Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Tiny Toadstools

Looking through my sketchbooks and perusing my to-do lists I came to the conclusion it was about time I got organised and wrote up the free toadstool pattern that I’ve been meaning to do for a while now (I see a February date in the notebook and it is May already!). I’ve got way too many scribbled down ideas just waiting to blossom into fully formed patterns so here’s to having one less unfinished project left to worry about!

These Tiny Toadstools (or Mini Mushrooms if you prefer) measure approximately 2″ (5 cm) tall. They use only very small amounts of yarn and take about 30 minutes from start to finish so you can have your very own little crop of fungi in next to no time!

Materials:
Each toadstool requires approximately 1 gram each of Red and White 4 ply yarn plus 2 grams of polyester toy stuffing.

You’ll also need a 1.75 mm crochet hook, a pair of scissors, a yarn needle, stitch marker and a pair of tweezers (to help stuff the toadstool with).

*click here for a printable version of this pattern*

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

The invisible decrease (invdec) method is used throughout this pattern apart from on the back loop only crochet in Rnds 10 and 19 where the single crochet decrease (sc2tog) is used instead.

For stitch abbreviation meanings refer to the table at the end of the free pattern page. For those not familiar with invdec and sc2tog I’ve included photos below to show the difference.

Tie off and trim the colour change between the cap and the stalk on the inside of your work.

French knots are used to add the dots to the mushroom cap.

Toadstool Cap:

With Red yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second chain from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: [Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (9 sts)
Rnd 3: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 4: [Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (15 sts)
Rnd 5: [Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 6: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnds 7-9: Sc in each st around. (3 rounds)

Toadstool Stalk:
(See pictures 1-9 below for details on sc2tog and invdec techniques)

Change to White yarn.
Rnd 10: Working in back loops only: [Sc in each of next 2 st, sc2tog] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 11: [Sc in next st, invdec] 6 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 12: [Sc in each of next 2 st, invdec] 3 times. (9 sts)
Rnds 13-14: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Rnd 15: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (12 sts)
Rnds 16-17: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Rnd 18: [Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 19: Working in back loops only: [Sc in next st, sc2tog] 6 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 20: Invdec 6 times. (6 sts)

Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail of approximately 27″ (70 cm) for finishing.

Single crochet 2 together (sc2tog) in back loops only (pictures 1-6)

Insert hook into next back loop, yarn over hook (1) and pull up a loop (2 loops on your hook) (2), insert hook into next back loop, yarn over hook (3) and pull up a loop (3 loops on your hook) (4), yarn over hook (5) and pull through all 3 loops on hook to complete the decrease (6).

Invisible decrease (invdec) (pictures 7-9)

Insert hook into front loops only of the next 2 stitches (3 loops on hook), yarn over hook (7), pull yarn through first 2 loops on hook (2 loops left on hook), yarn over hook (8), pull yarn through last 2 loops on hook to complete the decrease (9).

To Finish:

Your toadstool will lack a bit of shape at this point but don’t worry because we’re going to be remedying that in the next stages.

Use your tweezers to stuff the mushroom through the 6 stitch hole (10). Thread yarn tail onto yarn needle, pick up front loop only of remaining 6 stitches (11). Pull tight to close the hole and fasten with a small knot.

Insert the needle through the center of the base coming out where you want the first French Knot to be (12). Pull tightly on the yarn as you pull it through to flatten the bottom of the stalk.

Hold the yarn tight to keep the bottom flat and begin to make your first French knot by inserting the needle into the stitch space below and exiting where the needle first came out (13). Wrap the yarn 4 times around the needle (14), press onto the wrapped yarn with your thumb as you carefully pull the needle through to form the knot. Pull on the knot gently to neaten it (15).

Insert needle into stitch space at bottom of knot, coming out underneath the knot between Rnds 11 and 12 of toadstool (16-17). Insert needle 1 stitch away from last exit point, this time coming out where you want the second knot to be (18).

Pull on the yarn to begin forming the flat underside shaping of the gills (19). Keeping the tension on the yarn to maintain the shape, create your second French Knot in the same way as the first, finishing by coming out underneath the knot between Rnds 11 and 12 again (20). Continue in this way all around, pulling on the yarn as you go, until your mushroom has the desired shape. Once you are happy with the shape sew more French knots every few stitches (21) until you have the amount of spots you require.

Hide the yarn end inside the toadstool when you have finished.

I added a loop with some jewelry fixings and >Ta-dah!< I now have a really cute toadstool charm.

Looks pretty sweet dangling from my Instax Mini! Of course one toadstool leads to another…

…especially when you have such a gorgeous selection of Katia 10g amigurumi balls to play with.

Well, I just couldn’t resist, could you?!


