Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


6 Comments

A Clowder of Cats

Not to be confused with a Chowder of Cats! There’s no cat soup allowed around here under any circumstances! In case you hadn’t heard, a clowder is the collective term for a bunch of domestic cats, and as it fits in perfectly with my alliteration obsession A Clowder of Cats was the perfect name for my new pattern. I’ve certainly crocheted enough of these fun-some furballs to warrant the use of a jolly good descriptive collective noun.

I had a lot of fun (and a few headaches too) with this pattern as I wanted to be able to make as many different types of cat markings as possible. After spending way too long umming and aahing and hooking and frogging I eventually came up with a variety of stripes and patches that can be used in different combinations to make a whole load of different kitties.

I made one to look like Mojo, who can’t resist a rug thrown out in the garden…

… or a blanket on my desk…

…or a place mat on the kitchen coffee table. Seems he likes following his little crocheted friend around!

Rubick was startled to find he was not the center of attention for once and that there was no mini-me in sight for him.

Though of course I had made him one too. In fact this was one of the first variations I worked on.

What a handsome fella and such a poser as well. If you’ve got it, flaunt it!

Then there was Laddie to deal with. This ever so slightly grumpy old man has had a few minor spats with the other cats since he moved in last December so I really didn’t want to cause anymore upset by making him jealous!

His crocheted portrait looks as disgruntled as he does.

We’ve had some super weather, in between lots of rain, and I’ve made every effort to get out in the garden and make the most of the sunshine whenever I could.

It made me smile to see them peeping at me as I worked away making the rest of the litter. It’s like they couldn’t wait to see who would pop off the hook next.

I’m happy to say our new lawn is still mostly green and not too threadbare. It’s survived its first year, so hopefully with a bit more TLC we will have a well established green space for the foreseeable future. I love it so much more than the flagstones that were there before. Even if mowing it can be a bit of a pain sometimes – oh but the smell is delightful! – I like the idea of worms underneath and the whole green eco-system thing going on.

Rubick is also a fan of the lawn.

Mojo thinks it’s OK but nowhere near as good as a big, padded cushion.

Laddie prefers perching up by the pond where he can keep a strict eye out for trouble. He assured me he definitely wasn’t waiting there in order to ambush any unsuspecting frogs. I didn’t really believe him so I built a lot of log frog shelters for them to hide safely in. Just in case.

I’ve never had a long haired cat of my own so in lieu of the real thing – where there’s a hook there’s a way – I set to and made a couple of fluffy versions to add to my collection.

King Cole’s Embrace yarn was fabulous for this and it comes in several colours that are totally purrfect for making these cats. It just needs a bit of work with a suede brush once all the pieces are crocheted and sewn together to really bring out the fluffiness.

He fits in a treat with his less follically blessed brothers and sisters.

I actually started and finished a simpler version of this pattern about eighteen months ago as a collaboration with LoveCrafts.com in aid of Battersea Cats and Dogs Home. You can read more about that in a previous blog post here. The original design was based on a temporary lodger there called Hazel, now happily re-homed, who had lost an eye in a road traffic accident.

It was lovely to see my sadly departed Minnie pop up again while I was looking through photographs from around that time. Hazel and Minnie have similar coloured markings so this one doubled up nicely as Minnie’s mini-me.

I shall never be in any danger of forgetting my Rainbow Bridge cats with all the pictures I’ve taken of them. Every cat I’ve ever had has loved being around when I’m crocheting so we have shared much quality time together over the years. They’re all such a blessing in their own unique ways.

As well as adding in a lot more options to the updated version of the pattern I’ve also added a muzzle. I thought it made them look a tad more realistic especially when viewing from a side profile.

If you like the look of Hazel’s flatter face better I have included the original pattern as an extra PDF in my Etsy store – completely free when you buy the main pattern. There is some rather nifty colour change work on her legs too which could be incorporated into the other cats if you have a more speckly tortoisehell type of feline in mind.

The cats took over my life for a while back there. Crowding out my desk…

…watching me work…

…and waiting patiently in a line when it came to dinner time.

They were as good as gold when it came to their photo shoot for the pattern. Sitting up straight and looking into the camera – whenever I shook a bag of Dreamies behind it!

Now I have a whole host of crocheted cats to add to my collection of real ones and to my collection of cat pottery, pencil cases, mugs, pens, notebooks, clocks, bags etc. etc. If you can name it and it has a cat on it I probably have it!

If any proof were needed of my mania for collecting such items here’s a photo of my new shelf, now gracing the wall above my computer.

My cat clock even wags it’s tail ūüôā

Hmm… too many cats? Maybe. Crazy Cat Lady? Definitely!


Leave a comment

Monkey Madness!

A big thanks to all of you who joined in with the February Ami-Along over at amigurumipatterns.net.

I managed to get my mini versions finished in time to show them off on the forums so now Mavis and Marvin have their hands full with their little monkey twins. Imagine the chaos these two are going to bring… and the love too, of course!

I really enjoyed seeing all the amazingly inventive interpretations of my design. Mavis and Marvin have never looked so good! Here’s a little montage of some of my favorites (if yours is there and you have a social media you’d like me to add, please feel free to let me know).

From top left to bottom right the creators of these cheeky monkeys are: Amigurumiliker, anggihyuka, BeetleAtBay, Bashacat, bonekikinhos, ChantalO, cherryltf, ChiaraFirever, defysocietyarts, Iamthedishwasher, Jellybubble18, JenniD, PenguinPlaceCrafts, lynda, MamaPia, Mikkycrafts, NomadCreation, PerImpStitches, sandaroo, Pipsqueak,  Sharnie, sloviska, Dace, Telle and last but not least, Yarnimals.

