend a hand helping me wrap some presents for under our own tree.

elf-wrapping

The more embellishments the better!

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Time to tidy up the gift wrap and start sweet talking those reindeer into giving the elves a ride up north to see Santa. Seems like the reindeer won’t need too much persuading. They look to be pretty enamoured with their new friends already.

evie-and-elvis

A quick hop back up to the studio for one last pose in front of the camera. Much easier now Mojo has gone on his afternoon walkabout…

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Goodbye Evie and Elvis, I hope you enjoy your seasonal work experience. See you after Christmas when the rush is over and we can all relax again!

As for the next few days, I’ve got a few more pompoms to make to finish off the decorating… one bowl is never enough…

pompoms

…but other than that I think I’m all ready for Christmas. I hope you are too. Let the festivities commence!

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