Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Creepy Crawlies, Butterflies and Flowers

It’s been a week of creepy crawlies! With my Katy the Caterpiller pattern so very nearly completed I’ve also been sent a pattern to test for the new ‘Parent and Baby’ amigurumipatterns.net book. I volunteered to proofread a random pattern and quite by chance have ended up with another caterpillar to crochet – this time complete with his butterfly mommy. This beautiful design by Bas den Braver is going to be a fun little project to keep me busy over the next few days.

Zabbez Bree and Calin

Awww – cute!!

Check out all of Bas’s other patterns on his Zabbez website. They’ll be sure to put a smile on your face! They certainly put one on mine with their floral themes and hot zingy colours. Don’t these little characters just make you want to get out in the garden and make it bloom?!

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I’d love to have a go at growing more and varied types of flowers in my tubs and pots (pansies and geraniums have been my best successes so far) but I’ve got a problem with slugs and snails – I can’t bring myself to ‘dispatch’ them in any way – so most of my green fingered efforts end up looking like this… An unholy holy mess for sure!

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Chilli plants are apparently delicious for lunch (if you’re a snail that is, I prefer a bit of iceberg lettuce myself). At least I know exactly who the culprits are this time. Sheldon and Shelby look rather pleased with themselves for finding such a tasty morsel but at least they had the manners to blush when I caught them red handed – or rather, green footed. But as cute as this pair is there’s a whole army of the more brown and slimy kind coming out every night to wreak havoc. Luckily I had the foresight to keep a few chilli plants inside on the kitchen windowsill, so if my outdoor ones don’t survive they’ll be my back up plan. If you have similar gardening disasters to mine you might take comfort in crocheting some of these flower people instead, secure in the knowledge that Bas’s tribute to the garden folks are totally snail proof!

ZabbezFlowers

It’s not just the chilli plants that have suffered in my garden. I planted 20 marigolds and a sunflower seedling out in the border just over two weeks ago. Sad to say they’ve all vanished before they even got a proper root hold! Ah well, I never learn. I’m actually quite happy to resort to shop bought flowers to cheer the place up anyway. Hubby bought me these last weekend because they matched my Katy the Caterpillar project that I was working on at the time. How thoughtful 🙂 And what excellent rationale for choosing the colour scheme of my little gift. He knows the kind of details that make me happy!

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Not a bad match at all!

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And though the petals are starting to drop there’s still a lot of life left in my lovely bunch of summer sun.Sunflower2

Back to testing out the Butterfly Bree and Caterpillar Calin pattern – I thought I would change the colours slightly as I work through it, mainly because I bought some beautiful sparkly yarn recently with some Christmas makes in mind and I’m itching to try it out. I’m making my version of Bree look more like one of these Blue Morpho specimens. I love the depth of colour in these amazing creatures – I could just stare at that dreamy blue all day.

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But I don’t have time for too much staring at it, so even better than that I’ll crochet with it instead.

A quick rummage around the stash baskets and all materials are gathered together. Yarns at the ready…

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…pattern printed, essential kit located… and we’re off!

Making-Bree

Papa Penguin and Baby Pierre are fascinated to meet two of their fellow stars from the new book. Pierre has already made plans to take Calin to the park to play on the swings and Papa is going to introduce Bree to the other parents at Pierre’s pre-school.

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Hopefully I’ll have finished making them in time for my next post so you can see how they turned out. Papa and Pierre can’t wait – parent and toddler group is going to be so much more fun with new friends to take along!


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Citrus Twist

The summer sun has been doing it’s best to get the upper hand over the rain clouds this week. It seems a pretty evenly fought battle but temperatures have stayed high so even in the rain there’s been a more tropical feeling than is often experienced around these parts. Very fitting then that I find myself with a commission to finish this week that has all the warm reds, oranges and yellows with a nice dash of rainforest green thrown in for good measure to match the mood of the weather.

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I’ve had a very pleasant time making these fiery sunburst circles, sitting in the lounge in the early evenings watching various sunsets over the week – of which this one was one of the best.

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Loving how the sunset colours are echoed in my current work. Just like it always makes me that little bit extra happy when my nail varnish matches my crochet too. I don’t know why these small details please me so much, but they do!

I’m not naturally a citrus end of the spectrum kinda gal but I’ve really enjoyed working with these colours. That’s the pleasure of special commissions really. They make you jump outside of your normal comfort zone and open you up to trying something new. I especially like how the crisp white sets of all these juicy fruity tones.

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I think Mojo is pretty impressed with this colour combo too. He shows his approval by getting as close to them as possible in order to admire them better.

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And they’re very comfy too.

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While working on these squares I was reminded of my citrus wedge bags – the first projects I ever made by crocheting with clarn, (cloth yarn – see here for an earlier post about working with clarn and a few tips on how to make it). I made these bags several years ago and then packed them away, so tracking them down was a bit of a challenge. After a good root about in my various boxes of past projects I managed to find the orange one…

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I use this lime one to store toy stuffing in so it was closer to hand. This is the best photo I came up with here as Mojo sabotaged the event. Although this surely more accurately comes under the category of feline enhancement rather than true sabotage. Isn’t he beautiful?!

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Further inspired by the tutti frutti orange/lemon/lime theme I took a bit of time out and improvised me a quick and crafty little e-book holder ready for taking along on summer picnics, and for my festival date – (all booked up and paid for so gotta go now, whatever the weather!). We have a few more camping weekends lined up too, so my kindle will be invaluable. Love that it’s backlit so I can read in the tent without a torch.

And all my light up crochet hooks have arrived so I can crochet in the dark too!

