Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Mavis and Marvin Monkey

Hello there and Happy Valentine’s to you all!

If you want to show your crochet the love here’s a heads up to get ready for a whole lot of merriment because Mavis and Marvin the mischievous monkeys are coming over for a play-date! In fact, as of today, their pattern will be available exclusively for one month over at Amigurumipatterns.net’s Ami-Along. As an extra bonus all Ami-Along participants can get 30% off all my other patterns in my AmigurumiPatterns Moji-Moji Design shop!

Mavis and Marvin are bursting with energy and love making their friends smile with their clever aerobic antics, so be sure to take them to the park where they can burn off all that energy. But be warned! Unless you are an Olympic athlete you may find it a challenge to keep up with them as they jump all over the swings and swing all over the climbing frames. Those curly monkey tails just love to wrap around anything they can find. If Mavis and Marvin should disappear for a while don’t forget to check the tree tops. That’s where they usually like to hide away.

You will probably be able to tempt them back to earth with a handful of roasted peanuts and foam banana sweets. As these are their favorite treats you could even use the promise of them to encourage Mavis and Marvin to sit quietly for a minute (but absolutely no more than that – I can assure you!).

I was asked to come up with a brand new design especially for the Ami-Along in the middle of January and it’s been a great kick start to the new year. As usual I began with a quick sketch in my dog-eared graph paper note book.

And it wasn’t long before a cute crocheted face followed.

There was a bit of tweaking and refining to do but this little monkey pattern went smoothly right from the start. It was fun to play around with the colours for the clothing.

 

Next thing I knew,  I had a boy monkey swinging off my hook and dashing around the studio too.

Marvin sports a smart bow tie at his neck and a straight hem on his sweater. Mavis’s has a scalloped edge and she wears a little bow proudly on her ear, making her the prettiest primate for miles around.

But what they both have in common is a love of stripes, a cheeky smile and the curliest tails you ever did see!

A lot of note taking and a heap of pattern writing later and I’ve got almost enough to make a whole troop.

I’ve even started on a couple of baby monkeys made with 4 ply yarn and a 1.75 mm hook. Oh my goodness! They are turning out so sweet!

I hope to be back to share a little more of the mini monkeys’ progress along with a round up of other news soon. I’m planning on finishing sewing mini Marvin together this afternoon. Well there are certainly worse ways to spend the day!

I’ll also be hopping in and out of the forums, answering questions and sharing tips and tricks (for the next month) so do come on over, share your progress and ask away!

Mavis, Marvin and myself are very much looking forward to meeting you there and seeing what ape-mazing amigurumis you create!

 


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Mini Christmas Stocking Pattern

It’s never too early to start your Christmas prep! Well, that’s what I think anyway, and if you agree with me you might like to start by hooking up a few miniature stockings to get you in the mood. If that’s simply a far too bonkers idea in February don’t forget to bookmark or download the pattern for later on in the year.

These dinky little socks are approximately 5″ (13 cm) long – so they’re the perfect size for pixies, elves and fairies to hang by the fireplace on Christmas Eve. If you happen to be a human they might be a bit small for that but you can employ them for a multitude of other uses instead.

They make fabulous tree decorations, mini gift bags, party favors, festive dinner table knife and fork holders or – if you are feeling very industrious – how about making a set of 24 for an advent calendar? String them up, number them and stuff with sweets and tiny treats to really build that Christmas excitement.

I made two calendars last year and really would recommend getting stuck in as soon as possible if you fancy having a go at that. I’s best to look on it as a bit of a crochet marathon and not a sprint – if you want to avoid a repetitive strain injury that is. In this case it really is slow and steady that wins the race.

For the stockings above I used a combination of James C. Brett’s Twinkle Range and various other glittery yarns that I have collected over the years. Being the magpie that I am, any yarn with a hint of a bling has to come home with me to brighten up my nest.

I also have a great back up plan for when I can’t find the exact shade of sparkly yarn I need. I get my little elf helper to wind some balls of plain acrylic doubled up with a thin strand of silver thread I bought a while ago off eBay. The cone cost around £12 but as there’s at least a squillion yards on there I reckon it was really good value. I don’t think I’ll have to be stocking up on that again anytime soon!

If you don’t have a wool winder, or a helpful elf, to combine the two threads into one ball, you can just ply them as you crochet. The latter technique can get a bit tangly if you’re not too careful though, so beware and take your time, paying special attention not to get in a knot while you’re working on the stripes.

Feeling a Christmas tingle yet? If you are then go gather up your supplies and let’s get hooking a stocking 🙂

Materials:
Each stocking requires around 5 grams each of light tone and dark tone DK yarn in a colour of your choice and 10 grams of white DK yarn.

You’ll also need a 2.5 mm crochet hook, a pair of scissors, a yarn needle and a decorative button.

*click here for a printable version of this pattern*

Pattern notes:
This pattern uses US sc (UK dc) throughout.

When making the stripes be sure to carry the unused yarn up the inside of the work. There’s no need to cut and tie off every time you change colour.

Crochet over all the yarn ends as you finish with them (apart from the final white yarn ends on the cuff and toe) so there will be hardly any darning in to do afterwards.

Cuff – Working in rows, in back loops only.

With White yarn make 13 ch (foundation chain).
Row 1: Starting in second ch from hook, sc in each st to end, turn. (12 sts)

Note: 1 ch at start of each row does not count as a st.
Rows 2-31: 1 ch, sc in each st to end, turn. (12 sts) (30 rows)
Row 32: 1 ch, sc in each st to end.

