Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Easter Baskets

Hello all! I’ve been working flat out again this week. I’m somewhat alarmed at how fast Easter is approaching! I’ve had an idea to make some Easter egg hunt baskets for a while now, but couldn’t seem to find a time to make it happen. Well, there’s nothing like a tight deadline for focusing the mind, and with just a few weeks to go the idea has finally hatched and become a reality. And what fun they were to make as well! Now I’m in so much of a springy mood I might just bounce right off into space!

Three Easter Treat Bags by Moji-Moji Design

They’re made in the style of handy little totes with a cheeky dollop of fake fur yarn and some Easter themed embellishments.

I crocheted carrots for the bunny…

Bunny Easter Treat bag by Moji-Moji Design

… pretty flowers for the lamb…

Lamb Easter Treat Bag - by Moji-Moji Design

… and stripy mini eggs for the chick.

Chick Easter Treat Bag - by Moji-Moji Design

But there’s no reason you can’t shake it up a little and mix and match all these embellishments to come up with your own version of the Easter bags.

I’m planning on making some extra eggs, flowers and carrots to decorate my Easter twig tree this year. I’ll post some pictures when I’m done 🙂

Easter Treat Bags - by Moji-Moji Design

In the mean time I hope you’re all having lots of fun with your Easter preparations. (I’m going to start mine by eating all those foil wrapped chocolate eggs now the photos are finished!)  x


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Hola!

The Mexican blanket is growing and growing. I’m steadfastly crocheting a row or two, or a few squares most evenings and pretty much 90% of it has been made while wearing pyjamas. A very cosy and comfy project it’s turning out to be.

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Because of the time I spent accurately working out the stitch counts, the theory is that all the row elements should match up perfectly.  But the stripes made up of mini squares are ending up a fair bit longer than the granny stripes and I think that’s due to the chained row that gives the extra colour blip between the rows of shells. My chains tend to have a slightly tighter tension than the rest of my crochet. I guess I’ll have to learn to loosen up a bit with them. I’ve not found it to be a big problem though, it just needs a bit of pinning to take up the extra length nice and evenly then it’s easier to match stitch for stitch, particularly if I’m working in less than perfect light conditions. And let’s face it, the rest of the family don’t want to spend cosy Movie Nights sitting in a floodlit room, so the light is often ambient rather than practical for a lot of my winter evening projects.
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The need for all that matching up did give me the idea to make Carlos the Cactus though, so I could have a totally Mexican vibe going on while I worked! I love having him around to help but he’s turned out to be an obsessive perfectionist and gets pretty prickly if I try to cut corners and go crocheting along without pinning everything in place first. (I might be self projecting here a bit 😉 )

You can see him keeping his beady eyes on the proceedings here. He’s also really good at holding onto all my yarn needles with those handy little hands of his. I just wish he was equally adept at sewing in the yarn ends too! Ah well, you can’t have it all.

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Here you can see the discrepancy in the lengths of the granny square panels alongside all the pieces that I’ve managed to crochet together so far. It looks like it would never match up but it always does, and the blanket will stretch a little with use – so any minimal puckering will most likely even out itself out after it’s been dragged around and snuggled up in for a while. This is about a third done now, not including the border.

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And also not including these strips that have yet to be joined. When these are all crocheted together I think I’ll be at least half way done. Wey hey, we’re getting somewhere now!

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My cactus pincushion has been useful for helping out with other projects too, so now he can usually be found on my desk with his best friend Dante the Donkey (If you’ve read my previous blog post you’ll understand why they’re inseparable!) and my other favorite pincushion – my felted sheep on a hill. One of the first sculptures I made when I was going through my needle felting phase. I should have enough pins handy for multiple projects on the go now. Which is a good thing because I still haven’t learnt to finish one job before I start another.

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While Carlos is busy helping out, Dante has been trying to make friends with  two of my cats. The cats are much more concerned with napping on the new blanket should I dare to leave it unattended for a nano second or two.

Mojo doesn’t appear to be very impressed with Dante’s approaches!

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Time for evasive tactics by way of an emergency grooming session.

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Ah well, maybe Minnie will be more accommodating…

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…Or maybe not! Different evasive tactic seen here, just close your eyes and pretend to be asleep!

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Then go and seek refuge in a box on a tucked away shelf in among the early prototypes for Orwell.

