Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Ever Increasing Circles

These light and bright spring evenings have been an absolute boon for my productivity. I’ve been going crazy making loads of Spring Circle Squares. Although after laying them out on my bed – their eventual destination – I can see that I have quite a few more to go yet.

bed-squares

To be precise – I have another 49 squares to go. Oh goodness… I find it’s often better not to contemplate too deeply the bigger picture when tackling a large project. 49 squares sounds really daunting but I’m just hooking my way through a few every night so it’s not going to be as scary as it seems. Anyway, there’s really no hurry. I suppose not having to work to any sort of deadline is one of the great pleasures about home made self gifted gifts!

I have been working very diligently on the blanket and it might well have been nearing completion by now but for the fact that I kept stealing some of the circle motifs to make some matching cushion covers.

cushions

A bed is not completely dressed unless you have lots of extra cushions to annoy the hell out of the more practical minded (my hubby). I’m more in the camp that puts aesthetics over function. Yes the cushions always get kicked to the kerb (or the end of the mattress) come bedtime but they do look jolly pretty during the day!

Project ‘Spice up the Bedroom’ is still in its infancy with quite a few more miles of yarn to transform yet, but you can see where I’m heading with it all now.

bed-cushs

I was thrilled to find these gorgeously globular fairy lights last time I visited Tiger. I snapped up a couple of strings as the colours couldn’t have been more perfect to match the spring circles motifs.

string-shades

I’m obviously very on trend at the moment, though that’s more of a happy accident than by any scheming or conscious decision making on my part! I think I’m going to incorporate pompoms into my new bedroom look too. After all, I have all plenty left over from my epic pompom making frenzy over Christmas last year. Many of them are a pretty good colour match and this whole circles and spheres thing is really floating my boat at the moment. I love it when a plan comes together…

pompoms-and-shades

The pompoms could make a pretty edging for the cushions or a delicate garland string – I’m yet to decide, but they’re going into the grand plan somehow.

orbs

I was a really good girl and finished off all the cushion covers properly. They have crocheted backs made of rows of half double crochets (UK half trebles)…

cushion-backs

And I even hand sewed in some zips to give them a neat finish. A very pleasant little task in the dappled shade of the backyard.

zip-2

A bit of pinning…

pinning-a-zip

…and a bit of sewing…

zip

…and they’re finished.

cushion-zips

Maybe on closer inspection my zip insertions are not the very neatest but for someone who would gladly swap a crochet hook for a sewing needle any day of the week I think they’re not too bad – but I won’t be entering the great British Sewing Bee anytime soon!

The zips are a real boon for cushion covers in this house. It makes them fully removable for washing at the drop of a hat – a desirable trait due to the perennial problem of cat hair build up – especially important when things are as soft and inviting as these pillows. I’m going to try buttons with simple overlapping crocheted back panels on the next ones to see how that works out. When it comes to homemade crochet furnishings Minnie doesn’t think it’s good to share – unless it’s the lion’s share you’re talking about.

minnie-crochet

“Mine, all mine!” says Minnie.

The cushions look really lovely outside too, on our metal daybed, along with a couple of my other crochet blankets from the last few years.

garden-bed

I have really been enjoying lounging about in the garden whenever the sun has graced us with its cheering presence. Mojo’s pretty keen on the summer set up too and loves to keep a (very) close eye on my basket of circles.

nosey-mojo

“Mine, all mine” says Mojo.

mojo-and-the-circles

The stash of circles continues to increase in size even more quickly since I finished pinching them to make cushions. It’s back to growing the blanket again this week and getting that bed set finished once and for all, although other distractions can’t be completely ruled out of course!


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We Three, Three Toed Tree Sloths

we-three

The best way to successfully recite the teasingly tongue twister-ish title of this blog post is really rather slowly. Obviously the sloths have no problem whatsoever with that. These three, Three Toed, Brown Throated tree sloths have lots of time for practicing tongue twisters – when they’re not sleeping for their usual 18 hours a day that is.

Slocombe-Front-cover

Slocombe the Sloth is a bit of a hippy at heart. He’s a chilled out, tree hugging, totally relaxed kind of dude and a great example to all of us who are always rushing around in today’s busy world. Slocombe knows that simply hanging out with his friends is one of life’s great pleasures and he’s in no hurry to join the rat race and set his stress levels soaring through the roof.

tree-cuddler

Ok, so he may not have a high powered job or a fancy new yacht but he has inner peace and a nice tree, and that counts for a lot. He also has a loyal band of furry friends who love to come around for a playdate.

sloth-climbing

They climb the trees together in the garden whenever they can.

three-tree-sloths

It’s a fabulous life just chillin’ with your best buddies. No wonder these sloths are always smiling!