Closing Row: (Right side) 1 ch, fold cuff in half length ways, taking care to line up the row ends. Making sure stitches go through both layers to join: sc in each of next 32 row ends.
Cut White yarn, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Leg – Working in continuous spiral rounds.

Leave a white yarn end for sewing up the back of the cuff later. Crochet over all other yarn ends as you go.
Rnd 1: 
With Right Side facing, pull up a loop of Dark Tone yarn in the last st of the Closing Row, 1 ch (does not count as a st), sc in same st as join, sc in first st of Closing Row to join into a circle, then sc in each of next 30 st. (32 sts)

Rnd 2: Sc in each st around.
Change to Light Tone yarn.

If you prefer you can slst loosely in the first stitch to help minimise the ‘step’ between the colours.


Rnds 3-4: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Change to Dark Tone yarn.
Rnds 5-6: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Change to Light Tone yarn.
Rnds 7-8: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Change to Dark Tone yarn.
Rnds 9-10: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Change to Light Tone yarn.
Rnds 11-12: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Change to Dark Tone yarn.
Rnds 13-14: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Cut Dark Tone yarn. Change to Light Tone yarn.
Rnds 15-16: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Cut Light Tone yarn and mark the stitch directly under the split at the back of the cuff.

Heel – Working in rows.

Pull up a loop of White yarn in the seventh stitch to the right of the marked stitch. 1 ch (does not count as a st) sc in same st as join, sc in each of next 14 st, turn. (15 sts)

Note: 1 ch at start of each row does not count as a st.
Row 2: 1 ch, sc in each of next 10 st, turn. (10 sts)
Row 3: 1 ch, sc in each of first 5 st, turn. (5 sts)

Row 4: 1 ch, sc in each of next 5 st, sc in next st of Row 1, turn. (6 sts)

Row 5: 1 ch, sc in each of next 6 st, sc in next st of Row 2, turn. (7 sts)

Crocheting in each extra stitch from the row below creates the shaping for the heel.

Row 6: 1 ch, sc in each of next 7 st, sc in next st of Row 1, turn. (8 sts)
Row 7: 1 ch, sc in each of next 8 st, sc in next st of Row 2, turn. (9 sts)
Row 8: 1 ch, sc in each of next 9 st, sc in next st of Row 1, turn. (10 sts)
Row 9: 1 ch, sc in each of next 10 st, sc in next st of Row 2, turn. (11 sts)
Row 10: 1 ch, sc in each of next 11 st, sc in next st of Row 1, turn. (12 sts)
Row 11: 1 ch, sc in each of next 12 st, sc in next st of Row 2, turn. (13 sts)
Row 12: 1 ch, sc in each of next 13 st, sc in next st of Row 1, turn. (14 sts)
Row 13: 1 ch, sc in each of next 14 st, sc in next st of Row 2. (15 sts)
Cut White yarn.

Foot – Working in continuous spiral rounds.

Rnd 1: Pull up a loop of Dark Tone yarn in st at center of Row 13 of heel (there should be 7 heel stitches either side of this stitch), 1 ch (does not count as a st) sc in same st, sc in each of next 7 st of heel, skip first st of leg, sc in each of next 15 st, skip next st, sc in each of next 7 st of heel. (30 sts)

Rnd 2: Sc in each st around.
Change to Light Tone yarn.
Rnds 3-4: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Change to Dark Tone yarn.
Rnd 5-6: Sc in each st around.
Cut Dark Tone Yarn. Change to Light Tone yarn.
Rnds 7-8: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Cut Light Tone yarn.

Toe – Working in continuous spiral rounds.

Change to White yarn.
Rnd 1: Sc in each st around.

Rnd 2: [Sc in each of next 8 st, dec] 3 times. (27 sts)
Rnd 3: [Sc in each of next 7 st, dec] 3 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 4: [Sc in each of next 2 st, dec] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 5: [Sc in next st, dec] 6 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 6: 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.

Weave in end. Sew back seam of Cuff together. Weave in the yarn ends.b Sew a decorative button to front center of Cuff.

Closing Loop
Leaving a long yarn tail at beginning, pull up a loop of White yarn in stitch at middle of back half of Cuff, make 12 ch (you may need to adjust your chain length to suit your button size), fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing.
Thread yarn tail onto yarn needle. Insert needle into base of 12 ch and tie yarn tails together. Weave in ends.

Hanging loop
Leaving a long yarn tail at beginning, pull up a loop of White yarn in stitch at back edge of Cuff, in line with back of heel, make 24 ch, fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing.
Thread yarn tail onto yarn needle. Insert needle into base of 24 ch and tie yarn tails together. Weave in ends.

Fill with treats and put Closing Loop over button to close the top of the Stocking.

*click here for a printable version of this pattern*

xxx 🙂 Happy Hooking! 🙂 xxx

 


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Zoomigurumi 8

 

Well here we go again! It’s time for Zoomigurumi 8 already. Yet another fantastic collection of amigurumi toys to delight the young and the young at heart. I’m definitely in the second category these days but that’s a whole lot better than not being in either!

My Pablo the Parrot has made the grade this year and is featured on pages 63-69 where there are lots of photos of him showing off his wonderful plumage as well as some step by step pictures to help with making him.

Pablo likes dancing to Flamenco music. He reckons his frills and ruffs are a match for any of those man-made fancy pants outfits he’s seen the professional dancers wearing on the telly.

This chatty parrot will tell you all about himself and his hobbies if you take the time to ask him. To be honest, he’ll even tell you if you don’t ask him!

