Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Chasing the Sunshine

It’s been a real pleasure to see such a profusion of  bright colours on my riverwalk in recent weeks.

When the sun shines I get myself up and out of the house for a 4 mile round trip as often as I can be bothered. It’s rather tempting to just sit working in my pyjamas during the winter and early spring months but not really all that good for morale or the waistline in the long term!

Dodging the rain and chasing the rays is still a main preoccupation as the former is abundant and the latter is still relatively scarce, though getting better by the day. At least for now!

Nature switching between the relative extremes our weather throws at us always makes me appreciate the good days more, especially when they’re hemmed in on all sides by the bad ones. Life wouldn’t be nearly so vital or exciting without the contrasts.

There are flashes of colour everywhere I look. In an ancient stone wall by the cathedral…

…or the more industrial canalside setting.

All guaranteed to send me back to my studio with a bigger smile than when I left and much more energy and inspiration with which to pick up my hook again.

Back at home I’m still crocheting a woolly garden for one of my blanket projects and the number of flowers has grown steadily, just as they have outside in the real world.

I’ve only managed to scribble up the flower notes so far but I’m planning on taking a bunch of photos of how to crochet the whole hexi motif next.

My hexis are coming along nicely. I’ve arranged them in graded colours so I can see what I’m missing from the overall colour balance.

They make a super cat mattress.

But then so does a lap. My kitties are never short of a bit of comfort and I’m never short of the joy they bring. It’s a win win situation for us all!

The bright blanket I began a few weeks ago is undergoing a surprise metamorphosis into a cushion for my cat crochet chair. As I’m making the hexis into a blanket I though another cushion might be more useful instead.

One of my mandalas is also having a change of use and is going to be made into a round cushion instead of a covering for a footstool as I misjudged the shaping of the sides and it came out more flat than tubular! I’m still not sure how that happened, but it seems that double and treble crochets don’t shape up in a similar way to the single crochets I mostly use for my amigurumi.

So it’s back to the drawing board for a fancy looking footstool cover but onwards and outwards – making a few more rounds to finish the cushions.

I’m continuing to work on both mandalas, on and off. More off than on lately as the rounds take longer to complete as they get bigger (stating the obvious, I know!), so I’m just getting one round done every now and again, in between other projects.

It’s been gorgeous to see a flash or two of sunshine through the studio window…

…even if most of the light is soaked up by a feline solar ray sponge before it can reach me.

One thing’s for sure – my window needs a jolly good clean. There’s nothing like a blast of low slanting spring sunshine for showing up the grime of winter!

A favorite part of this time of year for me is when the clocks go forwards and the evenings suddenly become lighter for longer, meaning that evening walks become a frequent fixture when hubby gets back from work.

It really is a lovely way to round off the day and my legs and back are mostly grateful for a good stretch after hours of crocheting, or hunching over a keyboard.

Here’s a gorgeous little scene from one of this week’s crepuscular rambles. Such a pretty sight and plenty more to come as the evenings continue to lengthen out.

I still like the cosy after dark hours, but they feel even nicer after an evening stroll. I’ve got lots of ends to darn in on the mandalas…

…and the daisy hexagons too so there’s plenty of end-of-the day, brainfog-friendly sort of work to keep me busy for a while yet .

I’ve actually come to quite enjoy darning in ends as my crochet obsession deepens. A bit of sewing and snipping keeps my hands happily engaged while my mind can wander off, or get itself involved in whats on the TV, or allow my ears to fully engage with the programmes on Radio 4. No need to deliberate for ages about colour combinations or to twist my grey matter into knots counting rows and stitches. Pure crafty relaxation!

I hope you’ve got plenty of that sort of thing lined up for yourselves over the weekend. I’m certainly planning on getting my fair share, and possibly a bit more!


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Creepy Crawlies, Butterflies and Flowers

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

Zabbez Bree and Calin

Awww – cute!!

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

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

SnailLunch

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

ZabbezFlowers

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

Sunflower

Not a bad match at all!

caterpillar

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

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

Morphos

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

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

Morpho-Yarn

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

Making-Bree

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

PapaBree

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


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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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Birthday Treats

What joy! More sunshine. It’s been a lovely mix of cosy evenings in, and lovely fresh sunshine outdoors during the day for my birthday week. (Well, a day’s just not enough is it!) I’m loving the warm temperatures too.