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This week I also managed to finish writing up the Orwell pattern for my own shops at long last, so you can now get his pattern in my Etsy and Ravelry stores as a single purchase for any of you who want to buy just him on his own. Today and tomorrow are the last few days of the Zoomigurumi 4 pre-sale event if you prefer to get Orwell’s pattern together with 14 other cute as button designs at a bargain price of £13.50. I’ve just got my trusty calculator out (I’m no Rachel Riley styley maths whiz, that’s for sure!) and that works out at 90 pence a pattern. Can’t wait for my copy to arrive!

You’ll find Tessa Van Riet-Ernst’s (aka Woolytoons) mop headed Leopold the Lion in this volume too. He’s currently over in Belgium helping Joke get the books packed up and shipped out over the next few days. Seems that my moggies aren’t the only cats who like to get involved in anything crochet related, particularly if it involves sitting on it!

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Here’s a teeny reminder of the lovely characters you’ll find nestled between the pages!

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They’ll be sure to keep you busy and remove all your excuses for idly hanging around like this furry fella!

Not that there’s anything wrong with being idle of course, if that’s what you fancy. I keep telling myself I’m going to take a break when I’ve finished all the crochet projects lined up in my head and in my sketchbook – approximately scheduled for the 12th of Never Ever 🙂

I’m off to do some more blanket in the mean time. In fact I intend to dedicate a large proportion of this weekend to making some serious progress here. Orwell’s taken a shine to it. I think he’s looking forward to it being finished, and who am I to disappoint?!

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I’ll be back with more updates soon and some pictures of my lovely pink and turquoise crochet flowers that I’m trying out for my next project, perfect for a fresh looking spring blanket that I’ve set my heart on. See, I told you it’s impossible for me to finish one project before I start another! I’ll post a picture of them next time, when I’m 100% happy with the colours. Bye for now and wishing you all a happy weekend! x


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Dante and Carlos

I’m very happy to be able to say I’ve finally finished my Dante the Donkey and Carlos the Cactus pattern. These little guys were originally inspired by my Mexican blanket project *all those pretty colours*  and were just the most fun characters to make.

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They’ve also turned out to be the best and most devoted amigos ever!

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They first met in the Mexican desert after Dante got lost straying too far from his family’s rancho. Carlos the Cactus chatted away enthusiastically and shook his maracas to cheer the little donkey up as he rested his weary legs through the long, dark night. By the time the sun rose and the morning shone its welcoming light, they were firm friends. Bored of being mostly alone in the desert with only the other cacti for company, Carlos persuaded Dante to dig up his roots and put him in a terracotta pot so he could travel around with his new found soul mate wherever he roamed.

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With Carlos along for the ride and offering some much needed moral support, you’ll doubtless be relieved to know that Dante eventually managed to find his way back home. Now the two of them spend sunny days and starry nights planning their next daring adventure together. Carlos has said he’ll travel to the ends of the earth just to be with his new friend. Dante’s a little more cautious about wandering too far again after his recent incident, but whatever they do they’ve agreed that they’ll do it together. Here’s proof that best friends can come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes make the most unlikely alliances!

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Happy as he is with his new life, Carlos still likes to meet up with his old succulent chums from time to time. Since he started wearing his jazzy pot he appears to have sparked a new fashion.  Now all the best dressed cacti are sporting one! Well, it certainly makes them more mobile – as long as they can get a friendly donkey to carry them about that is. Here they are getting ready for the local Fiesta.

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Dante sets up a food stall to sell some of his homegrown carrots and specialty basil flavored hay to the other hungry donkeys…

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…While Carlos and his friends make a bit of pocket money supplying firecrackers to liven up the crowds, and homemade sombreros to keep them cool. Very enterprising!

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Have a happy weekend!

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xoxox


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Christmas Corkers

We’re getting so close to Christmas now and I’m finally starting get into the festive mood, helped along splendidly by this little troop of winter wine cork cosies!820ChristmasCorkersLineup

I had just as much fun coming up with the patterns for these as I did drinking the wine in the first place! They proved popular on my Facebook page and I’ve had lots of requests for the pattern. So as an early Christmas present to all my lovely followers here it is.