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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 🙂

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 🙂 Happy Hooking! 🙂 xxx

 


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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!


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Penny the Pine Tree

starline-2

The Christmas Decorations are well and truly squirrelled away for another year and to help chase away the post-Christmas blues, I’ve written up a new pattern to share with those of you who either aren’t at all happy to have had to say goodbye to all things Christmassy just yet, or who are already eagerly planning ahead to next year. Or even for those of you that (let’s all sing together now…) wish it could be Christmas everyday!

The honest truth is that I had every intention of posting this pattern sometime last December but the pre- Christmas rush, a dose of the winter sniffles and a painful cricked neck all coerced to set me slightly off track and suddenly the whole festive season seemed to run along faster than I could keep up with it. Well, better late than never, as they say.

Penny-the-Pine-Tree

So, without further ado, here’s my pretty, potted, rosy cheek spotted, Penny the Pine Tree, who’ll be happy to add a touch of greenery to your desk whatever the time of year. Are you all ready for an out of season Christmas fix? Yes? Great!

starline-2

First of all, here are the materials and notions you’re going to need.

tree-materials

Size D (3.25mm) crochet hook.
DK yarn in Green, Light Pink, Dark Pink and Red.
Polyester toy stuffing.
2 x 6mm black plastic safety eyes.
Small piece of pink felt.
Yarn needle.
Stitch marker.
Fabric glue.

starline-2

And here’s the pattern. (Scroll down to the ‘download’ button at the bottom of this page for a printable version)

(Please note: I prefer to use US crochet terms in my patterns. If you are more familiar with UK terms a handy stitch conversion chart can be found at the bottom of my Free Patterns page along with an explanation of the abbreviations used.)

Size: Penny is approximately 7″ (18 cm) tall from base of pot to top of star.

Plant Pot

Make 1 piece, starting at base. Working in continuous spiral rounds.
With Dark 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.
Rnd 7-8: sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Rnd 9: [sc in each of next 9 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (33 sts)
Rnd 10: sc in each st around.
Rnd 11: [sc in each of next 10 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (36 sts)
Change to Light Pink yarn.
Rnd 12-14: sc in each st around. (3 rounds)
Change to Dark Pink yarn.
Rnd 15-18: sc in each st around. (4 rounds)
Rnd 19: Working in back loops only: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 20: [sc in each of next 4 st, dec] 6 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 21: [sc in each of next 3 st, dec] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 22: [sc in each of next 2 st, dec] 6 times. (18 sts)
Stuff Plant Pot.
Rnd 23: [sc in next st, dec] 6 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 24: 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. Insert yarn needle down center of plant pot, coming out at the center of the base.

pot1-and-2

Re-insert yarn needle one stitch apart from where it came out, finally emerging at the top center.

plant-pot-3-and-4

Pull gently on the yarn to form dimples in the top and bottom. This will help your tree to stand up straight by flattening the base.

plant-pot-5-and-6

Fasten off securely at the top and weave in the yarn end.

Star

stars4

Make 2 pieces for each star, starting at center. Working in continuous spiral rounds.
With Light Pink yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 5 sc in second ch from hook. (5 sts)
Rnd 2: working in back loops only: [slst in next st, 3 ch, slst in second ch from hook, hdc in next ch, slst in same st as first slst] 5 times.
Fasten off. Weave in the yarn end on first star. Leave long yarn tail on second star for sewing. With right sides facing outwards, whipstitch the edges of both stars together.

stars5

Pine Tree

Tree-tops

Make 1 piece, starting at tip. Working in continuous spiral rounds.
With Green 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 of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (15 sts)
Rnd 6: sc in each st around.
Rnd 7: [sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 8: sc in each st around.
Rnd 9: [sc in each of next 5 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (21 sts)
Rnd 10: sc in each st around.
Rnd 11: [sc in each of next 6 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 12: sc in each st around.
Rnd 13: [sc in each of next 7 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (27 sts)
Rnd 14: sc in each st around.
Rnd 15: [sc in each of next 8 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 16: sc in each st around.
Rnd 17: [sc in each of next 9 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (33 sts)
Rnd 18: sc in each st around.
Rnd 19: [sc in each of next 10 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (36 sts)
Rnd 20: sc in each st around.
Rnd 21: [sc in each of next 11 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (39 sts)
Rnd 22: sc in each st around.
Rnd 23: [sc in each of next 12 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (42 sts)
Insert safety eyes between Rnds 13 and 14 spacing them 5 stitches apart.
Rnd 24: working in back loops only: sc in each st around.
Rnd 25: working in back loops only: [sc in each of next 5 st, dec] 6 times. (36 sts)
Rnd 26: working in back loops only: sc in each st around.
Rnd 27: [sc in each of next 4 st, dec] 6 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 28: [sc in each of next 3 st, dec] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 29: [sc in each of next 2 st, dec] 6 times. (18 sts)
Stuff Tree.
Rnd 30: [sc in next  st, dec] 6 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 31: 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 and weave in the yarn end.

