Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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#AmiguruMay – Part One

I took part in my first Instagram challenge last month. Set up with such fabulous attention to detail by Ilaria of Airali Design fame, the idea was to post a photo every day from May 1st – 31st on the very cleverly titled hashtag of AmiguruMAY. Ilaria even made us all printable sheets to help organize our thoughts and plan a full months worth of posts, which really did come in handy for someone as scatterbrained as me!

I’m usually horribly unorganized when it comes to social media and though I love making posts and connecting with people, thanks to the everyday demands of creating new patterns, finishing deadlines, decluttering workspaces, replying to emails and answering queries to name a few of my daily distractions (as well as all the unspeakably horrid housework and other mundanities of life), remembering to post regularly sometimes falls behind. So this time I vowed to keep up, and apart from the odd slip (bank holiday excesses, Hen Weekend, tooth abscess, poorly cat to vets, among other excuses!) I think I kept up rather well.

So, especially for those of you who don’t have an Instagram account (you should get one – it’s great fun!) and for anyone who already follows me but doesn’t mind a recap of last months prompts and pretty pictures, here is Part One Days 1-15 of #amigurumay, complete with the accompanying witterings that fell out of my head as I went along. (Part 2 – Days 16-31 to follow shortly).

Day 1 – Current WIP

My current WIP is a super soft fluffy cat. Having a blast crocheting with this lovely yarn by King Cole. Four more colourways arrived in the post yesterday and more cat’s eyes are on order so there will be kitties everywhere soon – just how I like it!

Day 2 – Inspirations

One of my big inspirations is the natural world and it’s abundance of cute and quirky creatures. While I’m crocheting the amigurumi my mind starts working overtime creating little characters and stories for them and so they then become an inspiration in themselves.
This is Cyril the Squirrel who is Head Gardener at Nutsford Manor. Of all the seasons he loves autumn the best because he can put his bushy tail to work sweeping up the fallen leaves while collecting acorns and conkers for his winter pantry.

Day 3 – Tools

A comfy crochet hook is so important but my favorite Clover ones were all a muddy yellow so I painted them in rainbow colours and added a liberal sprinkling of polka dots.
Also couldn’t live without my stitch markers, and my upcycled pincushion made from an old egg cup keeps all the smaller bits and bobs to hand ‚̧

Day 4 – The Smallest

So far my tiniest amigurumis are a downsizing of the rabbit and mouse from my ‘Minimals – Little Pet Shop’ pattern.
As these are even smaller than the original minimals they should probably be called micromals instead ūüėĀ

I made these with 2 ply crochet cotton and a 1.5 mm hook (while wearing my strongest pair of reading glasses!)

Day 5 – Introduce Yourself & Day 6 – Designer or Maker

Running a bit behind myself after a mega busy bank holiday weekend so doing two days at once here…
My name’s Janine and I love to crochet. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to turn my hobby into my job and now I design crochet patterns under my shop name of Moji-Moji Design. I think that’s covered both topics quite well… short but sweet! ūüėČ ūüć¨

Day 7 – Favorite Yarn

Tricky one this as I just love yarn of all types. I usually favor DK weight acrylics for my amigurumi but am having a bit of a love affair with these tiny 10g balls of cotton yarn by Katia at the moment. The colours are gorgeous and they’re the perfect size for mini crochet projects on the go. As you can see I’ve gone a bit crazy for mushrooms recently!

Day 8 – Animals

I’ve made a lot of animal amigurumi patterns over the years. Here’s a selection of some of my favorites.

Day 9 – How and When I Started

I first got into toy making when my three boys were small. I was also childminding around that time and I loved making toys for all the kiddies in my life – and there were lots of them! I could only knit back then and these aliens were a favorite with us all.

I remember thinking how great it would be to create my own characters but found designing flat pieces for seaming up, or juggling four needles to create a 3D piece, really difficult so I put my ambitions on hold for a while and enjoyed following other people’s patterns instead.

My joy at discovering the almost seamless amigurumi crochet method and the ability to self publish on Etsy about six years ago was immense! Those two things were real game changers for me and I never looked back! ūüĎĆūüėĀūüĎć

Day 10 – My First Ami

I’ve done a double take on this one and included my very, very first ever ami (in the Instax photo) which was a fox from a free pattern I found on Nimoe’s Blog and also the first ami I designed myself – twin lambs called Lulu and Lollo. I was thrilled when they were chosen to be in¬†#Zoomigurumi2about 6 years ago. This was my first experience of being published and definitely helped push my amigurumi ambitions to the next level!

