Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


7 Comments

Putting on the Glitz

It’s been a week of sparkles and festive cheer around here. The annual Victorian Christmas Fair has come to town, and left again. Snowpeople have been crocheted, a few pine trees have been decorated, though only crocheted ones so far – it’s still a bit early for the real thing – and holiday plans are coming together nicely.

My first Christmas tree of the season gets a makeover with a pack of shiny new pins… I knitted this one a few years ago from Amanda Berry’s lovely, free pattern which you can find here.

Tree-duoInspired, or more accurately, panicked, by the fact it’s almost December, I’ve crocheted up a new design to further help me get into the festive zone. We narrowly missed out on a flurry of snow last week when the temperatures suddenly nosedived so, not to be foiled by the weather, I made a couple of snow people anyway.

Untitled-1

They’re called Mr & Mrs Snow – for obvious reasons. Not the most original name I’ve ever come up with but it sums them up pretty well.

Mr and Mrs Snow love to do a bit of Christmas shopping whenever they get the chance so I crocheted them up a couple of Christmas tree shaped drawstring bags for stashing all their shopping in.

DSCN0566

Then I got to add an extra touch of seasonal sparkliness, spending a pleasant hour decorating my second and third Christmas trees of the season. I love an excuse to get the sequins out and have a jolly good root through, finding just the right colour and size and getting lost in the iridescent awesomeness.

Sequins

How scrummy!

Sequins2

Now the bags look a million dollars all decked out in their best jewels.

Christmas-Tree-Purses

I think Mr and Mrs Snow are pleased with them.

Snow-Peeps

I’ll definitely be making a few of these for giving small gifts in this year. (Mr and Mrs Snow’s pattern comes complete with instructions to make these little gift bags too, in case you should feel inspired to do the same).

Christmas-Tree-Bags

A quick tidy up and all the unused sequins are more or less harmoniously restored to their rightful boxes.

SequinBoxes

To add to the magic, Mr and Mrs Snow have been made from glittery yarn.

sparkly-yarn

I find it somewhat difficult to resist anything shiny so I’m slowly amassing a shimmering collection of these pretty yarns.

sparkles

They’re going to be perfect for all sorts of Christmas projects.

Snow-Couple-11

When I do get around to decking the halls my new snow people are going to have pride of place over the fireplace. Or maybe on the kitchen dresser… hmmm, decisions, decisions…but that’s leaping ahead a little yet. I’ve only just taken down the last of the Halloween stuff, and it is still only November (for a few more hours anyway!)

I’ll also have to decide where to put this fella…

Mr-Snow-Doorstopper

…and I need to finish off this supersized aran weight version…

Big-Snowman

It will be time to dig out the tinsel and get me a real tree soon enough. But I have a few more Wintery patterns up my sleeve that I want to concentrate on first. Back to the crochet hook and twinkly yarn then, and if the weather delivers it’s usual dose of rain and grey skies I’ll still be making a bright and shiny Christmas of my own.

WhiteSequins2

I have enough glitz in my craft stash to last me a lifetime so it will be a Winter Wonderland indoors regardless of what’s going on outside.

Snowflakes

I hope your December has a good share of sparkly fabulousness too!


5 Comments

Diggory and Dave the Dancing Dogs

There’s a few more days left yet to get your entries in to amigurumipatterns.net‘s circus themed design competition and I’ve been getting a lot of nagging from a couple of puppies called Diggory and Dave who are desperate to join in the fun.

Diggory-and-Dave

When they heard what the theme was they sat up and begged me to let them take part. Apparently it turns out that – having watched one too many videos on Youtube of Pudsey the dog competing in and eventually winning Britain’s Got Talent in 2012, they have been inspired to learn some clever tricks and get on the stage themselves. What better way for them to hone those skills and satisfy their thirst for stardom than to join a circus?

Well, I’m a sucker for a great big pair of doughy puppy eyes, and with two pairs to contend with I just had to let them get their way on this one.

ami

I asked Tilly Mouse what she thought, as her whole family have been performing in the Big Top for generations. (Read more about Tilly and her sisters here). Tilly told me that the circus she lived with was lots of fun and everyone was very kind to one another. She promised to get these two enthusiastically bouncy dogs an audition and immediately began making them a pair of matching outfits.