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It’s been a pleasure to take some time to get on with edging my poncho, tidying up the garden and picking some produce. The grapes are plentiful and big this year, what with all the sunshine and the rain, so should make a good batch of red wine if I can get around to it in time, but we’ll make do with grape juice if not, or we’ll just eat them as they are. That’s my first ever homegrown apple sitting there too, all plump and juicy. I had a grand total of five of these beauties, with the hope of even more next year. Surprising that anything has fruited so magnificently in my overgrown, untidy plot, but nature’s a persistent force and doesn’t like to take no for an answer – especially the weeds!DSCN4845All those weeds have to be good for the creepy crawlies though, so I’m not feeling too guilty. However I will have to have a bit of a dandelion cull or my paving is going to disappear completely. Lucky for me, one of my birthday presents was a voucher for the garden center so off I trotted and filled a trolley or two with some autumn/winter colour for the borders and containers that I’ve been clearing out. Now if this sight isn’t inspiring enough to make me put down the crochet for long enough to get the garden under some semblance of control, then I don’t know what is!DSCN4868Lots of fab offers at the garden center have resulted in my being spoilt for choice as to where to put all of this horticultural bounty. Being a nosy type, as all cats are, Tigger comes along to find out what’s going on…DSCN4871Not sure if he approves or not of my planting schemes but he always enjoys being outdoors with the humans. Kept company by the presence of various cats I manage to get all of my new plants bedded in and potted up.DSCN5081Here’s a little gallery of all my hard work. It’s got to settle in and fill out a bit yet but I think it’s going to look lovely over the next few weeks, that is, if, and I’m sure this is a massive IF, the snails and slugs can leave the plants alone long enough for them to really get going. Of course I’m not blaming Shelley here, or her babies, Sheldon and Shelby. I had a word with them and, apart from being present at several of the crime scenes, and admitting to a bite out of the odd Pansy petal or two, they’re all for blaming the slugs for most of the holes and nibble marks that are appearing already. I suppose they know I’m a soft touch and won’t be putting any slug pellets down so they’re all getting a bit cocky (and a bit fat) around here!

As well as the lovely plants, birthday treats also came in the form of some fabulous yarn and stationary, to help my amigurumi designing along. Now the garden has had a good dose of tender loving care, I’m eager to get doodling some new designs, and fiddling about with my new yarn. And just look at my M o j o drawer knobs! Can’t wait to put those somewhere in my craft room.
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Though my cat Mojo is pretty self important as it is and I’m sure this will only confirm his belief that he resides as supreme ruler at the center of the universe!

x (Where he rightly belongs of course) xMojoKnobsAll hail Lord Mojo!


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Squaring Up

My second Granny square blanket is coming along rather nicely now. It’s all been made in the evenings and on weekends, car journeys, waiting at the dentist, bus trips, picnics, etc. etc. In fact any spare minute that I could get hold of. It’s had to vie for attention with my poncho project but I think on balance it’s had a fair share of my time. You might remember that I started out with this colour scheme.Daisy6

I tried to reign in my colour choices and stick to a more restrained selection. However, I’m now running out of the original colours and it seems quite wrong to go out and buy more of the same when I have several tons (almost literally, I’m sure!) of yarn all ready and waiting to be put to good use. So in the end I’ve deemed it necessary to add in some different colours, mainly in the form of a couple of greens and a slightly brighter blue so far.str

The addition of green was inspired by this small posy picked from the garden last weekend

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The foliage looks lovely next to the pinks and purples of the flowers, so hopefully the same should apply to my blanket! I think I’m going to join them in a checkerboard grid of green borders alternating with the pink/blue/magenta borders of the original batch of squares.

squ

Now they just have  to be laid out on the floor for me to contemplate the colour balance properly, but that’s where I keep running into this little problem called Mojo! He’s got a real thing for these squares and loves to sit on them.DSCN4858

This may look very sweet and totally harmless until this happens… It starts with an expression that all of us cat owners must know so well…

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…and it ends like this via a supersonic scrabble and a back flip. I didn’t even have time to capture it on camera, but there’s my carefully laid out schema gone to pot and one nonchalant looking cat whose refusing point blank to show any remorse! Ah well, a small element of random is always good and I think I know roughly where I wanted everything to go.Mojo

In order to get the whole thing finished, and in view of the fact that there won’t be so much gadding about during the autumn and winter months, meaning my allotment of peaceful crochet time in the car is much less, I’ve set up camp in the corner of the living room. Now I intend to spend quality time with the family during the cosy, dark evenings while always having my project close to hand.

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I suspect it wont be long before I find a cat asleep in that basket though, or my neat little piles of work tossed around like confetti! It’s a good reason to hurry along and get darning in those ends and joining it all together before too much feline mischief can be had!