Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Lots of Monsters and a Tiny Kitty

My most exciting news this week is that we have a new addition to the family – and not the amigurumi family this time but a real life, living, breathing, actual bundle of fur in the form of a most adorable kitten!

He’s called Rubick and is around 11 weeks old. Oh my goodness what a handful he is! I have never had a kitten before, and never expected that I would. I’ve always been too easily bamboozled by the sob story of the ‘no-one-wants-me-I’ve been stuck-in-here-for-months’ adult cats at the RSPCA, but fate has brought this little fella my way after my son’s girlfriend’s cat gave birth to a litter of five in February and I’m not complaining!

He’s one of the tiny fluffies, I’m not sure which one exactly, in this big kitty pile!

Vendra-and-her-kittens

Mummy cat is neutered now, so there’ll be no more pattering of tiny paws and this particular set of tiny paws technically belong to my son and may move with him when he gets his own place one day, but for now I intend to enjoy every minute of having a mischievous energy bomb of a new fur baby in the house.

I’m going to try really hard not to spam you with too many pics, though he has been hanging around me a lot while I’ve been (trying to do some) crocheting. Any moving yarn is like an industrial grade magnet for him. It’s a good job it’s been the Easter holidays and no deadlines are currently looming or I’d be in real trouble!

As it stands, I’ve been enjoying his company and getting short bursts of crochet in whenever and wherever I can, usually during Rubick’s nap times (aww, see, it’s just like having a real baby!).

Of course he loves to snuggle up on anything made of yarn – what cat doesn’t? So I’ve made him a few cosy spots where he can snooze near to me during the long hours my son is at work. Rubick’s used to the familiarity of his mum and four other siblings and my other cats haven’t taken to him yet, so I worry about him feeling lonely.

Kitten permitting,  I’ve been working on a whole rainbow of monsters during the pattern testing for this design.

Jeepers and Creepers are my contribution to the compilation book that resulted from last year’s Design-a-Monster competition. This mischief making duo are currently winging it via airmail to Belgium.

This is them just before they stowed away in the box and headed off to the post office.

Those silly old monsters forgot to pack their dust bunny friends so I had to post them off separately when I found them down the back of the desk during the Spring Bank Holiday tidy up.

In all fairness it probably wasn’t Jeepers and Creepers who were to blame as the new kitten on the block loves both cardboard boxes and pompoms and caused a great deal of havoc during the parcelling up process where rolls of tape, packing materials and several of the dust bunnies went flying around – with Rubick skittering after them.

We’re all sorted now though, and the dust bunnies are finally on their way to the continent in a jiffy bag all of their own, probably accompanied by a cat hair or two.

Once I started down the harmonious path of rainbow gloriousness I just couldn’t stop adding in more and more gradients until I had a basket of appendages in every colour of the rainbow and a few more besides…

… and a matching hoard of bodies too.

After carefully laying them out on the floor in the right order Pogo decided I’d made him a perfect place to sit.

What is it with cats and circles?! Not that the formation remained circular for very long, but Pogo was happily settled in and didn’t seem to care too much by then.

Once I managed to regroup them I decided to pair them with their opposite partners on the colour wheel.

I think that should be rather eye catching.

Talking of eyes…

… as each monster has more than his or her fair share of ocular organs I ended up having to make a very, very lot of them! At this point I’m wondering why I really needed a Jeepers or Creepers in every colour, but I’m in too deep to stop now.

I’ll just have to grit my teeth and get on with it.

I think Jeepers and Creepers were as much startled to see so many monster bottoms sticking up up in the air as I was at the thought of sewing them together in such great numbers!

Actually, it was rather fun once I got into the swing of it.

I think it’s going to be worth while. What a jolly bunch they’re going to be!

And even though I tried so hard not to flood you with endless photos of my cute-as-a-button kitten, I’m going to have to leave you with a montage – because I just can’t hold back any longer!

Shhh… he’s napping again now, time to sew a few more monster body parts together!


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Daisy Chain Hexi Tutorial

I’ve called these ‘Daisy Chain Hexies’ because the petals of the daisies are made out of chains and they’re finished off in a hexagon shape. It’s seemed as good a name as any and a better one than most.

Having had a few requests about how to make them I thought it was about time for a sharing post. These little motifs are fun and fast and very addictive. You’ll soon end up with a stack of them just itching to be made into something beautiful!

I’ve written the pattern out below, followed by a set of annotated photos for those of you who prefer a few visuals to help you along.

Materials: Light Worsted Weight (DK) yarns in all your favorite colors. The centers of my daisies are yellow and then the petals and hexagons are made from odds and ends left over from other projects. It’s all rather random, but I think that just adds to the charm.