Day 11- The Biggest

My biggest amigurumi so far is an up-sizing of my Bobbin the Bear pattern using chunky chenille yarn and a 4.5 mm hook. Loved working with this Flutterby yarn. It’s so soft and I really like the effect of the puffy looking stitches. I’ll definitely be using it again in future projects.

Day 12 – Safety Eyes

I use safety eyes in most of my amigurumi. Good quality eyes really makes a face come to life as this little dragon face proves rather well ūüĎÄ

Day 13 – Top Tip

My top tip is to take your time when sewing your amigurumi together. Like many of us crocheters the sewing element comes lower down on my list of enjoyable tasks but it’s often the neatness of the assembled pieces that will take your amigurumi to a whole new level of professionalism.
I generally use mattress stich for sewing on appendages and back stitch for flat patches. A knitting needle is a great tool for skewering parts together. It avoids the use of fiddly pins and is easy to adjust until you get the placement perfect.

Day 14 – Favorite Pattern

As I am usually busy designing my own patterns I rarely get to try out other people’s. So I thought I’d do a quick check of my Etsy stats and see which pattern is the favorite with my customers at the moment. Turns out it’s Dante the Donkey and Carlos the Cactus. Seems that people like the heartwarming friendship between a quadruped and a succulent! ūüĆĶ‚̧ ūüźé

Day 15 Hands at Work

Technically speaking this is paws at work, not hands, but Tilly Mouse wanted to tell you how much she loves helping me with my crochet. Sewing on buttons is her speciality.

There are a few loose ends for some new designs I need to tidy up over the next few days but I’ll be back soon to post the second part of my AmiguruMay adventure!


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Amigurumi Monsters 2

Oh dear! I’m a bit late with this post – I always seem to be running around chasing my tail these days – but in the time honored way of ‘better late than never’ here we go!

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I’m happy to announce that Amigurumi Monsters 2 is all finished and looking fabulous and is now available to order over at AmigurumiPatterns bookshop!

This volume features not one, but two of my monster families.

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Firstly there’s Timothy and Tabitha (top row, second left) then Spotty, Lotty and Dotty (bottom row, right-hand corner).

Some of you may already know the latter as they’ve been available in my online stores for a while. (You can read more about these three in my ‘Too many Monsters?’ blog post).

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They had a last minute invite as a space unexpectedly cropped up and needed to be filled. Ever obliging and always up for an adventure Spotty, Lotty and Dotty jumped at the chance of re-locating to a new life on the continent.

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There does appear to be a couple of grumpy faces in there but you’ve only got to look at those jazz hands to see how happy they really are, even the ones who will be left behind. After all, no one does jazz hands when they’re sad do they?

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There was a bit of fuss as they all squeezed into the box but every one managed to find a comfy spot in the end and they were soon on the plane and heading towards their new future.

The next two monsters were commissioned especially for the book and go by the tongue- twistingly tremendous title of of Timothy and Tabitha the Tippy-Toe monsters.

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They were whittled down from a selection of four different variations. Actually, there were more than four in the initial design stage but these are the only ones to make it off the hook so far but there are plenty more ideas to come. I just love making monsters!

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Choosing colours for these tri-eyed, dozen-toed monsters was great fun and the original Timothy waded in with some useful suggestions.

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I completely love this partcular combination of lime green and jade green for the toes.

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Yarn chosen and hook at the ready, it wasn’t long before there were several more Tippy Toe monsters invading any available spaces in my work area.

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With so many toes they can move about quite quickly and it takes some doing to keep an eye on any potential mischief they might get up to with my hooks and notions.

It’s a good job I have a few extra eyes on hand to help me out here.

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Next came another car journey and another chance to crochet. Testing the pattern this time by making a final couple of monsters before it was sent away for the other proofreaders to double check.

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A little tootle up the motorway provided a good opportunity to get this pair used to travelling before they do the whole airmail thing later on. It was a good job we did because Tabitha gets very car sick. Her poor face says it all!

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Timothy was the sweetest companion and took it upon himself to look after Tabitha. His soothing words and gentle re-assurance went a long way to helping her feel more relaxed.