Pablo is keeping company with a host of other cute ‘n’ quirky creatures nestled within the pages of Zoomigurumi 8.

 

There’s the usual wide variety of styles and skill levels, though there’s nothing in there that a dedicated beginner couldn’t handle. That’s the joy of amigurumi… It’s very easy to get the hang of and once your flying with that hook it’s just so much fun honing those skills.

This time around I had the pleasure of testing out Elisa Sartori’s Woody the Beaver pattern. He’s such a sweetie. I adore his goofy teeth and that adorable flippy floppy tail finishes him off a treat.

You can see more of her lovely patterns at her Etsy shop – Elisa’s Crochet. It’s well worth a look if you like your amigurumis bursting with character!

This chap is Woody by name and Woody by nature. He loves to get his teeth stuck into anything made out of trees so, to save my furniture, I have added twigs and pine cones to the list of things to bring back from my river walks and they’re keeping him out of trouble so far!

Designing Pablo was a bit of a challenge as I wanted to work out a simple way to make the many different coloured ruffles without any sewing together.

It took a few attempts but I got there in the end and found a super simple solution. Working out the best maths for the decreases while still allowing for the correct number of stitches to create full rounds of shell stitches was the most difficult part but I landed on a very elegant equation and now I’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to!

Picking out colours for this design was high up on my list of the fun things I got to do.

I have no shortage of yarn in every imaginable colour so I soon also had an alternative to Pablo’s brilliant blues.

As these little birds are so quick to whip up it wasn’t long until Pablo had found himself a buddy. I love a rainbow so, working with that idea, I came up with a simplified colour combo for a ruby macaw. She’s called Scarlett and the pair of them couldn’t be happier together!

Love is, quite literally, in the air. Aww, how tweet!

In fact things are going so well that Pablo has asked Scarlett to marry him.

And she said YES!

So then they asked Woody to be Best Man.

And he said YES! too. Happy Days!

No wonder Woody looks so insanely happy. I’m sure the parrots would too if it wasn’t for those awfully stiff beaks of theirs.

I have a feeling there are many more stories to be told by the characters in this book once they’ve jumped off the hook. I’d love to hear what yours get up to!

You can order paperback copies over at AmigurumiPatterns.Net where you’ll be able to download the PDF version too, so there’s nothing to stop you getting stuck in straight away. The perfect solution for keeping you busy while you await your precious package!

🙂 Wishing you a zillion hours of zany Zoomigurumi 8 fun 🙂

 


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From Autumn to Winter

The transition through the seasons is never a straightforward one here in England. The weather can pretty much do anything at anytime but there is usually an overall trend that can be easier to see in retrospect. True to form, the weather has been unseasonably warm one day and then unseasonably cold the next over the past few weeks.

I have enjoyed a splendid autumn and thanks, in part, to spraining my wrist – which has made amigurumi-ing a bit of a challenge to say the least, I’ve found other crafts and activities that aren’t so taxing to take it’s place for a bit while my ligaments heal and right themselves ready for a new start in the New Year. Heaven forbid I should sustain permanent damage and never be able to make amigurumi again! My heart truly sinks at such a thought.

I’ve started running to fill the gap and have rediscovered my love of the great outdoors.

Sunshine or frost, it’s feels fabulous and energizing to get outside and see what’s going in the big wide world on a much more regular basis.

It’s all too easy to stay tucked up inside but I have to say I feel so much better for making myself get up and go!

I took an expedition to find some conkers and stumbled on a bumper crop thanks to a storm the day before.

A walk or jog around the river is always a tonic and sunny autumn days are my favorite kind.

The colours are so beautiful and I love the crunch of crispy leaves underfoot.

I feel so lucky to have all this practically on my doorstep.

Of course it’s lovely to get tucked up indoors too, and feels even better after a good foray outdoors. 

We’ve been carving pumpkins for the hearth…

…and making and displaying my crocheted pumpkin collection too…

These crocheted gourds were not very taxing to make and I spent quite a few cosy October evenings sewing up the flat rib sections to make little three dimensional balls of autumnal loveliness. Check out the free pattern here.

Rubick is very proud of my handiwork and was very happy to lend his innate Halloweeniness to the photos.

What a handsome chap <3

We’ve had plenty of snuggle time with my recently completed Persian Tiles project and so I thought I’d get busy on another cosy throw. There can never be too many blankets. That’s one thing the cats and I can always agree on.

While tight little amigurumi stitches are a challenge right now I’m not experiencing the same problems with granny blankets, so that seemed one of the obvious ways to channel my creative energy.

I began this grey tone blanket sometime last year but ended up shelving it when life got too busy. I didn’t actually remember just how many hexagons I’d made so I was pleasantly surprised by the larger than anticipated  amount when I eventually dug them out of the old pillowcase into which they’d been stuffed. 

It’s been blissfully therapeutic joining them all together. I usually go for brighter colours but have to admit there is something serenely soothing about a palette of greys. And very wintry too so it’s a perfect project for a frosty November/December.

And what do the Mojo and Rubick think?

They think it’s mighty fine of course!

Though Rubick prefers the basket with all the yarn in if the truth be told.

Or sometimes a shopping bag is just as nice, especially if your human is planning on leaving for a trip to town with it right at that very moment.

As well as blanket making I also gave a class on amigurumi to a group of lovely ladies. They made some snowmen and even the absolute beginners made good progress over our hour and a half session. I’d like to do more of these next year as it was such fun and so nice to get to know a bunch of new people and teach them all the basics and not so basics depending on their different skill levels. I even learnt a few new tricks myself off some of them!

