Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Trophy Heads and a Forest Themed Christmas

I’m back to work for real this week and have been busy finishing up commissions and sorting paperwork but I didn’t want to stomp straight on with the new year without indulging in a bit of Christmas nostalgia and sharing a few photos of my lovely festive holiday at home.

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There has been lots of cat cuddling and a fair amount of recreational crochet. Pretty much a perfect lull after a very busy year.

The trophy heads from Vanessa Mooncie’s book have been my favorite Christmas break projects. I started the hare and then started the stag before I finished the hare because I’m a bit impulsive like that when it comes to crochet. My Christmas decorations had a very pronounced woodland theme this year and I thought the stags head would look fabulous as a centre piece.

christmas-decs

As it turns out I didn’t get the stag or the hare entirely finished before Christmas but they were both completed by the New Year thanks to taking a week or so off from designing my own patterns. It sure is good to have a break sometimes and get that hook hooking up a pattern where someone else has done all the hard work for you!

hare

These heads have been very enjoyable projects for dark, frosty nights, and lazy Christmas pyjama clad holidays, keeping warm with the central heating blazing away, and an endless supply of mugs of hot tea, usually provided by hubby who’s also been on holiday. It’s no bad kind of life anyway you look at it.

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Lots of fairy lights kept the winter gloom at bay and made the lounge my most favorite place to be this Christmas. I had a Winter tree and a Christmas tree up this year.

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Lots of sweet robins and exotic glittery twittery species decorated the branches of the twiggy tree.

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On the pine tree there was a cramming of baubles and owls, bells and toadstools.

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All thankfully left alone by the cats. I think my moggies are getting a bit long in the tooth to take much interest in climbing trees either indoors or outdoors these days.

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It’s difficult not to feel content when you are surrounded by a myriad of twinkling lights and some well placed crocheted friends.

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Evie and Elvis got their stockings ready…

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…while Mojo enjoyed some Christmas bliss of his own…

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…and waited expectantly by his stocking for Father Christmas to fill it up with Dreamies and catnip and crocheted mice.

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My trophy heads progressed nicely while hogging the sofa and watching cheesy Christmas films as often as I could. Having been laid low with a bit of a cold and a hideously hacking cough for  most of the last few weeks this was a very welcome way to recuperate whenever circumstances permitted.

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A visually resplendent chill-fest with the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit box sets ticks all the right boxes for a good night in.

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When duty called and shopping or visiting was required I occasionally ventured out on a car trip, taking my crochet with me, obviously. Every moment counts.

deer

It was rather exciting to see my deer head taking shape, bit by bit. There were quite a lot of separate elements and some very clever construction work involving sheets of card and sturdy wire to make sure everything was going to end up with enough strength and structure to support a piece of work of this scale.

deer-head-progress

Tigger wasn’t too impressed to be asked to pose with the antlers, but then Tigger is never too impressed by anything much.

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He soon fell asleep pressed up against my leg for warmth so I don’t think I could have offended him very badly despite that look on his face.

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In between crocheting, presents needed to be wrapped up. I wondered if Pogo was hinting that it’s time to re-home him via the medium of a Christmas gift. Sorry Poges, there’s no chance of that – I love you tooooo much! Actually I think he just likes the rustle of the paper and the kick from the power trip that sees me rifling through my Christmas wrappings box looking for alternative trimmings until he decides to move of his own accord.

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My knitted cats are a lot less hassle!

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It’s been a super Christmas even though I’ve nearly coughed my lungs up onto my lap for much of it. I’m feeling much better now and  the decorations have been safely stashed away for next year. Oh boo hoo. I’ve left the big twiggy tree up though and re-installed the little twiggy tree from the mantelpiece to the hearth.

winter-scene

The shock from being chock-a-block with fairy lights to the stark reality of a Christmas well spent, but spent nonetheless, would have been too much to bear all at once so I’m keeping the home fires burning with a few cheery, twinkly corners and plenty of candles to see me through until spring.

And the really good post Christmas news is that both the stag head and the Hare head are finished and have taken up their permanent residence on the back wall of the lounge. They may not have been ready for Christmas itself but I was quite excited to take down a few of the strings of lights and Christmas cards to make way for them. I love how they turned out. They’re definitely going to be year-round feature.

