Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Pom Tiddly Om Poms

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

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

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

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

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

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…and just as lovely by night.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So back to my current batch of pompoms…

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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And here are the fruits of my labours.

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

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

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

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


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Evie and Elvis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The more embellishments the better!

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

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

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

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

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


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Alpaca Pals

Having recently made quite a few alpacas myself for an upcoming Zoomigurumi book I couldn’t resist the opportunity to drop by and visit the real thing. It made a lovely mid week change to slaving away over a hot crochet hook (the friction of all those stitches, you know, I’m afraid that one day there will be a spontaneous combustion).

I escaped my studio and headed off into Warwickshire for a visit to Tofts Alpacas and what a lovely day it turned out to be. Though the weather was gloomy the alpacas brought their own brand of inner sunshine to the whole experience.

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Here’s one close up, very neatly shorn with the classic alpaca hair-do!

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Aren’t they just sooooo sweet?!

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I couldn’t resist taking a couple of my own crocheted versions along to meet their inspirations. Well, of course they all wanted to take selfies but mine have somewhat shorter legs than their real life counterparts and so this proved a little difficult. I’m always happy to lend a hand though and so between us we got some nice shots for the album.

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The alpacas were so gentle and quietly curious. They have a beautiful aura of calm about them and I came away feeling very peaceful with batteries recharged from a good walk in the countryside and a big dose of cute to boot.

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I love how alpacas always seem to be smiling!

Apart from this one who seems to have taken some sort of offence to his diminutive counterpart…

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Luckily for my crocheted creation this alpacas attention was soon grabbed by my spotty wellies!

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Toft Farm has a grey alpaca that we were taken to see. It didn’t really want to pose for the camera, being much more interested in the green, green grass but I got managed to get this shot of him having a good nosh with all his other buddies.

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Apparently grey alpacas are very rare. This is the only one on the farm at the moment and it’s very difficult to guarantee a grey offspring even if both parents are grey themselves. All 250 alpacas at Toft Farm have a unique name (hats off to the staff who can remember them all!) and this particular one is called Bradley Wiggins. I thought it would have be fitting to name my own grey alpaca Bradley, in honour of this fine specimen, except that I also have a badger design in my collection with that name. To avoid confusion, and so that my amigurumi will know exactly who I mean when I’m talking to them, I’ve shortened his new name to Brad. That being the case, it logically followed that his girlfriend should probably be called Angelina. So here we have the newly christened ‘Brangelina’ of the alpaca world.

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And aren’t they just as handsome a couple as their celebrity namesakes?

All the baby alpacas who are born a little on the light side and need to fatten up a bit are kept with their mums in a special enclosure with open access to all the hay they can eat. My entire herd of alpacas thought they’d join in too. As they’re all made with less than 25g of yarn each they must surely qualify for the underweight category. Anyway, it would be bit harsh to expect them to resist such a fine meal as they were easily small enough to sneak between the bars for a nibble or two!

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As for myself, a tempting opportunity that couldn’t realistically be resisted was a visit to the shop after the tour of the farm was over. I’m sure you’ll see why when you look at the next set of photos. The shop was jam packed with amigurumis all made from a book called ‘Edward’s Menagerie’ by Kerry Lord who actually founded and designed the Toft alpacas shop. There is an interesting page about the book and the shop here for those of you who would like a bit more info.

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I love the use of all the natural alpaca hues and blends in these super cute designs. The whole shop was awash with greys, browns, beiges and creams and was very easy on the eye.

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There was yarn of all weights available…

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…and bags of fleece too.

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…cuddly toys of all sizes…

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…and they even had a Christmas tree up with fluffy alpaca ornaments, mini balls of yarn and crocheted snowflakes and gingerbread men on it.

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As a result of my mini shopping spree I’m now the proud owner of an alpaca decoration for my own tree. Here she is back at home, making friends with a robin.

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I bought a bag full of alpaca fluff, the smell of which Mojo finds fascinating!

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I might stuff some into a little crocheted mouse for him as part of his Christmas present… but the main aim of buying this was to get some practice in with my spinning.

Lastly I had to buy some actual yarn, obviously, and so came away with these three super soft DK yarns. All this was spun with pure colours straight from the fleece, not from blends, and they have the deliciously mouthwatering names of Fudge, Oatmeal and Chestnut.

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I wish my spinning attempts were anywhere near as neat and uniform!

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I’m planning on making some mittens out of these three skeins. I’m told that alpaca yarn is very good for people who’s skin is sensitive to sheep wool due to the naturally lower levels of lanolin, which can aggravate eczema. I know just the person who would appreciate a pair of alpaca mitts. The only question is can I get them made by Christmas? Hmm, probably cutting it a bit fine, but they most definitely will get made at some point. Better late than never. There are always birthdays to consider or even future Christmases.

Work on Zoomigurumi 5 has begun in earnest and all the chosen patterns, including my own Alicia the Alpaca are now in the testing phase with various book participants and volunteers around the globe. I made a whole herd of these addictive fluffy creatures while tweaking and testing the pattern myself.

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They’ve each had a snug pannier blanket made that will be included in the pattern.

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Now they no longer have to huddle together in order to keep warm, but it seems they prefer to anyway, just for the pleasure of each other’s company!

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As part of my wider contribution to Zoomigurumi 5 I was given this pattern to test and have been busy working my way through the details over the weekend.

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Just a little teaser there, as I’ll leave it to the publisher to make the big reveal of all the designs that will be featured this time around. Not long to go now. What I can tell you though is that it’s a fabulous selection, but then you wouldn’t expect anything less from a Zoomigurumi book, I’m sure!


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Voting is Underway!

Just a little post to give you the thumbs up that voting is now open for the circus themed amigurumi design competition run by the team at amigurumipatterns.net. You can see all the entries and cast your votes here if you should feel like getting involved.

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Here’s a quick reminder of my two contributions in case you missed my earlier posts.

Firstly there was Trixie, Trudy and Tricia the Trapeze Triplets.

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 You can vote for Trixie, Trudy and Tricia here. 

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And then there was Diggory and Dave the Dancing Dogs. (Oh yes, I sure do love my alliteration!).

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 You can vote for Diggory and Dave here. 

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You’ll get to choose five of your favourite designs, and with 235 hugely imaginative entries there’s plenty to choose from.

Have fun browsing the designs and casting your votes, and good luck to all who have entered!