I thoroughly enjoyed making up these cute little kits to take to the lessons. There is something very satisfying about getting a production line going and seeing it all come together.

My free pattern for the Mini Snowmen is here if you need a few for your tree or as cracker gifts, present toppers, party favors, keyrings or any other uses that spring to mind.

Because one project is never enough, alongside my winter hexie blanket I am also working on a poncho design picked out of an old magazine I was browsing. I can’t resist a pretty poncho and as I had a bunch of gorgeous yarn in beautiful mottled shades just waiting for their moment to shine this seemed to be the ideal marriage.

These big loose granny shells in double crochets are bliss to make. And so fast with a chunky hook. It’s a super simple pattern consisting of two large triangles joined together so it’s perfect the car journeys and bus journeys and really just anytime at all where too much concentration is a tall order.

Sculpey crafting has been another fun revelation and addition to my craft catalogue. I’ve made a few Christmas presents with this oven bake clay. I’ll  reveal all once the intended recipients have opened their pressies on Christmas day, but in the mean time I can show you some little buttons I’ve made.


Some of them are a little rough and ready, but not bad for a first attempt. I see great possibilities here. It can be tricky, and expensive too, to find just the right colour, size and shape of buttons to adorn my amigurumis so I’m thrilled to have discovered a fast and easy way to make my own.

With all these other projects going on, and still mostly trying to avoid any large doses of amigurumi while I’m on the mend, I decided to have a go at tidying my studio. When I decide to have a sort out things always get worse before they get better – as you can clearly see below!

I wish I could show you the finished heavenly bliss of a fully functioning immaculately tidy studio space but let’s just say I’m not quite there yet. Maybe next time I’ll be able to reveal what it would look like in a perfect world (if I haven’t messed it up again by then!).

I’ll leave you with a hint of a project that I began working on a while ago…

I’m hoping to write up a free pattern for it very soon. It’s Christmas related, as you can probably guess from the twinkles in the yarn, so I really need to get a move on with that one.

If you’re in the mood for some festive crochet you could always make a Penny the Pine Tree. 

She’ll add a bit of seasonal charm to your creative space and transforms from pine tree to Christmas tree with the addition of shiny decorations in the form of pins.

In any decor scheme there’s always room for one more tree. Especially a little one like this!


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Pretty Little Pumpkins

pumpkin borderI hope you all had a spookylicious time this Halloween! Now some of you might think it’s a little late in the day for a pumpkin pattern – but in my view pumpkins are for all of autumn and not just for carving freaky faces into. So, undaunted by the lateness of the hour, I’ve been busy stirring a potion in my crochet cauldron to bring you a pattern for a crop of gorgeous gourds.

pumpkin-splice-1.jpg
There are three sizes to choose from, all on the smallish side and all quick and simple to make. Whether you’re into Halloween shenanigans or not these are perfect for adding a touch of autumnal charm, even after the real pumpkins are past their best by dates.
pumpkin-sketchwork
To make each pumpkin you will need around 6-12 grams of DK yarn. Pretty much any yarn will do but I used James C. Brett’s Twinkle range for this because they come in the most lovely colours and are as cheap as they are cheerful. With so many long dark evenings ahead of us it’s lovely to have some sparkle around the house at this time of year to brighten things up a bit.
pumpkin-materials
You’ll also need a 3 mm crochet hook, a pair of scissors and a yarn needle. Lastly, add in some polyester toy stuffing (and maybe a steaming mug of spiced pumpkin latte) and we’re ready to go.

(Click here to download a printable version)pumpkin border
Pattern notes:
This pattern uses US sc (UK dc) throughout.

Leave a 4″ yarn tail at the beginning of the foundation chain for tying off the gathered crochet fabric later.

The pumpkins can be made in a single colour or, if you prefer stripes, you can change colours every two rows.

You will need approx 12 g of yarn for the large pumpkin, 8 g for the medium one and 4 g for the small one.