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In fact I love them so much I’ve already started on a third pattern from the book. This time I’m making the ram, with a few colour changes. As this is strictly a thrifty stash buster I’m making do with yarn I already have. I’m also using my totally gorgeous stitch markers made for me as a Christmas gift by a very talented crafty friend.

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She made me a set of four, each one a beautifully accurate portrait of each of my cats. How lovely is that!

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So while I while away my spare time making another trophy head to fill another space on the wall…

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…Stan the Stag…

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…and Harry the Hare…

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…will have to make do with Mojo as company.

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Now I’m the proud owner of personalised cat head stitch markers and two magnificent crocheted trophy heads – how about crocheted cat head portraits of my moggies for the wall?

I can’t quite work out if that’s a great and quirky idea or just a little bit too freaky. I’ll have to think about that one!

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Random Project Round Up

I hope you all had a fab Christmas holidays and have made some New Year resolutions which are going to be fun to keep.

I’m determined not to get in a muddle by having too many crochet projects on the go at any one time this year. I’m pretty good at starting things but finishing them off… well, that’s been a whole different thing. This is fine up to a point, but the main problem is the amount of storage space that unfinished bundles of yarn and supplies, heads, limbs, torsos and granny squares take up in various baskets and boxes all around the house. So I put my mind and all my spare time during November and some of December to getting these projects finished off, once and for all.

This is a sweet little fox I began making from Zoomigurumi 2 for my brothers birthday in November 2015, but this poor fella sat languishing for many months when I ran out of yarn with only one ear to go and with not enough days left to order more yarn and get him to his destination on time. So he ended up being a year late to the birthday party. But it was still a birthday party and better to turn up late than never!

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My brother is very musical and wasted no time giving Foxy his first guitar lesson after his safe arrival in Scotland.

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Foxy is now totally star struck and is rumoured to be applying for Britain’s Got Talent 2017.

Back in the summer I began a skull shawl for my gothic-loving sister-in-law’s birthday. You can find this fabulous pattern over at Kungen et Majkis Blog where it is written out in both Swedish and English and also comes with great photos to help you on your way.

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This was a little outside of my comfort zone as it’s a world away from the easy peasy repetitive rounds of amigurumi. May I suggest that if this is your first time at attempting something like this you omit the wine altogether, at least until you get the pattern very established! I had to frog most of the second set of skull repeats (about ten rows) due to slight over imbibement. Well, in my defense it was a lovely sunny Friday evening and a glass or two of cool white wine seemed like such a good idea at the time…

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Back on track and a bunch of summer evenings were spent chasing patches of sunlight around the garden and crocheting a few more rows each day.

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And then I got stuck as I ran out of yarn again! It was almost finished here way back in June, but then got shelved for a while until I eventually crocheted a plain black bobble fringe onto it in early November as part of my WIP elimination drive. However, in my excitement to post it to my sis-in-law in time for her big day I forgot to take a photo of that bit.

skulls

I hooked up a sloth for a friend’s Christmas present. With all good intentions I began this project in September but only got as far as his head which has been staring very forlornly at me from a shelf for far too long. I spent a weekend in mid November making him whole and with my first Christmas present all done began to feel a little more on top of things.

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I finished testing this gorgeous Red Panda pattern by Little Muggles.

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Red panda and Oswald the Owl are going to be bookmates in Zoomigurumi 6. Keep an eye out over on AmigurumiPatterns.net for more info on the release date and details of the other stars of the show.

Mojo kept me warm while I got started. Lap time gets so much more important as the weather chills down.

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Pogo also kept me company and got quite heavily involved as I neared completion of all the separate parts.

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There was a  little bit of friendly wrestling with the head.

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But after carefully prizing it away from those loving jaws (I’m sure he was only trying to give it a kiss rather than rip it to shreds!) Red Panda turned out rather well.

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Pogo took another well earned nap after all that excitement. Glad to see him appreciating the Spring Dots blanket that was also completed last month.

My very own Oswald the Owl underwent his final few remakes to ensure all was as near perfect as possible with the pattern before it was sent off for it’s final proofreading sessions and a version of Oswald himself was posted to the publishers.

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And so another line was drawn under another book submission.