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Some travel pills on the day of departure helped with he rest and now they are enjoying seeing themselves alongside Spotty, Lotty, Dotty and a host of other crazy looking characters inside the covers of Amigurumi Monsters 2.

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If you’re anything like me and simply can’t get enough of making weird and whacky creatures then there’s plenty in both of the Monster titles to keep you going for quite a while.

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These bright and bubbly bundles of monster madness sure put a big smile on my face. I hope they do the same for you!

 


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Monster Madness

I’m a bit late with this post but wanted to give a heads up to anyone who doesn’t already know that the Amigurumi Monsters book is now available to order from amigurumipatterns.net

The pre-sale phase lasts until Wednesday 23rd August, 2017 so if you like to get a bargain follow the link above and it will take you straight to the ordering page.

As well as getting your hands on my pattern for Jeepers and Creepers you’ll also be able to crochet all these other crazy characters to keep them company.

I think you’ll agree there’s something there for everybody, as long as they like monsters of course. But then who could resist when they’re all as cute as these?

One of the things I love about monsters is the endless colour combinations. I couldn’t resist making a whole rainbow of mine. Here they are with a bunch of spare eyeballs that they rounded up during one of their more mischievous moments.

Jeepers and Creepers have an urge to herd things. They’re like the monster equivalent of a sheepdog, though they’re much too tiny for a flock of sheep to take any notice of as they easily get lost in the long grass.

Did you ever wonder what that noise coming from under the bed was? Were you brave enough to take a look in the middle of the night? If you were very quiet and very quick you may have glimpsed one or two of these cheeky monsters staring back at you in wide-eyed wonder.

Their three big eyes help them to peer about in the gloomy spaces under your furniture where they spend a lot of their time indulging their herding instinct by rolling up household fluff into dust bunnies. Even if you‚Äôre not fast enough to see these shy little monsters for yourself you may well have found a dust bunny or two to prove their existence. There are certainly plenty of those sneezy, wheeze inducing things in my house, but then that’s hardly surprising when there are so many members of Jeepers and Creepers family living under my roof – though my lack of passion for vacuuming when there’s crochet to be done also adds to the problem, I’m quite sure!

Their pattern was kindly tested for the book by three different crocheters and these are the results…

From left to right these goggle eyed creations were made by Stephanie, Iris Dongo and Stephanie Plets. Thank you ladies, you did an awesome job!

Wanting to have my fair share of the fun I also volunteered to test a pattern and got to make Toby the Triclops by Noah (Younique Crafts).

Toby is a very, very cuddly kind of monster – even his eyeballs are squishy! Two of my under-bed-sweepers were thrilled with their new pal and scurried on over for a big cuddle. They’re not really bothered about personal space and just assume every monster they meet wants a squeeze!

Toby looks a bit startled by this, but then he looks a bit startled by most things. That’s what happens when you can’t blink because you’ve got no eyelids.

I loved him so much I made another. This time, instead of DK yarn and 3 mm hook I used 4 ply yarn and a 2 mm hook.

Toby is convinced it’s his long lost little sister, Tabitha. She’s was too young to remember them being separated so she can’t say for sure but knows that she has always dreamed of having a big brother. I have to say, there is a very striking family resemblance so Toby may well be right!

A family re-union is always a lovely occasion but now Jeepers and Creepers are feeling a bit left out.

Oh well, they’ve always got each other – and million dust bunnies- to play with.

If you still haven’t had enough of making monsters after you have diligently made your way through this newest book, I’m currently finishing writing up a few more patterns for strange and alien looking creatures so keep your eyes peeled for more news about that coming very soon!


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Zoomigurumi 6

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Another year has rushed by and another edition of the Zoomigurumi series of amigurumi-packed books has bloomed into a reality. We’re on to number six now and this one is just as full as ever of cute crocheted characters.

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I made an owl pattern back in the summer at the same time that I was designing my chameleon. That was a great riot of colour for sure and the theme seemed to be lots of stripes and big staring eyes!

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Oswald the Owl was put forward as a potential for the new book and, happily for me, he passed the audition!

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After being accepted, all the pattern writing and testing had to be done which involved a number of duplicate Oswalds being made.

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Sometimes they were crocheted at my desk or in the lounge…

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…and sometimes they were crocheted¬†outdoors, enjoying the warmth of the sun – sadly missed at this time of year.

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Doesn’t that look idyllic? Roll on next summer, it will soon be Pimms O’clock again!

