Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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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!

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Random Project Round Up

I hope you all had a fab Christmas holidays and have made some New Year resolutions which are going to be fun to keep.

I’m determined not to get in a muddle by having too many crochet projects on the go at any one time this year. I’m pretty good at starting things but finishing them off… well, that’s been a whole different thing. This is fine up to a point, but the main problem is the amount of storage space that unfinished bundles of yarn and supplies, heads, limbs, torsos and granny squares take up in various baskets and boxes all around the house. So I put my mind and all my spare time during November and some of December to getting these projects finished off, once and for all.

This is a sweet little fox I began making from Zoomigurumi 2 for my brothers birthday in November 2015, but this poor fella sat languishing for many months when I ran out of yarn with only one ear to go and with not enough days left to order more yarn and get him to his destination on time. So he ended up being a year late to the birthday party. But it was still a birthday party and better to turn up late than never!

foxy

My brother is very musical and wasted no time giving Foxy his first guitar lesson after his safe arrival in Scotland.

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Foxy is now totally star struck and is rumoured to be applying for Britain’s Got Talent 2017.

Back in the summer I began a skull shawl for my gothic-loving sister-in-law’s birthday. You can find this fabulous pattern over at Kungen et Majkis Blog where it is written out in both Swedish and English and also comes with great photos to help you on your way.

minnie-not-sharing

This was a little outside of my comfort zone as it’s a world away from the easy peasy repetitive rounds of amigurumi. May I suggest that if this is your first time at attempting something like this you omit the wine altogether, at least until you get the pattern very established! I had to frog most of the second set of skull repeats (about ten rows) due to slight over imbibement. Well, in my defense it was a lovely sunny Friday evening and a glass or two of cool white wine seemed like such a good idea at the time…

friday-crochet

Back on track and a bunch of summer evenings were spent chasing patches of sunlight around the garden and crocheting a few more rows each day.

sunny-bench

And then I got stuck as I ran out of yarn again! It was almost finished here way back in June, but then got shelved for a while until I eventually crocheted a plain black bobble fringe onto it in early November as part of my WIP elimination drive. However, in my excitement to post it to my sis-in-law in time for her big day I forgot to take a photo of that bit.

skulls

I hooked up a sloth for a friend’s Christmas present. With all good intentions I began this project in September but only got as far as his head which has been staring very forlornly at me from a shelf for far too long. I spent a weekend in mid November making him whole and with my first Christmas present all done began to feel a little more on top of things.

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I finished testing this gorgeous Red Panda pattern by Little Muggles.

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Red panda and Oswald the Owl are going to be bookmates in Zoomigurumi 6. Keep an eye out over on AmigurumiPatterns.net for more info on the release date and details of the other stars of the show.

Mojo kept me warm while I got started. Lap time gets so much more important as the weather chills down.

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Pogo also kept me company and got quite heavily involved as I neared completion of all the separate parts.

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There was a  little bit of friendly wrestling with the head.

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But after carefully prizing it away from those loving jaws (I’m sure he was only trying to give it a kiss rather than rip it to shreds!) Red Panda turned out rather well.

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Pogo took another well earned nap after all that excitement. Glad to see him appreciating the Spring Dots blanket that was also completed last month.

My very own Oswald the Owl underwent his final few remakes to ensure all was as near perfect as possible with the pattern before it was sent off for it’s final proofreading sessions and a version of Oswald himself was posted to the publishers.

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And so another line was drawn under another book submission.

Do you remember the Monster competition a month or so back? A big thanks to those of you who voted. It was great to see so many people getting involved. Though none of my monsters made the top three (not too surprising as there were over 420 design submitted in the end!) I am really thrilled to tell you that Jeepers and Creepers are going to be one of the fifteen monster designs featured in a new book to be released around August 2017.

creepy-critters

You may recall that it’s this pair of scamps that are responsible for rolling up those dust bunnies you find under the bed or lurking behind the sofa. I’m looking forward to making these two in a range of different complementary colour pairings during the pattern testing phase.

I still have to do a proper write up, which means translating my scrawls into a nice neat manuscript but that’s a loose end that’s still got to be dealt with and will be a priority this January. A bonus of having the competition to work towards was that some of the monsters I’d been doodling over the last year finally got to make it off the page. Now I have a clutch of new beasties all designed and crocheted up. It’s just a case of writing up the PDFs for those as well. Another nice little job for the new year.