For the pumpkin body make all stitches in the back loops only (see below).
pumpkin-foundation-chainblo-photos
Working rows in the back loops only creates the ribs that give the pumpkin its structure.pumpkin-stripspumpkin borderLarge Pumpkin (9 cm diameter)
Make all stitches in back loops only.
With Color 1 make 25 ch (foundation chain).
Row 1: (Right side) Starting in second ch from hook, sc in each st to end, turn. (24 sts)
(1 ch at beginning of each row are the turning chains and do not count as a stitch).
Rows 2-47: 1 ch, sc in each st to end, turn. (46 rows)
Row 48: 1 ch, sc in each st to end.
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing.
With right side facing outwards bring the last row up to meet the foundation chain. Align the stitches and whipstitch the seam together, placing stitches through the back loops only of the last round and into the leftover loops of the foundation chain all the way along. Make a knot in the last stitch. Do not cut the yarn.pumpkin-seaming-composite
Use the needle to thread the rest of the yarn end through the very top loops of the ribs only.pumpkin-gathering-comp.jpg
When you have threaded the yarn through all of the rib tips pull gently to gather them up together and tie the two yarn ends securely. Stuff firmly with polyester toy stuffing.pumpkin-gathering-comp-1.jpg
Using matching yarn, and leaving a 4″ tail at the beginning, thread the needle through the very top loops of the ribs just as you did for the other end. When you have threaded the yarn through all of the rib tips, pull on both ends of the yarn to gather them up together. Tie the two yarn ends securely and hide them inside the pumpkin.pumpkin-gathering-bottom-2
The holes that are left will vary depending on the size of your pumpkin but don’t worry about that. We will be hiding this with a stalk and a base later.three-pumpkins.jpg
You can leave your pumpkin round or you can flatten it by threading a long piece of yarn through the pumpkin from the bottom to the top then down to the bottom again, making sure to catch a stitch at the edge of the hole each time. Repeat this at various points around the edges of the holes at both ends. Pull on the yarn gently each time you pass it back through to give the desired shape. When you have finished, tie the ends off at the base and hide the ends inside the pumpkin.pumpkin-shaping.jpg
Large Pumpkin Stalk
Make all stitches in both loops.
With Color 2 make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 5 sc in second ch from hook. (5 sts)
Rnd 2: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 3: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 2 st. (6 sts)
Rnds 4-5: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Rnd 6: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 5 st. (7 sts)
Rnd 7: [Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 3 st. (8 sts)
Rnd 8: 2 sc in each st around. (16 sts)
Rnd 9: [Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 8 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 10: Sc in each st around.
Fasten off. leaving a long tail for sewing. Stuff the stalk and position over one of the open holes. Sew the last round of the stalk to the top of the pumpkin.pumpkin-top-comp.jpg
Large Pumpkin Base
With Color 2 make 2 ch.
Make all stitches in both loops.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around. (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing.
Sew the last round of the base to the bottom of the pumpkin in the same way as you did for the stalk.pumpkin-base-comp.jpg
Now you’ve got the hang of that here are two smaller sizes for some even quicker makes!pumpkin borderMedium Pumpkin (7 cm diameter)
Make all stitches in back loops only.
With Color 1 make 19 ch (foundation chain).
Row 1: (Right side) Starting in second ch from hook, sc in each st to end, turn. (18 sts)
(1 ch at beginning of each row are the turning chains and do not count as a stitch).
Rows 2-35: 1 ch, sc in each st to end, turn. (34 rows)
Row 36: 1 ch, sc in each st to end.
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing.starry border-
Medium Pumpkin Stalk
Make all stitches in both loops.
With Color 2 make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 5 sc in second ch from hook. (5 sts)
Rnds 2-3: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 4: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 2 st. (6 sts)
Rnd 5: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 6: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 5 st. (7 sts)
Rnd 7: 2 sc in each st around. (14 sts)
Rnd 8: sc in each st around.
Fasten off. leaving a long tail for sewing.starry border-
Medium Pumpkin Base
With Color 2 make 2 ch.
Make all stitches in both loops.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around. (12 sts)
Fasten off. leaving a long tail for sewing.
To make up, follow large pumpkin instructions above.pumpkin borderSmall Pumpkin (5 cm diameter)
Make all stitches in back loops only.
With Color 1 make 13 ch (foundation chain).
Row 1: (Right side) Starting in second ch from hook, sc in each st to end, turn. (12 sts)
(1 ch at beginning of each row are the turning chains and do not count as a stitch).
Rows 2-23: 1 ch, sc in each st to end, turn. (22 rows)
Row 24: 1 ch, sc in each st to end.
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing.starry border-
Small Pumpkin Stalk
Make all stitches in both loops.
With Color 2 make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 5 sc in second ch from hook. (5 sts)
Rnds 2-3: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 4: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 2 st. (6 sts)
Rnd 5: Sc in each st around.
Fasten off. leaving a long tail for sewing.starry border-
Small Pumpkin Base
With Color 2 make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Fasten off. leaving a long tail for sewing.
To make up, follow large pumpkin instructions above.pumpkin border

To download a printable version click the image below!


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Amigurumi Monsters 2

Oh dear! I’m a bit late with this post – I always seem to be running around chasing my tail these days – but in the time honored way of ‘better late than never’ here we go!

monsters2_banner_780px.jpg

I’m happy to announce that Amigurumi Monsters 2 is all finished and looking fabulous and is now available to order over at AmigurumiPatterns bookshop!

This volume features not one, but two of my monster families.

monsters_collage.jpg

 

Firstly there’s Timothy and Tabitha (top row, second left) then Spotty, Lotty and Dotty (bottom row, right-hand corner).

Some of you may already know the latter as they’ve been available in my online stores for a while. (You can read more about these three in my ‘Too many Monsters?’ blog post).

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They had a last minute invite as a space unexpectedly cropped up and needed to be filled. Ever obliging and always up for an adventure Spotty, Lotty and Dotty jumped at the chance of re-locating to a new life on the continent.

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There does appear to be a couple of grumpy faces in there but you’ve only got to look at those jazz hands to see how happy they really are, even the ones who will be left behind. After all, no one does jazz hands when they’re sad do they?

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There was a bit of fuss as they all squeezed into the box but every one managed to find a comfy spot in the end and they were soon on the plane and heading towards their new future.

The next two monsters were commissioned especially for the book and go by the tongue- twistingly tremendous title of of Timothy and Tabitha the Tippy-Toe monsters.

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They were whittled down from a selection of four different variations. Actually, there were more than four in the initial design stage but these are the only ones to make it off the hook so far but there are plenty more ideas to come. I just love making monsters!

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Choosing colours for these tri-eyed, dozen-toed monsters was great fun and the original Timothy waded in with some useful suggestions.

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I completely love this partcular combination of lime green and jade green for the toes.

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Yarn chosen and hook at the ready, it wasn’t long before there were several more Tippy Toe monsters invading any available spaces in my work area.

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With so many toes they can move about quite quickly and it takes some doing to keep an eye on any potential mischief they might get up to with my hooks and notions.

It’s a good job I have a few extra eyes on hand to help me out here.