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I can’t wait to be setting up the day bed in the yard again for some serious crochet al fresco.

As work progressed with the book I volunteered to proofread another contributor’s¬†pattern¬†and was given Little Muggle’s Rudy the Red Panda.

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All the individual pieces looked sweet enough but the cute factor just soared sky high when I sewed them together and embroidered the nose.

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This is my finished attempt, strutting his stuff on my desk.

Of course if you are going to be bookfellows then it’s very important that you learn to get along. Oswald is not too sure the first time that Rudy tries to climb into his nest.

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But Oswald soon finds out that Rudy means no harm and he relaxes a little bit.

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Before you know it Rudy has wriggled his way into Oswald’s nest – and into his heart.

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It’s a snug fit but they’ll certainly keep each other warm that way!

Oswald also gets along fine with the Nesting Rainbow Owls. Just as well really, as that nest did belong to them first.

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(My free Rainbow Nesting Owls pattern can be downloaded from here if you worry that your Oswald might get a bit lonely, or if you feel he needs a nice snuggly nest to keep him safe!).

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It’s not long before all the owls are one big happy family – with a friendly red panda for company.

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Here’s another look at all the lovely characters in the book, just in case you weren’t tempted enough already!

A special¬†presale price¬†of ¬£15.95, including worldwide shipping, is¬†available until¬†25th February 2017 and you’ll be sent a downloadable PDF version as soon as your order is complete so you can start crocheting straight away – if you can actually choose which one to start with that is!

The website at amigurumipatterns.net has more information on Zoomigurumi 6 if you want to know more.

It’s been another fun adventure with Meteoor Books. There’s a new book dedicated entirely to cute and cuddlesome monsters coming out next which will feature my Jeepers and Creepers pattern so be sure to check back from time to time for more about that ūüôā


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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!?

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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.

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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 Рespecially with my enthusiastic mouse helpers, who were very excited to see themselves in print!

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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!

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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.

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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…

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…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.

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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.

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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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Zoomigurumi 5

Well, here we are again with another new book launch from amigurumipatterns.net.Zoomoigurumi-5I had great fun being involved in Zoomigurumi 5. My fluffy alpaca, also known as Alicia, has gone off to Belgium to join her fellow bookmates. If you feel inspired to have a go at any, or all, of these crocheted characters you can get hold of a copy of the book here.Z5banner_LARGE-v3

As you can see, Alicia is in very good company with 14 other cuties just waiting to jump off your crochet hook.

I’ve already made a Kaan the Crocodile by Carolina Guzman (One and Two Company), during the initial proofreading phase.kaan-crocHe was a pleasure to make, of course, and now I have another character to keep me company at my desk.KaanCroc-and-PompomsHe¬†soon became¬†best friends with¬†Alicia’s grey fleeced cousin, Althea, and they’re now inseparable. They were both very good at helping me spot any last minute tweaks to the patterns and text. Alicia has been blessed with patience and is very calm and focused while Kaan’s beady eyes never miss a thing. A dream team!Alicia-and-KaanThough I’ve never heard of a crocodile and an alpaca hitting it off before, there’s always a first time…alpaca crocHe is a¬†fine looking fellow, I’m sure everyone would want to be best buddies with him if they met him!Kaan-2And in case Alicia should get jealous here’s a little triptych of her own, taken by Joost De Wolf, the book’s official photographer.AliciaI hope that’s whet your whistle and got you all excited about the brand new characters! Alicia has had a couple of new reincarnations already, again, from the pattern testing phase. There’s this¬†chubby, cuddly looking fella made by Bregje Zeijen.BregjeZeijenAnd this cute pink version made by Natalie Van Dalen. I love how Natalie¬†changed the look¬†with¬†furry eyelash yarn. She’s like a big ball of gorgeous candy floss!NatalieVanDalenOne of the things I love about amigurumi patterns is that it’s so easy to put your own spin on things by changing a colour, or a yarn type. You can upsize or downsize by experimenting with different hook sizes and yarn weights. It’s always exciting to see other peoples interpretations. Thanks to all who send me photos or post them on my Moji-Moji¬†Facebook page. I’m always thrilled to see them.Z4banner_medium-v2

Don’t forget you can always post your Zoomigurumi makes to amigurumipatterns Facebook page too.characterszoomi5I¬†can’t wait to find out¬†what you’ll be making once you get your copy. Do tell, I’m all ears!