I love how they are all so different!

There are always lots of prizes on offer at the Ami-Alongs and this one was no exception.

Because this was the February event, and ran close to Valentine’s Day, the hosts of the Ami-Along awarded a prize for the most romantic picture which was won by Amigudolls. Two little monkeys with tails entwined in the shape of a love heart. Awww, just too cute!

Love was definitely in the air because HoneyBunnyAmigurumis won the prize as the most voted for by fellow Ami-Alongers with this heart-meltingly sweet bride and groom.

I was given the very difficult task of choosing a personal favourite and after much deliberation eventually plumped for this 1920’s looking Flapper couple by CheerfulChameleon.

I’m really rather envious of that magnificent fringed dress and all of the fancy jewellery. Her very dapper partner looks like a million dollars too. Wherever they’re planning on heading off to, I have a feeling these two are going to have a fabulous time painting the town red, all dressed up to the nines.

NinaLisa made a beautiful pink furry version, with the suitably glamorous name of Malvina.,,

…as well as a more traditional monkey pair to which she added a cute, smiley banana friend (free banana pattern by Barbara Strasser of Esbelotta.com here)

MadMomAli made a couple of monkeys in Hogwarts House colours. Now there is no mistaking where their allegiances lie!

And I am in love with this photo from myrtille95470 of her newly crocheted monkey wasting no time in making a firm friend of her cat.

And isn’t this photo of lucyjay’s three monkeys in the classic ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ poses wonderful!

Secretsparrow made a very inventive superhero trio. I feel sure that world is a much safer place now we have these fighting on the side of all that’s good!

These chunky monkeys by SherrasYarnTails, made with bulky weight Premier Parfait chenille yarn, has got me all excited to have a go at supersizing some of my other amigurumis.

I’ve been having trouble sourcing a similar yarn that’s available in the UK but have managed to find a selection by James C. Brett called Flutterby Chunky. The colours are quite limited but I can imagine a teddy bear in the lovely soft tones that I’ve been able to get hold of.

It will make a nice change from all the recent downsizing I’ve been doing. It’s a lot of fun making mini-gurumis with 4 ply yarn and a 1.75 mm hook but it really makes my hands ache after a while! I hope that crocheting with this thick chenille yarn will be a little kinder on my wrists and knuckles.

If I can find a similar yarn in a dark brown I shall attempt a maxi-gurumi monkey or two to add to my ever growing collection of primates (and a sloth).

What a lot of crochet going on! The Ami-Alongs happen regularly every month where a different designer gets to showcase a brand new and exclusive design. It’s been great fun and such a lovely way to connect with fellow amigurumi enthusiasts. I’ve shared tips, tricks, and anecdotes and have learnt a lot from others too! Thanks so much to all who joined in for your enthusiasm, support and general chit-chat. If you haven’t had a go at one of these yet but it sounds like something you might be interested in then check out the latest news on the¬† Ami-Along page to see what’s happening at the moment!

(If you’re a monkey fan and missed this event, Marvin and Mavis’s pattern is now available as a single pattern purchase here).

I’m working on another free pattern for a little toadstool bag charm at the moment so expect another blog post soon! In the meantime Mavis, Marvin, the twins and myself all bid you goodbye and wish you many hours of happy crocheting!


4 Comments

Mavis and Marvin Monkey

Hello there and Happy Valentine’s to you all!

If you want to show your crochet the love here’s a heads up to get ready for a whole lot of merriment because Mavis and Marvin the mischievous monkeys are coming over for a play-date! In fact, as of today, their pattern will be available exclusively for one month over at Amigurumipatterns.net’s¬†Ami-Along.¬†As an extra bonus all Ami-Along participants can get 30% off all my other patterns in my AmigurumiPatterns Moji-Moji Design shop!

Mavis and Marvin are bursting with energy and love making their friends smile with their clever aerobic antics, so be sure to take them to the park where they can burn off all that energy. But be warned! Unless you are an Olympic athlete you may find it a challenge to keep up with them as they jump all over the swings and swing all over the climbing frames. Those curly monkey tails just love to wrap around anything they can find. If Mavis and Marvin should disappear for a while don’t forget to check the tree tops. That’s where they usually like to hide away.

You will probably be able to tempt them back to earth with a handful of roasted peanuts and foam banana sweets. As these are their favorite treats you could even use the promise of them to encourage Mavis and Marvin to sit quietly for a minute (but absolutely no more than that – I can assure you!).

I was asked to come up with a brand new design especially for the Ami-Along in the middle of January and it’s been a great kick start to the new year. As usual I began with a quick sketch in my dog-eared graph paper note book.

And it wasn’t long before a cute crocheted face followed.

There was a bit of tweaking and refining to do but this little monkey pattern went smoothly right from the start. It was fun to play around with the colours for the clothing.

 

Next thing I knew,  I had a boy monkey swinging off my hook and dashing around the studio too.

Marvin sports a smart bow tie at his neck and a straight hem on his sweater. Mavis’s has a scalloped edge and she wears a little bow proudly on her ear, making her the prettiest primate for miles around.

But what they both have in common is a love of stripes, a cheeky smile and the curliest tails you ever did see!

A lot of note taking and a heap of pattern writing later and I’ve got almost enough to make a whole troop.

I’ve even started on a couple of baby monkeys made with 4 ply yarn and a 1.75 mm hook. Oh my goodness! They are turning out so sweet!

