Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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The Joy of Joining

Oh yes! This is the part I love the most. All the scrummy squares are finished with all the stray ends dealt with and a plan for which square goes where is finalised. All that remains is to experience the thrill of seeing all my hard work and countless hours of hooky time begin to form into a useful and pretty work of art!

labeling-knitting-needles

Once I’d decided on the sequencing I made sure that none of the squares got muddled up by making some knitting needle labels out of washi tape (yet another fabulous use for the prettily patterned sticky stuff).

washi-tape-needle-labels

There are ten rows of fifteen squares so I prepared ten of my skinnier knitting needles for skewering each set of fifteen onto.

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Being very careful not to mess up the order I threaded them onto the correct needles and then stood back to admire my handiwork and take a moment to enjoy the anticipation of the task ahead.

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The sight of all those neat chain edges just waiting to be crocheted together made me ridiculously happy!

First-stack

Sometimes, when I’m plodding through the making of what seems like an endless amount of repetitive squares it can seem a bit daunting, but with my eyes firmly on the prize I managed to soldier on at a very steady rate. Most days I made at least a couple of the circular motifs, then tended to save them up and finish off the cream borders when I was out and about, as that meant only one ball of wool to pack up.

Now, though, the main of the work had to be done at home as the blanket went rather quickly from the more manageable joining of the first two rows…

first-join

…to a rather unwieldy three rows plus, making the whole project a bit too big for lugging onto the bus or cramming into the car.

three-rows-joined

Well, we all need a good excuse to put our feet up, kick back and relax on a comfy sofa sometimes and this is the best reason I can think of. It was lovely to settle in over an incredibly rainy weekend and methodically work through all the rows of my Spring Circles.

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Some members of my furry family were happy to test run the blanket as I tried to crochet around them.

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The cats weren’t too keen on being out in the incessant rain either but definitely approved of my handiwork for keeping the cosy factor going strong despite the washout of a summer we’re having so far.

Slowed down by cat blockages as I was, I eventually joined all of the first rows down the long side of the blanket and started valiantly on the final set of joins across the short side.

blanket

In the past I’ve traditionally used slip stitches for joining but thought I’d try single crochets this time.

joining-up

The single crochets add an extra bit of bulk to the back of the work, and they do use up more yarn, but on the plus side they make sure you don’t get any puckering on the right side of your work. I find that my slip stitches can tend to be bit tighter than my single crochets, unless I watch my tension very carefully.

joining-up2

All in all, I’m very pleased with the look of the finished joins. I might even consider making a feature of the ridges created by the single crochets for another project by joining the squares at the front instead of the back of the work. This time though I kept the right sides of the squares facing and worked in the outermost set of loops only so the ridges are all hidden away on the back.

all-joined-up

The right side edges of each square have a really neat finish and the blanket still has lots of stretchiness. Top result!

And even though Mojo loved the end of the bed before…

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…he was super chuffed when the new blanket was installed!

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I still have the border to do yet before I can officially tick this off the WIP list but I’m really looking forward to that part too.

Now I know it’s a bit premature, not having finished this particular project yet, but I’ve also began working on another blanket to compliment this one. Same colours – but I’m keeping it simple by just making small circles of twelve double crochets.

on-the-buses

I’ve been making a few of these on little trips here and there, whenever I ran out of pre-prepared spring circles to edge. They’re perfect for short bus rides as they take up very little space and are super quick to make. This emergency crochet pack is now installed in my handbag at all times for the foreseeable future, so I’ll never be stuck without some crochet close at hand.

on-the-bus

I’m not quite sure how I’m going to put these tiny squares together yet. Maybe in stripes with rows of crochet stitches in between, a bit like my Mexican Blanket, or maybe I’ll just join them into larger colour co-ordinated squares and then crochet those together in blocks.

mini-circles-2

Either way, I’ll just keep adding them to the pile as they’re finished and get a proper plan together later.

edging

First things first though because my Spring Circles blanket won’t crochet itself a border. For which, of course, I’m very thankful, as I wouldn’t want to be deprived of any of the fun!


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The End is Nigh!

No, not the end of the world or anything apocalyptic like that. I’m referring to my blanket of course, and with shouts of ‘Hip, Hip Hooray!’ because I have officially finished crocheting the very last square of my Spring Circles project. Every loose end has been darned in and trimmed off…

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…and a general layout decided upon…

circles-blanket

Ten squares by fifteen should make the perfect size for draping over the end of my bed, especially once the border is added.

spring-circles-layout

Now the fun of joining them all together is about to begin! But before I get stuck into that part of the journey I thought I’d share a few of the more recent photos from the Spring Circles blanket archives.

I’ve made the most of the nice weather, what little we’ve had lately, by crocheting outside whenever possible.

mojo-and-the-circles

And by nice weather I mean anything but rain, of which we have had literally bucketfuls over the past couple of weeks. A rare patch of sunshine lights up the corner of the yard as Mojo and I vie to be the first to enjoy it.

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As a result of the almost relentless downpours, most of my spare time has been spent indoors which, as we were also in the middle of decorating the lounge, meant cosy evenings and a few early mornings sitting comfortably on the bed, away from all the step ladders, wallpaper paste and tins of paint, making up the last few motifs.

little-circles

The cats were very kind to share the bed with me during the evenings.

mojo-eyes-the-circles

In fact I think they enjoyed the company. I didn’t seem to disturb them much anyway, as I quietly crocheted through hours of their nap time.