You will need:

Fizzy wine corks similar to these:

Corks
Light worsted weight (double knit) yarn in green, white, black, red, and any other colours you prefer.
3.25 mm crochet hook.
Yarn needle.
Polyester toy stuffing.
A selection of beads and bells to decorate.
White paint and paintbrush (emulsion paint works well).
Felt tip pens in red, black and orange.
Pink pencil crayon.
Scissors.
A suitable fabric glue (something like UHU or Bostick).
MaterialsAnd now we have everything collected together let’s get hooking 🙂

US crochet terms are used throughout. See here for a simple to use conversion chart for UK terms.

Square brackets [ ] indicate a group of stitches to be worked the amount of times stated after the brackets. Asterisk * indicates a point of repeat

Christmas Tree

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With Green yarn make 2 ch. (Alternate rounds with a light and dark green yarn if you prefer)
Rnd 1: 3 sc in second ch from hook. (3 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 3 st. (6 sts)
Rnd 3: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 5 st. (7 sts)
Rnd 4: Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 3 st. (8 sts)
Rnd 5: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 7 st. (9 sts)
Rnd 6: Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 4 st. (10 sts)
Rnd 7: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 9 st. (11 sts)
Rnd 8: Sc in each of next 5 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 5 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 9: [Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (15 sts)
Rnd 10: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 11: [Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (18 sts)
Rnds 12-16: Sc in each st around. (5 rounds)
Rnd 17: * Slst in next st, 4 ch, Slst in next st, repeat from * to end.
Fasten off, weave in the yarn end.
Stuff the top two thirds of the tree. Put a little glue all around the fattest end of the cork, position the tree so that the frilly edge is roughly level with the bottom of the fattest part of the cork. Hold in place securely until glue has set.
Now you can sew on your seed beads, sequins, mini pompoms etc. Or leave it plain for a natural look.

Little Elf

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Hat
With White yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 3 sc in second ch from hook. (3 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 3 st. (6 sts)
Change to your chosen Second Colour here and continue alternating the colours each round until the end.
Rnd 3: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 4: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 5 st. (7 sts)
Rnd 5: Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 3 st. (8 sts)
Rnd 6: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 7 st. (9 sts)
Rnd 7: Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 4 st. (10 sts)
Rnd 8: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 9 st. (11 sts)
Rnd 9: Sc in each of next 5 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 5 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 10: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 11 st. (13 sts)
Rnd 11: Sc in each of next 6 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 6 st. (14 sts)
Rnd 12: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 13 st. (15 sts)
Rnd 13: Sc in each of next 7 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 7 st. (16 sts)
Rnd 14: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 15 st. (17 sts)
Rnd 15: Sc in each of next 8 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 8 st. (18 sts)
Fasten off, weave in the yarn end.
Glue to top and back of fattest end of cork. Fold tail over and sew in place with a few stitches. Sew a small pom pom or bell to the end.
Scarf
With your chosen Second Colour yarn make 37 ch.
Change to White yarn.
Row 1:  Starting in second ch from hook, sc in each ch to end, turn. (36 sts)
Change to your chosen Second Colour yarn
Row 2: 1 ch (does not count as a st), sc in each st to end. (36 sts)
Fasten off and tie ends together in a knot. Trim to make a small ‘tassel’. Tie around elf’s neck. Draw on the eyes and mouth using felt tip pens in black and red. Colour in rosy cheeks with a pink pencil crayon.

Toadstool

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With Red yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 3: Sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 4: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 5: [Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 6: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 7: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 8: [Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 9: [Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (36 sts)
Rnd 10: Sc in each st around.
Change to White yarn.
Rnd 11: Working in back loops only: [Sc in each of next 4 st, dec] 6 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 12: [Sc in each of next 3 st, dec] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 13: [Sc in each of next 2 st, dec] 6 times. (18 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Stuff top part of toadstool. Fit opening of toadstool over top of fattest part of cork. Thread the yarn tail onto your needle and sew in and out of stitches on the final round. Pull tight to form a snug fit just under the fattest part of the cork. Secure with a knot then pinch the edge of the toadstool together and sew a few stitches through the pinched edge of the toadstool to form the shaping.  With White yarn,  embroider a few French Knots onto the top of the toadstool, or use white seed beads or sequins, or tiny buttons.