I hope to be back to share a little more of the mini monkeys’ progress along with a round up of other news soon. I’m planning on finishing sewing mini Marvin together this afternoon. Well there are certainly worse ways to spend the day!

I’ll also be hopping in and out of the forums, answering questions and sharing tips and tricks (for the next month) so do come on over, share your progress and ask away!

Mavis, Marvin and myself are very much looking forward to meeting you there and seeing what ape-mazing amigurumis you create!

 


7 Comments

Mini Christmas Stocking Pattern

It’s never too early to start your Christmas prep! Well, that’s what I think anyway, and if you agree with me you might like to start by hooking up a few miniature stockings to get you in the mood. If that’s simply a far too bonkers idea in February don’t forget to bookmark or download the pattern for later on in the year.

These dinky little socks are approximately 5″ (13 cm) long – so they’re¬†the perfect size for pixies, elves and fairies to hang by the fireplace on Christmas Eve. If you happen to be a human they might be a bit small for that but you can employ them for a multitude of other uses instead.

They make fabulous tree decorations, mini gift bags, party favors, festive dinner table knife and fork holders or – if you are feeling very industrious – how about making a set of 24 for an advent calendar? String them up, number them and stuff with sweets and tiny treats to really build that Christmas excitement.

I made two calendars last year and really would recommend getting stuck in as soon as possible if you fancy having a go at that. I’s best to look on it as a bit of a crochet marathon and not a sprint – if you want to avoid a repetitive strain injury that is. In this case it really is slow and steady that wins the race.

For the stockings above I used a combination of James C. Brett’s Twinkle Range and various other glittery yarns that I have collected over the years. Being the magpie that I am, any yarn with a hint of a bling has to come home with me to brighten up my nest.

I also have a great back up plan for when I can’t find the exact shade of sparkly yarn I need. I get my little elf helper to wind some balls of plain acrylic doubled up with a thin strand of silver thread I bought a while ago off eBay. The cone cost around ¬£12 but as there’s at least a squillion yards on there I reckon it was really good value. I don’t think I’ll have to be stocking up on that again anytime soon!

If you don’t have a wool winder, or a helpful elf, to combine the two threads into one ball, you can just ply them as you crochet. The latter technique can get a bit tangly if you’re not too careful though, so beware and take your time, paying special attention not to get in a knot while you’re working on the stripes.

Feeling a Christmas tingle yet? If you are then go gather up your supplies and let’s get hooking a stocking ūüôā

Materials:
Each stocking requires around 5 grams each of light tone and dark tone DK yarn in a colour of your choice and 10 grams of white DK yarn.

You’ll also need a 2.5 mm crochet hook, a pair of scissors, a yarn needle and a decorative button.

*click here for a printable version of this pattern*

Pattern notes:
This pattern uses US sc (UK dc) throughout.

When making the stripes be sure to carry the unused yarn up the inside of the work. There’s no need to cut and tie off every time you change colour.

Crochet over all the yarn ends as you finish with them (apart from the final white yarn ends on the cuff and toe) so there will be hardly any darning in to do afterwards.

Cuff – Working in rows, in back loops only.

With White yarn make 13 ch (foundation chain).
Row 1: Starting in second ch from hook, sc in each st to end, turn. (12 sts)

Note: 1 ch at start of each row does not count as a st.
Rows 2-31: 1 ch, sc in each st to end, turn. (12 sts) (30 rows)
Row 32: 1 ch, sc in each st to end.

Closing Row: (Right side) 1 ch, fold cuff in half length ways, taking care to line up the row ends. Making sure stitches go through both layers to join: sc in each of next 32 row ends.
Cut White yarn, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Leg –¬†Working in continuous spiral rounds.

Leave a white yarn end for sewing up the back of the cuff later. Crochet over all other yarn ends as you go.
Rnd 1: 
With Right Side facing, pull up a loop of Dark Tone yarn in the last st of the Closing Row, 1 ch (does not count as a st), sc in same st as join, sc in first st of Closing Row to join into a circle, then sc in each of next 30 st. (32 sts)

Rnd 2: Sc in each st around.
Change to Light Tone yarn.

If you prefer you can slst loosely in the first stitch to help minimise the ‘step’ between the colours.


Rnds 3-4: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Change to Dark Tone yarn.
Rnds 5-6: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Change to Light Tone yarn.
Rnds 7-8: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Change to Dark Tone yarn.
Rnds 9-10: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Change to Light Tone yarn.
Rnds 11-12: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Change to Dark Tone yarn.
Rnds 13-14: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Cut Dark Tone yarn. Change to Light Tone yarn.
Rnds 15-16: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Cut Light Tone yarn and mark the stitch directly under the split at the back of the cuff.

Heel – Working in rows.

Pull up a loop of White yarn in the seventh stitch to the right of the marked stitch. 1 ch (does not count as a st) sc in same st as join, sc in each of next 14 st, turn. (15 sts)

Note: 1 ch at start of each row does not count as a st.
Row 2: 1 ch, sc in each of next 10 st, turn. (10 sts)
Row 3: 1 ch, sc in each of first 5 st, turn. (5 sts)

Row 4: 1 ch, sc in each of next 5 st, sc in next st of Row 1, turn. (6 sts)

Row 5: 1 ch, sc in each of next 6 st, sc in next st of Row 2, turn. (7 sts)

Crocheting in each extra stitch from the row below creates the shaping for the heel.