Do you remember the Monster competition a month or so back? A big thanks to those of you who voted. It was great to see so many people getting involved. Though none of my monsters made the top three (not too surprising as there were over 420 design submitted in the end!) I am really thrilled to tell you that Jeepers and Creepers are going to be one of the fifteen monster designs featured in a new book to be released around August 2017.

creepy-critters

You may recall that it’s this pair of scamps that are responsible for rolling up those dust bunnies you find under the bed or lurking behind the sofa. I’m looking forward to making these two in a range of different complementary colour pairings during the pattern testing phase.

I still have to do a proper write up, which means translating my scrawls into a nice neat manuscript but that’s a loose end that’s still got to be dealt with and will be a priority this January. A bonus of having the competition to work towards was that some of the monsters I’d been doodling over the last year finally got to make it off the page. Now I have a clutch of new beasties all designed and crocheted up. It’s just a case of writing up the PDFs for those as well. Another nice little job for the new year.

The latter part of 2016 also saw me finish off my Autumn berries poncho. A lovely mix of raspberry pinks and blackberry purples. You can see the poncho’s sweet beginnings here. You’ll notice the date of that blog post is well over a year ago so this was long overdue for it’s finishing touches.

poncho-schematic

I’m glad I cracked on and got this finished especially as the weather has turned so cold. It’s perfect for wearing around the house and as the cold snap looks set to continue for a while I’m going to be mighty pleased with my gift from me to me!

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Lovely scrummy,snugly, squishy-squashy, soft as a cloud cosiness.

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To think the humble granny square could look so pretty.

There is still a large basket of amigurumi body parts left over, though I fear some of these projects may have lost their way for good. Minnie seems to like them though so I’ll keep them around for a while longer yet. You never know when inspiration might strike and some of those bits and pieces may someday be transformed into something wonderful. One basket of oddments is within the realms of what my storage situation can deal with, especially if it doubles up as a cat bed.

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But before I get carried away thinking about how to turn this basket of random shapes into new characters I have several brand new designs (mainly monsters and a princess) and a few older ones (the Trapeze Mice and Dancing Dogs, as well as a troop of carol singers that missed the Christmas deadline) to get listed on Etsy etc. The older ones have all been featured in books and magazines and now it’s time to make them available as single purchase patterns.

With a bit of luck and a lot of hard work I’m aiming to get the remainder of the backlog of new designs finished and listed by the end of February. Then I really will feel like I’ve had a creative spring clean ready for some new ideas for Easter and beyond. So much to look forward to this year. Let the fun begin!

Happy 2017 everyone!

 

snowpyramid


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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Well hello there!

It’s Christmas Eve already and I just thought I’d drop by quickly in the midst of the last minute present wrapping and food prep to wish those of you who celebrate, a very Merry Christmas.

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For those who don’t celebrate, I wish you the happiest of holidays.

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And Peace and Goodwill to everyone on Planet Earth.

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Whatever you get up to at this time of year I hope you’re all having fun!

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XxXxX


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Spring Dots – Journeys End

We’re so far away from spring now and so much has happened here this year that it seems a lifetime ago that I started my Easter colours inspired mini blanket. This project was a spin off from the Spring Circles blanket I began even earlier in the year. It came about as a way to use up the excess centre circles I had made by accident for the original Spring Circles motifs after getting carried away one evening and forgetting to count up how many I actually needed.

I still had to add in a few more as I went along in order to make the second blanket into a useful size but as they were so quick and easy to crochet I hooked a few up whenever and wherever I found myself with a bit of spare time and soon had enough to finish a decent lap sized throw. I believe they’re called lapghans – and this is my first!

It’s the perfect size for slinging over my shoulders while sitting in bed, reading on chilly nights, but it’s also just the right size to provide an added layer of woolly warmth for bed-hogging Mojo.

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You can’t have too much of this sort of thing when your human refuses to put the heating on in the daytime.

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Yaaaawn! all this frugality is boring. A poor cats got to hunker down wherever the furnishings are most abundant.

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Actually, Mojo staked ownership of this blanket a long time before it was finished.

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If that’s not the face of entitlement then I don’t know what is.

I made sure it matched up well to the Spring Circles blanket by using all the same colours. A great way to use up all the leftovers too.

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It’s been a great project for toting around various places over the summer, small, portable and undemanding on the mind.

I’ve crocheted on buses where my crochet even gets its own seat.

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The conductor will be demanding I buy it a ticket if he finds out!

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I’ve crocheted in the garden…

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…and at the train station.