Snowman

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First paint your cork white, then allow to dry.
Hat
With Black yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: Sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (15 sts)
Rnd 4: Working in back loops only: Sc in each st around.
Rnds 5-6: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Change to your chosen Second Colour
Rnd 7: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 8: [Sc in each if next 3 st, dec] 3 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 9: Working in front loops only: [Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 10: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (24 sts)
Fasten off, weave in the yarn end.
Scarf
With your chosen Second Colour yarn make 37 ch.
Row 1:  Starting in second ch from hook, sc in each ch to end. (36 sts)
Fasten off, weave in ends.
Stuff the hat and glue directly on top of fattest part of cork. Tie scarf around neck. Draw on the eyes, mouth, carrot nose and buttons using felt tip pens in black and orange. Colour in rosy cheeks with a pink pencil crayon.

Oh Mojo! Am I not giving you enough attention? Time for another sit down protest then!

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Now all we need is a little snow for the perfect Christmas. Looks like a digital snow flurry will have to do for now!

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The week I’d rather forget

Well, what a week it’s been. And, no, for once I don’t mean in a good way. I just found out about the horrendous new legislation coming in from the EU on January 1st, compelling anyone who sells any digital services/products to work out and pay VAT to all 28 member states of the EU separately and according to who has purchased what from each country.

I really don’t want to get all bogged down with details here – this is supposed to be my ‘happy place’, but the more I’ve looked into it the more I see that compliance is not only going to be onerous, but the way things stand at the moment, completely impossible. The systems just don’t exist to enable individual sellers to do what they have to do in order to keep trading legally. There is a UK petition here for those of you who would like to have a look. It includes a summary too which outlines some of the problems.  The adding of your signature would be hugely appreciated by myself and many others who find themselves quite shockingly and unexpectedly mixed up in this bureaucratic nightmare.

Here’s a great link you may want to read on Ysolde Teague’s Blog. She puts it so much better than I ever could. If you design and sell anything via email like I do then it’s a must read. If you love to buy craft patterns, eBooks, printable stationary, meditation courses, music – to name but a few – from any of us independent designer/sellers then I suggest you have a look too because if things don’t change significantly over the next few weeks there will be a lot of us closing down our beloved businesses before this legislation becomes law on New Years day 2015.

If you’ve read Ysolde’s post and the whole topic now has you intrigued, panicked, crying, having a nervous breakdown or just plain curious here’s another good source of information for you on Heather Burns Idea15 Blog. I don’t want to add to your dismay, but knowledge is power, after all.

Right, now that’s been said, let’s have some fun, because there’s only so much angst I can take at any one time.

(Takes deep, deep breath).

Here’s a little Christmas scene to cheer us all up. Well, it is December already! Not only have these tubby-tummied elves built their first snowman, but they’ve also managed to make a Christmas pudding and put their tree up. Wow, I need to catch up fast. I’ve seriously got to get my Christmas wiggle on!820pudds1This is also the time of year when we try to make huge efforts in our otherwise very busy lives to see family and friends who live far away. It’s always so exciting to catch up face to face on a years worth of news or sometimes more. There’s nothing like a big hug, a bit of present swapping and a good chin wag to warm the very cockles of your heart! All the Facebooking and texting or even gossiping on the phone just can’t compare. My next few weekends are full of just such jaunts. Snow people love these kind’s of pre-Christmas shenanigens too. I don’t need to tell you how happy these guys are to have a good old get together. It’s written all over their faces 🙂820snowpyramid As well as getting together on their home continent on the perma-snow and ice of the arctic circle, they love to travel. As soon as southerly temperatures plummet into the minus numbers they start heading as far south as they can get. I expect you’ve seen them, magically popping up in parks and gardens near you, as soon as the first decent snowfall settles! I’ve had a few postcards from their jollies already that I’d love to share with you.

First the girls went on holiday exploring the forests in Canada…SnowladyPostcardThen the boys decided a spot of skiing would be in order. Here they are in the French Alps…on-the-piste!The baby snowmen aren’t big enough for all that wilderness trecking or alpine sporting but they do love to play together at their local ice rink.820skatingThey’ve dressed up in all the different colours of the rainbow so their mum’s and dad’s know who’s who. Of course their mum’s and dad’s would never really get their own children muddled up but it can be a bit tricky to tell the difference when they’re skating around that fast. Here’s Mr. and Mrs. Snowdon with the triplets, Willy, Nilly and Milly,  and of course not forgetting their new baby Billy.820SnowfamilyAwww, what a lovely Christmas they’re going to have with a houseful of smiling snowbabies. You can adopt some snowbabies here if you want to make your Christmas just as much fun. The pattern’s free and they don’t eat much (yarn) so you can afford to adopt as many as you like!


