I’m very happy to be able to say I’ve finally finished my Dante the Donkey and Carlos the Cactus pattern. These little guys were originally inspired by my Mexican blanket project *all those pretty colours* and were just the most fun characters to make.
They’ve also turned out to be the best and most devoted amigos ever!
They first met in the Mexican desert after Dante got lost straying too far from his family’s rancho. Carlos the Cactus chatted away enthusiastically and shook his maracas to cheer the little donkey up as he rested his weary legs through the long, dark night. By the time the sun rose and the morning shone its welcoming light, they were firm friends. Bored of being mostly alone in the desert with only the other cacti for company, Carlos persuaded Dante to dig up his roots and put him in a terracotta pot so he could travel around with his new found soul mate wherever he roamed.
With Carlos along for the ride and offering some much needed moral support, you’ll doubtless be relieved to know that Dante eventually managed to find his way back home. Now the two of them spend sunny days and starry nights planning their next daring adventure together. Carlos has said he’ll travel to the ends of the earth just to be with his new friend. Dante’s a little more cautious about wandering too far again after his recent incident, but whatever they do they’ve agreed that they’ll do it together. Here’s proof that best friends can come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes make the most unlikely alliances!
Happy as he is with his new life, Carlos still likes to meet up with his old succulent chums from time to time. Since he started wearing his jazzy pot he appears to have sparked a new fashion. Now all the best dressed cacti are sporting one! Well, it certainly makes them more mobile – as long as they can get a friendly donkey to carry them about that is. Here they are getting ready for the local Fiesta.
Dante sets up a food stall to sell some of his homegrown carrots and specialty basil flavored hay to the other hungry donkeys…
…While Carlos and his friends make a bit of pocket money supplying firecrackers to liven up the crowds, and homemade sombreros to keep them cool. Very enterprising!
Yes, it’s title number 4 in the Zoomigurumi series already. I’ve been lucky enough to have some of my amigurumi designs included in both Zoomigurumi 2 and 3 in the past which were great experiences. Time has ticked inexorably on at its usual steady pace and I’m excited to tell you that the newest book in the collection is now available to order. You can meet my oh-so-friendly and really-rather-cheeky baby orangutan in this edition. His name is Orwell, and he’s my new favorite fur baby.
As you can see, he loves hanging about in trees. He also likes eating fruit and causing mischief – lots of both of those! Because of his debut in Zoomigurumi 4 he’s had to move to Belgium to be with the publisher. Parting was a bit on the sad side, but he was really looking forward to his new life and I’m sure he’ll do a good job of helping to promote the book. He’s a very confident and outgoing little chap.
Before Orwell left for his great journey via parcel mail I made another baby orangutan called Orson to keep me company. Here’s Orwell and Orson larking around just before Orwell emigrated.
They had lots of fun together before they parted ways and are now dedicated pen-pals. We get to hear all about Orwell’s life in Belgium with his new friends. I heard lately that he was a very well behaved model when it came time to take the portrait shots to go alongside his pattern. No-one said photographing wildlife was easy, just ask David Attenborough, but when you look inside this book, I think you’ll agree it went swingingly well!
Orwell says his new home is very comfortable and he’s loving his new celebrity status. Seeing all his colourful new friends from Zoomigurumi 4 I think you’ll understand the enthusiasm he has for his new life. Just take a look here. You can tell there’s never going to be dull moment with such a diverse range of pals to play with. Don’t they all look fun?
Orson, however, is glad that he got to stay at home as he’s a lot more reserved and much shyer than his brother. He likes a quiet life, hanging from the light fittings and watching TV – mainly educational nature programmes such as Life on Earth or Blue Planet. He loves to read too. Science and crochet books are among his favorites. They help him try to answer those age old questions that we all ask from time to time, such as ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Where did I come from?’
While the book was being prepared it was my task to proofread Lisa Jestes super cute Frog pattern. Time to get all the kit together (making sure everything is as color co-ordinated as possible!)