I used King Cole Moments yarn for all of the sloths in the pictures above as it comes in a fabulous range of natural colours but any DK (double knit/light worsted weight) furry eyelash yarn will do just as well.

820-Sloth-fur

From left to right, below, I made one in shade 1612 (Squirrel), one in shade 497 (Beaver) and one by alternating each of those two colours, one round at a time.

sloth pals

Two 50g balls of this yarn are plenty for one sloth. I accented mine with shade 499 (Koala) on the last few rounds of the body, the base of the toes  and along the hairline. This shade name is a bit confusing as I’ve never actually seen a chocolate brown koala, but there you go!

koala

Orwell the Orangutan loves his new playmates. They all have a great time lounging around in my arbour.

hanging-around

If you prefer, you can use a mohair yarn instead of an eyelash type furry yarn for this pattern. (I’m going to try this with Orwell too at some point).

mohair

Any weight and make of mohair yarn should work out fine. Just be sure to match the weight of the smooth yarns used for the face and toes to the weight of the mohair yarn you’ve chosen throughout each sloth so that the relative proportions come out the same.

I used a Yeoman yarn called Chogamohair (shade – Pebble) for this particular sloth…

sleepy-sloth

Though it is described as a DK yarn I judged it to be rather heavier than that when it arrived through the post and I saw it in real life. It’s just so difficult to tell these things from a picture on Ebay.

yeoman-pebble

As a result of its greater than expected bulk I matched the Chogamohair with Aran (worsted weight) yarns for the non furry bits and so he came out rather larger than his DK King Cole counterparts, but no less cute for that. (If you do the same I suggest upsizing to a 15mm safety eye too).

2-tree-sloths

Big or small, every sloth likes a good hug!

Sloth-cuddles

You can buy Slocombe’s pattern from any of my online shops should you suddenly develop the desire to crochet up one of these slow motion twig eating folivores for yourself. If you do I’d love to see a picture so be sure to hop on over and post one on my Moji-Moji Facebook page. We need more sloths in the world to put a smile on our faces and make us go ‘awww’!

I greatly admired the slogan on the Slothville.com website…”The slow shall inherit the earth”. It would be nice if that were true so we could all give ourselves permission to change down a gear or two and stop to smell the roses on a much more regular basis!


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Chilli Billy

Following on from the adventures of Chilli Billy and his friends (you can see what they got up to in this blog post), I’ve written up a free pattern for him so all you chilli lovers out there can have one of your own, or maybe you’ll even grow a whole crop!

Chilli-4

(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: Chilli Billy is approximately 5″ (12 cm) tall.

You will need:

  • 3 mm crochet hook
  • Scissors
  • 3 mm knitting needle (or thereabouts)
  • Yarn needle
  • Oddments of Light Worsted Weight (DK/8ply) yarn in Red and Green
  • 2 x 6 mm black plastic safety eyes
  • 30 cm long Black pipe cleaner

The Pattern:

Make 1 piece, starting at tail. Working in continuous spiral rounds.
With Red 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 each st around.
Rnd 4: [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (9 sts)
Rnds 5-6: sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Rnd 7: [sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (12 sts)
Rnds 8-10: sc in each st around. (3 rounds)
Rnd 11: [sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (15 sts)
Rnds 12-21: sc in each st around. (10 rounds)
Stuff chilli, continue stuffing as you go
Rnd 22: [sc in each of next 3 st, dec] 3 times. (12 sts)
Rnds 23-25: sc in each st around. (3 rounds)
Insert safety eyes between Rnds 20 and 21, spacing them 3 stitches apart.
Change to Green yarn.
Rnd 26: sc in each st around.
Rnd 27: working in back loops only: sc in each st around.
Rnd 28: dec 6 times. (6 sts)
Stalk: Slst to next st, 6 ch, sc in second ch from hook, sc in next ch, Slst in each of next 3 ch, Slst to next st on top of chilli.
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. Weave in the yarn end.

With Green yarn embroider a small ‘V’ just below the eyes for the mouth.