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Who ya gonna call?

Ghostbusters?! Well seriously, there’s no need for that with this friendly bunch of ghosts. I promise you they mean no harm and only want to add a bit of spooky specialness to your Halloween decorations this Fall. Calling up a bunch of guys armed with Proton Packs might just be overreacting a slight bit. And of course there’s also the ever present, and very dangerous reality, of total protonic reversal if you cross the streams. No one wants a dose of that, believe me!

Scroll down for my free pattern and let the physical and the phantom abide together in peace and harmony this Halloween!

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I got my glow in the dark eyes for the larger ghost from Suncatcher Eyes. I found so many colors, sizes and styles to choose from. It’s safety eye heaven! If you’re looking for something just that little bit special do pop on over and have a browse, you’ll be totally spoilt for choice!

Ghost Pattern

(US crochet terms are used throughout. See here for a simple to use conversion chart for UK terms).
Materials:
You will need:
Large Ghost – Worsted weight (Aran/10 ply) yarn and size H (5mm) hook.
Small Ghost – Light worsted weight (DK/8 ply) yarn and size D (3.25mm) hook.
White yarn
A small length of Black yarn.
Fiberfill (polyester) stuffing.
White chenille stick (pipe cleaner) or a piece of white felt (for the arms).
Safety eyes: Large ghost – 12 mm, Small ghost – 9 mm (or use beads/yarn/buttons instead).
Tapestry needle.
Instructions:
With White yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnds 4-6: Sc in each stitch around. (3 rounds)
Insert safety eyes in between Rnds 4 and 5.
Rnd 7: working in back loops only: [Sc in next st, sc2tog] 6 times. (12 sts)
Stuff head.
Rnd 8: [Sc2tog] 6 times. (6 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Thread yarn tail onto tapestry needle, pick up front loop only of remaining 6 stitches, pull tight to close the hole. Weave in end.
Rnd 9: Hold head upside down and pull up a loop of White yarn in any leftover front loop from Rnd 7. 1 ch (does not count as a st), sc in same st as rejoined yarn, sc in each remaining leftover front loop to end, Slst to next st, turn. (18 sts)
Rnd 10: 3 ch (counts as first dc), skip stitch at base of 3 ch, dc in each remaining st to end, Slst to top of 3 ch, turn. (18 sts)
Rnd 11: 3 ch (counts as first dc), dc in stitch at base of 3 ch, 2 dc in each remaining st to end, Slst to top of 3 ch, turn. (36 sts)
Rnds 12-13: 3 ch (counts as first dc), skip stitch at base of 3 ch, dc in each remaining st to end, Slst to top of 3 ch, turn. (36 sts)
Rnd 14: 3 ch (counts as first dc), skip stitch at base of 3 ch, dc in next st, skip next st, [dc in each of next 2 st, skip next st] to end, Slst to top of 3 ch. (24 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing.
To Finish:
Insert a length of pipe cleaner through Rnd 6 at side of head, then through stitch at center base of head and finally out through the opposite side of Rnd 6 of head, (or you can cut out two hands from white felt and sew these to the sides of your ghost if you prefer). Thread yarn tail onto tapestry needle and sew a line of running stitches in between Rnds 13 and 14, pull tight to gather up, fasten off and weave in end. (See pictures below).

Use a strand of Black yarn to sew a little V shape for mouth. And there you have your finished ghost.

The pipe cleaner arms make them very easy to attach to a twiggy tree or you could sew on a loop of yarn or clear nylon twine and hang them in a window or from door frames.DSCN5382
Each ghost takes approximately 20 minutes to make so there can be no excuses for not having a whole hoard of these little horrors in time for Halloween! Just don’t reach for the phone when they’re around. They tend to get a little jumpy!

Happy Hooking everyone!


7 Comments

Even More Bucket Loads of Fun

Well, you can’t have too much fun can you? So after a few requests from friends in response to my last collection of Bucket Head bags, I’ve made a second set of different characters to brighten up your Trick or Treat adventures, or just to add a bit of holiday magic to your Halloween decorations this year. This time I have Frankenstein’s Monster, a Candy Corn Man and a Scarecrow to introduce to you.Bucketlineup2If your favorite character wasn’t included in the last set then maybe these will be more to your liking 🙂Bucket2

Happy Trick or Treating to all you Halloween Fanatics!