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Zzzzzz.

pogo-snoozing

Even Tigger and Mojo decided to get along a little and share the space away from all the chaos going on downstairs…

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…albeit quite begrudgingly. No need to have to look at each other anyway.

cat-companions

There’s nothing quite like having the end of the bed all to yourself for a game of ‘snatch the crochet hook’ though.

mojo-on-the-bed

If the cats are so crazy about the bed right now I can imagine even more trouble vying for space once my soft and squishy blanket has pride of place.

mojo-snoozing

I’m still mad keen on the colours and have loved making random combinations from my yarn basket.

Basket-of-yarn

To my eyes, each variation of colours is as beautiful as the last!

circles

Being camped out together, taking refuge in the bedroom, didn’t last forever and once we finally got use of the freshly refurbished lounge I made the most of it to finish off the last few squares by hogging the new sofa.

last-few-circles

The cats are a bit nervous of the alien furniture with it’s straight from the factory smell and completely different look and feel. They spent the first few days creeping around looking worried which meant I had a bit more space than usual to crochet in but I’m sure that won’t last long!

mice-helpers

I had an energetic trio of mice for company instead, Scurrying about in between the crochet squares, causing havoc. You know what they say… While the cats away the mice will play 🙂

I edged the last few circles just hours ago and am really excited to see the end in sight.

tray-of-circles

Especially as my new purchase from Amazon arrived last week, bringing with it the desire to finish off this WIP and begin another one. I have a yearning to make a whole bunch of these realistic looking animal heads from Vanessa Mooncie’s book for the back wall of the lounge. Nothing like a new project in mind to spur you onwards.

next-project

But before I get carried away with vegetarian friendly hunting trophies it’s a case of hook at the ready to get this blanket joined together. Mojo is pretty keen on it already and braved the unfamiliar layout and plethora of paint and paste odours mingling with brand new foam and fabric smells to sneak into the lounge to try it out.

rug-rat

We’re all going to be in seventh heaven come nap time once this blanket makes it onto the bed!


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Amigurumi Circus

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The circus themed AmigurumiPatterns.net book is ready at last! Time to roll up and get your tickets to the greatest show in town because the Amigurumi Circus characters are putting up the Big Top and are more than eager to introduce themselves to you.

Let me show you a little picture of them all together to whet your appetite. Don’t they all look so cute!?

Amigurumi-circus-characters

You can see Trudy, Trixie and Tricia, my trio of trapeze triplets, at the top centre and Diggory and Dave, my duo of dancing dogs, at bottom right. There are various other characters you would fully expect to find in the circus including the ringmaster, a clown, a unicycling parrot, a clumsy juggler and a cheeky little mouse that loves to eat as much popcorn as he can get his paws on.

circus-book

I love this book so much! It’s bright and colorful and there are lots of clever little techniques used to make all of the accessories and outfits, it’s possible that even the most experienced amigurumist will learn a new trick or two when going through these pages. I know I did! There are lots of photos included of the less common techniques which makes it ridiculously easy to have a go at even the more complicated looking designs.

I did a lot of proofreading for this one, checking grammar and spellings etc. Getting stuck in was good fun as always – especially with my enthusiastic mouse helpers, who were very excited to see themselves in print!

trio-of-proofreaders

They each grabbed a marker in their favorite colour and busied themselves scribbling notes and highlighting parts that needed changing…for a while anyway…as everyone knows that mice are easily bored and always need to be on the move.

It was rather difficult to keep them focused. These mice are prone to bouts of self admiration and when they saw their portraits printed so big they got quite carried away with it all, but I think they deserve a little moment now and again to congratulate themselves on making the audition to join the best amigurumi circus in the world. I’m rather proud of them if I may say so myself!

triplets

As sweet as they are, in the end it was easier to concentrate without their little shrieks of excitement and continual scurrying around in between the sheets of paper so I sent them off to practice their trapeze routine. Such a great way for them to use up all that nervous energy and it was nice to see them swinging about above my desk trying out new moves while I carried on reading through the whole manuscript, uninterrupted.

trapeze-mice

Diggory and Dave were equally impressed with their own book appearance. Although they might look like well trained and beautifully behaved young pups they still have their naughty moments and Diggory has been playing up this morning, refusing to get dressed in his outfit…

Diggory and Dave

…until he caught sight of himself in the book, all togged up and looking so splendid in his performing clothes. That soon got him digging through the props trolley looking for his ruff, hat and cuffs while Dave settled down to have a good read of their mini story. Each of the thirteen characters in the book has their own tale to tell. Just a few lines is all it takes to make their individual personalities spring into life.

puppy-dogs

And now to remind you what super dedicated performers this lot can be when there are no big colourful books to distract them, here are all of my circus troupe at their professional best!

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I love this book because of it’s sheer variety of styles – one of the great things that comes from working with many different designers. There is definitely something for everybody in there from tentative beginners (all stitches and basic techniques are explained with diagrams in the introductory pages) to advanced crochet addicts, and there’s something to suit all tastes too, though I must admit to having a soft spot for each and every character in this book.

amigurumi-circus

If you’re keen to get your hands on a copy just click on the picture above and it will take you straight to the ordering page. It’s available at special pre-sale rates until June 25th 2016, so roll up, roll up and get your copies now! it’s a bargain at £14.95 for a paperback version, including postage worldwide, together with a PDF version so you can get crocheting straight away. Just over £1 a pattern. Wow!

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I hope you like the book as much as I do! Happy circussy crocheting, sewing and playing to you all!

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