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Next came another car journey and another chance to crochet. Testing the pattern this time by making a final couple of monsters before it was sent away for the other proofreaders to double check.

Tabitha-in-the-car

A little tootle up the motorway provided a good opportunity to get this pair used to travelling before they do the whole airmail thing later on. It was a good job we did because Tabitha gets very car sick. Her poor face says it all!

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Timothy was the sweetest companion and took it upon himself to look after Tabitha. His soothing words and gentle re-assurance went a long way to helping her feel more relaxed.

Timothy-and-Tabitha

Some travel pills on the day of departure helped with he rest and now they are enjoying seeing themselves alongside Spotty, Lotty, Dotty and a host of other crazy looking characters inside the covers of Amigurumi Monsters 2.

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If you’re anything like me and simply can’t get enough of making weird and whacky creatures then there’s plenty in both of the Monster titles to keep you going for quite a while.

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These bright and bubbly bundles of monster madness sure put a big smile on my face. I hope they do the same for you!

 


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Summer’s End

It’s been a long and hot summer this year, which makes a change for this part of the world. I’m certainly not complaining and have loved seeking out every bit of sunshine that has come my way. Crocheting outdoors has been a perpetual pleasure. I do love it when my studio is the garden!

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I’ve been particularly enjoying working on the Persian Tiles blanket that I started at the beginning of the summer.

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Last time I showed you my progress I was just starting to join the tiles together. It didn’t take me very long, and soon after that I started with the edging. This is still my favorite part of blanket making. The satisfaction of being near the end of a big project and the repetitive long stretches creating simple stitch groups is very soothing to my soul.

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Edging is such a perfect pastime for long car journeys too. There has been no big, long holiday for us this year, just a few days out instead. As we crawled along the motorway (why is the traffic always so bad these days?) I always had my favorite project with me and happily hooked the miles away.

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This summer I have been making the most of being with my cats – especially Minnie and Pogo – because we received some sad news about both of them earlier this year when they were diagnosed with the same kind of inoperable cancer. Heart breakingly we had to say goodbye to them within weeks of each other just a short while ago.

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I often wondered if they were brother and sister but no-one is really sure of their exact relationship. We adopted them from a rescue shelter ten years ago after they had been brought in when their previous owner moved house and left them behind to fend for themselves. So perhaps they were actually siblings after all and there was a genetic pre-disposition that could explain our terrible bad luck in having to deal with two similar diagnoses so close to each other.

They arrived at our home on the same day and left us almost at the same time. I hope they’re still looking out for each other, wherever they are now.

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I like to think they’re on that Rainbow Bridge I’ve heard so much about recently. I miss them such a lot but am thankful for all the beautiful memories made from our journey together and the privilege of being able to have them both in my life in the first place.

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Now I have just two cats and I’m going to be sure to appreciate every single minute of their company with even more mindfulness.

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Mojo doesn’t need to be asked twice to try out the nearly completed blanket and as the weather takes a cooler turn I have been working on the remainder of the edging indoors.

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I do like being tucked up cosy and crocheting in pyjamas so I find myself looking forward to the autumn when I’ll be able to indulge in much more of that sort of thing.

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I can see there will be competition for the new blanket from the get go!  I’m sure Mojo and I will be able to work out an amicable time share – which usually runs along the lines of >once Mojo’s got bored of it and wandered off then it’s my turn<

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Glad to see my creative talents are so openly admired though.

I have to admit, the final piece is really rather gorgeous!

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As I’ll  be spending more time indoors over the next few months I have embarked upon a great big clear out of my studio. Things had got a bit chaotic over recent months, what with being out and about a bit more, working in the garden lots and looking after poorly cats, my workspace became a bit of a dumping ground, .

I’ve begun the great clean up by sorting through my collection of amigurumi. Gathering it all together from their various storage places was a huge feat in itself. There was no room in my studio to sift through this crochet mountain so my youngest son helped me carry it all downstairs where we took over the kitchen for the whole day and proceeded to catalogue anything and everything as it came to hand. They have now been assigned to storage crates where I can easily get at them when needed.

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I reckon that this is about two thirds of my amigurumi collection. I sure have been a busy bee these last six years! As I’m hoping to re-photograph a lot of my earlier amigurumi and update my pattern listings, being able to find what I need at a moments notice is going to make the task a whole lot easier.

Next in line for a good shake up were my yarn cubbies. There is something very, very satisfying about making yarn rainbows and filling in all the gaps I’ve made in my stash over the past few months.

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The studio’s not immaculately tidy yet but we’re getting there.

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You can tell how exhausting all this cleaning up is from Rubick’s demeanor. That’s exactly how I felt after a few hours. Watching me hard at work is obviously just as tiring!

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And this is where I’m at now, all tidied up (mostly) and my summer project blanket on standby to bring a little brightness to the sun starved autumn/winter days ahead.

The special thing about a big crochet project like this is that you pour your heart and soul into it for so long. Lovingly creating it stitch by stitch as life rolls by in parallel motion, ultimately the end result has precious memories woven into the very fabric of it. My Persian Tiles blanket has the record breaking heat of this summer twisted into its fibres alongside warm memories of the companionship of Minnie…

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…and Pogo…

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…and how the cats, the crochet and me had a wonderful last summer together in our little garden, making the most of every colourful, relaxing, sun soaked minute.

 


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Fantastic Fantasy Creatures

The wait is finally over and you can now get your hands on my pattern for Drake the Dragon. This portly little chap was chosen from the contestants of the Fantasy Creatures Design Contest of November/December 2017 and is currently available in a new title called ‘Unicorns, Dragons and More Fantasy Amigurumi‘.