Row 6: 1 ch, sc in each of next 7 st, sc in next st of Row 1, turn. (8 sts)
Row 7: 1 ch, sc in each of next 8 st, sc in next st of Row 2, turn. (9 sts)
Row 8: 1 ch, sc in each of next 9 st, sc in next st of Row 1, turn. (10 sts)
Row 9: 1 ch, sc in each of next 10 st, sc in next st of Row 2, turn. (11 sts)
Row 10: 1 ch, sc in each of next 11 st, sc in next st of Row 1, turn. (12 sts)
Row 11: 1 ch, sc in each of next 12 st, sc in next st of Row 2, turn. (13 sts)
Row 12: 1 ch, sc in each of next 13 st, sc in next st of Row 1, turn. (14 sts)
Row 13: 1 ch, sc in each of next 14 st, sc in next st of Row 2. (15 sts)
Cut White yarn.

Foot – Working in continuous spiral rounds.

Rnd 1: Pull up a loop of Dark Tone yarn in st at center of Row 13 of heel (there should be 7 heel stitches either side of this stitch), 1 ch (does not count as a st) sc in same st, sc in each of next 7 st of heel, skip first st of leg, sc in each of next 15 st, skip next st, sc in each of next 7 st of heel. (30 sts)

Rnd 2: Sc in each st around.
Change to Light Tone yarn.
Rnds 3-4: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Change to Dark Tone yarn.
Rnd 5-6: Sc in each st around.
Cut Dark Tone Yarn. Change to Light Tone yarn.
Rnds 7-8: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Cut Light Tone yarn.

Toe – Working in continuous spiral rounds.

Change to White yarn.
Rnd 1: Sc in each st around.

Rnd 2: [Sc in each of next 8 st, dec] 3 times. (27 sts)
Rnd 3: [Sc in each of next 7 st, dec] 3 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 4: [Sc in each of next 2 st, dec] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 5: [Sc in next st, dec] 6 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 6: 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.

Weave in end. Sew back seam of Cuff together. Weave in the yarn ends.b Sew a decorative button to front center of Cuff.

Closing Loop
Leaving a long yarn tail at beginning, pull up a loop of White yarn in stitch at middle of back half of Cuff, make 12 ch (you may need to adjust your chain length to suit your button size), fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing.
Thread yarn tail onto yarn needle. Insert needle into base of 12 ch and tie yarn tails together. Weave in ends.

Hanging loop
Leaving a long yarn tail at beginning, pull up a loop of White yarn in stitch at back edge of Cuff, in line with back of heel, make 24 ch, fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing.
Thread yarn tail onto yarn needle. Insert needle into base of 24 ch and tie yarn tails together. Weave in ends.

Fill with treats and put Closing Loop over button to close the top of the Stocking.

*click here for a printable version of this pattern*

xxx ūüôā Happy Hooking! ūüôā xxx

 


3 Comments

Pretty Little Pumpkins

pumpkin borderI hope you all had a spookylicious time this Halloween! Now some of you might think it’s a little late in the day for a pumpkin pattern – but in my view pumpkins are for all of autumn and not just for carving freaky faces into. So, undaunted by the lateness of the hour, I’ve been busy stirring a potion in my crochet cauldron to bring you a pattern for a crop of gorgeous gourds.

pumpkin-splice-1.jpg
There are three sizes to choose from, all on the smallish side and all quick and simple to make. Whether you’re into Halloween shenanigans or not these are perfect for adding a touch of autumnal charm, even after the real pumpkins are past their best by dates.
pumpkin-sketchwork
To make each pumpkin you will need around 6-12 grams of DK yarn. Pretty much any yarn will do but I used James C. Brett’s Twinkle range for this because they come in the most lovely colours and are as cheap as they are cheerful. With so many long dark evenings ahead of us it’s lovely to have some sparkle around the house at this time of year to brighten things up a bit.
pumpkin-materials
You’ll also need a 3 mm crochet hook, a pair of scissors and a yarn needle. Lastly, add in some polyester toy stuffing (and maybe a steaming mug of spiced pumpkin latte) and we’re ready to go.

(Click here to download a printable version)pumpkin border
Pattern notes:
This pattern uses US sc (UK dc) throughout.

Leave a 4″ yarn tail at the beginning of the foundation chain for tying off the gathered crochet fabric later.

The pumpkins can be made in a single colour or, if you prefer stripes, you can change colours every two rows.

You will need approx 12 g of yarn for the large pumpkin, 8 g for the medium one and 4 g for the small one.

