Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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An amigurumi comes to life

After being rudely awakened at 5 o’clock last Friday morning by Mojo the cat bringing a loudly chirruping starling into my bedroom, I wasn’t going to go back to sleep any time soon so I decided to start early and spend the day giving my Cyril the Squirrel pattern a final run through before I listed it in my online shops. The best way for me to test my own patterns is to leave the whole thing for a while and then to come back to it when I’m fresh and the stitch counts and number of rows are no longer seared into my brain. (Don’t worry about the starling, I rescued it, rested it for a while in a bird cage I keep handy for just such emergencies and it flew off into the sky an hour later). To make the repeating of projects more fun I like to change the colour and/or the hook size to make the whole process slightly different each time. This time I’ve pushed the hook size right down to a 2 mm and am going to make this squirrel in a soft grey and a slightly fluffy cream yarn, both by Rowan and bought from a local yarn store sale for £1 a ball. What a bargain bonanza! Although, of course, this means I buy much more than I really need thus diminishing the money saving aspect. But then again, how much is too much?! I’m sure it will all come in handy sooner or later.

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My other favorite bits and pieces and amigurumi essentials are all gathered together into a wicker project tray. So we’re ready to go. The sun is shining and I have a whole day, dedicated to crochet, stretching ahead of me. Bliss. I’ve even got a few extra hours to play with thanks to my Mojo alarm call!

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By 10am I’ve had a lazy breakfast, several cups of tea, become distracted by Pinterest and Facebook and also, the main aim of the day of course, hooked up all these squirrel parts. I printed out a copy of the pattern in the end and turned the computer off  so no chance of any further internetty time wasting diversions. It’s just too much temptation to have a quick click here and there when it’s on and one of the main things about pattern testing is total focus on the job in hand! The smaller than usual hook choice has been something of a challenge, making my fingers ache a little and proving a tough deal to feed the safety eyes through, but where there’s a will there’s a way and I manage to soldier on. It’s going to be nice to have a smaller version of Cyril to join the crew of my ever growing squirrel family.

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A few more hours later and all squirrel parts are completed. Minor tweaks are made to the word file, which is then made into a PDF ready for uploading later. Squirrel5

One of the really fun parts for me is joining all the components together, embroidering on any features and seeing it come to life as a fully fledged character. Squirrel1

But of course everyone knows that amigurumi don’t really come to life. That is, not until the Blue Fairy pays a visit and says those magic words:

 “Little squirrel made of twine, awake! The gift of life is thine.” ∗

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Hooray! My squirrel is finally really real. It turns out this one’s a girl and she’s called Cheryl. Just like any self respecting, fashion conscious lady rodent she want’s to choose her own outfit. So off we go to explore the yarn stash and see what’s on offer. Hmm, yes I think the red would be perfect too and that fiery orange trim will finish it off a treat. Now measurements are taken and details must be decided. Cheryl doesn’t want a flat cap like Cyril, she prefers a much more feminine wide brimmed sun hat. Back to the drawing board for that one then.

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A little more hooking later and ‘Voila’ … Cheryl in her Cherry Red ensemble. We even went and picked some daisies from her cottage garden, one to decorate her hat and a whole bunch for the kitchen table. DSCN3673

If you want to adapt the Cyril the Squirrel pattern into Cheryl the Squirrel here’s a free pattern extra for how I made her wide brimmed hat and the little flowers:

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Note: Pattern written in US terms. Us single crochet (sc) is equivalent to UK double crochet (dc)

Hat
With the same sized hook you used for the main pattern and Red Yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st to end. (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)
Rnds 5-6: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Change to Orange yarn.
Rnd 7: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 8: Working in Front Loops only: [Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (30 sts)
Change to Red yarn.
Rnd 9: Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st, ch 6, skip next 5 st, [Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc innext st] 2 times, ch 6, skip next 5 st, sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st. (36 sts)
Rnd 10: [Sc in each of next 5 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (42 sts)
Rnd 11: [Sc in each of next 6 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (48 sts)
Change to Orange yarn.
Rnd 12: Sc in each st around.
Fasten off, weave in ends.

Flower
With White yarn make 4 ch, Slst in first ch, [3 ch, Slst in same ch as first Slst] 4 times. (5 petals)
Fasten off. Make a yellow French Knot in center of flower. Sew to front of hat at the side of one of the ear slits. Fit hat over Cheryl’s ears. Add a little stuffing to shape and with a strand of Red yarn sew Rnd 9 in place to top of head.