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If you’re curious to see what fabulous ideas the amigurumi community came up with when presented with such an inspiring topic you can still check out the hundreds of other entries here.

You’ll now find Drake sitting alongside thirteen other fantastic fantasy creatures, also chosen from the competition. They sure are keeping him in the most splendid company inside the covers of this star-spangled volume.

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Now to take a peek at all of the other designs in the book…

So with hooks at the ready be prepared to be transported to a world of dreams and marvels. A delightful ticket to somewhere special and sparkly on even the most mundane of days. At its very best, that’s what crafting is about, don’t you agree?

I’ve made a Bobby the Dinocorn so far and have got my eye on crocheting a few more when time permits. Or at least daydreaming about crocheting a few more if I ever get the WIP pile shrunk to a manageable size!

Drake-and-Bobby

Several Drake the Dragons have already been duly conjured up, all as part of the design process, honing down those techniques and proportions until he was just right.

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The final version that ended up as the official poster boy for the book had a cheeky grin and an air of excitement as he contemplated his journey to Belgium where the photographers would immortalize him in pixels, ready for his debut appearance in print.

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I changed the colours slightly to fit in better with the other designs at the request of the publisher and I have to say how much I love the olive green tone and mustard yellow. Mmmm, good enough to eat!

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When the draft manuscript of my dragon was sent over I took the opportunity of running through the pattern and re-creating yet another dragon to double check all was as it should be. This time I went for an equally tasty sounding, but very different, candy pink and lemon yellow colourway.

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The neighbours cat certainly seems to think that candy pink yarn is tasty anyway!

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Drake looked on with all the enthusiasm of a big brother waiting for the arrival of a baby sister.

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When all the bits were made and ready to assemble Drake could hardly keep the smile off his face. But that’s not surprising really as I did sew it on very well with backstitch!

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Sitting in the shade by the garden pond I sewed all the pieces together one by one.

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A quick mid progress photo shoot and Drake’s baby sister – we named her Dora – does not so much look like a baby but more of a twin.

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Making a smaller one in sock yarn with a 2mm hook would be cute though! Something to try in the future, I think.

Eventually Dora is finished and we have another addition to our fantastical fantasy family.

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And with plenty more potential additions to go it’s going to be hard to choose who’s next.

Dragons, Unicorns and more

If you feel inspired to craft some fantasy fabulousness into your life all the book details are here.

So now you can get waving that crochet hook around and manifest your own little world of marvelous make-believe. Not that I’m saying these elusive creatures don’t exist somewhere in the real world of course, it’s just that by making your own you’ll be sure to bump into one or two as they fall off your hook. After all who hasn’t sometimes dreamed of having their own dragon, unicorn or fairy for a friend? I know I have!

Wishing you happy hooking 🙂


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Summer Project Progress

As time is striding full on into the summer months I’ve been enjoying as much of the fair weather as I can while making equally great strides with my Persian Tiles blanket.

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This project was supposed to last me all summer long but is proving very difficult to put down so I may well be on the hunt for something else before the next few weeks are done with. I’ve been spending nearly all my spare time hooking up these pretty rounds and staying up way too late some nights.

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This is Mojo’s stern face which tells me it was high time for bedtime several hours ago. He knows that sometimes the only way to stop me is to physically hijack my crochet so that’s exactly what he is doing here! My soft lad won’t go to bed without me and he does look forward to snuggling up all night, usually in the crook of my knees or draped over my feet, so I often get the evil eye if I burn the midnight oil a little too often.

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This marvelous run of good weather has gone on and on and on. I’m loving it so much. One of the best perks of working from home is being able to put the computer into sleep mode at lunchtime or turn it off at the end of the day and make the oh-so-very short ‘commute’ out to the garden, to pick up where I left off.

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I’ve found myself outside a lot over the last couple of weeks. Adding a round here and a round there and soaking up the sunshine or hiding in the shade depending on the brightness of the sky and the ferocity of the heat.

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At weekends I’ve been outside nearly all of the time. Were just not used to this kind of shiny, happy weather in my neck of the woods and I wanted to enjoy every minute that I possibly could.

So I ate outside…

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…and sometimes lit a fire outside as the temperature dropped slightly. Though not strictly necessary as it hasn’t been anywhere near chilly in the evenings for weeks, we do have a lot of broken up timber from our garden redesign of last year which needs to be gotten rid of and it’s much more fun having a bonfire with a lap full of crochet than queuing up to dump it at the tip.

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Smoked crochet smells delicious too and reminds me of camping holidays when the boys were little. And the bonus of being outside late into the evening is getting to watch the sun set. Mojo is much more interested in the birds up the tree though.

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From late Saturday nights to early Sunday mornings my black and white fuzzball has followed me and any crochet very closely.

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Sometimes maybe a bit too closely… but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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It’s been such a pleasure to watch the tiles grow and see the colours play against each other I can totally understand why he is as fascinated with it as I am.

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Most exciting of all was to see the mandalas finished. Squeeeek! Aren’t they just so pretty?! Of course, the crochet doesn’t stop there, though it is good to have the large motifs completed and really feel like the blanket is on the home stretch.

There was a set of easy peasy squares to make next.

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After the relatively complicated octagons these classic grannies were a doddle to create. Here it was just a case of making sure I had the right colours and then switching to auto pilot to work up the shells. I’ve made so many of these before and they are always a pleasure.

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I love how they work up so incredibly quickly.