Frill

Tree-frill1

Holding tree upside down, pull up a loop of Green yarn in first leftover front loop from Rnd 24, (sc, hdc, dc) in next st, (dc, hdc, sc) in next st, slst in next st, [slst in next st, (sc, hdc, dc) in next st, (dc, hdc, sc) in next st, Slst in next  29 times.

tree-frill-2

Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing. Now all the leftover back loops from Rnds 24-26 will have stitches in them.

tree-frill-3

Sew Rnd 26 of Tree to Rnd 19 of Plant Pot. Make all stitches on top of pot neatly behind the leftover loops from Rnd 19.

top-to-base

Weave in the yarn ends and sew the Star to the top of the Tree.

Pine-Tree

Cut out two tiny felt circles and glue them just below the eyes. Last of all, embroider a small V shape for the mouth using a strand of red yarn and you’re done.

starline-2

Of course, if pink is not your style then this little pine tree will look just as fabulous dressed up in any other colours you prefer. To prove the point, here’s Penny with two of her other potty pals.

pine-tree-pals

And here she is trying on her bling ready for the next Christmas party.

Penny-Bling

Wowzers. That’s a knockout, fancy pants outfit! She’s sure to be the Belle of the Ball and I’m going to know exactly who to ask if I need to borrow a pin or two.

download1

A very merry un-Christmas to you all!

starline-2


11 Comments

DIY Chair Cushion Pads

chairs

I’ve had a few requests for the pattern for my zipless recycled cloth chair pads so after a bit of photo gathering and note making I’m happy to say that I am, at last, ready to share with you all exactly how to make a cheap and cheerful bottom hugger of your own.

Seat-Pad

First you’ll need some balls of clarn (cloth yarn). It’s very easy to make, have a look at my previous post – Ripping Yarns for more info and tips on how to upcycle your own from old bed sheets and duvet covers.

Here’s me in action, ripping and rolling my way through a double duvet cover that’s seen better days.

Rolling-clarn

If you can do this part outdoors then all the better, as it does create quite a bit of dust as you tear through the fibres but it’s much quicker than cutting the strips with scissors and your strips will always follow a uniformly straight line down the grain of the cloth. I also really like the raggy edges as they add a bit of texture and shabby chicness to a project.

clarn-balls

For these seat pads I used an 18″ round, feather filled inner (from Dunelm) so this pattern will be for that size of pad, but if you have a different size pad just crochet more or less rounds until it fits.

feather-pad

I like to make my clarn covers slightly smaller than the actual cushion, so that the finished seat pad is nice and puffy, and won’t flatten out too much. Think more macaroon than pancake!

Seat-Pads

For this particular pattern I made my clarn strips approx 2 cm wide, – or three quarters of an inch if you’re not into the whole metric thing.

clarn-strips

So, clarn at the ready, you’ll also need a size N (10 mm) crochet hook, a large yarn needle, and if you’re not changing colour every round you will want to mark the ends of your rounds with a stitch marker. If you don’t have a stitch marker then a paperclip or safety pin will do the job just as well. This is my armoury of stitch markers. As you can see I have everything form a dinky jewelry clip to a chunky bag clip and all manner of things raided from the stationery drawer. I’m happy to grab whatever is to hand.

stitch-markers

On rounds where you do change colours introduce the new colour when there are two loops of the old colour on the hook, then make a slip stitch instead of a sc for the first stitch of the new colour. The slip stitch will give you less of a ‘step’ between the colours because it is shorter in height than a sc. (See below, figures a d). After step d is completed carry on making sc until the end of the round. Make an extra sc in the slip stitch you made at the beginning of the round. This extra sc will help to compensate for the shortness of the slip stitch and will give a much neater finish.

Colour-Change-Cushion

If you’re changing colours every row or two you can carry the unused colour up the back of the work to save keep cutting and rejoining. You can see the arced line of colour changes at the back of the piece below.

twisting-clarn

If you’re using lots of different colours or your stripes are quite thick then cut the clarn at the colour change, tie them together and crochet over the ends as you go.

With 2 cm wide cloth strips and a 10 mm hook I found the instructions below made a perfect fit for my 18″ cushion pad but you can add or subtract rows if your cushion is a different size. If you need to make the cushion bigger just keep increasing by six stitches on each round until you reach the required size.