Tilly

Tilly finally decided not to follow in the family tradition and join the trapeze act with her siblings. She didn’t really like heights too much and preferred to concentrate on creating fabulous costumes for all the other circus acts instead.

I helped her turn a little corner of my studio into a creative space all for herself where she can sit and concentrate on crafting.

Tilly-Mouse

Now Tilly comes for crochet lessons and a nice chat whenever she can get away.

Mojo has a sneaking suspicion that a mouse may have taken up residence in the studio…

mojojo

…but Tilly keeps really still so he won’t notice her among all the crochet! He soon wanders off for a nap and work can commence again.

moj

It isn’t long before Diggory comes to pay a visit to see how his costume is coming along.

Crochet-lessons

He loves the cute leg warmers and is very impatient to wear his stripy pointed hat. To speed things up he gets himself busy choosing the right buttons for it.

Diggory

Dave comes to join them for a fitting too.

Costumes

After a little discussion between them, Diggory decides to wear the blue cuffs and hat while Dave agrees to wear the red ones.

circus-outfits

Mojo comes back to check things out but Tilly feels quite safe this time with Diggory and Dave at her side. I think Mojo just want’s a bit of the limelight too. Maybe he’ll be the next one to want to run off and join the circus.

Momo

Now it’s time to finish making the dancing props. Diggory and Dave think that hoops and balls will be a good start and before the day is up Tilly has made them a whole basketful of delights.

Toy-basket

She is one busy little mouse!

pup-toys

All puppies love new toys to play with and these two are no exception.

toys

They’re so excited when they see their colourful toys that they can hardly sit still and immediately start to rifle through, making a big mess.

Playtime

Oh well, toys are for play, not display!

Time for them to use some of that energy and start rehearsing. They want to learn to juggle and dance at the same time. That’s sure to impress the audience.

Circus-dogs

I’m pleased to tell you that the rehearsals kept them very busy and stopped them chewing up the house and barking at the postman.

Indeed, all the practice sessions have resulted in a very special act called the Juggling Jig. It’s unique to Diggory and Dave and after an audition with the circus this week I’m thrilled to tell you that they have been asked to join!

Mojo, on the other hand, failed his audition. He has a bad cattitude and isn’t so ready to please as the dogs. Firstly, he wouldn’t wear a funny outfit and secondly, his only real talent is for breaking the world record for the most snoozing in a single day. Even though I could gaze at him lovingly for hours as he snores away I’m not so sure the general public would have found it quite so endearing!

Mojo-Puppies

Oh well, judging from his face it looks like Mojo may have thought better of his transient ambitions and is now treating the whole episode with the utmost contempt!

Puppy-duo

Diggory and Dave on the other hand, are over the moon at the prospect of an exciting new adventure. I’m going to miss them but what is life for if not for following your dreams? Go for it Dave! Go for it Diggory! I just hope they come back and visit whenever they can 🙂

Dancing-puppies

Do you have an idea for a character? You can find out how to enter and all about the prizes here.

The competition is open until Friday November 27th 2015.

contestcircus_banner_characters

Good luck if you’re participating and don’t forget to have your say by voting for your favourites from 1st December 2015!


4 Comments

Autumnal inspiration

There’s been plenty to stir the senses again this autumn, so as we head into winter I thought I’d share a few of the things that have been fun to do over the past couple of weeks. There was the usual collecting of goodies and making them into something tasty. The blackberries are still filling up a large part of my freezer and the apples are still being picked from our tiny, but very fruitful tree. Lob both ingredients into a pan with a tablespoon of sugar and you get this pinky-purple scrumptiousness…

pie-filling

…just waiting to be turned into a blackberry and apple pie. A yummy breakfast made yummier with fresh apple slices and a bunch of grapes from the vine. Most of the grapes are fermenting gassily in a big tub ready to be turned into Chateau Holmes 2015 wine but there are a few more bunches left yet, for the blackbirds and me.

Breakfast

One of my favorite snacks for this time of year is roasted pumpkin seeds and with lots of pumpkins to get through there’s been no shortage of these crunchy nibbles for salad and soup sprinkles or just for plain old snacking. Here they are before and after they got a good roasting.

pumpkin-seeds

I think these were my tastiest yet. The secret is to leave some of the pumpkin flesh on – don’t rinse them clean first. I swooshed them around in a little olive oil, and a pinch each of celery salt, smoked paprika, cumin and turmeric. I think that’s probably not a totally bona fide authentic spice mix – more along the lines of some weird and totally made up ‘fusion’ cooking, but it worked for me!