For the pumpkin body make all stitches in the back loops only (see below).
pumpkin-foundation-chainblo-photos
Working rows in the back loops only creates the ribs that give the pumpkin its structure.pumpkin-stripspumpkin borderLarge Pumpkin (9 cm diameter)
Make all stitches in back loops only.
With Color 1 make 25 ch (foundation chain).
Row 1: (Right side) Starting in second ch from hook, sc in each st to end, turn. (24 sts)
(1 ch at beginning of each row are the turning chains and do not count as a stitch).
Rows 2-47: 1 ch, sc in each st to end, turn. (46 rows)
Row 48: 1 ch, sc in each st to end.
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing.
With right side facing outwards bring the last row up to meet the foundation chain. Align the stitches and whipstitch the seam together, placing stitches through the back loops only of the last round and into the leftover loops of the foundation chain all the way along. Make a knot in the last stitch. Do not cut the yarn.pumpkin-seaming-composite
Use the needle to thread the rest of the yarn end through the very top loops of the ribs only.pumpkin-gathering-comp.jpg
When you have threaded the yarn through all of the rib tips pull gently to gather them up together and tie the two yarn ends securely. Stuff firmly with polyester toy stuffing.pumpkin-gathering-comp-1.jpg
Using matching yarn, and leaving a 4″ tail at the beginning, thread the needle through the very top loops of the ribs just as you did for the other end.¬†When you have threaded the yarn through all of the rib tips, pull on both ends of the yarn to gather them up together. Tie the two yarn ends securely and hide them inside the pumpkin.pumpkin-gathering-bottom-2
The holes that are left will vary depending on the size of your pumpkin but don’t worry about that. We will be hiding this with a stalk and a base later.three-pumpkins.jpg
You can leave your pumpkin round or you can flatten it by threading a long piece of yarn through the pumpkin from the bottom to the top then down to the bottom again, making sure to catch a stitch at the edge of the hole each time. Repeat this at various points around the edges of the holes at both ends. Pull on the yarn gently each time you pass it back through to give the desired shape. When you have finished, tie the ends off at the base and hide the ends inside the pumpkin.pumpkin-shaping.jpg
Large Pumpkin Stalk
Make all stitches in both loops.
With Color 2 make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 5 sc in second ch from hook. (5 sts)
Rnd 2: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 3: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 2 st. (6 sts)
Rnds 4-5: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Rnd 6: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 5 st. (7 sts)
Rnd 7: [Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 3 st. (8 sts)
Rnd 8: 2 sc in each st around. (16 sts)
Rnd 9: [Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 8 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 10: Sc in each st around.
Fasten off. leaving a long tail for sewing. Stuff the stalk and position over one of the open holes. Sew the last round of the stalk to the top of the pumpkin.pumpkin-top-comp.jpg
Large Pumpkin Base
With Color 2 make 2 ch.
Make all stitches in both loops.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around. (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing.
Sew the last round of the base to the bottom of the pumpkin in the same way as you did for the stalk.pumpkin-base-comp.jpg
Now you’ve got the hang of that here are two smaller sizes for some even quicker makes!pumpkin borderMedium Pumpkin (7 cm diameter)
Make all stitches in back loops only.
With Color 1 make 19 ch (foundation chain).
Row 1: (Right side) Starting in second ch from hook, sc in each st to end, turn. (18 sts)
(1 ch at beginning of each row are the turning chains and do not count as a stitch).
Rows 2-35: 1 ch, sc in each st to end, turn. (34 rows)
Row 36: 1 ch, sc in each st to end.
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing.starry border-
Medium Pumpkin Stalk
Make all stitches in both loops.
With Color 2 make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 5 sc in second ch from hook. (5 sts)
Rnds 2-3: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 4: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 2 st. (6 sts)
Rnd 5: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 6: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 5 st. (7 sts)
Rnd 7: 2 sc in each st around. (14 sts)
Rnd 8: sc in each st around.
Fasten off. leaving a long tail for sewing.starry border-
Medium Pumpkin Base
With Color 2 make 2 ch.
Make all stitches in both loops.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around. (12 sts)
Fasten off. leaving a long tail for sewing.
To make up, follow large pumpkin instructions above.pumpkin borderSmall Pumpkin (5 cm diameter)
Make all stitches in back loops only.
With Color 1 make 13 ch (foundation chain).
Row 1: (Right side) Starting in second ch from hook, sc in each st to end, turn. (12 sts)
(1 ch at beginning of each row are the turning chains and do not count as a stitch).
Rows 2-23: 1 ch, sc in each st to end, turn. (22 rows)
Row 24: 1 ch, sc in each st to end.
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing.starry border-
Small Pumpkin Stalk
Make all stitches in both loops.
With Color 2 make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 5 sc in second ch from hook. (5 sts)
Rnds 2-3: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 4: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 2 st. (6 sts)
Rnd 5: Sc in each st around.
Fasten off. leaving a long tail for sewing.starry border-
Small Pumpkin Base
With Color 2 make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Fasten off. leaving a long tail for sewing.
To make up, follow large pumpkin instructions above.pumpkin border

To download a printable version click the image below!


8 Comments

Giles the Giraffe Takes to the Road

With a long road trip and a mixed bag of bad weather to contend with I’ve had plenty of opportunity to get out my hook and start creating again. My latest pattern is for this cheeky lopsided smiled giraffe whom I’ve called Giles.

It’s been a while since I worked on a design that wasn’t for a book or a magazine so it felt really refreshing to do something ‘just for me’ for a change. No deadlines, no working to commission, no liaising. Don’t get me wrong, I thrive on all of that too, but sometimes it’s nice to take it all down a notch and just create on an impulse exactly what I feel like making.

Giles made a super little travelling companion on a very slow and laborious trip Up North to visit relatives. He was so excited to be packed away ready for his first journey out of the house. He does look rather pleased at the prospect of a great adventure!

We headed downstairs to the kitchen and a step closer to beginning our journey…

…then out of the front door, into the car and onto the motorway. Woohoo! Hurrah!

Giles loved this bit the very best of all. Turns out he’s a giraffe with a need for speed. Yes, this little guy’s a bit of a thrill seeker! I was a teensy bit excited myself as this was my first trip in our new car. Our poor old Toyota Estima had given up for good during the heavy snows and icy temperatures of a few weeks ago. Now we have a Nissan Elgrand with six captain chair style seats and all the space I could possibly need for my endless yarny clutter.

Unfortunately the amount of road works that spring up everywhere these days makes driving a bit of a chore and it wasn’t long before the traffic ground to a halt and then proceeded to crawl along at a snails’s pace.