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I whiled away some Spring-Dotty hours in a hotel while hubby was at a training session in Sheffield.

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Little cactus likes showing off her woolly brain – I’m pretty sure my crochet obsessed grey matter must also look like that by now!

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Sheffield was lovely, and when it stopped raining I took myself off to the city centre park and made friends with a pigeon.

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I even crocheted up some squares on a narrow boat during our family holiday exploring the local canals.

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And while chugging slowly down the River Severn.

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I could have done with another week of that slow and steady pace of life but my cat-sitters couldn’t stay forever and so it was back to crocheting at home…

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…where things are always made more complicated but also more pleasurable by the presence of one or more of my lovely moggies.

Lots of ends were darned in…

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Lots of squares were laid out…

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…and the joining up of all the dots continued in earnest.

Early stage testing made sure all crochet was making the grade and scoring highly on the snuggle-o-meter.

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The matching colours and change of scale were working out a treat to finish off my bed set.

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Mojo continued his dedication to trying out the blanket as it reached various stages of completion.

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Accidentally coinciding the joining of all the rows with the end of the summer and the accompanying drop in temperatures was perfect timing. There’s nothing cosier than to bury yourself in a mountain of crochet and while away the dark evenings repeating simple single crochets and watching TV. The double insulation of a blanket in progress and a purring cat is a joyous combination, even if things inevitably take just that little bit longer.

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Our rug was replaced to make it more cat-scratch friendly and the continuing dark autumn evenings gave me and Mojo lots of snuggly time to admire our new-look lounge and to finish off the crochet that was begun way back in May.

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All squares were eventually crocheted into their rightful places and my little cactus project bag looked pleased with the results of our labours. She’s done a great job of keeping all the circles, hooks and yarn neat and tidy while we’ve been gallivanting about this year.

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A scalloped border added the finishing touch.

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However, more yarn ends were lurking on the back at this point so we weren’t quite there yet.

A little more diligent darning and the very last end is triumphantly sewn in and trimmed.

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Now it’s time to enjoy my handiwork and put it to good use.

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I definitely could do with another similarly sized mini blanket to add to my collection. This one is currently doubling up as an extra layer on the bed at night and as a lap warmer for my newly refurbished crochet corner during the day.

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This area is still very much a work in progress but my new arm chair is a major boon for the health and wellbeing of my lower back. I want to crochet a cover for a footstool and a matching antimacassar for the top of the chair to brighten things up a bit more. This chair will probably be my number one destination when all the Christmas frivolities get too much and I need a quiet moment or two with my yarn and hook.

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That’s if Mojo doesn’t beat me to it every time!

I hope your Christmas run up isn’t proving too hectic and that you have your very own favorite retreat on hand if things get a bit too noisy these holidays!


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Four Seasons of Fun and Frolics

As we tumble towards the end of the year it’s time at last for me to be able to reveal a big fat slice of what I’ve been working on this Autumn. Everything has been kept hush-hush until publication and now I’m pleased to say my impatient wait to share with you is over.

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So here are my frolicsome four-seasons animals, which were specially commissioned for UK magazine Crochet Now’s 2017 diary, which comes free with issue 9, along with a pack of handy stitch markers too. I don’t know about you but I never seem to have enough of those things!

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I was kept very busy for a few weeks designing them all as there were so many separate elements to create but I’m really pleased with how they turned out. The patterns for each character and all their accessories are included at the back of the diary so there is something cute and on hand to make throughout the year.

Forest Fox is the first in the queue to take a peek.

2017-diary

Whiley old foxes never miss much but it isn’t long before Playful Polar bear comes in from the cold dragging his toboggan and bringing in a snowman friend he just made.

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Wanting to see what all the fuss was about, Chirpy Chick and Sunbathing Seal soon join the crowd to read what I wrote about each of them in the introduction.

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When Crochet Now magazine first approached me with this idea I knew I was going to have a great time bringing the seasons to life. I started back in September with some sketch work.

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A lovely reason to indulge in some colouring in with my favorite Caran D’Ache pencils. I love these because they’re water soluble so can also be smudged about like paints.

Getting to play around with yarn colours is very satisfying too. I got to choose all the colours I needed from the Stylecraft Special DK range.