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Chapeau 
Avec la  même taille de crochet que vous avez utilisé pour le modèle principal et le fil Rouge.
Faire ch 2.
Rg 1: 6 ms dans la 2ième ml à partir du crochet du crochet. (6 pts)
Rg 2: 2 ms dans chaque m jusqu’à la fin. (12 pts)
Rg 3: [Ms dans la m suiv, 2 ms dans la m suivante] 6 fois. (18 pts)
Rg 4: [Ms dans chacune des 2 m suiv, 2 ms dans la m suiv] 6 fois. (24 pts)
Rg 5: 6 ms dans chaque m du tour. (2 tours)
Changer de fil Orange.
Rg 7: Ms dans chaque m du tour.
Rg 8: Travailler seulement sur les boucles avant: [ms dans chacune des 3 m suiv, 2 ms dans la m suiv] 6 fois. (30pts)
Changer de fil Rouge.
Rg 9: Ms dans chacune des 4 m suiv, 2 ms dans la m suiv, 6 ml, sauter les 5 m suiv, [Ms dans chacune des 4 m suiv, 2 ms dans m suiv] 2 fois, 6 ml, sauter les 5 m suiv, ms dans chacune des 4 m suiv, 2 ms dans la m suiv. (36pts)
Rg 10: [Ms dans chacune des 5 m suiv, 2 ms dans la m suiv] 6 fois. (42 pts)
Rg 11: [Ms dans chacune des 6 m suiv, 2 ms dans la m suiv] 6 fois. (48 pts)
Changer de fil Orange.
Rg 12: Ms dans chaque m du tour. Arrêter, Rentrer les fils.

Fleur
Avec le fil Blanc faire 4 ml, mc dans la 1ière ml, [3 ml, mc dans la même ml que la 1ière mc] 4 fois. (5 pétales)
Couper le fil. Faire un Point de Nœud (French Knot) Jaune dans le centre de la fleur. Coudre à l’avant du chapeau sur le côté de l’une des fentes de l’oreille. Placer le chapeau sur les oreilles de Cheryl. Ajouter un peu de rembourrage au chapeau et avec un brin de fil rouge coudre au Rg 9 sur le haut de la tête.

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Here we have Cyril and Cheryl deep in discussion about the relative merits of vegetable versus flower gardening. Personally I’m partial to a bit of both but not much good at either! Squirrels

I have a huge soft spot for squirrels it’s true, and Cheryl is the fifth one I’ve made so far. One is in Belgium with the book publisher but the other four are currently living here with me.  These are all made with light worsted weight (DK) yarn but I’ve varied the hook size from 3.75mm all the way down to to 2mm. Come and meet the gardening gang!

From left to right we have Cyril, Errol, Beryl and Cheryl.

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I do enjoy making these squirrels so who knows how many I’ll end up with?! I’m going to have to open up that second Etsy shop and re-home some of my ever growing cache of amigurumis at some point. Ah, but parting will be such sweet sorrow!


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Last Few Days of Pre-Sale

Just thought I’d do a quick post to spread the word! Amigurumi Animals at Work, the new book  compiled and designed by Joke Vermeiren from amigurumipatterns.net is available to order at great pre-sale prices for a few more days yet. (Pre-sale deal will end on the 31st May 2014).

It’s such a lovely, fun book, packed with original designs by amigurumi artists from all around the world. I thought you might like to take a peek at the full collection. You can see that my Cyril the Squirrel has been keeping very fine company indeed!

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You’ll be spoiled for choice as to which one to make first! I think I’m going to start with Mama Hen as I have a friend who loves to bake and who also happens to have a birthday coming up soon. Just perfect!


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Shelley the Snail and her Family

I’ve been busy with my crochet hook and yarn again this week and find that it’s now time to introduce you all to my new friends, the Snail Family! I have a soft spot for snails, which is why my garden always fails spectacularly. With a ratio of around 50 snails to every marigold or pansy (that’s what it seems like anyway), I think it’s a battle that I’ve resigned myself to losing. They’re just too sweet to wage a campaign against, so in the age old tradition of  ‘if you can’t beat them, join crochet them’  I made this pattern as a celebration of these terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs. (Don’t they sound grand when you put it like that!).