The latter part of 2016 also saw me finish off my Autumn berries poncho. A lovely mix of raspberry pinks and blackberry purples. You can see the poncho’s sweet beginnings here. You’ll notice the date of that blog post is well over a year ago so this was long overdue for it’s finishing touches.

poncho-schematic

I’m glad I cracked on and got this finished especially as the weather has turned so cold. It’s perfect for wearing around the house and as the cold snap looks set to continue for a while I’m going to be mighty pleased with my gift from me to me!

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Lovely scrummy,snugly, squishy-squashy, soft as a cloud cosiness.

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To think the humble granny square could look so pretty.

There is still a large basket of amigurumi body parts left over, though I fear some of these projects may have lost their way for good. Minnie seems to like them though so I’ll keep them around for a while longer yet. You never know when inspiration might strike and some of those bits and pieces may someday be transformed into something wonderful. One basket of oddments is within the realms of what my storage situation can deal with, especially if it doubles up as a cat bed.

minnie-in-the-amigurumi

But before I get carried away thinking about how to turn this basket of random shapes into new characters I have several brand new designs (mainly monsters and a princess) and a few older ones (the Trapeze Mice and Dancing Dogs, as well as a troop of carol singers that missed the Christmas deadline) to get listed on Etsy etc. The older ones have all been featured in books and magazines and now it’s time to make them available as single purchase patterns.

With a bit of luck and a lot of hard work I’m aiming to get the remainder of the backlog of new designs finished and listed by the end of February. Then I really will feel like I’ve had a creative spring clean ready for some new ideas for Easter and beyond. So much to look forward to this year. Let the fun begin!

Happy 2017 everyone!

 


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Summer Fun

Recently I’ve been finding myself craving after hot bright summery colours. Probably due to the almost continual rain and grey skies emanating from above. In a fit of summery over-confidence I recently bought a duvet cover for my outdoor day bed in a multitude of jazzy colours – citrus hues, turquoises and hot pinks , and what a fabulous thing it was to brighten up the yard! I bought a double sized cover to fit a double sized mattress topper but failed to take into account how much larger a duvet is than the mattress it sits upon so I ended up having to cut it down quite a lot and sew up one of the edges. It’s been a while since I dusted off my faithful old Huskystar sewing machine but I soon got the hang of it again.

sewing

Aren’t those colours just so scrummy?

I even had enough off cuts of fabric left to make a few matching cushion covers. As sewing is not my strongest craft, in terms of anything technical, I aimed to make the design as simple as possible and sewed a straightforward envelope back to slip the cushions in and out of come laundry time.

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The cushions are now a perfect match for the two pillowcases that came with the duvet set, I now have a very comfy lounging area for indulging in my garden crochet time.

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Now it was just a matter of settling in a couple of baskets of yarn along with various crochet projects (and at least one cat).

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The addition of a little sunshine is always welcome…

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…as is a blanket to finish (so nearly, nearly there at last!)

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I’ll finish it when Mojo moves.

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No matter, he can have his woolly nest,  I should be working on the chameleon anyway.

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This is my first attempt, but his face and jaw were a bit heavy. In fact, some insensitive person asked him ‘why the long face?’ which just made him feel very self conscious and sent him scuttling for refuge amongst the yarn.

shy-guy

It’s wasn’t long until the duvet colours had inspired a change of striping on my original chameleon design. I started out with blues and greens but really liked the additional yellows, oranges and magentas of my sewing project and thought they would be a perfect addition to add a bit of spark.

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The hot bright colours were a joy to work with and as the sun squeaked out of a cloudy gap, I felt like we were experiencing a taste of a tropical Rio summer – just right for the start of the 2016 Olympics.

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True to the camouflaging nature of chameleons, subsequent incarnations were morphing into something much more in harmony with their surroundings. Chameleon number two also had a cuter, shorter face and things felt like they were coming together just perfectly.

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I ended up making a few more with different coloured spines. I just love the colour tweaking elements of pattern designing. Re-making each one with a slightly different twist sure helps to brighten up the whole process.

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I have a few more photos to take this afternoon (…please don’t rain!), then I’ll be uploading the pattern into my online shops, and then I’ll be finished with another WIP. I should have lots more fancy chameleon photos to show you in the next post or two. I hope you’ll be more impressed than Mojo appears to be. He loves my blankets but distrusts all my amigurumi. I guess he’s just a jealous guy when it comes to other critters.

mojo-and-the-Chameleon

My Spring Circles blankets and cushions are inching towards completion. I have just a few more feet of the bobble border to finish on the cushions. Then they will match the blanket a treat and my bed will be a crochet haven. I’m planning on taking them down to the river for a photoshoot as my garden is a bit too small with lots of crabby, grubby edges, to do such a large project justice. Sounds like a good excuse for a picnic this weekend anyhow (…please don’t rain!)