Now you know that feeling when sometimes amigurumi making, – and particularly something like pattern testing – is requesting more concentration of you than you think you can give? Well that’s where I was at for the first hour of the journey. I blame it on the early start but my brain would only cope with this simple ultra-repetitive four line repeat of this scarf. I’d already memorized the pattern before the journey began so it was the perfect busy hands project for when by head was in cruise mode.

Our visit was fun. Lots of gossip was caught up with and fine pub food was consumed. On the way back I decided to try out sitting in the back (or rather the middle) of the car. I made myself a comfy work area, got settled in a squishy leather chair and felt very decadent while I was at it. I think I could get used to this. Giles looks like he was born for this sort of luxury too and has made himself quite at home on the seat next to me! Oh and I did try to put a seat belt on him but he’s a touch on the tiny side and it wouldn’t fit. Having never seen a booster seat for 14 inch tall giraffes I made him promise to sit still, tucked safely behind the yarn, or he would be back in the rucksack until we got home. With that threat hanging over him he was as good as gold and sat quietly, watching intently as a pink and a blue giraffe began to take shape.

Once we arrived back the sun was still out and after more than our fair share of snow and rain and wind recently it seemed too good an opportunity to miss so we headed for the garden. Rolling out a picnic rug and unpacking my bag I carried on with pattern testing. I’m still getting used to the fact that I have a lawn to play on this summer and oh boy am I loving it! So much nicer than the fence to fence patio area that was down before.

The cats love the lawn too. What a wonderful place to sit and watch the birds.

It wasn’t long before Minnie came to stake a claim on the rug and the crochet by firmly plonking herself down on both.

Oh well. I was just about crocheted out for the day at that point anyway. lots of progress on Pinky and Bluey had been made.

Just to be extra sure there were no glaring errors in the pattern I went through it yet again in the studio the next day and not too long after I am now the proud owner of not one, not two…

blue-and-pink-giraffes

…not three…

three-giraffes

…but four sweetly smiling giraffes.

What a bunch of cuties, and perfect for my craft stall!

If you want to have a go at making one the pattern is available from any of my online shops or, if you live in or near Worcester, come visit me at the Worcester Show in Gheluvelt Park on the 12th August and meet Giles the Giraffe in person. I’d love to see you there!

In the meantime I will be busy making lots more amigurumi and a few more scarves to stock up my stall as well as perfecting my new pattern for a pair of Tippy Toed monsters Called Timothy and Tabitha who will be heading over to Belgium to feature in a second volume of Amigurumi Monsters published by Meteoor Books over at AmigurumiPatterns.net.

I’m also testing a super cute Bobby the Dinocorn pattern by Little Aqua Girl for the fantasy creatures themed book due out in August. This dinocorn will be one of Drake the Dragons book fellows and I cant wait to see how she turns out. And neither can Drake who is too excited to keep out of the project basket.

Things are busy around here, that’s for sure, but that’s the way (uh huh, uh huh) I like it!


11 Comments

Paksha the Peacock

I know it’s been a while since I last managed to list a pattern in any of my online shops but the big news today is that I finally managed it! Hopefully there’ll be quite a few more in the foreseeable future as now that the current influx of book submissions and commissions are under control I have managed to gather together a well organised backlog of designs waiting in my in tray that just need a little tweaking and testing before they’re fit for public consumption.

Paksha the Peacock was originally designed for a magazine. It’s unbelievable how time flies by so fast but the two year contract is up and I am now free to list the pattern myself. I had fun tweaking the colours until they were near perfect. The original peacock had to be made with the colours already supplied in a yarn pack so this was a good chance to change things up a little.

Even though peacocks have a very definite colour scheme you can see how easy it is to great great results with just blues and yellow. But really, any similar or not so similar yarns would look great. (I wonder what a pink peacock would work out like? Rather pretty I should think).

As you can’t buy the original kits from the magazine I’ve sourced my alternative colours from a range of yarns which I fell in love with only recently. I have gone a bit crazy and bought myself the entire range of Paintbox Simply DK yarns which are now sitting prettily on one of my shelves with all the yarn shades neatly displayed on wooden pegs. I’m getting very organised in my old age you know!

I usually pick up random scraps of yarn balls from my existing stash as i certainly have plenty to choose from but for anyone who’s curious as to how to achieve the quintessential peacock look I made a note of the colours I used on the one below in case anyone wanted more info on what I considered to be the optimal peacock colours for this pattern.

I bought mine from LoveKnitting and ended up with free postage because I can’t help buying yarn in quantities much larger than is actually necessary for any particular project. Did I really need one in every colour? Well, I’m quite sure it will all come in handy sooner or later!

These are all Paintbox Yarns Simply DK shades. From left to right we have: Dark blue – 139, Turquoise – 133, Lime green – 128, Grass Green – 129, Gold -123 and Cream – 102.

Deep, jewel like colours and an obsessive fondness for preening make Paksha one of the finest sights at the palace. With his showy display of tail feathers and dashing good looks Paksha has all the peahens running around after him. You might think that all this attention would go straight to his head but Paksha isn’t at all conceited and his claws are always firmly planted on the ground.

In fact sometimes he seems more interested in showing off his magnificent tail to other peacocks instead of chasing after the ladies. It’s probably just nature’s age old case of mine’s bigger/better/more colourful than yours!

The peacocks are small enough to sit nicely in the palm of your hand so they don’t use up much yarn.

They’re also easier to sew together than you might think, despite there being quite a lot of individual tail feathers, I’ve managed to come up with a foolproof way to attach them all to each other with a minimum amount of hassle.

