Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Bright Beginnings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Penny the Pine Tree

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

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

Penny-the-Pine-Tree

So, without further ado, here’s my pretty, potted, rosy cheek spotted, Penny the Pine Tree, who’ll be happy to add a touch of greenery to your desk whatever the time of year. Are you all ready for an out of season Christmas fix? Yes? Great!

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

tree-materials

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

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And here’s the pattern. (Scroll down to the ‘download’ button at the bottom of this page for a printable version)

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

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

Plant Pot

Make 1 piece, starting at base. Working in continuous spiral rounds.
With Dark Pink yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 4: [sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 5: [sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 6: working in back loops only: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 7-8: sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Rnd 9: [sc in each of next 9 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (33 sts)
Rnd 10: sc in each st around.
Rnd 11: [sc in each of next 10 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (36 sts)
Change to Light Pink yarn.
Rnd 12-14: sc in each st around. (3 rounds)
Change to Dark Pink yarn.
Rnd 15-18: sc in each st around. (4 rounds)
Rnd 19: Working in back loops only: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 20: [sc in each of next 4 st, dec] 6 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 21: [sc in each of next 3 st, dec] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 22: [sc in each of next 2 st, dec] 6 times. (18 sts)
Stuff Plant Pot.
Rnd 23: [sc in next st, dec] 6 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 24: dec 6 times. (6 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Thread yarn tail onto yarn needle, pick up front loop only of remaining 6 stitches. Pull tight to close the hole. Insert yarn needle down center of plant pot, coming out at the center of the base.

pot1-and-2

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

plant-pot-3-and-4

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

plant-pot-5-and-6

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

Star

stars4

Make 2 pieces for each star, starting at center. Working in continuous spiral rounds.
With Light Pink yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 5 sc in second ch from hook. (5 sts)
Rnd 2: working in back loops only: [slst in next st, 3 ch, slst in second ch from hook, hdc in next ch, slst in same st as first slst] 5 times.
Fasten off. Weave in the yarn end on first star. Leave long yarn tail on second star for sewing. With right sides facing outwards, whipstitch the edges of both stars together.

stars5

Pine Tree

Tree-tops

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

Frill

Tree-frill1

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

tree-frill-2

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

tree-frill-3

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

top-to-base

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

Pine-Tree

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

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Of course, if pink is not your style then this little pine tree will look just as fabulous dressed up in any other colours you prefer. To prove the point, here’s Penny with two of her other potty pals.

pine-tree-pals

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

Penny-Bling

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

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A very merry un-Christmas to you all!

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2015 – My Year in Pictures

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

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

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

January

01January-2015

February

02February-2015

March

03March-2015

April

04April-2015

May

05May-2015

June

06June-2015

July

07July-2015

August

08August-2015

September

09September-2015

October

10October2015

November

11November-2015

December

12December-2015

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

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


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Holiday Happiness

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

snow-mantel

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

snowman-mantel

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

stockings

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

cats

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

minnie

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

minnie2

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

My-Tree

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

Elvis-and-the-Pompoms

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

Elvis-and-the-Pompoms-2

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

evie

Better get winding a snipping a few more then.

pompom-trimmimg

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

poncho-fringe

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

poncho-edging

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

strawberries

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

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

mini-baubles

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

baubles

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

mini-tree

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

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

pompom-square

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

moji

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

tigger

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

pompoms

…into this…

tigger-basket

…because he couldn’t resist doing this…

tigger2

Ahh, we do love him, hisses and all!

tigs

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

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