It’s not long until this cheeky gangle-legged amphibian – only known as ‘Froggy’ at this stage, but later officially named Kirk for his book appearance – is taking shape very nicely.
Eventually he’s all done. That’s another job finished and crossed off my list, and a new member added to our ever growing amigurumi family. Turns out Kirk and Orson are getting on splendidly. They particularly loved exploring the garden together. They’re both naturally gifted tree climbers with those languid long limbs of theirs.
Kirk is pleased to find some other frogs in the garden. Yes, there is a pond there somewhere, under all that duckweed! I agree it looks like it needs a bit of love before Kirk can fully appreciate it as his new swimming pool. Mental note to self to have a tidy-up-the-garden weekend soon.
And Kirk just loves Orson to give him a ride on his shoulders so he can take in all the sights. Hmm, I need to tidy up this bit of the garden too!
Finally we’re back inside so Kirk can get to meet the Moji-Moji frog fraternity. As you can see, he settles right in for a group hug and a rousing round of The Frog Chorus ‘We all stand together’, or to put it more accurately ‘sit together’ in this case. Happy days!
So there we have a few of the jolly japes enjoyed by two of the 15 cute characters from Zoomigurumi 4.
If you want to add this book to your collection, or check out the other Zoomigurumi books be sure to visit amigurumipatterns.net/books.
I wonder what adventures your Zoomigurumi creations will get up to? 😉
Well, you can’t have too much fun can you? So after a few requests from friends in response to my last collection of Bucket Head bags, I’ve made a second set of different characters to brighten up your Trick or Treat adventures, or just to add a bit of holiday magic to your Halloween decorations this year. This time I have Frankenstein’s Monster, a Candy Corn Man and a Scarecrow to introduce to you.If your favorite character wasn’t included in the last set then maybe these will be more to your liking 🙂
Happy Trick or Treating to all you Halloween Fanatics!
Of course I’m referring to my all time favorite festival… Christmas. There are, admittedly, still 77 days left until the Big Day itself. That probably sounds like a lot to the non crafters amongst us, but those of us who love to dabble in the handmade know that we really ought to be getting on with our seasonal preparations already! So, with that in mind, I’ve made a cute little pattern for some of my favorite Holiday characters. Let’s raise a toast to the timely arrival of the Itsy Bitsy Christmas team!Their small size makes them ideal for tree decorations, stocking stuffers, party favors or cracker gifts. I’m already busy making a whole host of angels in all the different colours of sparkly yarns from my stash to add some cuteness to my Christmas tree this year. But a helping of elves, a baking tray of gingerbread ladies, or maybe a blizzard of snowmen would look just as effective in a little festive corner of your home. As for Santa, well, we all know there can be only one!Here’s to visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads as we wend our way towards another winter of cosy dark evenings, warm woolly blankets, hot toddies, comfort foods and holiday crafting!
Hooray! Just launched a new pattern for Halloween! Now I know I’m cutting it a bit fine time wise but these Bucket Head Trick or Treat bags are crocheted with doubled up worsted weight (aran/10 ply) yarn and a big hook so they really don’t take that long to make.
Come and meet my empty headed and empty bellied Vampire, Witch and Pumpkin who are just waiting to be filled up with loads of Halloween candy 🙂They’ve got dangly arms and legs and a comfy handle to carry them around with.
Even though my kids are a bit too old to go trick or treating now I shall be making them one each and filling it with their favorite chocolate. Because chocolate is the one thing they don’t seem to have outgrown yet! (I’m still waiting too!)
Hurray! Another year successfully navigated and another birthday to celebrate, and what better way than with a free pattern that I’ve written especially for the occasion!
So come and have a cupcake or two with me and we can party together 🙂
For the strawberry version you will need: 3.5 mm crochet hook and light worsted weight (double knit) yarn in a light pink, dark pink, white, beige and green.