He’s such a fussy thing when it comes to his appearance it would be criminal not to do those feathers justice and you’d probably get a good pecking or two off Paksha if he ends up looking anything other than totally dapper so I have added plenty¬†of photo’s to help you along and lots of tips and tricks to make sure your peacock turns out to be the envy of his brothers and the sweetheart of all the peahens.

This one is very interested in his new, soon to be completed, rival.

However it doesn’t take long for the initial wary eyeing up of each other until they’re good pals. I think they both feel grand enough and that there’s enough room in the palace gardens for the both of them and so a rather lovely friendship has developed.

They’re fascinated by their first incarnation, Prince, and how he managed to gain some fame by getting himself interviewed for a popular magazine. If there is anything that peacocks really, really love it’s a bit of attention. The more paparazzi around the better!

These two are also very interested in how their pattern comes together and how all the photos they had to pose for are being used.

Pattern making is not all yarn and hooks. Sometimes its screen and keyboards too. Though I infinitely prefer the former combo I have come to have a fondness for the entire pattern creating process over the years. Probably because my computer skills have improved – however marginally – to make the technical, non yarny side of things a bit more stress free.

peacock-bunting-beads

As a final tweak to the original pattern I turned the wing motifs into bunting.

I can think of lots of places in my house that this bright and cheerful string of plumage would add a sparkle to if Paksha would let me have it back…

But for now they are feathering his nest and making him look as pretty as a picture in all his photo shoots.

If you want to make a feathery show off of your own you can find Paksha’s Pattern in my Ravelry Store


9 Comments

Basket Cases

Now that spring is in the air I’m feeling my energy levels beginning to rise. Not that they’ve been particularly low but that extra bit of daylight at the beginning and end of every day, and even a few blasts of sunshine – short lived but all the more appreciated – are definitely giving me an edge.

I had a big delivery of yarn a few weeks ago and couldn’t wait to get started on some¬†new ideas for a set of spring themed baskets. Finding¬†aran weight yarn in a really wide selection of pretty colours has been a bit of a problem for me up until now. The balls are often massive 300g yarn mountains and the colours usually more muted than I would prefer – lots of creams and greys, dusty pinks and blues¬†which are I suppose more geared up towards the traditional jumpers for which aran is often intended than the chunky amigurumi I wanted to make.¬†So¬†I was delighted to stumble on these Paintbox yarns while trawling some of my favorite online yarn haunts.

Ooooh those balls of yarn look so tasty they’re¬†almost edible. Just as much of a delight¬†as the vibrancy and variety¬†of colours in the range is the¬†way they feel. They are silky soft and have proved to be¬†a joy to use. Which was just as well as I’ve spent a great many¬†hours slaving away trying to create the *perfect* set of spring characters and then morph¬†them into bag form. I decided to design these bags with doubled up yarn for the main body of the¬†bag as this gives a really solid shape which¬†doesn’t sag¬†very easily. It’s worked well for my other bag collections so ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’!

I’m sure¬†you’ll all know what a temptation it is to just rip off those ball bands and get crocheting before the postman has even managed to get to the end of your street.¬†I have the same impulsive urges when faced with new yarn, but recently¬†I’ve been¬†making myself¬†defer the pleasure of immediate gratification in favour of¬†carefully cataloguing each and every colour before any crocheting can take¬†place. It’s not easy to curb the impulse and resist the call of yarn and hook, but ultimately it’s been worth the effort.

I’ve (mostly) done this with new yarn for the last year and I have to say it’s a system that’s come in handy quite a few¬†times. Especially for magazine commission work where I’m sometimes asked¬†to remake an old design that I no longer have a copy of and also supply the publisher with a shopping list. I’m not a naturally organised type of person but with a bit of effort I can fake it quite well these days!

My little hole punch in the shape of a rabbit made the task much more fun and was on trend for what I was about to embark on. I just love it when a theme comes together!

Now I just can’t wait for¬†a good excuse to order the rest of the colours in this gorgeous range. I think I may be in need of some Christmassy greens and reds next, and maybe a few more neutral shades for bears and squirrels and other fluffy non- season themed baskets.

My Lamb, Rabbit and Chick Bags have proved popular with little Easter egg hunters over the last few years. I know a lot of people have made them as gift bags too.

I’ve kept a pink lamb bag from the¬†original set of makes all for myself and it’s¬†often found¬†storing my latest mini project – usually socks or gloves as it’s just the right size. I don’t do¬†much knitting at the moment but when I get the urge to do a row or two it’s great to reach out and put my hands on¬†it straight away. And in the meantime, between these rare bouts my¬†project is¬†sitting pretty waiting for me.

With the spring theme firmly in mind and all the new yarn sorted and stashed I got busy designing a set of bags more in line with the Halloween Bucket Heads in their construction. First of all I hooked up some basic body parts.

No, there’s not going to be a crazy rooster bag (yet) but messing around with some of the elements from two of the bags was¬†a great way to get further inspiration for a later date. Things are not going to be quite what they may seem in these two pictures.

It’s really cheering to be working with such happy colours and I’ve also bought a few blooms for the studio to ramp up the level of spring inspiration. Those hyacinths smell just gorgeous. Their¬†aromatherapy is helping elevate my mood as well.

Pink and yellow from¬†Mother Nature…

…and yellow, orange and scrummy turquoises from¬†of Paintbox yarns.

If you haven’t guessed already which animals¬†I’m making then now is the time to let you in on the secret. In the end the various bits of amigurumi stopped looking like a rooster and were sewn together in the order they were originally intended.