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They were perfect for this project, though, quite honestly there were so many different colours to choose from I should think they’d be perfect for just about any project. In the end I plumped for this collection. Lovingly arranged into rainbow order.

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When the delivery arrived I stashed them all neatly away into baskets so they wouldn’t get mixed up with the other balls of yarn (which are prone to randomly throwing themselves around on my studio floor and all over the desk and generally getting into a terrible muddle whenever I’m not looking).

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I don’t always do a lot of sketch work but when I do get immersed in inks and crayons I always really enjoy it. There’s a great deal of satisfaction in turning this…

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Into this…

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I added the fishing ponds to the final collection pattern, but on the whole I didn’t deviate much from my initial idea. The polar bear also has a removable hat and scarf, a snowman buddy, a whole pile of snowballs and her very own ride on toboggan. A proper polar explorer if ever there was one.

The springtime Chirpy Chick has a snug nest, a clutch of mini easter eggs and some blooming flower pots to tend to.

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Her little caterpillar pal helps around the garden, though she sometimes can’t resist taking a naughty bite out of Chirpy Chicks best flowers, which is really not very helpful at all.

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The Sunbathing Seal has been tempted ashore by the promise of a tasty ice cream cone or two.

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This slippery fella loves wearing nautical themed clothes, building sandcastles and sunbathing. He also loves lolling about on his lilo and tossing a beach ball around with his starfish friend. Oh the joys of summer!

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Forest Fox prefers the cover of the trees where he skulks around in the shadows to his heart’s content.

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His favorite time of year is the autumn when he can toast marshmallows over the bonfire to keep warm. He has his own comfy log seat to sit on and a neckerchief to keep out the drafts. He loves nothing better than challenging his pet toadstool to a game of conkers.

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As you can see there are a lot of different elements to these patterns and I really enjoyed figuring out the best way of making all their accessories. It was a real delve into their little worlds as I sat and crocheted all the things that would bring the seasons to life. This wasn’t exactly without its technical challenges but with the addition of a few drinking straws, pipecleaners and some clever stitchery everything has ended up structurally sound and with lots of detail.

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Of course I had some help along the way too…

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It’s always really useful not to be able to see your pattern very well!

Sarcasm aside, having Mojo and the other cats around frequently reminds me that it’s alway good to keep as clear and tidy a desk as possible when working. Obviously the main reason is to let a cat have room for a fuss without scattering the many carefully arranged elements of your creations all over the place but it’s also good to keep things neat for mental clarity and speedy completion of projects. I usually work surrounded by wicker baskets so I can keep all the individual pieces from each design on one place.

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This makes things much easier to quickly move work out of the way when a nearby cat looks like it’s going in for a major desk flop!

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Unfortunately Chirpy Chick missed the memo telling her to stay tucked away in a basket and Minnie looks like she’s in a mischief making mood.

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Watch out little chick, NEVER turn your back on a cat!

I’m going to be using my diary to help me keep on top of things next year. 2016 has certainly been cram packed with new designs, new projects and new ventures but I intend to be even busier next year!

monster-mash


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Monster Mayhem

When the AmigurumiPatterns design contest came around again and the theme this time was monsters, I felt a burst of bright colour and a whole lot of eyeballs coming on. Flicking back through my sketchbooks to see what was stored in my scribbly memory bank and rummaging through my half-started-amigurumis basket I soon found a few designs that hadn’t managed to either make it off the page yet, or that had been begun and then abandoned a while ago. I wasn’t short on ideas – the main problem, once I got into my monster stride, was knowing when to stop but that was luckily taken out of my hands when I simply ran out of time and the deadline was up!

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks immersed in a very strange world where creatures come in all shapes and sizes and all sorts of psychedelic colour combos. It’s been a monster-tastic amount of fun using my imagination and playing around with odds and ends of yarn from my stockpile. My sketchbooks are always full of odd creatures anyway. I particularly love making amigurumi monsters because there are so many possibilities to make exactly what you like without the constraints of earthly biology to tie you down!

Here is a little thumbnail gallery of my final monsters (centre graphic courtesy of Joke from AmigurumiPatterns.net). I’ll introduce you to them all individually in a while.