The Pattern (Written in US terms, US sc = UK dc)
Make 2 pieces.
With your chosen colour and a 10 mm hook 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: [sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (36 sts)
Rnd 7: [sc in each of next 5 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (42 sts)
Rnd 8: [sc in each of next 6 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (48 sts)
Rnd 9: [sc in each of next 7 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (54 sts)
Rnd 10: [sc in each of next 8 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (60 sts)
Rnd 11: [sc in each of next 9 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (66 sts)
Rnd 12: [sc in each of next 10 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (72 sts)
Rnd 13: [sc in each of next 11 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (78 sts)
Rnd 14: [sc in each of next 12 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (84 sts)
Rnd 15: [sc in each of next 13 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (90 sts)
Rnd 16: [sc in each of next 14 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (96 sts)
Rnd 17: sc in each st around. (96 sts)
Fasten off. Weave in the yarn end.

You can make the front and the back in the same colours or vary them for a reversible seat pad with a different look for each side to suit your mood. Or, if you have a lot of clarn in a colour you don’t really like you can make the back in this and save your favorite colours for the top.

Here’s the first finished piece. You can see it’s slightly smaller than the pad. Perfect for a puffy looking cushion.

DSCN9426

To join the pieces, hold them together with wrong sides facing.

DSCN9451

Insert your hook through both layers of any sc from Rnd 17. Leaving a tail of around 12″ at the beginning, pull up a loop of clarn and make 1 ch.

DSCN9453

Rnd 18: Making sure the next stitches go through both the top and the back of the cover, sc in same stitch as join, sc in each of the next 78 st only.
(You will now have an opening of 18 stitches that you haven’t crocheted together).

DSCN9454

Sc in each of the next 18 st in the top layer only, Slst to the first st of Rnd 18 (a), turn work and make 1 ch (b) sc in each of the next 18st in the bottom layer only (c), Slst to the next st (d).

cishion-opening

Fasten off, leaving a 12″ tail at the end. You will now have a 12″ tail either side of the opening.

DSCN9462

Insert your cushion pad into the cover. Cut a 36″ strip of clarn the same colour as you used for the final round. Make sure this strip has no turning tags on it. You’ll need a good strong strip that won’t rip apart as you sew.

DSCN9476

Thread the strip onto a large yarn needle and leaving a 12″ tail at the beginning, sew a line of running stitches in and out of both layers of the final 18 sts from Rnd 18.

DSCN9465

Tie the clarn ends in a bow for a decorative finish, or you could poke them into the cushion to hide them.

DSCN9466

If this is intended as a seat pad for a wooden chair then use the two sets of 12″ strips to tie the seat pad to the back spokes so you won’t be slip sliding away.

DSCN9467

When you need to wash the cover simply untie the bows and pull out the strip of clarn you used to close the seam. You can now remove your cushion and fling the cover in the washing machine. Keep the strip to hand for sewing it together again once it’s all clean and fresh.

There’s a couple of cheeky apes getting down and cosy on mine already.

DSCN9469

One word of caution, crocheting with thick clarn can be quite tiring on the hands. Holding your crochet hook more like  a bread knife than a pencil will help, but make sure you take lots of breaks if you’re feeling the strain. You can always try to persuade a friendly neighborhood cat to help you out with a few rounds.

DSCN9445

To be honest, I haven’t had much success with that yet, I just get this steely look, but maybe you’re much more persuasive than I am!


27 Comments

Stash that Cash – Little Owl Purses

I’ve hooked up a few of these wide-eyed owl necklace purses recently and thought I would share the ins and outs of how I made them with you in case you want to have a go yourself.

They’re useful, decorative and a bit quirky and are an ideal festival accessory for keeping a bit of cash handy when you’re out and about all day, larking around in bunting strewn, tent clad fields of freaked out, cosmic awesomeness. (I like festivals, can you tell?)

So if you have a fancy to make one of your own, I’ll be happy to show you how.

Firstly you’ll need to gather together your equipment and materials. These are the usual suspects such as scissors, stitch marker, tapestry needles and, of course your crochet hook.820Owl-Purse-materials-

You will also need yarn in any colour of your choice for the main part of the purse plus a small amount of brown/orange for the beak and ear tufts and some white for the eyes. I made a few of these with aran (worsted) weight yarn and a 4 mm hook and a few more with double knit (light worsted) weight yarn and a 3 mm hook. You can see how the various sizes work out here and decide which you like best. If you want a bigger purse try doubling up your yarn and using a larger hook.820Sizes

Add a couple of black buttons, a 1 cm press stud (snap fastener), a length of sewing cotton and you’re ready to begin.