US crochet terms are used throughout. See here for a simple to use conversion chart for UK terms.
Round brackets ( ) indicate a group of stitches to be worked into the same stitch. Square brackets [ ] indicate a group of stitches to be worked the amount of times stated after the brackets.
Strawberry Cup Cake Pattern:
With Light Pink yarn make 2 ch. Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts) Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts) Rnd 3: [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts) Rnd 4: [sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (24 sts) Rnd 5: [sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (30 sts) Rnd 6: working in back loops only: sc in each st around. (30 sts) Rnd 7-12: sc in each st around. (6 rounds) Rnd 13: working in front loops only: [Slst in next st, (hdc, dc, hdc) in next st, Slst in next st] 10 times.
Change to Beige yarn Rnd 14: working in leftover back loops from previous round: sc in each st around. (30 sts) Rnd 15: [sc in each of next 3 st, dec] 6 times. (24 sts) Rnd 16: sc in each st around. (24 sts) Rnd 17: [sc in each of next 2 st, dec] 6 times. (18 sts) Rnd 18: [sc in next st, dec] 6 times. (12 sts)
Stuff cup cake. Rnd 19: dec 6 times. (6 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Thread yarn tail onto tapestry needle, pick up front loop only of remaining 6 stitches, pull tight to close the hole. Weave in end.
With White yarn make 2 ch. Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts) Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts) Rnd 3: [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts) Rnd 4: [Slst in next st, (hdc, dc, hdc) in next st, Slst in next st] 6 times.
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing. Sew edge of icing to top of cake.
With Dark Pink yarn make 34 ch. Row 1: starting in third ch from hook, hdc in each st to end.
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing. Sew ribbon to cake just under pink frill.
With Dark Pink yarn make 2 ch. Rnd 1: 3 sc in second ch from hook. (3 sts) Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 3 st. (6 sts) Rnd 3: [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (9 sts) Rnd 4: [sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (12 sts) Rnd 5: sc in each st around. (12 sts)
Stuff strawberry. Rnd 6: dec 6 times. (6 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Thread yarn tail onto tapestry needle, pick up front loop only of remaining 6 stitches, pull tight to close the hole. Weave in end. With a strand of White yarn sew small running stitches for seeds.
With Green yarn make 2 ch. Rnd 1: Slst in second ch from hook (first ch), [2 ch, Slst in second ch from hook, Slst in first ch] 5 times.
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing. Sew to top of strawberry.
See diagram at end of post for how to sew fruit and shape cupcake.
If strawberries aren’t your thing try these instead:
With Blue/Orange yarn make 2 ch. Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts) Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts) Rnds 3-5: sc in each st around. (3 rounds)
Stuff blueberry/cape gooseberry. Rnd 6: dec 6 times. (6 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Thread yarn tail onto tapestry needle, pick up front loop only of remaining 6 stitches, pull tight to close the hole. Weave in end.
Make a leaf as for the strawberry pattern. Sew flat to the end of the blueberry. Leave ends sticking up for cape gooseberry
With LightGreen/Light Yellow yarn make 2 ch. Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts) Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Change to Dark Green/Dark Yellow yarn Rnd 3: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (18 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing. Fold circle in half and sew edges together. Using a strand of white yarn embroider segments with running stitches.
With Dark Purple yarn make 2 ch Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts) Rnd 2: [Slst in next st, (hdc, dc, hdc) in next st] 3 times
With Dark Purple yarn make 2 ch Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts) Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts) Rnd 3: [Slst in next st, (hdc, dc, hdc) in next st] 6 times
Sew inner leaves on top of outer leaves. Weave in ends.
To shape cupcake and attach the fruit or flower, thread a length of yarn through both the cake and the fruit/flower following the diagram below. Pulling on the threads gives your cake a flat base and will attach the fruit neatly at the same time. Knot securely and weave in ends
Now you can be as inventive as you like with your flavor combinations. Vanilla, coffee, lemon or chocolate sponge with strawberry, orange, blackberry, mint… I could go on but it’s making my mouth water too much… I’m off in search of the real thing now. Well, why not? It is my birthday after all.
Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing some birthday fun with me!
Autumn (or Fall for my friends over the pond) is fast approaching and my thoughts are turning yet again to all the wonderful cosy treats and celebrations that always cheer up our journey into the tail end of the year. With dark nights beginning to draw in, a chill in the early morning and late evening air and a definite lack of sunshine around here, there are less reasons to be lolling around in the garden or lazing on the beach and more reasons to be tucked up under a favorite Granny Square blanket, warm and glowing with the pleasure of a new crochet project or two, or three, or four, or in the case of this new pattern – five!
So come and meet my new, Autumn season bunch of mini makes.It’s another one in the Minimals range and I’ve called this one ‘Teeny Halloweeny’ – mainly because they’re really rather teeny and extremely Halloweeny!
This gang of diminutive Fright Night dress ups will promise to be the life and soul of your Halloween party.They may well be the cutest Trick or Treaters that you’ll ever find knocking at your door and they’re certainly every bit as sweet as all that candy they hope you’re going to give them!I’ve had such a lot of fun designing these diminutive Trick or Treaters. They work up nice and fast and it’s very satisfying to have your finished results so quickly. I’m planning on making a whole crowd to hand out to my real life Trick or Treaters this year, along with the usual selection of lollipops and chocolates. I can’t wait 🙂
Hi guys! It’s the weekend again and I’ve been working flat out to fine tune my new pattern, Pandora the Poodle. She’s the poshest pooch you could ever hope to meet and here she is with two of her high-faluting canine pals, Porscha and Paloma.
If you can keep Pandora in the style to which she is accustomed then she’d just LOVE to come and live with you (and so would I for that matter!). She’ll sit for ages tucked up in your Prada tote as you stop by at Tiffany’s – you did promise her a diamond collar, didn’t you?
Shopping in Bond street is her favorite pastime, now will it be the pink outfit or the blue today? Oh the decisions a pampered poodle has to make!
A little dash around Harrods is always sure to make her tail wag and if you take her for lunch at the Dorchester she absolutely pinky promises to be on her best behaviour. Cucumber sandwiches, fancy cupcakes and a pot of tea? Yum! She’s licking her lips already.
Now there’s just enough time left for a visit to Vidal Sassoon on South Molton Street to get those poodle puffs into perfect tip top shape.
You look lovely Pandora. And what a lot of shopping you have!
If only my weekend was going to be half as fancy!! In fact mine’s going to be pretty good but I don’t think it’s going to be Pandora’s kind of thing. We’re roughing it again at another festival. Mud, cider and less than immaculate port-a-loos await us! Pandora was invited but she just shuddered in horror. She’s already booked herself in for a few days at the local five star kennels!
I hope you all have a lovely weekend, whether it’s a posh one, a roughing it one or something in between 🙂
I’m not usually a fan of spiders at all, but I was out cleaning the shed today and bumped into this little fella. I’ve got to admit, he doesn’t look as scary as some spiders that I’ve seen (well, maybe those fangs….)He’s been very busy building some rather carefully constructed webs ready for his house warming party later. The guests have started to arrive already.
First there were two.Then there were three. Next thing you know, four of these little monsters are tucked up together getting ready for a big night in. The Bluebottle kebabs and aphid salad are ready to serve and everyone is buzzing with anticipation. (Or is that just the kebabs I can hear?) With eight legs apiece to shake their (rather generously sized) booties with, they really are quite the party animals. Spencer can even play the fiddle and still have six legs left to dance a jig! It’s going to be one helluva party in my shed tonight.