To make the leaves: Holding chilli right way up, insert hook into any leftover front loop from Rnd 27 – picture (a). Pull up a loop of Green yarn, 3 ch, Slst in same loop as join, Slst in next st, *(Slst, 3 ch, Slst) in next st, repeat from * to end 4 more times. (6 picots made)

Chilli-tops

Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Thread yarn tail onto yarn needle and sew the tip of each picot to the chilli – picture (b).

Cut the pipe cleaner in half and bend over the tips to create blunt ends.

Chilli-Limbs
Insert the 3 mm knitting needle from side to side between Rnds 10 and 11 – picture (c). Wiggle the needle around a bit to make the hole big enough. Insert one of the pipe cleaner halves into the hole created by the knitting needle – picture (d).

Chilli-legs-2

Bend the legs into shape.
Repeat the above process in between Rnds 16 and 17 for the arms.

Chilli-Star

Chilli Billy is ready to show off all his HOT moves…

party-time

…succulents and capsicums really know how to party!

(Carlos the Cactus’ pattern is also available here as a paid for download in my Etsy shop)


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Spring Circle Squares

I’m still merrily hooking away at my latest project during every spare moment, car journey, bus ride, movie night, and phone call (don’t you just love speakerphone!). In fact I can’t seem to get my hands to stop at all. My mania is partly inspired by my absolute love of these colour combinations. Everytime I pick up my hook and start working these rounds I’m totally enthralled and now I really just want to get to the end and see it all come together.

spring-circles

All that frenetic activity is beginning to pay off and I have amassed a mini mountain of the most delightful Spring Circle motifs.

basket-squares

There’s still a long way to go to make the blanket of my dreams but I’m getting there, one stitch at a time. I’ve decided to work simultaneously on a blanket and some cushion covers so it’s a good job I’m not getting bored of working on these yet. I’m going to need quite a few more to cover my entire bed in co-ordinated yarny heavenliness.

granny-squares

Our local pub down at Diglis Basin has seen the birth of a fair few squares over the past couple of weeks.

beer-garden

I love to crochet in the beer garden there and daydream about owning my own narrowboat. Think of all the crochet furnishing I could make for it! (Better finish off the bed set before I go making stuff for my imaginary boaty bottom drawer though).

beer-garden2

I do like the idea of chugging past these glorious sights on my way down to the River Severn.

diglis-bottom-lock

trees-at-the-lock

At the moment though, I’m happy to make do with walking the route instead. There’s another pub not far away where I also like to sit and crochet while sipping on a pint of something cold and fizzy and amber coloured, and who could say no to such a pleasant pastime on an evening as beautiful as this?

River-Severn

A sinking spring sun makes a golden glow of our refreshments.

diglis-house-hotel

Even on such a sunny day there is still a slight chill in the air near the river around this time of year, as evening starts thinking about turning into night. Thankfully, my super snug fingerless gloves keep my hands warm enough to edge a few more circles.

finishing-up

The river is as pretty as ever. I can easily envision my little boat of the future gliding by here, hubby at the helm and me at the hook!

diglis-house

Of course it’s an equally lovely walk back the way we came and now I can look forward to putting on some comfy old pyjamas and snugging up at home again.

trees-and-fields

It’s great to spread out the squares and see the progress made. The cats all seem to like my colours too, or maybe it’s the soft textures or just the notion that something’s going on and could do with a bit of mischief thrown in for good measure.

minnie-and-the-squares

Whatever the attraction it’s getting very difficult to see my crochet whenever I try to lay out the squares to get an idea of how to set out the finished piece.

minnie-and-the-squares2

You can see what I’m up against here! Though at this point I have managed to join together a few of the squares for the first of the cushion covers.

cushions-and-cats

Over the next few days the blanket continues to grow and the cats continue to seek it out at nap time.

sea-of-crochet

Or playtime, in fact any time it’s on the floor at least one of the cats is checking it out.

spring-circles-blanket

Mojo is king of all he surveys from the comfort of a stack of crochet I was hoping to work on.

mojo-listening

A cuter than cute look says ‘please do not attempt to remove me’!

mojo-looking

Ok, I can finish the cushion covers another time. Mojo makes the most of my inability to move any cat just to get at my crochet and settles in.

mo

I have plenty more squares left to make and the task was never made any less enjoyable for having a cat purring contentedly nearby. Just as you should let sleeping dogs lie the same should be true of cats too. It’s only fair!


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Everybody Salsa!

Last week I was gripped by the urge to make some amigurumi chillis. A few rounds of straight forward single crochets later and I found Chilli Billy smiling up at me – with a few of his friends too.