Please put your hands together and give a warm welcome to Shelley the Snail and her babies, Sheldon and Shelby!

Snail-TrioA rainy day is a jolly good day as far as Shelley the Snail is concerned. When everywhere is nice and damp she tentatively emerges from her shell, rounds up Sheldon and Shelby, and off they all go for a lovely slow motion wallow in the shallow puddles. They’re often found racing each other to the end of the garden. Shelley could win easily but she lets the babies have a head start while she munches on a tasty radish or two from the vegetable plot.

I don’t mind losing out on a few radish. I can always get a fresh bunch from the supermarket any time I want if the snails are really intent in staging a garden takeover. It’s been such a wet year too, I think they have the numbers to do just that right now!

If your a bit of a snailophile like me, then you can get the pattern from my Etsy/Ravelry/Craftsy shops. And if you’re busy gardening this weekend, have a little compassion and remember, snails are people too! (?) And if you really feel that it’s either your prized herbaceous border or them, you can always throw them over the fence into next doors garden. I’m sure your neighbors won’t mind 🙂


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Amigurumi Animals at Work

Hi everyone, I’m really pleased to be able to tell you that the new book from AmigurumiPatterns.net is finally available to order in pre-sale!

From right now until May 31st 2014 you can pre-order a copy of the book and you’ll also get a PDF version which you will be able to download immediately, so no boring waiting to get started on your first Animals at Work cutie!

My contribution to Joke Vermeiren’s  beautifully put together volume is Cyril the Squirrel, whom, as you may remember,  is the head gardener at Knutsford Manor.

This is Cyril with his assistant gardener and close friend, Errol. They made a raised bed for their prize carrot crop, but, goodness, the amount of weeding it needs… That’s where four paws are better than two!

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And don’t believe all the bad press about grey squirrels! Errol is just as lovable as his red cousins. I think he’s just as beautiful too!

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For more information on Amigurumi Animals at Work and to see the other thirteen gorgeous designs featured in this book take a peek here. You can order the book and the instantly downloadable PDF version here.

For those of you who just want to buy Cyril’s pattern on it’s own, I’ll be releasing it as a single pattern purchase in my Etsy/Ravelry/Craftsy shops soon.  I’ll keep you posted!


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Bradley the Badger

I’ve been working on this pattern for a while now. It’s been one of my more experimental designs as I’ve tried a different kind of pose to a lot of my other animals. He’s had several different incarnations, but I’m finally happy with how he looks. So here is my latest little critter, Bradley the Badger Cub.

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He’s already made good friends with Hedley the Hedghog. These two will be up to all sorts of adventures together I’ve no doubt! Hedley has been out foraging wild strawberries for his supper and because he knows they’re Bradley’s favorite treat he saved some for him too. How sweet!

 

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Then Bradley spent the afternoon exploring the garden with Mojo. I think they just heard something rustling in the bushes. The naturally nocturnal Bradley is a bit outside of his comfort zone in broad daylight.  Ah well, not to worry, safety in numbers. If these two little black and white fellas stick together and look out for each other then I’m sure they’ll be fine!

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Pattern now available in my Etsy, Ravelry or Craftsy stores if you want to make your own Bradley.

He’s so looking forward to meeting you!

 

 


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Hippopotamus Pyjama Party.

At last I’ve managed to finish a new pattern. It’s been a while this time due to book commitments, family life, a granny blanket obsession and getting out and about a bit more at weekends thanks to all the lovely spring weather we’ve been having. So I’m very pleased to finally introduce you to Harriet and Harvey, the baby Hippos who love bedtime, snuggly blankets, soft pillows and fancy pyjamas!

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Sleepover parties are one of their most favorite things, snuggled up in their blankets, chatting with friends into the small hours. There’s usually a secret midnight feast too, with cheese and crackers and chocolate biscuits, but only after they’ve crept around the house to make sure all the grown-ups have gone to sleep!  Harvey and Harriet also like a quiet night in. When it’s just the two of them they happily toddle off to bed for an early night with hot chocolate (marshmallows on top of course) and a good book. After all, little hippos don’t get to be this good looking without getting lots of beauty sleep!

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 The pattern has all the instructions you’ll need for Harvey and Harriet Hippo as well as their pretty matching bedding.