I was invited and I thought I might try to be brave and go along – but then this big Black Widow arrived and suddenly I’m thinking… I’ll take a rain check on that. I know her tricks. She’s got a habit of playing dead and then biting your ankle when you’re not looking! Not my idea of fun!!I think I’ll just leave them to it. I know the famous saying ‘If you want to live and thrive, let a spider run alive’ but I think it’s going to be me doing all the running every time I bump into this lot together. There’s just way too many eyes and legs gathered together in one space. I’d love to try to get over my arachnaphobia but I think I’ll have to take it one spider at a time.
After being rudely awakened at 5 o’clock last Friday morning by Mojo the cat bringing a loudly chirruping starling into my bedroom, I wasn’t going to go back to sleep any time soon so I decided to start early and spend the day giving my Cyril the Squirrel pattern a final run through before I listed it in my online shops. The best way for me to test my own patterns is to leave the whole thing for a while and then to come back to it when I’m fresh and the stitch counts and number of rows are no longer seared into my brain. (Don’t worry about the starling, I rescued it, rested it for a while in a bird cage I keep handy for just such emergencies and it flew off into the sky an hour later). To make the repeating of projects more fun I like to change the colour and/or the hook size to make the whole process slightly different each time. This time I’ve pushed the hook size right down to a 2 mm and am going to make this squirrel in a soft grey and a slightly fluffy cream yarn, both by Rowan and bought from a local yarn store sale for £1 a ball. What a bargain bonanza! Although, of course, this means I buy much more than I really need thus diminishing the money saving aspect. But then again, how much is too much?! I’m sure it will all come in handy sooner or later.
My other favorite bits and pieces and amigurumi essentials are all gathered together into a wicker project tray. So we’re ready to go. The sun is shining and I have a whole day, dedicated to crochet, stretching ahead of me. Bliss. I’ve even got a few extra hours to play with thanks to my Mojo alarm call!
By 10am I’ve had a lazy breakfast, several cups of tea, become distracted by Pinterest and Facebook and also, the main aim of the day of course, hooked up all these squirrel parts. I printed out a copy of the pattern in the end and turned the computer off so no chance of any further internetty time wasting diversions. It’s just too much temptation to have a quick click here and there when it’s on and one of the main things about pattern testing is total focus on the job in hand! The smaller than usual hook choice has been something of a challenge, making my fingers ache a little and proving a tough deal to feed the safety eyes through, but where there’s a will there’s a way and I manage to soldier on. It’s going to be nice to have a smaller version of Cyril to join the crew of my ever growing squirrel family.
A few more hours later and all squirrel parts are completed. Minor tweaks are made to the word file, which is then made into a PDF ready for uploading later.
One of the really fun parts for me is joining all the components together, embroidering on any features and seeing it come to life as a fully fledged character.
But of course everyone knows that amigurumi don’t really come to life. That is, not until the Blue Fairy pays a visit and says those magic words:
∗ “Little squirrel made of twine, awake! The gift of life is thine.” ∗
Hooray! My squirrel is finally really real. It turns out this one’s a girl and she’s called Cheryl. Just like any self respecting, fashion conscious lady rodent she want’s to choose her own outfit. So off we go to explore the yarn stash and see what’s on offer. Hmm, yes I think the red would be perfect too and that fiery orange trim will finish it off a treat. Now measurements are taken and details must be decided. Cheryl doesn’t want a flat cap like Cyril, she prefers a much more feminine wide brimmed sun hat. Back to the drawing board for that one then.
A little more hooking later and ‘Voila’ … Cheryl in her Cherry Red ensemble. We even went and picked some daisies from her cottage garden, one to decorate her hat and a whole bunch for the kitchen table.