Would you like to get to know them a bit better? Sure you would! From left to right I’d like to introduce you to Chilli Willy, Chilli Tilly, Chilli Billy and Chilli Jilly.

chilli-four

They’re a lively bunch and great fun to have around. Guaranteed to spice up your life and turn up the heat at any party, and oh how they love to party! Just as well I had the perfect day out planned for them this May Day Bank Holiday.

Despite the gloomy, world weary skies and threat of heavy rain we were determined to get out of the house for at least a few hours and what better place to take Billy and his friends than a chilli festival! So, completely ignoring the wet and windy weather forecast, we hopped into the car and headed off to Eastnor Castle where just such an event was in full swing for the holiday weekend.

chilli-car-journey

The chillis were so excited they couldn’t sit still so I was glad it was only a half hours ride. Not that the brevity of the journey stopped a hundred calls of ‘are we there yet?’… Even the bad weather couldn’t dampen the sense of fun and expectation – all four chillies and all four humans were very much looking forward to our foodie day out.

We parked up in a nearby field and headed for the sign…

chilli-Billy

Nearly there…

Chilli-banner

…and we’re in!

chilli-gates

Once inside the gates we grab a photo opportunity that’s just too good to miss.

Chilli-shots

Time for a bit of shopping and stall browsing. There were so many different things to see. Billy particularly enjoyed perusing The Chilli Alchemist‘s stall. We both loved the perfectly Billy-sized cauldrons filled with the most wonderful chilli spells and potions.

chilli-cauldrons

The packaging on these sauces are worthy of a Harry Potter film set.

chilli-potions

They even had chilli infused Popping candy for sale. How cool is that?! After a slightly messy tasting session the chillies chose a  crackling vial of Melliculus Tropicus (medium hot) to take home.

Chilli-candy

We checked out Chilli Billy’s cousins to see what’s hot to grow this year. Loving the sound of Yellow Bumpy, Super Tramp and Stumpy.

chilli-selection

The Fairy Lights chillies appeal to me of course, but I have no talent for coaxing seedlings into life and nurturing young plantlets in my snail filled garden so I just looked wistfully at the seed packets and considered a purchase of a more mature chilli plant for the kitchen windowsill instead.

This one should be a bit hardier and easier to tend, with the added bonus of chillies ready to harvest immediately. Surely even I can keep such a healthy and robust specimen alive. Only time will tell!

Chilli-plants

We found some sweet sombreroed amigurumi Amigos on the Ambalama Spices stall. Billy enjoyed hanging out with his new pals. He’s such a confident young pepper and makes friends everywhere he goes.

Chilli-ami

All the teasing of the tastebuds with the vast array of tester pots on offer makes you very hungry after a while so we headed off to get a good nosh from the falafel kiosk. Not in the mood to make any more decisions about which chilli sauces, jams, pickles and condiments I like best I order a wrap with a bit of everything in it.

Chilli-Festival-Lunch

Wow… That’s a big lunch. What a blessing that Chilli Billy has stuck around to help me eat it. I’d never manage all that on my own!

Chilli-Lunch

Some very tall mexicans were spotted in the crowd… Time for a selfie…

Tall-Mexicans

Thanks guys! It was very sweet of you to pose with the chilli posse. You made their day!

Chilli-pals-03

A bit more general loafing and hanging around…

chilli-bunting

…and we were ready for some entertainment. The chillis were regrouped and burnt off some of those lunchtime calories with some serious dancing – everybody salsa!

chilli-dancing

That wore them out a little bit, though they still have enough energy to pose for just one more shot as we leave the park. Now that’s a supersized chilli if ever I saw one.

chilli-line-up

A spot of crochet at the ready and a big haul of chilli goods packed away neatly in the boot and we’re were good to go, just in time to miss the worst of the rain.

chillis-in-the-rain

It was  lovely to be back at home again, snugged up and watching the rain fall from the comfort of my cosy terrace, central heating humming away to keep the more warmly acclimatised chilli family happy.

With our haul of chilli related goodies spread out before us and a couple of bottles of local wine from the Malvern based Lovells Vineyard to enjoy, we settled down to an evening of laid back chillin’ out.

Chilli-haul

Sipping…

elgar-wine

Snacking…

chill-chocolate

and snuggling down on my favorite sofa to finish my loopy cushion cover.

snuggling

If I were a cat you would have heard me purring from miles away!