820Rainbow-Lineup

(US crochet terminology is used throughout, for abbreviations and UK conversion chart take a look here)

Head and Body
With Blue yarn make 2 ch. (Or substitute any other colour that tickles your fancy).
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)820fig-1

Rnds 5-13: sc in each st to end. (9 rounds)
Now continue working in rows.
Note: 1 ch at beginning of each row does not count as a stitch.
Row 1: sc in each of next 12 st, turn820fig-2

Row 2: Working in front loops only:  1 ch, sc in all 12 st, turn. (12 sts)820fig-3

Row 3: 1 ch, miss next st, sc in the next 9 sts, miss next st, sc in the last st, turn. (10 sts)
(Picture below shows where to put the first stitch)820fig-4

Row 4: 1ch, miss next st, sc in each of the next 7 st, miss next st, sc in last st, turn. (8 sts)
Row 5: 1ch, miss next st, sc in each of next 5 st, miss next st, sc in last st, turn. (6 sts)
Row 6: 1ch, miss next st, sc in each of next 3 st, miss next st, sc in last st, turn. (4 sts)
Row 7: 1ch, miss next st, sc in next st, miss next st, sc in last st, turn. (2 sts)
Row 8: 1ch, miss next st, sc in last st. (1 st)
Fasten off, weave in the yarn tails.

Beak
With Brown yarn make 2ch.
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)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing.

Eyes
Make 2
With White yarn make 2ch.
Rnd 1:  6 sc into second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing.

Now you will have all these pieces ready to transform into an owl.820fig-0

To make up
Sandwich the pointed end of the purse flap inside the beak and sew in place.820fig-6

Sew the eyes to the flap directly above the beak spacing them slightly apart. The neatest way to do this is to use back stitch in between the V shapes of the final round.

Sew a black button to each eye patch. Weaving in the ends inside the beak.

To make the ear tufts take 3 x 10cm strands of brown yarn, fold in half and, inserting your crochet hook from back to front, pull up a loop of all three strands in the corner of one side of the purse. Feed the ends through the loop and pull tight to form a tassel. Trim to 3cm long. Repeat for other side.

Use sewing cotton and a small needle to sew one half of the press stud to the back of the beak and the other half to its matching place about halfway down the body. You’ll end up with a neat way to close your purse and keep your treasures safe.This is what the open purse looks like once everything is sewn in place.820fig-16

The owl purse looks sweet as it is and I have one of these in my go-everywhere bag to keep my keys together and stop them scratching my phone or my sunglasses. However, a great big tote bag is not always the best take along if you are planning an evening lightfooting it dancing to your fave band so to make your mini purse into a hands free necklace purse just follow the next steps.

Neck cord
Pull up a loop of Blue yarn in a leftover front loop from Row 2, right next to one of the ear tufts. Chain as many as you require to give you the desired length (I made 150 ch),  then make one Slst into the leftover front loop next to the ear tuft on the opposite side. Weave in all ends securely on the inside of the purse.

And – Hey Presto! – you have a cute little purse for your coins, lipbalm, fairy dust, lucky rune, hair band and/or other diminutive festival essentials.

820Two-Owls

I got a bit addicted to making these and spent a whole afternoon hooking up an array of different colours.820Owls

I’m hard pressed to choose a favorite so I’m going to be packing all of these up to take with me. 820Owl-jumble

A colour to suit every mood (as long as it’s happy!)820Owl-Purse-Rainbow

And if I still can’t decide what colour to wear on the day I’ll pick the all in one rainbow number with the crazy kaleidoscope eyes. Although there might be a case to state that this one has been to one too many festivals already, right!?820Swirl

Peace, love and happy hooking, man!820RainbowPurse


14 Comments

Ripping Yarns

Looking at the title you might be forgiven for thinking that I’m about to tell you some thrilling story full of jolly japes and spiffing adventures, but in fact I’m about to show you the transformative powers of ripping up old bedding to turn it into a form of chunky cloth yarn, (or ‘clarn’ for short) because that’s what I’ve been doing a lot of this week. I hope you’re not too disappointed!

Tangles

I love making clarn as I hate to waste anything and always seem to have a lot of fabric hanging around. The boys are too grown up for their space/cowboy/monster themed bedding these days and some of my old sheets are just too frayed and tattered to be of any practical use in their primary function anymore so I have a ready made supply of raw materials.

With a couple of projects in mind I set to work snipping and ripping some of the prettier coloured bedding into strips ready to crochet them into something completely different.

I started with a pile of over washed, slightly faded cloth that had definitely seen better days. In fact this is the very best kind of cloth to use because it has a well worn softness which makes it really easy to work with. If you don’t have a surplus of old bedding then charity/thrift shops are always a good, cheap source.