If you want to adapt the Cyril the Squirrel pattern into Cheryl the Squirrel here’s a free pattern extra for how I made her wide brimmed hat and the little flowers:
Note: Pattern written in US terms. Us single crochet (sc) is equivalent to UK double crochet (dc)
With the same sized hook you used for the main pattern and Red Yarn make 2 ch. Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts) Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st to end. (12 sts) Rnd 3: [Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts) Rnd 4: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (24 sts) Rnds 5-6: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Change to Orange yarn. Rnd 7: Sc in each st around. Rnd 8: Working in Front Loops only: [Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (30 sts)
Change to Red yarn. Rnd 9: Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st, ch 6, skip next 5 st, [Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc innext st] 2 times, ch 6, skip next 5 st, sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st. (36 sts) Rnd 10: [Sc in each of next 5 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (42 sts) Rnd 11: [Sc in each of next 6 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (48 sts)
Change to Orange yarn. Rnd 12: Sc in each st around.
Fasten off, weave in ends.
With White yarn make 4 ch, Slst in first ch, [3 ch, Slst in same ch as first Slst] 4 times. (5 petals)
Fasten off. Make a yellow French Knot in center of flower. Sew to front of hat at the side of one of the ear slits. Fit hat over Cheryl’s ears. Add a little stuffing to shape and with a strand of Red yarn sew Rnd 9 in place to top of head.
Avec la même taille de crochet que vous avez utilisé pour le modèle principal et le fil Rouge.
Faire ch 2. Rg 1: 6 ms dans la 2ième ml à partir du crochet du crochet. (6 pts) Rg 2: 2 ms dans chaque m jusqu’à la fin. (12 pts) Rg 3: [Ms dans la m suiv, 2 ms dans la m suivante] 6 fois. (18 pts) Rg 4: [Ms dans chacune des 2 m suiv, 2 ms dans la m suiv] 6 fois. (24 pts) Rg 5: 6 ms dans chaque m du tour. (2 tours)
Changer de fil Orange. Rg 7: Ms dans chaque m du tour. Rg 8: Travailler seulement sur les boucles avant: [ms dans chacune des 3 m suiv, 2 ms dans la m suiv] 6 fois. (30pts)
Changer de fil Rouge. Rg 9: Ms dans chacune des 4 m suiv, 2 ms dans la m suiv, 6 ml, sauter les 5 m suiv, [Ms dans chacune des 4 m suiv, 2 ms dans m suiv] 2 fois, 6 ml, sauter les 5 m suiv, ms dans chacune des 4 m suiv, 2 ms dans la m suiv. (36pts) Rg 10: [Ms dans chacune des 5 m suiv, 2 ms dans la m suiv] 6 fois. (42 pts) Rg 11: [Ms dans chacune des 6 m suiv, 2 ms dans la m suiv] 6 fois. (48 pts)
Changer de fil Orange. Rg 12: Ms dans chaque m du tour. Arrêter, Rentrer les fils.
Avec le fil Blanc faire 4 ml, mc dans la 1ière ml, [3 ml, mc dans la même ml que la 1ière mc] 4 fois. (5 pétales)
Couper le fil. Faire un Point de Nœud (French Knot) Jaune dans le centre de la fleur. Coudre à l’avant du chapeau sur le côté de l’une des fentes de l’oreille. Placer le chapeau sur les oreilles de Cheryl. Ajouter un peu de rembourrage au chapeau et avec un brin de fil rouge coudre au Rg 9 sur le haut de la tête.
Here we have Cyril and Cheryl deep in discussion about the relative merits of vegetable versus flower gardening. Personally I’m partial to a bit of both but not much good at either!
I have a huge soft spot for squirrels it’s true, and Cheryl is the fifth one I’ve made so far. One is in Belgium with the book publisher but the other four are currently living here with me. These are all made with light worsted weight (DK) yarn but I’ve varied the hook size from 3.75mm all the way down to to 2mm. Come and meet the gardening gang!
From left to right we have Cyril, Errol, Beryl and Cheryl.
I do enjoy making these squirrels so who knows how many I’ll end up with?! I’m going to have to open up that second Etsy shop and re-home some of my ever growing cache of amigurumis at some point. Ah, but parting will be such sweet sorrow!