A fancy frog with a cheeky wide-mouthed grin…

…and a chirpy chick with a ridiculously fluffy hairdo. A bit like mine, only much more yellow.

There have also been some other colours going on which are a bit less bright but just as spring-like in their own way.

Pink’s a big favorite of mine at any time of the year and it¬†fits in so nicely with the Easter theme. Minnie and I are are the only girls in the whole family (hubby, 3 boy humans¬†and three boy cats) so we like to get our fix of pink whenever we can!

When it was my turn to hog the pink yarn I put it to good use and crocheted up a lamb basket.

To go with the softer and more natural colour theme a rabbit also joined the gang.

Here they are all pinned together and waiting for their final tweaks.

I set some time aside for playing around with buttons and beads and bits of felt.

The embellishing part of the process is always very satisfying, not least because it means the end is in sight. The whole journey from initial sketch to the very last stitch is all great fun but it’s nice to see an idea that was scribbled down weeks ago finally come to fruition.

I ended up making¬†one of each design with¬†my new¬†Aran yarn and one with¬†random balls of double knit that I always have lying around. I was curious to see what the size difference would be and to see which I liked the best but I ended up liking them both¬†the same. They’re all ¬†roomy enough for gathering a good stash of¬†those little palm sized chocolate¬†eggs that the Easter bunny so kindly hides around the garden.

In case the Easter bunny doesn’t visit me this year (because I might be too old, I guess) I’ve hedged my bets and bought my own haul of¬†goodies. I need them¬†for photographic purposes anyway so there’s not much point waiting until next month. I can’t show the Easter baskets off to their full advantage without stuffing them full of foil wrapped chocolate loveliness. I did buy rather a lot though. It’s very easy to get carried away! Ahh well, I can’t complain about having the sort of job where I get to buy yarn and chocolate as¬†necessary¬†work expenses!

However, I’m not sure how long the Easter stash will last now it’s been discovered by this lot of greedy eyed monsters and a sweet toothed orangutan… I’m just saying – if it all gets eaten it won’t be down to me…honestly.

Once those final tweaks are made I’ll have a whole batch of cover photos to shoot and¬†then I’ll be back to show you how they turned out. I’m going to get a wiggle on and hopefully get all photos finished today¬†– before the Easter eggs have a chance to go missing!


12 Comments

Zoomigurumi 6

oswald_banner_820

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.

z6banner_instagram-copy

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!

owls-and-chameleons

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

820two-owls

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

lots-of-owls-and-a-chick

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

ossie-owl

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

outdoor-owls

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

pims-oclock

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.

red-panda1

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

red-panda-zoomi6

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.

red-panda-and-owl

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

red-panda-and-owl-2

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

the-owl-and-the-panda

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.

owly-family

(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!).

rainbow3

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

owls-and-red-panda

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


21 Comments

Camelia the Chameleon

Think of a colour, any colour, and you can be sure that Camelia has already thought about it, and probably worn it too. She’s so¬†stylish, she looks good in any colour combo and I had lots of fun making her¬†in a variety of different shades.

minnie-and-chameleons

Keeping the yarn tangle free while working the stripes requires a bit of patient untwisting at the end of every row so it’s always nice to have a cat around to make things ten times more complicated!

minnie-tangle

So far, I’ve made one with Orange accents…

two-orange-chameleons

…turquoise accents…

two-blue-chameleons

…and purple accents, or is that more of a magenta?..

cham-duo

As you can see they love to climb so I thought I would take them for a little trip around the river where they could indulge in a bit of bark shinning and practice their camouflage skills too. Here’s how we got on!

First they had a little skulk around in the shadows.

chameleons-in-the-park

Then we discovered some flower beds.

purple-chameleon

Pretty purple flowers for a purple toed chameleon.

orange-chameleon

A dash of fiery orange for this one.

Now the turquoise version proved to be a bit more of a problematic when it came to finding her dream home, but we eventually stumbled upon a rather good compromise in a bed of cornflowers which were the closest sort of blue we were likely to find around here.

blue-cham

The camoflage is a bit more convincing with the sun behind her.

blue-chameleon

In our ruminations about the possibility of a true¬†turquoise flower we found out that there is actually such a thing on this planet. Its sprouts from the Jade Vine and is a native of the Philippines. Though they do grow in the rainforest biome of the Eden Project too. Either way – Cornwall or the Philippines¬†–¬†it’s a bit too far to travel on what was a weeknight so we ditched the idea of a real live photoshoot and settled for a bit of Photoshop instead.

jade-vine-and-chameleon

Not a bad match huh? Now I know that the whole idea of a chameleon is that it fits itself into the¬†surroundings but with this stubborn woolly species I’m afraid you just have to go that extra mile to make sure the surroundings fit the chameleon.

After finding their perfect, or near perfect, flower matches they had a good scuttle up a tree, basking in the very last of the setting sun.

tree-climbing

Don’t you just love hot summer evenings?! I do hope we’re going to have quite few more of these yet.

3-tree-chameleons

After that it was time to head home. All the attention had gone right to the chameleon’s heads and they insisted I take a few more photos before bedtime.

chameleon-3

The purple one was too tired to walk after the river lap so she jumped into a basket and chilled out for a while.

chameleon-basket

I hung her up¬†in the tree¬†where she could relax in style…

cham-tree

… and wait for the shadows to hide her away…

chameleon-in-the-shade

Now that’s a happy face if ever I saw one!

*Camelia the Chameleon Pattern*