The glory of roasting pumpkin seeds is you can have fun experimenting with whatever is in your spice rack and see what you prefer. Better than a packet of crisps to munch on, any day!

pumpkin-seeds2

To satisfy my sweet tooth I made a couple of pumpkin pies too. My favorite being a recipe by Abel and Cole which was more of an egg custard type thing but with a very definite pumpkin hit to the tastebuds.

Now I will be the first to admit it’s not going to win any awards for its physical beauty, but just like people, true beauty is more than skin deep and in the light of that observation this pie is a cracker. What it lacked in looks it more than made up for in taste!

pie-time

Treats at the ready I got a little bit of knitting time in at the kitchen table. As it was a Friday night I ditched the cup of tea and indulged in a glass of Chateau Holmes 2014 wine instead – for inspirational purposes of course.

mitts-and-pie

A very good homemade wine for washing down homemade pumpkin pie while knitting homemade mittens!

pumpkin-pie

I’ve been really enjoying knitting these mitts and have even attempted to write up the pattern, but oh my! It’s a whole different ball game to writing crochet patterns.

Gloves

I think I’ve got a lot to learn yet. I’ve been so obsessed with crochet for these past three years that my knitting skills have become a little rusty to say the least, but practice makes perfect. These mittens were intended as an accompaniment to my Autumn Berries Poncho. The green is a new addition to contrast with the pinks and purples and adds an extra bit of oomph.

Poncho2

A colour combo that was inspired by the yearly show of gorgeously coloured leaves on my grape vine along with the original blackberry and raspberry theme.

Harvest3

Autumn-inspiration

I even managed to squeeze a bit of knitting in during a very chilled out day at a local spa to celebrate a friends birthday. Of course it’s impossible to relax entirely unless there is some yarn involved somewhere! It was quite lovely to sit and knit a few rounds in between swimming, reading, having a slap up lunch, (undoing all the good work from powering up and down the pool!), lolling in the jacuzzi and sweating out the toxins in the sauna. I could get used to this!

spa

The mittens turned out pretty well considering my hands are more usually bent into a shape that accommodates a crochet hook rather than four double pointed knitting needles!

mitts

Love, love, love the colours and I especially like the way the yarn gently fades from one tone to another – just like autumn leaves do – giving each mitten it’s own distinctive look.

vine-leaves

leaves

I did make a few mistakes with this method of knitting in the round. I found it quite difficult to keep the stitches even at the point when you swap needles. I did OK on the knit rounds, but the purl rounds were a bit trickier. I was also pretty good at dropping stitches here and there but I picked them up and fudged them back into the knitting with a semi haphazard kind of technique so maybe no-one will notice except me!

ponco-and-mittens

poncho-mitts

It’s just a case of finishing off the border on my poncho next. That shouldn’t take too long, a few evenings this week ought to do the trick. Hmm, I think I need a matching hat next. But that poses a big dilemma – to knit or to crochet? I’d better go and have a mooch around on pinterest and see where the inspiration takes me next!


20 Comments

Trixie, Trudy and Tricia, the Trapeze Triplets.

baubles-row

Roll up, Roll up! There’s a new competition in town organised by those lovely people over at amigurumipatterns.net.

Do you remember the one last year with the theme of Parent and Baby Animals? Or the year before, calling for Animals at Work? Well this time it’s all about acrobats and clowns, strongmen and tightrope walkers, flame eaters, death defying stunts, sawdust, popcorn and candyfloss… Yes, you’ve guessed it, this year’s theme is the ‘The Circus’!

If you’re interested in taking part just click on the image below and it will take you to the page with all the details you’ll need to know on how to enter, what you could win, and how and when to vote for your favorites.

Circus-Competition

As usual the competition is open to anyone, whether you’re a pattern writer or free wheeler, beginner or experienced, full time crochet addict or part time dabbler. As well as the fun of taking part there are some great prizes up for grabs too. So pick up your hook and see where the inspiration takes you!

I love any excuse to get creative with a couple of miles of yarn and a bunch of single, double and treble crochets so after a bit of tinkering, a little unraveling, and a whole heap of the aforementioned stitches, I managed to get the idea floating around in my head translated into reality without too much hassle.

baubles-row

So now it’s time to announce my own competition entry and the arrival in town of the Travelling Mouse Circus, showcasing for the first time ever (…Drum roll please….)