 Good night little hippopotami. Sweet dreams!


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Zoomigurumi 3

 A quick update on Zoomigurumi 3 to let you know it will be available for pre-sale on March 1st. You can find out more and see the previous Zoomigurumi books here: www.amigurumipatterns.net/books

Exciting news…Look who made the front cover…My very own Hedley the Hedgehog!

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If you’re an amigurumi enthusiast then you’ll really love these books. There’s such a mix of different styles from a variety of experienced designers. The patterns have different skill levels so there’s  something for everyone within the covers of one of these books. I think you’ll be spoiled for choice! Here are the other contenders for the front cover to give you a tantalizing peek at two of the other designs that will be in the new book.

(Photography and graphics by Joke Vermeiren at amigurumipatterns.net )

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Even if you’re a beginner, or totally uninitiated to amigurumi, these books have a great explanation guide at the beginning, telling you everything you need to know in both words and diagrams. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Zoomigurumi 3. When I’m not designing my own amigurumi I just love following other peoples patterns instead. It’s my relaxing spare time go-to activity (along with sock knitting and granny squares). A bit of a busmans holiday I know, but I just can’t get enough of all that yarny happiness!


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Mermaid spotted on Floodplain!

It feels like it’s been raining forever, and the River Severn just keeps getting higher and higher. The swans are happy though, and there has been a rare inland sighting of Meredith the Mermaid. Though technically a saltwater inhabitant this little mermaid is having no trouble adapting to a freshwater environment. We think she must have arrived here from our nearest seaside resort of Weston-Super-Mare, having negotiated the weirs and managed to swim upstream, splashing along the floodplains with her faithful friend Stella the Starfish!

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Here’s Meredith and her pals in sunnier times, relaxing on the beach.

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They won’t be on land for long though, too much sunshine can be very drying for their delicate skin. Too much water, however, is never a problem for a mermaid. Shame that can’t be said for the rest of us! Now the main bridge is closed, due to rising water levels, traffic chaos is all that’s left for those of us born without fins or webbed feet! This is my cycle route around the river. It’s been out of action for weeks now. If this goes on much longer I might just sell my bike and buy a pedalo instead!

At least my house is out of the danger zone, being halfway up a big hill. I have to admit that over the years I’ve often cursed the steepness of the gradient while carrying shopping or pushing toddlers in buggies up it, but I’m pretty grateful right now!


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Cheery Chirpy Chicks

As an antidote to all the rather grim cold, wet, snowy and windy weather still prevailing in much of the northern hemisphere we can still dream ahead to all the joys that the coming spring will bring. To help you all on your way to imagining  blue skies, buds on trees, pretty flowers, the sun on your face and the emergence of another round of hope and glory, I thought it was a good time to post some pictures of some cheeky little cheery chirpy chicks. You can find the pattern on my free Moji-Moji patterns page

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Here they are with their older cousins, Chelsea and Charlie. Looks like those two have got their wings full with these little guys.

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Mischief is definitely on the Little Chirpy Chick’s minds. They’re about to burst out of their egg box and run riot all over the garden!

If you think you might need Chelsea and Charlie to help you keep an eye on your little chirpy chicks you can get their pattern in my Etsy or Ravelry stores.

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Even though we are still in deepest, darkest January I wish happy springtime day-dreaming to you all!


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Frosty, Freezy and Fred.

Now that Halloween is over and done with I’ve started  thinking about my next big favorite occasion… Christmas! The only pattern that I designed specifically for Christmas  last year was Beau and Belle. Here they are, daydreaming about the joys of Christmas morning already.

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This year I plan to do a whole collection of Christmas themed amigurumis.

So here is my first pattern – Frosty, Freezy and Fred.  They each have their own matching sets of stylish winter woollies. I thought they might help herald in an early flutter of snow. We don’t get much of the white stuff here in Worcester so I always get ridiculously excited about it when it does happen!

But even if it rarely, or never, snows where you live there’s no need to miss out on all the fun, you can still make your very own set of smiley snowmen with a hook and a few oddments of yarn. No frostbite to worry about and no chance of them melting into a depressing sludgy puddle either! At just over 7″ tall  a whole bunch of these little fellas can be made in double quick time. I plan to do a few more yet so I can experiment with some different color combinations. I hope you like them.

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