Duvets

Very patiently I slowly turned them into lots of clarn balls of various sizes. This is always best done outdoors if possible unless you’re a massive fan of both dusting and sneezing because the ripping always generates lots of tiny fragments of cloth. I’m not keen on either of the above so luckily the weather has been good enough to allow me to spend a few hours in the garden getting the job done and leaving nature to assimilate all the dust particles into the environment so I don’t have to worry about them.

BClarn

I made this clarn out of strips about 2 cm wide and used a 10 mm hook for all my projects but you can make them thinner or fatter and change the hook size according to your fancy. Most of this fabric is polyester cotton or pure cotton but there are many other fabrics that will do just as well. Old Tee shirts work great and give a stretchier yarn or if you’re feeling really flashy you can get some beautiful results with silk. Even plastic bags can be used. I would suggest avoiding anything with a heavy weave such as a brocade or any fabric that contains a lot of natural wool as these can both be very heavy and messy to rip up and will fray a lot.

Rag-Strips

The quickest way of creating clarn is the snip and rip method where you make a small cut in the top of your fabric roughly 2 cm in from the edge (1) and then rip it all the way down to within 1 cm of the opposite edge (2). Make another cut 2 cm to the side of the edge of this (3) and rip down the length again, stopping 1 cm short of the edge again (4). Carry on in this way until you have a couple of metres of clarn before beginning to wind it up into a ball.

DSCN8597

Keep winding your clarn every few metres so you don’t get into a terrible tangle. This stuff just loves to get knotted up on itself if you don’t keep an eye on it.

DSCN8512

I pull off any large  messy knots of loose fibres as I go but you don’t need to be too conscientious about eliminating all of these frayed threads as they will mostly crochet into the fabric or can be pulled off later once the crochet is finished.

Clarn-Twist

Now as fun as all that is my favorite part is making it up into useful and beautiful items. Rugs are a great use for this stuff. I’ve made three already, (not all this week I hasten to add!). One was for the kitchen and one for the bathroom which you can read about here. And I also made one for my studio to add a bit of colour and warmth to the bare floorboards.

Studio

They scrub up a treat too which is essential if you’d rather be looking at all the pretty colours rather than a thick layer of cat fur! Here’s the one from my studio drying in the sun after a quick whizz in the washing machine.

Rug

Cats and clarn are generally another of those matches made in heaven – from a cat’s perspective anyway. Mine find the stuff totally irresistible. If you share your home with a feline or two then some of these cosy rugs, or just even miniature cat sized ones, would be the perfect gift for your moggies. And here’s the hard evidence – in case you want some proof before you spend hours making them a pressie they may turn their noses up at…

Here’s the reason I have to wash the rug so much!

Moji-Rug

Playful Pogo loves to get involved when balls of clarn are rolling around. It’s not always that easy to get them back either. He’s got some fearsome teeth and claws on him and more than a bit of (c)attitude.

Tigger’s favorite spot in the house is his basket with the garden window view. It’s made even more comfortable by the addition of a crocheted clarn liner. He spends hours curled up in here every day. There’s some wierd perspective going on here by the way. The basket is much bigger than it looks, or maybe I should say that Tigger’s head is much smaller than it looks!?

Mojo couldn’t even wait for me to finish this one…

… and Minnie will quite happily sit on either the balls of clarn themselves (though they’re not at all squashy), or the finished pieces.

All three of my boys are on their summer holidays now, all exams are finished and assignments handed in so they are hanging around at home much more than usual. In order to encourage long and leisurely lunches and dinners around the table I wanted to make some cushion pads for the dining chairs. A numb bum is not conducive to sitting and chatting and they’re all so skinny they could use the extra padding.

Here’s a couple of finished covers just waiting for the cushions to plump them up.

Seat-Pads

They’re very comfy and puffy when the cushion pads are in place. I laced the opening shut with a bit of matching fabric as I didn’t fancy putting zips in – and I didn’t have any to hand anyway. These laces will be easy to take out if I need to wash the covers so it seemed like the perfect solution and the ends of the laces are going to double up as ties to attach the cushions to the backs of the chairs.

DSCN8565

It’s all light and brightness in my kitchen now since hubby and I went on a decorating spree. We only planned to repaint the walls and ceiling but we got a bit carried away and now the only things not painted are the floor and the worktops. We’ve done the cupboards and the skirting, the table legs and the chairs. I’ve even painted up my old stripped pine dressers and can’t believe how much life and energy it seems to have injected into the room! I always forget to take ‘before’ pictures but here are some ‘afters’. You’ll just have to imagine the dark, orange toned, grubby stained wood underneath that used to be on show.

These cushions are going to be transferable from kitchen to garden. They’ll be ideal for cozying up the benches so we’re going to get plenty of use out of them. Clarn makes great place mats and coasters too. I’m going to need a few of these for the kitchen to help protect the newly painted surfaces. This is my first one and took about ten minutes.