Equipment: 3 mm crochet hook, scissors, yarn needle.

A note on terminology: I have used US terms in this pattern. The stitches you will need are: slst (slip stitch), sc (single crochet), dc (double crochet), ch (chain) and ch sp (chain space).

UK terminology replaces sc (single crochet) with dc (double crochet) and replaces dc (double crochet) with tr (treble crochet).

(For more info on the differences between US and UK terminology see the conversion chart at the bottom of my free patterns page).

Round brackets ( ) indicate a group of stitches to be worked into the same st/ch sp.

Square brackets [ ] indicate a group of stitches to  be worked the amount of times stated after the brackets.

The Pattern:

With yellow yarn  make 2 ch.

Rnd 1: 6 sc into second ch from hook, join with a slst to first sc. Cut yarn. (6 sts)

Rnd 2:  Pull a loop of blue yarn through the slst, *(slst, 5 ch, slst) in next st, repeat from * to end. Cut yarn and fasten off. (6 petals made)

Tie the matching coloured yarn ends together in pairs at the back of the work. Darn in the ends and trim close to work.

Rnd 3: Pull a loop of green yarn through any 5 ch sp, [4 ch, slst in next 5 ch sp] 6 times.

Rnd 4: (Slst, 3 ch, 2 dc, 2 ch, 3 dc) in next 4 ch sp, *(3 dc, 2 ch, 3 dc) in next 4 ch sp. Repeat from * to end. Slst in top of 3 ch to join. Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a 14″ (35 cm) length of yarn. Thread the long yarn tail to the back of the work and sew through the back of the next few stitches until you reach a corner. This long yarn can be used for joining the hexagon to another.

The Pictures:

1: With yellow yarn make 2 ch.   2: 6 sc in second ch from hook.

3: Join with a slst in first st. Cut yellow yarn.  4: Pull a loop of blue yarn through the slst.

5: Pull on end of yellow yarn to tighten slst.  6: Slst in next st.

7: Make 5 ch and slst in same stitch as first slst.  8: Make a slst, 5 ch, and a second slst in each st around. You will now have 6 petals. Cut blue yarn and fasten off.

9: Knot the blue yarn ends together. Do the same with the yellow yarn ends.  10: Use your yarn needle to weave in all ends. Trim ends close to work.

11: Your finished flower will look like this.  12:Pull up a loop of green yarn in any of the 5 ch sp.

13: Make 4ch.  14: Slst in next 5 ch sp.

15: Continue making 4 ch followed by a slst into next 5 ch sp to the end of the round.  16: Slst into next 4 ch sp.

17: Make 3 ch.  18: Make 2 dc in first 4 ch sp, followed by 2 ch.

19: Make 3 dc in first 4 ch sp.  2o: Make 3 dc, 2 ch and 3 dc in next 4 ch sp.

21: Continue making 3dc, 2 ch, 3 dc in each 4 ch sp to end of round.  22: Join with a slst in top of 3 ch from beginning of round.

23: Cut green yarn, leaving a 14″ (35 cm) tail.  This will be used to join one of the sides of the hexagon to its neighbour. 24: Pull yarn end through to fasten off.

25: Weave in the first yarn end on the back of the work.  26: Thread long yarn end from front to back of next stitch.

 

27: You should now have a neat, barely noticeable join in the edge of your crochet.  28: Thread the yarn end along the back of the work to one of the corners.

Your yarn is  now in the perfect place to begin joining this edge to the next hexagon when you come to join the motifs for your blanket, cushion, scarf or whatever else you would like to make.

I’ll be creating a tutorial for joining and finishing off the blanket next, including how to make half hexagons for filling in the edges of a blanket neatly.

In the meantime I hope you have fun making up your own rainbow of Daisy Chain Hexis!

Happy Easter and Happy Spring Bank Holiday Weekend to you all!


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Fergus the Fox and His Happy Family

We have another new addition to the Moji-Moji family today. This time it’s a wily old fox called Fergus.

Typical of all foxes, he’s bright eyed and bushy tailed and rather bushy around the cheeks too. This is the fox’s version of the recent trend in hipster beards and I think he carries it off very well!

Fergus loves the outdoors and can often be found running wild over open fields or through the woods. He’s also just as comfortable roaming the urban and suburban streets, being sure to wake you from your slumber every now and again as he knocks over a dustbin or two searching for a tasty treat.

It’s a new obsession of mine to make my amigurumi in different sizes during the pattern testing phase. There’s not much much room for shaking things up with the colour choices here as there are in some other patterns so I thought it would be fun to play around with sizing instead. As a result, it wasn’t long until Fergus happened to meet Fiona on one of his forays onto the local farm.