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There were 427 entries for this years competition. That’s a lot of crazy creatures and makes for great viewing. Voting is open until December the 10th so if you want to give yourself a true fright you can find all the different characters on the Monster Gallery page. You can vote for five of your favorites. I cast my votes earlier and it wasn’t the easiest decision I’ve ever made as there are so many really, really creepy and cute designs to choose from (no, I didn’t vote for my own!).  I can be horribly indecisive too – I blame that on being a Libran – so I was there for ages. I hope you have as much fun, but maybe a little less indecision when you go to pick your best of the bunch!

Letting my ideas run wild and getting creative with bright, bold colours has been a fabulous antidote to the seasonal grey skies and almost constant drizzle.

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It’s always good to have an excuse to bring out the eight year old in me and start colouring in my doodles with a zingy rainbow of ink.

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I’ve mostly been feeling like I’m being watched all the time due to all the big bulgy eyeballs that have been rolling around my desk for the last few weeks.

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Deciding on the perfect eye colour for each character proved to be a challenge and so I made a load in lots of different shades and tried them all out.

Hairy Horace went through a purple eye phase…

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…before eventually changing to a bright green. Not quite as bright as his fluffy bits though.

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Whey hey! I think he likes his new contact lens!

If you ever want to know the latest monster gossip on Planet Fuzz then Hairy Horace is the one you need to talk to. He sees everything, even though he’s only got one eye (it’s a very big one), he hears everything, even though he’s got no ears (those strange cones on his head soak up the tiniest noises) and he’s very, very nosey, even though he’s got no nose (but then you don’t actually need a nose to be nosey). Monster biology is a curious business. It takes all sorts to make a universe.

Oh, and he’s a bit of a poser too.

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After Horace came Florence…

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She also lives on Planet Fuzz and you’ll probably have spotted that there is a vague planetary family resemblance between the two of them.

Fluffy Florence made it straight into the intergalactic space corps flying squad after just one week’s training.  She credits her stellar success to having been born with three eyes instead of the one (or sometimes two) more common to most Planet Fuzz inhabitants. Her all round 3D vision is greatly enhanced by this genetic mutation. She can easily keep two eyes on the horizon and an extra one on the control panel which means she can steer her spacecraft at incredibly high speeds through the most difficult of alien terrains.

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There is a two-eyed species indigenous to Planet Fuzz as well and it didn’t seem fair to leave him out so very soon Bristly Boris began his crocheted journey.

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Poor Boris takes a very long time to get ready for school every morning. He has so much hair to brush and so many legs to squeeze into trousers that he’s often late leaving the house.

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Luckily he can easily make up for lost time by running to the bus stop at lightning fast speed. Sometimes having ten legs is definitely an advantage.

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Enough with the furry yarn for a while. These next two designs had been started over a year or so ago but somehow I never found the time to settle down and get them finished. There’s nothing like a tight deadline for improving productivity is there? So with just over a week to go I set myself the challenge to finish them both. The biggest problem was finding the matching yarn. I really didn’t want to have to start over so had a good rummage through the odds and ends baskets and managed to find  all the oddments I was looking for. Hurray!

First to enrol at Moji-Moji Design’s finishing school were Jeepers and Creepers.

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Have you ever lain awake at night and wondered what that noise was coming from under the bed? Were you ever brave enough to take a look? If you did and were also very quiet and very quick about it you may have spied Jeepers and Creepers staring back at you in wide-eyed wonder.

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Their three big eyes help them to peer about in the under-bed gloom where they spend their time rolling up household fluff into dust bunnies to play with. Even if you’re not fast enough to see these shy little monsters for yourself you may well find a dust bunny or two (googly eyes optional) to prove their existence.

jeepers-and-creepers-2

Last but not least are Lottie and Dottie. I abandoned these two a while back due to other work commitments but the time was right to pick them up again and carry on from where I left off.

My workspace started sprouting eyeballs again. Ooh I love making these colourful staring orbs!

eyeballs

Soon enough two new monsters had joined the gang.

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Lottie and Dottie spend a lot of time together practicing their hoopla and coconut shy skills. They take aim at each other’s eye stalks with their hoops and try to knock each other’s eyeballs from their sockets with small wooden balls. As a result of all this dedicated practice they always win the best prizes when the fair comes to town.

lottie-and-dottie-looking-up

I’ll leave it to Lottie and Dottie to wave you all goodbye with their stumpy little three fingered hands.