DSCN8591

I’ve got plenty more sheets to rip into and lots more plans for things to crochet with them. I’ve been collecting ideas on my Rags to Riches Board on Pinterest for a while now so I’m not short of inspiration. I’m really enjoying crocheting on such a chunky scale again. Everything works up so fast and after spending the last five months making my Mexican blanket that feels like a very welcome change.

If you’ve made anything out of recycled cloth I’d love to hear about it. As always your most welcome to leave me a comment or hop on over and share a photo on my Facebook page!

X Thanks for stopping by x

Update: A free pattern and full tutorial for how to make these chair pads can now be found here. Happy Crocheting!


7 Comments

Yarn Shop Day 2015

Just a quick post to let you guys know that on Saturday 2nd May it’s Yarn Shop Day here in the UK. There are so many fun events going on up and down the country. I’m going to be at Emm’s in Droitwich from 11am to answer any crochet related questions (as best I can!).

You’ll also be able to pick up a free pattern for this cute little mouse which I’ve designed exclusively for this special day. So if you’re in the area do pop in and say hi, and if you’ve got the time I’d love to show you how to make one of your own – (all materials supplied, and all completely free – How good is that?!)

YarnShopDayMouseMojiMojiDesign

And for those of you not living in Worcestershire check out the Let’s Knit website for a list of participating shops in your area.

MouseTrioMojiMojiDesign

There’s sure to be something for everybody. You can find more recent Yarn Shop Day news on the LGC Knit & Crochet Facebook page too.

It’s going to be fun, fun fun. I hope you can make it! x


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Eleven Things, Ten Minutes

So who’s got ten minutes to spare for a super quick, spring chick micro make? Did you say ‘me’? Then you’ll need to gather together eleven essential tools and materials and we can begin.

FreeTutorial -Tiny Chick by Moji-Moji Design

You will need:
1: Some Yellow and Orange light worsted weight (DK) yarn. (About 6 yards of yellow and 6 inches of orange).
2: Polyester toy stuffing – half a handful is plenty.
3: An orange button, around a half inch (12mm) diameter.
4: Two small round black beads – I used 4mm ones.
5: Black sewing cotton and…
6: … a sewing needle, to attach the beads.
7: A pair of scissors.
8: A yarn needle which will fit through the holes in the button.
9: A stitch marker.
10: A size D (3mm) crochet hook.
11: A pink pencil crayon for coloring the rosy cheeks.

Once you’ve got your crafty kit together you’ll be ready to make one of these chirpy little chicks.

Chicks - free pattern by Moji-Moji design

The Pattern:
US crochet terms are used throughout. (For UK version simply replace the sc with a dc).
For stitch abbreviations see here.

Body
Make 1.
With Yellow yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: [Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times (9 sts)
Rnd 3: Sc in each st around.
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. (3 rounds)
Stuff chick.
Rnd 6: dec 6 times. (6 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Thread the yarn tail onto a yarn needle, pick up the front loop only of the last 6 stitches and pull tight to close the hole. Use the same yarn end to sew the button to the bottom of the chick. Each time you pass the yarn back through the body of the chick be sure to go through the same stitch space where the yarn came out of. This will avoid making dents in the shape of your chick.

Once the button is attached, thread the yarn through the body going in and out of  various stitch spaces until the yarn is caught securely inside the stuffing. Pull the yarn tight to finish and snip off close to the chicks body. You can use this technique for hiding the yarn ends of the beak and wings too. No messy knots to worry about!

Chick-tutorial-2

If you want your chick to stand up soldier straight then use a button with an indentation in it and make sure this faces downwards. The yellow yarn that attaches the button will be neatly tucked away in this dent and you won’t get any wobbling. If your chicks are destined to be hanging decorations for your Easter twig tree, this detail won’t matter and you can use a flat button instead.

Wings
Make 2.
With Yellow yarn, and leaving a 3″ yarn tail at the beginning, make 3 ch.
Row 1: Slst in second ch from hook, slst in next ch, 3 ch, slst in second ch from hook, slst in next ch, slst in first ch.
Fasten off, leaving a 3″ yarn tail for sewing.  tie yarn tails together in a knot.

With a strand of orange yarn embroider a few horizontal running stitches for the beak. Sew on the bead eyes using the black sewing cotton and a fine needle.
Use both yarn tails to sew each wing to the side of the chick’s body, using the yarn tails from one of the wings to form the head tuft.

Chick-tutorial

Now it’s time for a visit to the beauty parlour for a haircut and a touch of makeup. Trim the tuft to a quarter inch or thereabouts and colour in some rosy cheeks with the pink pencil crayon.