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It was quite satisfying to see how my latest crochet cushions complement my very first granny square blanket – started this time four years ago during the 2012 London Olympics – oh my, how time flies.

bobble-edge-cushions

So far the bobble trim is crocheted all around the Spring Circles blanket and onto two of the three cushions. I added some extra stuffing to the cushions as well. There’s nothing worse that a saggy pillow that doesn’t stand firm and show off all that lovely stitching and finishing!

So, lots to do, including the hare’s head trophy, an owl pattern for a new Zoomigurumi book and the princess pattern that keeps on getting sidelined, some proofreading and my brand new polka dots blanket, which started out like this…

polka-dots

…and  is now looking more like this…

blanket-strips

I think this last one could be the perfect project for keeping hands busy while I watch this year’s Olympic Games during my tired out evening slumps. Right, now let’s get some medals, or rather, let’s watch some other people get some medals. Personally I’m too obsessed with my crochet to have a go myself.

I’m quite happy to loll about on the day bed and watch the action from my ipad while hooking up a round or two more of whatever it is that comes to hand.

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(Oh, and please don’t rain…did I mention that before…)


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Life is Fruitful

granny-stripe

It’s harvest time again over in my part of the world. Not that I live on a farm or anything but I try to get my hands on a bit of freshly picked produce when I can.

I’ve always loved this time of year with it’s crisp sharp air and bursts of slanted sunshine so I’ve been feeling very satisfied to have found some quality time to enjoy the last snippets of pleasingly mild weather before the big lock down of November, December and January. There have been several jaunts across the fields to collect my favourite blackberries, so abundant, so juicy and so free!

blackberries

I love making the effort to gather these wild berries every year and of course they taste much better than shop bought ones. Well worth the scratches and stained hands that are the inevitable result of hedgerow foraging.

Autumn-Berries

And there is always the bonus of  picking the odd bunch of pretty weeds to grace a rustic corner of a windowsill somewhere. Clover and buttercups mainly, with a few stems of wild grasses thrown in for good measure. Just as pretty as any shop bought flowers if you can cultivate an appreciation for their less cultivated nature.

Wild-flowers

My recently acquired bargain-bin Emma Bridgewater wellies are a bit late for this years festival season but perfect for negotiating muddy potholes and smelly cow pats – the inevitable bedfellows of any serious walk in the country!

Autumn1s

Home from the fields and back into the urban jungle the harvest continues in my modest little garden. there’s no room for an allotment area or anything even close to it but I have had some very gratifying success with my second-year crop of apples. The five that grew last season have been succeeded by closer to 50 this time.

apples-line

They’re quite small and not up to the usual supermarket beauty parade standards but that only makes me love them more! I probably need to do some pruning to maximise next year’s crop, but I’m not sure how so I will be off scouring the internet to look that one up. I don’t have the greenest fingers in the land, but hopefully this little sapling will get the TLC it deserves and not end up consigned to a silent disappearance among the more dominant foliage in the borders – the sort of foliage that has proved it’s survival credentials by actually thriving under my not so vigilant or expert care -or the garden Rambo’s as we like to call them.

apples

Over the years a fig tree, clematis, blueberry bush and some Livingstone Daisies have all mysteriously disappeared from this very spot while I wasn’t looking. Seems like the apple tree might be bucking the trend!

Now the grapes are a different matter entirely. There’s absolutely no stopping them, they’re evidently much more Rambo than Shrinking Violet, and we have fruit hanging from all three walls of my courtyard this year. The vine continues to pour down its bounty on us just outside the back door and is now beginning to display the annual spectacle of autumnal patterns and colours.

agrapes

It’s been nice enough on some days to sit at the garden table and get a bit of hooky in, and with plenty of goodies to keep nature’s own sugar rush topped up I’m a happy bunny!

autumn

It is getting markedly chillier though. But that’s good because the lowering temperatures are inspiring me to push on faster with my new autumn berries inspired poncho.

Autumn3s

Lots of squares have been leaping off the hook during the evenings this past week. I have a full compliment now just awaiting the yarn end darning marathon. Not surprisingly, I didn’t manage to hold fast to my resolution to darn each square as I go. Once I get that hook in my hand I’m an unstoppable crochet machine and just find myself dashing on to the next square as soon as the previous one is finished and tossed into the basket.

Here are a few of the wiggly wormy culprits, waiting patiently in a quiet corner of the lounge, ready for my next spare batch of ten or twenty minutes. Slowly does it, I’ll get there in the end!

