Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


9 Comments

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Well hello there!

It’s Christmas Eve already and I just thought I’d drop by quickly in the midst of the last minute present wrapping and food prep to wish those of you who celebrate, a very Merry Christmas.

winter-scenes

For those who don’t celebrate, I wish you the happiest of holidays.

front-cover-1

And Peace and Goodwill to everyone on Planet Earth.

snowpyramid

Whatever you get up to at this time of year I hope you’re all having fun!

820pudds1

XxXxX


8 Comments

Spring Dots – Journeys End

We’re so far away from spring now and so much has happened here this year that it seems a lifetime ago that I started my Easter colours inspired mini blanket. This project was a spin off from the Spring Circles blanket I began even earlier in the year. It came about as a way to use up the excess centre circles I had made by accident for the original Spring Circles motifs after getting carried away one evening and forgetting to count up how many I actually needed.

I still had to add in a few more as I went along in order to make the second blanket into a useful size but as they were so quick and easy to crochet I hooked a few up whenever and wherever I found myself with a bit of spare time and soon had enough to finish a decent lap sized throw. I believe they’re called lapghans – and this is my first!

It’s the perfect size for slinging over my shoulders while sitting in bed, reading on chilly nights, but it’s also just the right size to provide an added layer of woolly warmth for bed-hogging Mojo.

mojo-and-spring-dots-blanket

You can’t have too much of this sort of thing when your human refuses to put the heating on in the daytime.

yawn

Yaaaawn! all this frugality is boring. A poor cats got to hunker down wherever the furnishings are most abundant.

buried-in-the-crochet

Actually, Mojo staked ownership of this blanket a long time before it was finished.

mojo-squares

If that’s not the face of entitlement then I don’t know what is.

I made sure it matched up well to the Spring Circles blanket by using all the same colours. A great way to use up all the leftovers too.

spring-circle-colours

It’s been a great project for toting around various places over the summer, small, portable and undemanding on the mind.

I’ve crocheted on buses where my crochet even gets its own seat.

bus

The conductor will be demanding I buy it a ticket if he finds out!

travellimg-with-crochet

I’ve crocheted in the garden…

polka-dots

…and at the train station.

cactus-adventures

I whiled away some Spring-Dotty hours in a hotel while hubby was at a training session in Sheffield.

spdots1

Little cactus likes showing off her woolly brain – I’m pretty sure my crochet obsessed grey matter must also look like that by now!

spdots4

Sheffield was lovely, and when it stopped raining I took myself off to the city centre park and made friends with a pigeon.

spdots2

I even crocheted up some squares on a narrow boat during our family holiday exploring the local canals.

canal-life2

And while chugging slowly down the River Severn.

hazy-days

I could have done with another week of that slow and steady pace of life but my cat-sitters couldn’t stay forever and so it was back to crocheting at home…

messy-pogo

…where things are always made more complicated but also more pleasurable by the presence of one or more of my lovely moggies.

Lots of ends were darned in…

darning-in

Lots of squares were laid out…

mini-blanket

…and the joining up of all the dots continued in earnest.

Early stage testing made sure all crochet was making the grade and scoring highly on the snuggle-o-meter.

mojo-sprawling

The matching colours and change of scale were working out a treat to finish off my bed set.

joining-the-squares

Mojo continued his dedication to trying out the blanket as it reached various stages of completion.

sleepy-cat

Accidentally coinciding the joining of all the rows with the end of the summer and the accompanying drop in temperatures was perfect timing. There’s nothing cosier than to bury yourself in a mountain of crochet and while away the dark evenings repeating simple single crochets and watching TV. The double insulation of a blanket in progress and a purring cat is a joyous combination, even if things inevitably take just that little bit longer.

cosying-up

Our rug was replaced to make it more cat-scratch friendly and the continuing dark autumn evenings gave me and Mojo lots of snuggly time to admire our new-look lounge and to finish off the crochet that was begun way back in May.

crochet-and-cat

All squares were eventually crocheted into their rightful places and my little cactus project bag looked pleased with the results of our labours. She’s done a great job of keeping all the circles, hooks and yarn neat and tidy while we’ve been gallivanting about this year.

cactus-smiles

A scalloped border added the finishing touch.

scalloped-edging

However, more yarn ends were lurking on the back at this point so we weren’t quite there yet.