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Very exciting! With the double joy of light up books and light up hooks there is now absolute zero chance of getting bored after the sun goes down. Obviously not so much of a problem at festivals but more of a re-assurance when we are roughing it under canvas in various remote parts of the British countryside.

So now I have a new found love of all things fruity and zesty. These colours are so summery.citrus

I’m glad to have re-discovered my cloth bag, it fits in a treat and I’m the proud to be the owner of a set of homemade bags for all holiday eventualities! (Check out my free pattern for the mini owl necklace purses here).

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Hopefully their radiance will act as a sunshine charm and I might even manage to get a tan this year. Our Welsh and Scottish camping holidays have traditionally involved battling high winds and torrential rain for the most part but I’m ever optimistic that for our next venture we’ll be living the dream, swimming in the sea, lolling on the beach and generally complaining about the infernal heat and accidental sunburn, drinking warm wine – or tea made with curdled milk – from a cool box that has managed to remain anything but cool and pointedly avoiding having to go inside the tent during daylight hours for fear of spontaneously combusting. What’s not to love, huh? It would certainly be a novel experience for us!

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Talking of holidays, though this is actually more of an emigration, I’m pleased to say that Orwell the third (I have the first and the second is in Belgium with his book publisher) has arrived safely in Boston, Massachusetts where he is starting his new life as the official mascot for the Boston Palm Oil Action Team. Great work going on there to raise awareness of palm oil issues and to help save the natural rainforest habitat of these beautiful creatures. So proud he’ll be doing his bit!

This is him just before his departure… complete with airmail ticket, pictures of his old home, a map of his new home, some snacks (in keeping with the general citrus theme of this post I feel compelled to point out the satsuma and the orange flavoured cup cake in the photo – his favorite nibbles!) and, of course, his passport. We can’t run the risk of him being turned away at customs!

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…and here he is, fresh out of the box at his new destination. I’m glad to see he’s arrived smiling and unruffled by his epic journey!

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If you’re local to Boston on Saturday 11th July there is a Palm Oil Awareness Day event going on there, organized by The Team. Check out the BPOAT Facebook page for more info. I’ve donated six free Orwell patterns for the Wheel of Fortune and there are other great prizes too. You’ll even get to meet Orwell in person!

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Back on track to this weeks work and I’ll leave you with a sneak preview of my next new design…

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… she’s got that citrus twist going on too, these are definitely turning out to be this season’s big colours – in my world anyway!


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Pretty Pastels

It’s been an out of the ordinary kind of week this time. Two boys off from school and college for the Easter holidays and one back from Uni. How lovely to see a bit more of them for a change, chatting over tea breaks and meal times and enjoying the odd trip to town and the cinema. But equally nice to just know that they’re around and about in the house, doing their own thing and being independent teens. That means that I get my free time too for a spot of crochet or a bit of Easter decorating.

My bunny sketches are transforming into their yarn equivalents very pleasingly. I’ve worked out the basic pattern and now have all the fun of experimenting with colours. I prefer to finalize the details with hook and yarn as I go along, but these finished dolls are going to be a pretty close match to these doodles, more or less – except for the ears, and the collars and the carrot buttons!

The proportions are going to be roughly the same anyway…

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I have a lovely work basket full of soft spring pastels to play with for the bunny outfits. I was hoping to have this pattern finished by now, but spending the extra time with the boys was fun and I know that’s not a decision I’ll live to regret. Anyway, bunnies aren’t just for Easter, they’re for life and I’m sure these bunnies will love to be treasured all year round. Well let’s be honest, who wouldn’t?

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Lots of buttons and beads to play around with as well. Another part of the design process that I love, though I usually end up keeping it simple, I like to assess all the options and use it as an excuse to have a nosey through my many boxes of notions and nick-nacks.

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I really enjoy making double patterns as it gives me more scope to expand my ideas, and I have the added bonus of knowing my creations have a trusty friend to call their own! Boy bunny is looking snazzy all dressed up in blue and lemon but I’ve become a bit obsessed with pink and aqua at the moment so that’s what girl bunny will be wearing. I’ve been happily pinning gorgeous images, devoted exclusively to that colour combo over on Pinterest. Here are just a few of my favorites…

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You can find these lovely images (from left to right) on these equally lovely websites:

vintage-home.co.uk    houseofturquoise.com

cocorosetextiles.blogspot.co.uk     ana-rosa.tumblr.com

I’ve been experimenting with putting various hues of pink and aqua together, for fun and inspiration, trying out bits of yarn here and there, to get the shades a picture perfect match to the hues dancing around in my head. Those little Granny Squares in the middle are the very beginning of another big project. This one will be a soft, squishy coverlet for my bed. Just a few more rows to finish on the Mexican blanket and then I can give myself full permission to go tumbling head over heels on this new adventure.

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As busy as this week has been there was a little time left over to decorate my Easter tree, so I went about carefully unwrapping my collection of festive eggs and hanging them from these twiggy boughs. With the addition of my recently crocheted micro chicks and eggs (free pattern here) I think it looks just grand. It will have pride of place in the center of the kitchen table for the next few days at least. Although it may turn out to be longer, after all I still have some snowflakes hanging up from Christmas in the bay window!

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Just time to tidy up the mess I’ve made and then I’m going to sit down and admire my handiwork.

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There’s a chocolate bunny whose been earmarked, or maybe I should say earlopped, to enjoy with a cup of tea. I reckon I’ve earned a treat, and its only a few hours until Easter Day!

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Enjoy your weekend folks!

And for those who celebrate, have a Happy Easter.

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xxx


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Zoomigurumi 4

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.

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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.

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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?

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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?’

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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? 😉


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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!