It seems that it was love at first sight for Fergus and he spent all of the next week mooning about the place, sighing and pining and whittling love hearts from fallen branches, all the while daydreaming about the beautiful Fiona.

With a pawful of wild flowers and his handmade wooden tokens of esteem he set off to track down and woo his fine foxy lady. Fergus used all his natural charm and Fiona was soon head over heels in love too.

Suffice it to say that one thing led to another, as they so often do, and soon Fergus and Fiona had a little cub on the way.

After a bit of a wait, as is perfectly normal for these sorts of occasions, a bouncing baby boy was born.

They called him Finlay, and Fergus and Fiona agreed that he really was the cutest little fluff ball they had ever seen.

Now they are the epitome of a happy family and have much fun and many adventures together.

Foraging for food is their favorite pastime. This fluffy faced threesome often spend their nights gathering mushrooms and moss to add a tasty twist to Fergus’s famous sparrow soup.

For those of you who are interested in the technicalities of the pattern Fergus was made with worsted weight (aran/10 ply) yarn, a 3.5 mm hook and 12 mm safety eyes. Fiona was made with light worsted weight (double knit/8 ply) yarn, a 3 mm hook and 10 mm safety eyes and, last but not least, baby Finlay was made with sport weight (sock/4 ply) yarn, a 2 mm hook and 8 mm safety eyes.

The fluffy patches are crocheted in loop stitch (fully explained in the pattern with text and photos) and then trimmed afterwards to make a pompom shape.

Here’s Fergus before a trip to the barbers…(and before he got his body and extremities attached).

…and after his trip… with nice neat whiskers and a full complement of limbs.

The same loop stitch technique is used for the tail.

A bit of snipping here and there and you’ll soon have a beautifully coiffured tail that any fox would be proud to call his or her own.

It’s nearly time for another night of hunting for food and annoying the farmer so Fergus the Fox and his family bid you all goodbye for now!

Fergus the Fox’s pattern is available on:

*Etsy*  *Ravelry*  *Craftsy* or *Amigurumipatterns*


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Beginnings and Endings

It’s the official first day of Spring today, heralding the beginning of this wonderful season of hope and new life. Just lately the sun has been trying to push it’s shiny, happy face out from in between the curmudgeonly clusters of clouds but mostly it’s been an airborne sea of grey from horizon to horizon. Thankfully the flowers don’t seem to mind and have sprouted their frilly loveliness all the same.

I try and get out and about for a little walk every day unless it’s bucketing down and have watched with great pleasure as Spring bursts forth again.

I’ve planted a few bulbs and alpines in my garden this year, and now I don’t always have to go to the park for a dose of flower therapy. You see, we lost our beloved cat, Tigger, a few weeks ago (I can only just bring myself to write about it now) and have laid him to rest in the garden. The newly planted flowers and a spiky shrub (in memory of his rather spiky character) are dedicated to his memory.

It will remind us of the happiness and bright moments he brought with him since he adopted us as his owners, and the house as his home shortly after we installed a cat flap for our three newly acquired RSPCA rescue cats around 8 years ago.

He loved our secure and shady garden and often spent time out there, sleeping, prowling and generally just skulking in the shrubbery.

The daffodils have shot up in the last few weeks since Tigger passed away and I’ve sprinkled some meadow flower seeds around to attract some of the butterflies that Tigger loved to chase, or in latter years just watch lazily, in the summer months.

Flowers have been sprouting indoors this week too. I have another mini blanket on the hook. Or really I should say I have had a multitude of hexagons on the hook. No blanket yet but hopefully it will start to take shape soon.

A woolly garden of super-simple chain petal flowers are blooming all around the house.

I’m using a mix of bright and pastel shades of pretty much any colours I can find lying about.

The emphasis is on using up odd scraps of yarn. I have a lot of small spheres of hand wound ends that are perfect for a project like this.

These tiny hexagons are a pleasure to hook up. I’m starting off with a yellow centre for each flower and then randomly picking two colours – one for the petals and one for the hexagon.

They’re fast and fun and I love the lack of colour repetition as almost endless combinations get chucked into the basket one after the other.

It’s tempting to pick them up at anytime when I have more than a few minutes to spare, as is proved here in my paint spattered overalls. I couldn’t resist making a few more while waiting for a coat of paint to dry in the bathroom.

After making my first batch I laid them out to see if if I liked the way the colours were working together.

And yes! I certainly did!!

Mojo is being a good cat, and doing the usual ‘is it soft enough for my butt’ testing. That’s a thumbs up and a butts down from Mojo then.