A little more diligent darning and the very last end is triumphantly sewn in and trimmed.

darning

Now it’s time to enjoy my handiwork and put it to good use.

two-blanket-snuggling

I definitely could do with another similarly sized mini blanket to add to my collection. This one is currently doubling up as an extra layer on the bed at night and as a lap warmer for my newly refurbished crochet corner during the day.

crochet-corner

This area is still very much a work in progress but my new arm chair is a major boon for the health and wellbeing of my lower back. I want to crochet a cover for a footstool and a matching antimacassar for the top of the chair to brighten things up a bit more. This chair will probably be my number one destination when all the Christmas frivolities get too much and I need a quiet moment or two with my yarn and hook.

mojo-in-my-chair

That’s if Mojo doesn’t beat me to it every time!

I hope your Christmas run up isn’t proving too hectic and that you have your very own favorite retreat on hand if things get a bit too noisy these holidays!


17 Comments

Four Seasons of Fun and Frolics

As we tumble towards the end of the year it’s time at last for me to be able to reveal a big fat slice of what I’ve been working on this Autumn. Everything has been kept hush-hush until publication and now I’m pleased to say my impatient wait to share with you is over.

crochet-now-mag

So here are my frolicsome four-seasons animals, which were specially commissioned for UK magazine Crochet Now’s 2017 diary, which comes free with issue 9, along with a pack of handy stitch markers too. I don’t know about you but I never seem to have enough of those things!

820four-seasons

I was kept very busy for a few weeks designing them all as there were so many separate elements to create but I’m really pleased with how they turned out. The patterns for each character and all their accessories are included at the back of the diary so there is something cute and on hand to make throughout the year.

Forest Fox is the first in the queue to take a peek.

2017-diary

Whiley old foxes never miss much but it isn’t long before Playful Polar bear comes in from the cold dragging his toboggan and bringing in a snowman friend he just made.

polar-bear-and-fox

Wanting to see what all the fuss was about, Chirpy Chick and Sunbathing Seal soon join the crowd to read what I wrote about each of them in the introduction.

four-seasons-characters

When Crochet Now magazine first approached me with this idea I knew I was going to have a great time bringing the seasons to life. I started back in September with some sketch work.

forest-fox-sketch

A lovely reason to indulge in some colouring in with my favorite Caran D’Ache pencils. I love these because they’re water soluble so can also be smudged about like paints.

Getting to play around with yarn colours is very satisfying too. I got to choose all the colours I needed from the Stylecraft Special DK range.

sketchwork

They were perfect for this project, though, quite honestly there were so many different colours to choose from I should think they’d be perfect for just about any project. In the end I plumped for this collection. Lovingly arranged into rainbow order.

05four-seasons-colour-swatches

When the delivery arrived I stashed them all neatly away into baskets so they wouldn’t get mixed up with the other balls of yarn (which are prone to randomly throwing themselves around on my studio floor and all over the desk and generally getting into a terrible muddle whenever I’m not looking).

yarn

I don’t always do a lot of sketch work but when I do get immersed in inks and crayons I always really enjoy it. There’s a great deal of satisfaction in turning this…

01winter-polar-bear

Into this…

playful-polar-bear-2

I added the fishing ponds to the final collection pattern, but on the whole I didn’t deviate much from my initial idea. The polar bear also has a removable hat and scarf, a snowman buddy, a whole pile of snowballs and her very own ride on toboggan. A proper polar explorer if ever there was one.

The springtime Chirpy Chick has a snug nest, a clutch of mini easter eggs and some blooming flower pots to tend to.

02spring-chick

Her little caterpillar pal helps around the garden, though she sometimes can’t resist taking a naughty bite out of Chirpy Chicks best flowers, which is really not very helpful at all.

chirpy-chick

The Sunbathing Seal has been tempted ashore by the promise of a tasty ice cream cone or two.