The World Renowned Rodent Trio – Trixie, Trudy and Tricia, the Tremendously Talented and Terrifyingly Tricky Trapeze Triplets!

Mouse-Trapeze-021

Three of the lightest and most nimble limbed creatures performing mind blowingly astonishing aerial maneuvers for your delight and amusement.

Mouse-Trapeze-03

Personally speaking, I’m not great with heights but these three mice don’t bat an eyelid. They were born to the circus, quite literally, as their mom made a nest in the hay cart that carries the food for the dancing ponies. They have the circus in their blood and have been watching their parents performing remarkable feats on the tightrope and the trapeze since they were tiny babies. As soon as they were old enough to squeak they pestered mommy mouse to make them pretty little tutus and leotards of their own. From that day on Trixie, Trudy and Tricia could always be found practising their balancing tricks whenever they had a spare moment, until they were finally accomplished enough to transcend to the heady heights of the Big Top itself.

Now it wasn’t long until they had a couple of little sisters (twins, no less), who look up to their triplet siblings with wonder and awe and who hope to be just as elegant and accomplished as them when they grow up.

diptych-1

The twins – Tilly and Tara, watch their older sisters during rehearsals and help out however they can, highering and lowering the trapezes or tidying up the props after the performance.

Quints

When the younger ones are old enough this ensemble of squeaking siblings are hoping to perform together as a quintet. You can imagine how proud of their acrobatic offspring their mom and dad must be!

Mouse-Trapeze-71

However, there is one of these five who is slightly more timid than the rest. Tilly worries that one of her sisters may fall and so she always sits underneath during rehearsals, anxiously waiting to catch them if they do. Maybe Tilly will feel braver as she grows up or maybe this family will have to settle for an act that’s a quartet instead. Only time will tell!

Little-mouse

Tilly has many other talents to compensate for her lack of daring. She happens to be particularly good at sewing and is already pestering me to teach her to crochet, often preferring to be amongst the yarn or sorting through the buttons than in the spotlight with the greasepaint and the cheering crowds.

Mouse-helper

She’s a wonder with a needle and thread and dreams of designing and making outfits for the whole circus one day. In the meantime she loves to practice her skills stitching together the bunting that covers the inside of the Big Top during the shows. As any self respecting sewing fanatic knows, you can never have too much bunting!

little-helper

All of the sisters have a say when it comes to making their trapeze rigs, and goodness, they have so many suggestions I had a hard time keeping up with their ideas. Such a lot of chatter going on.

Mice-Trapeze

carlos-and-the-mice

Poor Carlos the Cactus isn’t used to having so much company, being more comfortable sitting and thinking, all alone in the desert. He just watches the goings on quietly from behind a big ball of yarn and offers up the pins every now and again when we have to secure a flag or a bauble in place. He’s such a sweety, I think you can see from his blushing cheeks and his cheeky little smile that he secretly loves the lively company.

Mice-helpers

Thankfully the mice approve of how the work has progressed on their latest piece of equipment.

Trapeze-in-progress

trapeze-rig

They’ve inspected the ropes very thoroughly. No self respecting trapeze artist would leave something so important to someone else. They’re nice and strong, with no frayed ends or loose knots, so I’m glad to say they passed the test.

pom-poms

All the buttons were carefully matched up to complement this season’s outfits.

Buttons-and-beads

Even the ends of the trapeze bars have been made to match.

I sure hooked up a lot of crocheted baubles during this project. I’m looking forward to teaching Tilly how to make some so she can help out with these when she finally gets her crochet skills to match up with her sewing skills.

round-bowl

It’s a relief to have finished this project to the satisfaction of all the mice. They were very demanding taskmasters, but perfectionists always are. And I’m glad of their perfectionism, after all you wouldn’t want anything less from performers of such dangerous and daring stunts.

Now you know a little bit more about them be sure to book your tickets the next time the circus is in town. You won’t be disappointed!

Mouse-Trapeze-01

Each light as a feather mouse will surely thrill and delight you with their agility and courage as they fly through the air with the greatest of ease, gliding with skill from trapeze to trapeze. They’ve even promised me they’ll sign your programmes and give you a tour behind the scenes. Just tell them Janine sent you 🙂

baubles-row