Pogo had other ideas of what was important to test for. In his case he decided to try out the play value. It seems they mess up pretty well after a jolly good roll around in.

That won’t last long of course as the fun of tossing individual hexagons around will come to an abrupt end once they’re all crocheted together.

Enjoy it while you can Pogo, you bad, bad cat!

In light of such delinquent behaviour I’ve decided that the safest place for all my hexagons is firmly skewered onto knitting needles. That way I can keep an eye on them and minimise the claw cags and soggy teeth marks.

Storing them this way also means I can see at a glance which colours I have the most or least of.

And of course, they can all then be ready at hand (or feet) for cosy, sofa sprawling crochet sessions. PJs and fluffy slippers on, candles lit, hook in hand and hexagons proliferating. How lovely.

This simple and bright little project has helped a tiny bit to distract me from the sadness of losing Tigger. Crochet is the perfect form of therapy for me. I find it gently distracting and incredibly relaxing, like a productive form of meditation. Now some time has passed I’m trying to focus less on how much I miss him and more on reflecting on all there was to be thankful for in knowing him, and knowing we gave him a life of luxury, comfort and love in his elderly years.

I’ll sign off this post by sharing a few photos from previous blog posts of my beautiful, difficult tempered, but incredibly rewarding misfit cat.

Rest in peace Tigger.


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Easter Baskets – All Finished!

After a string of technical glitches, computer meltdowns and problems with file and photo uploads last night I’ve eventually managed to list my Easter Basket patterns. Woah – there were some serious internet gremlins at work around midnight but all seems to have reverted to normal this morning. How odd. Perhaps my computer just needed a good night’s sleep!

After the work in progress pictures that I posted yesterday it’s time to share how the baskets finally turned out, complete with all the finishing touches and enhanced by a liberal scattering of Easter treats.

I’ve made two sets of patterns. First up is a chick and frog duo. I’ve been in need of some bright colours on my hook to escape the winter doldrums and hooking up stitch after stitch with these vibrant yellows and greens was the best medicine I could have had. I loved looping the loops for the chicks ‘feathers’ and think they give him a dashing sort of handsomeness!

Making the bulgy crazy eyes for the frog was fun too. But then I love any excuse to crochet eyeballs. Sometimes I make them just for the hell of it and as a result I now have a big jar full. Is that a bit weird?

Do you want to see my jar of random eyes? Of course you do! The frogs are quite fascinated with them.

Roly poly eyeballs make for a great game of marbles, and they’re also good for disguising yourself as a scary monster.

From cute to terrifying with the aid of a few contact lenses and  a well placed prosthetic eyeball. That’s their outfits sorted for Halloween then!

Using a more neutral colour palette I also made a lamb and a rabbit.

A knobbly bobble stitch gives the lamb a fluffy looking fleecy hairdo and the rabbit has a jaunty loop stitch top knot. (If you haven’t tried either of these stitches before rest assured they’re super easy peasy and a full set of instructions and photos for each ‘fancy’ stitch needed is included in each pattern.

I hooked up two of each design in different weight yarns to see how the sizing would be affected.

You’ve already met big frog and little frog, but here they are without their disguises.

And here’s a peek at big chick and little chick…

…big lamb and little lamb…

…and finally, big rabbit and little rabbit.

The big ones are made with Aran yarn and the smaller ones with double knit (DK).

When they’re not larking around, the frogs (and the rather more well behaved chick) will happily store a nice amount of chocolate goodies from your Easter egg hunt.

As will the Rabbit and Lamb.

Both sizes are roomy enough for plenty of treats so you can use whichever yarn you’ve got to hand.

But you don’t have to stop at chocolates. They make unique gift bags for all sorts of things, or use them as storage pots and even flower pots. They’re sure to add a bit of fun and frolics to your surroundings however you use them.

From all of us over here, to all of you out there – Happy Springtime!

Rabbit and Lamb Pattern

Chick and Frog pattern


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Craving Colour

I don’t know what it’s been like in your part of the world recently but here in England it has been grey and damp and dark and damp and drizzly and damp and dour and dismal and – did I mention damp at all? Well, I think you get the picture and I’m so ready for a bit of sunshine! All this gloomy weather and grey skies has had me reaching for my yarn baskets and picking out the brightest colours I could find, then wrapping up against the cold in my vibrant Mexican blanket for some colour therapy crochet.

horace-hand

In my thirst for a burst of eye dazzlement I made a pair of Hairy Horaces in the most uplifting summery sky blue and sunny yellow shades of furry yarn that I could get my hands on.

horaces-in-the-making

They turned out as cheery looking as I’d hoped. I love these cuddly fellas with their 70’s, jumpsuited disco vibe. If they don’t brighten the place up then nothing will!