03summer-seal

This slippery fella loves wearing nautical themed clothes, building sandcastles and sunbathing. He also loves lolling about on his lilo and tossing a beach ball around with his starfish friend. Oh the joys of summer!

sunbathing-seal

Forest Fox prefers the cover of the trees where he skulks around in the shadows to his heart’s content.

04autumn-fox

His favorite time of year is the autumn when he can toast marshmallows over the bonfire to keep warm. He has his own comfy log seat to sit on and a neckerchief to keep out the drafts. He loves nothing better than challenging his pet toadstool to a game of conkers.

forest-fox-2

As you can see there are a lot of different elements to these patterns and I really enjoyed figuring out the best way of making all their accessories. It was a real delve into their little worlds as I sat and crocheted all the things that would bring the seasons to life. This wasn’t exactly without its technical challenges but with the addition of a few drinking straws, pipecleaners and some clever stitchery everything has ended up structurally sound and with lots of detail.

foxy

Of course I had some help along the way too…

820-mmfsa

It’s always really useful not to be able to see your pattern very well!

Sarcasm aside, having Mojo and the other cats around frequently reminds me that it’s alway good to keep as clear and tidy a desk as possible when working. Obviously the main reason is to let a cat have room for a fuss without scattering the many carefully arranged elements of your creations all over the place but it’s also good to keep things neat for mental clarity and speedy completion of projects. I usually work surrounded by wicker baskets so I can keep all the individual pieces from each design on one place.

polar-bear-bits

This makes things much easier to quickly move work out of the way when a nearby cat looks like it’s going in for a major desk flop!

polar-bear

Unfortunately Chirpy Chick missed the memo telling her to stay tucked away in a basket and Minnie looks like she’s in a mischief making mood.

watch-out-little-chick

Watch out little chick, NEVER turn your back on a cat!

I’m going to be using my diary to help me keep on top of things next year. 2016 has certainly been cram packed with new designs, new projects and new ventures but I intend to be even busier next year!


20 Comments

Monster Mayhem

When the AmigurumiPatterns design contest came around again and the theme this time was monsters, I felt a burst of bright colour and a whole lot of eyeballs coming on. Flicking back through my sketchbooks to see what was stored in my scribbly memory bank and rummaging through my half-started-amigurumis basket I soon found a few designs that hadn’t managed to either make it off the page yet, or that had been begun and then abandoned a while ago. I wasn’t short on ideas – the main problem, once I got into my monster stride, was knowing when to stop but that was luckily taken out of my hands when I simply ran out of time and the deadline was up!

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks immersed in a very strange world where creatures come in all shapes and sizes and all sorts of psychedelic colour combos. It’s been a monster-tastic amount of fun using my imagination and playing around with odds and ends of yarn from my stockpile. My sketchbooks are always full of odd creatures anyway. I particularly love making amigurumi monsters because there are so many possibilities to make exactly what you like without the constraints of earthly biology to tie you down!

Here is a little thumbnail gallery of my final monsters (centre graphic courtesy of Joke from AmigurumiPatterns.net). I’ll introduce you to them all individually in a while.

monster-montage

There were 427 entries for this years competition. That’s a lot of crazy creatures and makes for great viewing. Voting is open until December the 10th so if you want to give yourself a true fright you can find all the different characters on the Monster Gallery page. You can vote for five of your favorites. I cast my votes earlier and it wasn’t the easiest decision I’ve ever made as there are so many really, really creepy and cute designs to choose from (no, I didn’t vote for my own!).  I can be horribly indecisive too – I blame that on being a Libran – so I was there for ages. I hope you have as much fun, but maybe a little less indecision when you go to pick your best of the bunch!

Letting my ideas run wild and getting creative with bright, bold colours has been a fabulous antidote to the seasonal grey skies and almost constant drizzle.

monsters

It’s always good to have an excuse to bring out the eight year old in me and start colouring in my doodles with a zingy rainbow of ink.

sketching-monsters

I’ve mostly been feeling like I’m being watched all the time due to all the big bulgy eyeballs that have been rolling around my desk for the last few weeks.

monster-eyes

Deciding on the perfect eye colour for each character proved to be a challenge and so I made a load in lots of different shades and tried them all out.