Free Chick Tute - by Moji-Moji Design

That’s better, this little chick scrubs up well! Off she goes to visit the Easter fair where she buys iced carrot cookies and chats to the ladybirds.  The old-school chenille chicks are being a bit naughty and gossiping among themselves about the hip new chick with the cool crochet vibe, but I’m sure that once they find out what a sweet nature she has they’ll all be flocking to be her friend!

Little Chick - Free Pattern by Moji-Moji Design

If you’ve only got five spare minutes instead of ten, you could use the pattern for the chick’s body to make a stripy mini egg.

Mini Egg Charms by Moji-Moji design - free pattern

I attached some phone charm cords to mine so they can be used to adorn the branches of my wire tree. They’ll also make cute little presents for any Easter holiday visitors.

Free Chick and Eggs Pattern, Moji-Moji Design blog

Now I’ve started making a whole clutch of these eggs with gorgeous space dyed sock yarns and a 2mm hook. Do come back soon to see how they turn out! In the mean time, have fun with your new hatchlings!


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Let’s Get Crafting!

Well, I pinched the title above from the magazine I’ve been working with for the past few months, but I’m sure they won’t mind! There can be no better rallying cry than that, as far as I’m concerned. Even better when you see that the whole title of the mag is ‘Let’s Get Crafting – Knitting and Crochet‘. It couldn’t be more up my street if it tried! It’s a valiant call to arms, with the arms being hooks and needles which, quite conveniently, are supplied along with every issue of the mag and enough yarn to make one or more of the many projects and patterns featured inside.

I’ve been crocheting an exclusive design about once every six weeks since September last year and it’s been a lot of fun! It’s a welcome challenge to conjure up a specifically commissioned amigurumi every now and again. As a self employed hooker (now that does sound a bit dodgy, but I’m sure you know what I mean!) it’s normal for me to please myself as to what designs loop their way out of my imagination, but sometimes it’s good to have a specific request imposed upon you. The requirement to use the hook size and the supplied yarn from the kit in the appropriate amounts and colours does bring up some challenges, but I’ve not been defeated yet! There’s nothing quite like some creative constrictions for making you think outside of the box. And it’s been such a thrill for me to see my little crochet characters in print! If you’ve visited my Ravelry Store recently you may already be familiar with some of these pictures. If not then I’d love to share them with you now. Here are my contributions so far – photographed beautifully by the LGC team:

Issue 64: Christmas Elves
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Issue 65: Holly the Polar Bear
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Issue 66: Walter Bear
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Issue 67: Princess Amelia
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Issue 68: Diego the Parrot
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I’ve had a lot of fun inventing these colourful, happy characters.

🙂 Some of them have even made the front cover 🙂

LGCMagMontageI’ve designed a cute pair of dachshunds for the next issue, and a unicorn for the following one. I’m so looking forward to seeing them in print too!

If you live in the UK you should be able to find a copy at your local WHSmiths, Asda, Tesco or Sainsburys – or you can subscribe here for even better value and the added luxury of having it arrive through your letter box while you’re still in your pyjamas! And if you love free patterns (err, is there anyone out there who doesn’t?!) be sure to check out LGC’s great collection waiting for you right here.

After my magazine arrived in the post I couldn’t resist carving out a bit of rest and relaxation time to make some coasters from the pattern on page eight.LGCcoastersJan15You know, these would make  fantastic motifs for a blanket…although I’m well aware that I have to have a strong will and finish the Mexican Stripe blanket first before I start any more large scale projects or there will be no room for the rest of the family in the lounge if I bundle in a second mountain of yarn! I’m definitely going to keep these motifs in mind for blanket number 4 when the time is right though, but only after every last Mexican yarn end is darned in and neatly trimmed! Hmm, doesn’t stop me planning ahead in my mind though. I’m thinking of soft Easter inspired pastels, and a maybe a larger hook to give a more drapey, lightweight summertime throw. But in the meantime I’ve managed to expand my Granny Square/Circle repertoire and have gained some lovely new coasters to brighten up my kitchen this spring.CoastersFlicking through a little further and I was really excited to see my very own two page feature in this months magazine (the one with Diego the Parrot on the front cover).

My first ever official interview.

>Does silly-happy-dance while no-one’s looking!<

MagArticleJan15That was one very pleasant tea break! You can read the whole article about me here if you’re curious 🙂 And if you do make anything from any of the Let’s Get Crafting magazines don’t forget to post a picture on the LGC Facebook page so we can all have a look and join in the fun! You might even get a mention in the ‘All about you’ page in the next issue!

Here’s raising a mug to many more tea sipping, biscuit munching, magazine browsing, coaster making tea breaks over the coming weekend. I hope you all get to make the time to do the things you love… Happy crafting everyone!