Thank you for sharing the journey with me. All the Moji-Moji monsters enjoyed your company too!

monster-mash

As for me, I’m all monstered out for a bit. Time to get back to the soothing neutrals and comforting repetition of my new winter blanket. One of the many things I love about crochet is the sheer variety in the types of projects you can get immersed in and after all the decision making that’s such an essential part of any design process, now is definitely the time for a less demanding type of hook wielding!

monster-company

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite monsters (they don’t have to be mine and I’ll never know unless you tell me!). There are so many to choose from, I think you’ll have a blast clicking and scrolling your way through the weirdly wild and woolly imagination of all the designers in this years competition.

cosy-evenings


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Keeping Warm

I’ve been really enjoying the turn of the seasons from summer to autumn. It’s always such a fun time with all the promise of warming festivals made to cheer up our transition from bright sunshine and lovely long days to the cosy drawing in of autumn evenings. Crispy leaves, bonfires, fireworks, candles, pumpkin soup, boots, jumpers and woolly mittens. With a bit of preparation it’s quite easy to enjoy the novelty of a cold snap and all the atmosphere it brings.

My bat garland has graced the fireplace for several weeks now and a whole heap of candles are on daily standby, ready to banish the gloom of a 5pm blackout.

autumn-display

They certainly cheer the place up and help to keep the chill out.

autumn-glowing

Oswald the Owl adds a touch of forest charm, nestled cosily in the corner and the Pumpkin Patch People came out to play too.

pumpkin-people

Real pumpkins were carved in honour of this year’s family obsession with Pokemon Go.

pumpkins

A Golbat and a Duskull.

We’ve walked an awful lot more than usual over the last few months in the pursuit of these virtual creatures. My son has even mastered the art of catching pokemon for two. Now his girlfriend doesn’t miss out while she’s at work. How sweet!

duo-pokemonning

As a result of all the pumpkin carving, along with the fact the local supermarket had grossly overstocked and were giving away pumpkins by the trolleyful to anyone who wanted them, several cauldrons full of hearty pumpkin soup have been made to help us glow on the inside too.

pumpkin-soup

Soup through a straw is a new revelation for me and means its even easier to eat and type/crochet/browse the internet at the same time with minimal spillage onto yarn or keyboards. Hallelujah!

soups

A Halloween ghost walk at Hanbury Hall got us in the mood for Tricks and Treats.

hanbury-hall

There were plenty of tricks involved here, and some treats too, but I won’t spoil any surprises for people who may go along next year.

hanbury-banquet

I’ll just tell you that they certainly put on a good show for us and we weren’t short of apparitions accompanied by blood curdling screams and things going BUMP! in the night.

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Blankets were crocheted to keep out the drafts…

cosy-evenings

…while watching fireworks from the comfort of my home.

worcester-fireworks

But sometimes it’s good to get a worm’s eye view from right underneath so it was lovely to be invited to a Bonfire/Birthday Party at my sister-in-laws gorgeously quaint Cotswolds cottage where a huge fire crackled and popped all night long.

bonfire-2

Sparklers were lit…

sparkler

…food was scoffed, drink was drunk and the loudest fireworks I’ve ever heard were set soaring into the night sky.

firework-montage

With all that Autumn fun to enjoy it’s no surprise that it’s still high on my list of favorite seasons (along with winter, spring and summer – depends which season I’m in to be honest, but they’re all definitely up there in my top four!).

I’ve been wrapping up and getting out and about whenever I get the chance. It’s almost as if nature sets all those leave on fire to help make up for the nip the air.

orb

Though some of summer’s colour still remains here and there.

cosmia

Now I couldn’t get too close for the last photo as this poor squirrel was in a total panic as to where to run to with his prized rice cake.

squirrel

I’ve no idea where he got it from but he’s certainly not up for sharing. That ought to help him pack on a few calories for the winter (something I’m actively trying not to do myself!).

As well as enjoying all the autumn festivities I’ve also been making a huge effort to finish off a few WIPS. If you remember, there was the Autumn Berries Poncho, the hare’s trophy head, and the Spring Dots Blanket. And also a skull shawl (which I refrained from blogging about as it was a birthday present so didn’t want to spoil the surprise). I’ve also been working on a number of amigurumi projects for my ‘day job’ that I’m intending to share soon. So for all of you who have missed the usual cramming in of crochet into my blog posts, never fear – the next few posts should more than make up for this ones lack!