Hairy Horace went through a purple eye phase…

horace

…before eventually changing to a bright green. Not quite as bright as his fluffy bits though.

820hairy-horace-3

Whey hey! I think he likes his new contact lens!

If you ever want to know the latest monster gossip on Planet Fuzz then Hairy Horace is the one you need to talk to. He sees everything, even though he’s only got one eye (it’s a very big one), he hears everything, even though he’s got no ears (those strange cones on his head soak up the tiniest noises) and he’s very, very nosey, even though he’s got no nose (but then you don’t actually need a nose to be nosey). Monster biology is a curious business. It takes all sorts to make a universe.

Oh, and he’s a bit of a poser too.

820hairy-horace-2

After Horace came Florence…

monster-making

She also lives on Planet Fuzz and you’ll probably have spotted that there is a vague planetary family resemblance between the two of them.

Fluffy Florence made it straight into the intergalactic space corps flying squad after just one week’s training.  She credits her stellar success to having been born with three eyes instead of the one (or sometimes two) more common to most Planet Fuzz inhabitants. Her all round 3D vision is greatly enhanced by this genetic mutation. She can easily keep two eyes on the horizon and an extra one on the control panel which means she can steer her spacecraft at incredibly high speeds through the most difficult of alien terrains.

820fluffy-florence-1

There is a two-eyed species indigenous to Planet Fuzz as well and it didn’t seem fair to leave him out so very soon Bristly Boris began his crocheted journey.

boris-feet

Poor Boris takes a very long time to get ready for school every morning. He has so much hair to brush and so many legs to squeeze into trousers that he’s often late leaving the house.

820-bristly-boris

Luckily he can easily make up for lost time by running to the bus stop at lightning fast speed. Sometimes having ten legs is definitely an advantage.

820-bristly-boris-3

Enough with the furry yarn for a while. These next two designs had been started over a year or so ago but somehow I never found the time to settle down and get them finished. There’s nothing like a tight deadline for improving productivity is there? So with just over a week to go I set myself the challenge to finish them both. The biggest problem was finding the matching yarn. I really didn’t want to have to start over so had a good rummage through the odds and ends baskets and managed to find  all the oddments I was looking for. Hurray!

First to enrol at Moji-Moji Design’s finishing school were Jeepers and Creepers.

jeep-and-creep

Have you ever lain awake at night and wondered what that noise was coming from under the bed? Were you ever brave enough to take a look? If you did and were also very quiet and very quick about it you may have spied Jeepers and Creepers staring back at you in wide-eyed wonder.

two-critters

Their three big eyes help them to peer about in the under-bed gloom where they spend their time rolling up household fluff into dust bunnies to play with. Even if you’re not fast enough to see these shy little monsters for yourself you may well find a dust bunny or two (googly eyes optional) to prove their existence.

jeepers-and-creepers-2

Last but not least are Lottie and Dottie. I abandoned these two a while back due to other work commitments but the time was right to pick them up again and carry on from where I left off.

My workspace started sprouting eyeballs again. Ooh I love making these colourful staring orbs!

eyeballs

Soon enough two new monsters had joined the gang.

820-lottie-and-dottie

Lottie and Dottie spend a lot of time together practicing their hoopla and coconut shy skills. They take aim at each other’s eye stalks with their hoops and try to knock each other’s eyeballs from their sockets with small wooden balls. As a result of all this dedicated practice they always win the best prizes when the fair comes to town.

lottie-and-dottie-looking-up

I’ll leave it to Lottie and Dottie to wave you all goodbye with their stumpy little three fingered hands.

Thank you for sharing the journey with me. All the Moji-Moji monsters enjoyed your company too!

monster-mash

As for me, I’m all monstered out for a bit. Time to get back to the soothing neutrals and comforting repetition of my new winter blanket. One of the many things I love about crochet is the sheer variety in the types of projects you can get immersed in and after all the decision making that’s such an essential part of any design process, now is definitely the time for a less demanding type of hook wielding!

monster-company

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite monsters (they don’t have to be mine and I’ll never know unless you tell me!). There are so many to choose from, I think you’ll have a blast clicking and scrolling your way through the weirdly wild and woolly imagination of all the designers in this years competition.