Autumn2s

Still, there are worse jobs than sewing in a million ends while enjoying the autumn air and a cake or two with a big pot of tea – a more unhealthy form of sugar rush here, but what the heck. Initially I thought the ghost was looking a bit shocked about the amount of calories on my plate but in retrospect it’s probably because I stuck knitting needles in his eyes.

outside

I’ve also been weaving in at the kitchen table while hubby cooks something delicious on the other side of the room.

aponcho

…Pogo likes to join in when he can…

pogo

Or I’ve been sitting on a squishy sofa with warm feet in fluffy slippers…

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…as a sleepy Mojo gets on with his own type of cosy in the corner. If you can’t wear fluffy slippers then tucking your paws into a fluffy blanket will have to do!

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This really is the sort of job you can do anywhere, and in little bite size pieces too. I’ve packed a few squares, a tapestry needle and a pair of scissors in my handbag and have so far darned in some ends on the bus, in the car, waiting for a dental appointment and even in the queue at the post office! Though I try to be neat and tidy I think I may have left a trail of yarn ends most places I’ve been in recent days. If anyone wanted to track me down they could probably follow a forensic trail of wool, like Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumbs, right back to my front door. Just as well I’m too busy crocheting to get up to no good. The litter squad might be on my case though!

All that intermittent darning is paying off and I’m around two thirds done with it all now.

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berry

I made some notes for my poncho earlier on so I would know how many squares to make but also to remind myself of the yarn type, weight and shade and the hook size I used. I find it’s all too easy to forget those details after the briefest of time lapses if I don’t scribble it down as I go along.

ponco-map

So far things are adhering nicely to my intended plan and one half of the poncho is ready to be joined. After the monotony of dealing with stray yarn ends, making the finished squares into a useful piece of fabric is always a thrill.

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I can’t wait to be wearing my new blackberry and raspberry poncho. It’s going to be a really warm and toasty addition to my winter wardrobe and will remind me of the autumn sun. I’m going to have many hours of happy hooky, cocooned in there over the next few months, especially as I frugally keep the heating off when it’s just me in the house during the day. I’d better be off then, those ends won’t weave themselves in, more’s the pity.

I’ll be back to share the fruits of my labour with you very soon!

granny-stripe


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Blackberries and Raspberries

On the way home from our visit to the Leigh Spinning Mill last weekend, I began another granny square project. It’s a sure fire way to brighten up even the most monotonous stretches of motorway.

Grans

I found these two James C. Brett Marble yarns in pink and purple for £1.99 a ball back at the beginning of the summer, so I snapped up three of each and stashed them away until I could find a use for them.

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 What a heavenly combination, just like raspberries and blackberries, perfect for an autumnal project.

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Blackberries are particularly abundant around here right now. I’ll be having a picking spree soon and baking apple and blackberry pies until everyone is heartily sick of them. An autumn ritual that can’t be dispensed with! On a slightly more unhealthy note these colours also match up perfectly to one of my favourite childhood sweet treats – Raspberry and Blackberry Domes. Anyone else remember these? They look so realistic at first glance.

Rasberry-domes

What a shame they don’t count towards your five-a-day fruit and veg quota. I could happily eat a bucketful of these in one go!

GrannySquares

Motorway journeys are seldom plain sailing these days and it doesn’t take long until we get stuck in loads of traffic, but on the plus side a pile of fruity squares begins to stack up nicely as I while away the snail-pace miles. They’re proving to be just as addictive as the last batch I made. This project might turn into a big one!

Crochet

It feels good to have a change from crocheting shawls. Three in a row from the same pattern is enough for anybody, I’m sure. I had a lot of fun making them though and the pattern was a doddle. Here are the finished ones I made for myself. I’ve had to move my mannekin into the bathroom due to the sheer lack of space in my overcrowded studio, but I think it looks quite nice in there now I’ve got used to it. My crochet projects are stealthily taking over the entire house so it’s only fair that the bathroom should have its fair share too!

Summer-shawls

I’ve just got the edging to finish on the third shawl and a heap of tassels to attach. This one will probably end up as a Christmas gift. I’ve started the process of thinking about who is going to get what this year. I’ve bought my wrapping paper and Christmas cards already. (Well, it is October, there’s no time to lose!)

This is the shawl I started on my seaside holiday in August and it looks like the scales on a mermaid’s tail (or a fish, of course, if you’re the more down to earth type). Those beautiful shimmering greens catch the light so prettily. I hope the recipient I have in mind is going to like it as much as I do. You can find Mimi Alelis’ free shawl pattern at mycrochetstuff.blogspot.co.uk.