My first ever blanket was made of similar squares several years ago and, as you can see, it still looks fresh and bright today despite all its outings into the garden, stints as a picnic blanket, cat bed, a wrap up for camping trips or an extra winter warmer on my own bed, not to mention plenty of spins through the washing machine.

If you are a granny square newbie check out my basic how-to blog post here. They’re such a fabulous way to get into crochet if you were thinking of taking the plunge!

squares-upon-squares

The crossover trebles give the Persian Tile squares a slightly more sophisticated edge than the plain ones I’ve made before but I have to confess I struggled to keep the tension tight enough on the top of both of these crossed trebles.

I’m not sure why but I found this part of the technique rather troublesome but it cost me more than a few episodes of frustrated sighs and rolling of eyes. Luckily they all get crocheted over in the final round so that hid some of the baggier stitches from general view, unless you look really, really closely.

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I think this blanket is such a riot of colours and patterns no-one is going to notice a few blips. Well, I guess I will know they’re there (and so do you now!) but, hey, 100% perfection is boring!

Now I’d finished all the separate pieces, and learnt a few tricks about creating triangles along the way, it was time to join the motifs.

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Working around the resident cats where required.

First Minnie…

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…then Rubick…

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…and even entertaining the neighbour’s new kitty when she came to investigate. She’s a jumpy, nervous little thing but all that woolly softness and wiggly yarn ends are too much for any true blooded feline to resist. I think I’ll soon make a new friend of her this way!

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Despite all the interference from the cat world I did eventually manage to get the edges all joined together.

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Just the border to complete now. And I love doing borders so I just can’t wait for that bit!

In the meantime, however, I had to put this scrumptious project down, no matter how difficult that was, as there were more pressing things to do.

Drake-pattern

Double checking Drake the Dragon’s pattern for the Fantasy Creatures book due to be released next month was high on the list and so I began making him a sister in this beautiful shade of candy pink.

But more about that next time – and hopefully an update on a completely finished Persian Tiles masterpiece as well!


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Daisy and Duke

Having been making a concerted effort to tidy up around my studio recently, I unearthed more than a few WIPs lurking around at the backs of shelves, under my desk and really just about anywhere there was a spare few inches of space in which to cram a basket, box, bag or stray ball of yarn into.

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Time to tackle at least one of them, I thought to myself, and decided to start with my dachshund pattern. I invented this a while ago for a UK crochet magazine and had really wanted to give it a few tweaks to add in some more pattern elements before listing it in my shops.

I remember starting this with good intentions last summer (or was it the summer before?! I really am not too sure, such is the fleet-footedness of time these days) but events ran away with me and my fickle crochet hook found new yarn to charm and somehow these sausagy cylinders of cuteness were retired into the shadows for a much longer time than I’d intended.

The majority of the pattern was already written but I had wanted to make a smaller dachshund too. Who doesn’t love a tiny puppy after all?! And so I tweaked and twiddled the original pattern and came up with a miniature version.

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Now Daisy and Duke are part of one big happy family and never get a minutes peace any more.

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Rubick is a little jealous of all the attention they are getting during one of our photo shoots, but as any cat around here knows, that’s easily remedied by insinuating yourself in between the camera lens and the subject, preferably at a critical time when the shot is just about to be taken.

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I did eventually manage to get all the pictures I needed without Rubick in them, though it took a while!

Now you can see why Daisy is called Daisy – it’s because of the Daisy in her ear.

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Duke is called Duke because he sports a terribly posh bow tie.

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And the puppies are known fondly as Skip and Skitter because they skip and skitter around all day long with an insane amount of energy. Daisy and Duke don’t mind though. They have lots of fun joining in. Burying bones is one of their favorite pastimes so I crocheted a few to keep them entertained.

I found some pretty silver coloured ‘Made Wth Love’ charms on eBay that were perfect for their collars.

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Well, it’s not a lie. The dachshunds are indeed made with love – as are all my amigurumi <3

A row of cute faces…

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…and… dare I say it…

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…cute butts too. Cheeky!

Well, you know what they say – if you’ve got it, flaunt it!

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Yes, mission well and truly accomplished and no small feat either because since I started making my Persian Tiles Blanket it has taken quite a lot of discipline to put those gorgeous kaleidoscopic mandalas down and pick up the amigurumis instead. But I feel very pleased to have tackled at least one of my half finished, half baked ideas. Just another twenty or so to go.

This blanket was really only supposed to be an evenings and weekend kind of thing but it’s been so much fun I have to admit it has occasionally encroached just a little bit on my official working hours!

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Minnie apparently gives a squish of approval to the finished mutts but I think she is really edging in on trying to fill up my  project basket with herself now she knows the dachshunds are about to leave their in-progress resting place for good.

As it happens, it didn’t take them long to relocate to somewhere else where they could cause a bit more trouble and perhaps burrow under the blanket pieces to avoid another sharp clawing from a well meaning but misguided feline who is definitely in need of a manicure.

dachshund-fun

Now I have an empty basket crying out to be filled with more yarn, or maybe another unfinished project that will no doubt be started and abandoned and then restarted somewhere down the line. Or maybe the basket will just be commandeered by an invading cat. There’s no shortage of those around here!

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Whittling down the WIP list is always an ongoing battle but things get done eventually.

It may take a couple of years or more sometimes, but the thrill of putting a big tick next to something on my humongous To-Do list never gets boring. And the thrill of having a big To-Do list of crochet related projects is exciting enough in itself, if I’m completely honest with you. No chance of boredom setting in here any time soon!