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Bucket Loads of Fun!

Hooray! Just launched a new pattern for Halloween! Now I know I’m cutting it a bit fine time wise but these Bucket Head Trick or Treat bags are crocheted with doubled up worsted weight (aran/10 ply) yarn and a big hook so they really don’t take that long to make.

Come and meet my empty headed and empty bellied Vampire, Witch and Pumpkin who are just waiting to be filled up with loads of Halloween candy 🙂820HalloweenLineThey’ve got dangly arms and legs and a comfy handle to carry them around with.

Even though my kids are a bit too old to go trick or treating now I shall be making them one each and filling it with their favorite chocolate. Because chocolate is the one thing they don’t seem to have outgrown yet! (I’m still waiting too!)


26 Comments

Have a Birthday Cupcake With Me!

Hurray! Another year successfully navigated and another birthday to celebrate, and what better way than with a free pattern that I’ve written especially for the occasion!

So come and have a cupcake or two with me and we can party together 🙂DSCN4985

For the strawberry version you will need: 3.5 mm crochet hook and light worsted weight (double knit) yarn in a light pink, dark pink, white, beige and green.

US crochet terms are used throughout. See here for a simple to use conversion chart for UK terms.

Round brackets ( ) indicate a group of stitches to be worked into the same stitch. Square brackets [ ] indicate a group of stitches to be worked the amount of times stated after the brackets.

Strawberry Cup Cake Pattern:
With Light Pink yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 4: [sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 5: [sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 6: working in back loops only: sc in each st around. (30 sts)
Rnd 7-12: sc in each st around. (6 rounds)
Rnd 13: working in front loops only: [Slst in next st, (hdc, dc, hdc) in next st, Slst in next st] 10 times.
Change to Beige yarn
Rnd 14: working in leftover back loops from previous round: sc in each st around. (30 sts)
Rnd 15: [sc in each of next 3 st, dec] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 16: sc in each st around. (24 sts)
Rnd 17: [sc in each of next 2 st, dec] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 18: [sc in next st, dec] 6 times. (12 sts)
Stuff cup cake.
Rnd 19: dec 6 times. (6 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Thread yarn tail onto tapestry needle, pick up front loop only of remaining 6 stitches, pull tight to close the hole. Weave in end.

Icing:
With White yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 4: [Slst in next st, (hdc, dc, hdc) in next st, Slst in next st] 6 times.
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing. Sew edge of icing to top of cake.

Ribbon:
With Dark Pink yarn make 34 ch.
Row 1: starting in third ch from hook, hdc in each st to end.
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing. Sew ribbon to cake just under pink frill.

Strawberry:
With Dark Pink yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 3 sc in second ch from hook. (3 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 3 st. (6 sts)
Rnd 3: [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (9 sts)
Rnd 4: [sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 5: sc in each st around. (12 sts)
Stuff strawberry.
Rnd 6: dec 6 times. (6 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Thread yarn tail onto tapestry needle, pick up front loop only of remaining 6 stitches, pull tight to close the hole. Weave in end. With a strand of White yarn sew small running stitches for seeds.

Strawberry Leaf:
With Green yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: Slst in second ch from hook (first ch), [2 ch, Slst in second ch from hook, Slst in first ch] 5 times.
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing. Sew to top of strawberry.
See diagram at end of post for how to sew fruit and shape cupcake.

If strawberries aren’t your thing try these instead:

Blueberry/Cape Gooseberry:
With Blue/Orange yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Rnds 3-5: sc in each st around. (3 rounds)
Stuff blueberry/cape gooseberry.
Rnd 6: dec 6 times. (6 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Thread yarn tail onto tapestry needle, pick up front loop only of remaining 6 stitches, pull tight to close the hole. Weave in end.
Make a leaf as for the strawberry pattern. Sew flat to the end of the blueberry. Leave ends sticking up for cape gooseberry

Lime/Lemon Slice
With Light Green/Light Yellow yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Change to Dark Green/Dark Yellow yarn
Rnd 3: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (18 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing. Fold circle in half and sew edges together. Using a strand of white yarn embroider segments with running stitches.

Parma Violet
Inner petals
With Dark Purple yarn make 2 ch
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: [Slst in next st, (hdc, dc, hdc) in next st] 3 times
Outer petals
With Dark Purple yarn make 2 ch
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [Slst in next st, (hdc, dc, hdc) in next st] 6 times
Sew inner leaves on top of outer leaves. Weave in ends.