Mermaid-Shawl

By following just the first 8 lines I also made a pretty scarf. I used a Rowan yarn by Kaffe Fassett. It’s made of pure lambswool and has hardly any twist to it at all so you have to be quite careful as you work because it can break quite easily. Strictly no yanking or losing your temper with this one! Once it’s taken on a knitted or crocheted structure it’s very sturdy though, so I should be getting a lot of wear out of this as the weather gets colder.

Lattice-scarf

Here’s a close up of the yarn I used (shade 431).

Kaffe-Fassett

Because this was bargain bucket yarn and they had it in blue too (shade 432), that’s now also sitting in my stash baskets  waiting for its moment to shine.

Kaffe-fassett-2

Initially they were bought because they’re pure wool, which I knew would felt really well. My original intention was to make some felted slippers or little crocheted tote bags. I’m still looking forward to getting on with that when I’ve got some extra time.

For now though, I’m well and truly stuck into my next big spare-time project. I’ve got a plan, of sorts, and everything is packed up in a handy basket ready to follow me around for the next few weeks, or maybe months.

Crochet-Project

I’d forgotten quite how relaxing it is to make the humble granny square. It will be lovely to get back to basics and crochet away the darker evenings with these berry bursts of scrumptious delight.

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There are plenty of new amigurumi designs to be working on during daylight hours so something a little less mentally taxing will tick all the boxes for the cosy wind-down evenings.

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As long as I get the taxing versus relaxing life balance right, harmony will rule. So here’s looking forward to a happy, hooky, bristling with berries, amigurumi by day, granny squares by night kind of autumn ahead.


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Very Berry

Another week has shot past and I’m still enamoured with the circular granny motif I was working on last week. Trying out a softer look for them this time with soft and dreamy ice creamy berry colours in romantic pinks and purples. Raspberry ripple or blueberry burst springs to mind and makes me want to head straight for the freezer for a scoop or two!

pinks

A rather pretty match to the Sweet Williams that are currently gracing my window ledge here in the studio.

sweet-williams

I’ve so much work to get through at the moment but I’m refusing to panic and instead just thanking my lucky stars that my job involves such an abundance of crochet. It’s been four years now since I first picked up a hook and  painstakingly followed a couple of Youtube videos. I can remember struggling to hold the yarn correctly – a lifetime of prior knitting experience can confuse your fine motor skills like that when you suddenly try to switch to a brand new technique.  It was a serious case of knotted up fingers and thumbs and terrible tension and it was just a teeny bit frustrating!  So, so glad I didn’t give up though – I’m still showing no signs whatsoever of getting bored of my ‘new’ favorite craft.

pinkies

The busier the better is my motto and there’ll be no slacking around here with Mojo keeping a stern eye on me to make sure I’m moving forward at a steady pace, working through my to-do list.

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Many of my deadlines are self imposed but I do get very tenacious about sticking to them once I’ve made my mind up. I decided I’ve got to get some sort of grip on works in progress this week so have been spending some of my spare time completing the crocheted seat pads for my newly decorated kitchen. I love them! They’re comfy and practical and were cheap as chips to make. I found an ingenious way of avoiding having to use a zip too – thereby elevating their thrift status up another notch or two. The only thing I had to buy was the cushion pads to go inside them.

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I really like how they’ve all turned out unique and not quite matching. I’m only using fabric I already have for this project which adds to their upcycled charm!

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These raggy ends are an integral part of the zipless finish . They’re easy to undo if I need to wash the cushion covers and they also form the ties that attach the cushions to the chairs. There’s nothing more annoying than slip sliding about and losing your cushion mid meal… Well, there probably are much more annoying things than that but the fewer minor irritations in life, the better! And I like the little bows when the cushions are in place.

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The little bows are quick and easy to untie if I want to make my wire bench into a somewhat comfier affair. Dappled shade in the shelter of the ever expanding grape vine is a little piece of summer heaven.

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Just the spot for making a few strawberry accessories for a new amigurumi design I’m working on. Hopefully to be revealed in the next week or two.

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I’ve also been working on re-making the caterpillar, testing the pattern and tweaking the overall shape as I go. I think I have it spot on now…

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But I’ll only know for sure when I’ve assembled all the bits. And goodness, what a lot of bits…

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…mainly in the form of legs, which is only to be expected when you’re making a caterpillar I suppose.

Plenty more to get on with and the sun is still shining so I’m heading off out to the garden again to attach those limbs where they rightly belong, then a few more crocheted strawberries, maybe a bit more rag crochet (table mats and coasters this time) and whatever other projects that jumble into my head demanding attention! That’s the rest of my weekend sorted. I hope your’s will be just as much fun!

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Bye Bye for now from myself and the lepidopteran larvae! x


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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!