820horace-3

I managed to finish the pattern and upload it into my Etsy shop  and felt all the better for it.  It’s always good to cross another thing off the to-do list.

(If you need a dose of Horace’s flamboyant fabulousness you can find his pattern here).

820two-horace2

The latest two don’t quite capture the giddy fluorescent heights of the original horace with his dayglo yellow fur, but it’s actually quite nice to be able to look at them without needing a pair of sunglasses!

horace-three

I’ve used King Cole Moments yarn for all of my Hairy Horaces. If you’re at all nervous about using eyelash type yarns I would recommend starting out by playing around with a ball of this stuff. I’ve used lots of different brands and weights of novelty yarns over the last few years and this one is silky smooth and much easier than most to crochet with as it doesn’t snag up too easily. There’s enough filament to make an impressive amount of fluff but not too much that it obscures the central yarn cord as you crochet – which can make it difficult to see the individual stitches.

kingh-cole-moments-yarn

I’ve treated myself to s few more zingy shades as it’s pretty inexpensive too. One ball makes one monster so I could have a rainbow of them soon!

Still on the theme of summer brights, I bought this gorgeous paisley cushion on an impulse the other day  – all part of my colour craving symptoms I think.

monster-medley

Maybe it was difficult to resist because it matched my monsters so well and those gorgeous colours were already swimming around in my head.  Anyway I was so enamoured with the pinks and purples and the accents of supernova bright yellows and oranges in my new cushion that I ended up pulling all the matching balls of yarn off my shelves and began cooking up an idea to create some woolly furnishings to go with it.

bright-yarn

I’ve had it in my mind to cover a boring beige footstool that I acquired a while ago. Crochet was the obvious medium for me to do this in. I did think about sewing one as I have a stash of pretty fabrics but somehow whenever it comes down to a straight fight between sewing and crochet the crochet always wins out these days.

mini-mandala

This sort of round and round in circles thing is very moreish, so I ignored the chores and carried on for a little while longer.

footstool-cover

This was closely followed later that evening (when all chores were eventually done – do you see my halo?) by the beginnings of a lap blanket to match the beginnings of the footstool cover.

mini-stripey-blanket-begins

I’m just improvising stitches as I go. It’s quite exciting to see what unfolds and the beautiful thing about crocheting (as opposed to knitting) is that if I don’t like a particular combination it’s so, so easy to frog backwards with only the one live stitch to worry about at any one time.

paisley-cushion

An evenings work resulted in a nice chunk of blanket.

crochet-furnishings

Minnie likes it very well so far…

mini-blanket

minnie-snooze

… and so do the Horaces.

monster-snuggles

This swatch of blanket is the perfect size for the monsters right now but my mission is to make it the perfect size for me so that my crochet corner is a heart lifting sanctuary of warm and squishy crochet delightfulness.

my-crochet-corner

I’ve made a good start anyway, and am finding myself looking forward to each long dark cosy evening so I can let the yarn shine out and get a few more rows and rounds done.

mandala-beginnings

It’s all  going to be rather jazzy by the time I’ve finished.

monster-playtime

And really, who needs actual sunshine when you’ve got all this yarny joy around to cheer the place up?!


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2016 – My Year in Pictures

Before I reach the end of January and become too entrenched in the excitements and challenges of a whole new year ahead I’ve taken a little bit of time to reflect on my past year’s worth of blog posts. It’s been a wonderful trip down memory lane.

More than once I’ve found myself thinking ‘Gosh! was that really only last year?’. Looking through the posts it often felt like I’d packed so much in that the things coming up in my 2016 news feed seem more like distant memories rather than recent events (recent on a geological time scale at least!).  Picking out nine photos from each month has been a meditative and thoughtful task. I love how it crystallizes in my mind the achievements from last year and also serves to focus my energies on the things I intend to do this year.

I hope you enjoy this abridged and truncated journey into 2016’s best of the bunch creative moments! If any of the pictures intrigue you enough to want to know more, click on the montage and it will take you to a page with that month’s blog posts on so you can read the stories behind the images.

January

01jan-2016

February

02feb-2016

March

03mar-2016

April

04apr2016

May

05may2016

June

06jun-2016

July

07jul-2016

August

08aug-2016

September

09sep-2016

October

10oct-2016

November

11nov-2016

December

12dec-2016

Now I’m going to concentrate on a gazillion new projects for 2017!

If you’d like to see more from previous years click the links below.

2015

2014