To shape cupcake and attach the fruit or flower, thread a length of yarn through both the cake and the fruit/flower following the diagram below. Pulling on the threads gives your cake a flat base and will attach the fruit neatly at the same time. Knot securely and weave in endsCakethreading

Now you can be as inventive as you like with your flavor combinations. Vanilla, coffee, lemon or chocolate sponge with strawberry, orange, blackberry, mint… I could go on but it’s making my mouth water too much… I’m off in search of the real thing now. Well, why not? It is my birthday after all.DSCN4988

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing some birthday fun with me!


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An Autumn walk

We’re well on our way into September now and all the boys are back to their various educational establishments, including the eldest, whose left home again after a three month visit to continue his studies at Cardiff Uni. The house is quiet for the first time in a long time. Just me and the four cats today. It feels a bit weird but I think I’ll get used to it.

I’ve certainly got plenty of things to keep me busy over the next month or so. But I’m starting off slowly this week and so today I thought I’d take a leisurely walk around the river to keep my spirits up and remind myself of the pleasure in occasional solitude. But here’s a little company already! How sweet to see Pumpkin Patch Pete and Pumpkin Patch Polly out for a stroll together, holding hands and enjoying all their favorite Autumn coloursPumpkin-walkThe weather is beautiful and sunny… It’s certainly not raining on my parade!DSCN4887There was a thick spread of mist earlier on but it’s clearing up nicely now.

Shelley the Snail has been enjoying a few excursions while everything is still slightly damp and squelchy on the grassy verges…ShelleyRiver…and the River Severn is serene and swan filled in the early morning, before the canoe and narrow boat owners and the pleasure boat pleasure seekers are up and about. DSCN4890Oh dear, I think the swans think that I’ve brought some edible treats for them to nibble on, but I’m sadly empty handed apart from my camera and my house key – neither of which is of any use to a peckish swan! I’m sure there’s plenty of fish and river weeds in there to keep them going though. They all look pretty well fed to me.

So does Spencer the Spider for that matter. It appears that he’s moved out of my shed and has been busy renovating his new holiday home, situated in a highly desirable corner of the railings and boasting magnificent riverside views. Now there’s a piece of prime real estate if ever I saw it, but Spencer, you know you’re welcome to move back into my shed as soon as the winter weather gets too much for you… 820SpencerDiglis… and what a lovely web you’ve spun! It’s the perfect spot for catching a flying bug feast for your breakfast. Now I’m off over the bridge to the other side of the river and through the fields in search of a feast of my own.

It’s not long until I’ve tracked down a big bunch of blackberries. A few handfuls of those will go down a treat and give me a mini sugar rush to get me all the way back home again!DSCN4901Now my batteries are recharged after a well earned sit down on a well placed bench and a good munch supplied by the brambles. It’s time to move along, and, oh, hello! it’s the Pumpkin Patch People again. They get around faster than you would think with those tiny little legs of theirs!PumpkimsWe have a polite chat about the weather and our plans for Halloween. Then I can’t help noticing that the pickings are looking very luscious and abundant this year so I’ve made a note to myself to come back again very soon to gather some of these rose hips, and haws to make some Hedgerow Jelly with (perfect to add to the elderberries from my garden).

These sloes will be just the job for making a big batch of sloe gin, in plenty of time for Christmas, and the remaining blackberries, well, they never seem to make it home, they’re just too delicious as they are and usually get eaten on the way, but if I do find a big glut of them they’re most likely to find their way into an apple and blackberry pie.

With nature’s bounty being so generous this year I didn’t think it would be long until I bumped into Cyril the Squirrel, having a little forage around for his larder. That’s a mighty fine collection you’ve got there my lad!CyrilBenchThose shiny, fresh new conkers are a prize worth foraging for and some tasty pine nuts too. It’s Cyril’s lucky day! I’m tempted to stop and have a conker fight but I don’t have any spare shoe laces with me. Maybe next time! I’ve got another mile to go before I get back home so I wave goodbye and head off back across the river again.

So much for occasional solitude, but it’s been rather nice to bump into so many of my woolly friends instead 😉

I have to admit it’s been no great surprise to see them all down here enjoying themselves in their own particular ways, after all who would want to stay indoors on such a gorgeous day as this?