Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Spencer the Spider

I’m not usually a fan of spiders at all, but I was out cleaning the shed today and bumped into this little fella. I’ve got to admit, he doesn’t look as scary as some spiders that I’ve seen (well, maybe those fangs….)820SpiderHe’s been very busy building some rather carefully constructed webs ready for his house warming party later. The guests have started to arrive already.

First there were two.820Spider3Then there were three.820Spider1 Next thing you know, four of these little monsters are tucked up together getting ready for a big night in. The Bluebottle kebabs and aphid salad are ready to serve and everyone is buzzing with anticipation. (Or is that just the kebabs I can hear?)820Spider4 With eight legs apiece to shake their (rather generously sized) booties with, they really are quite the party animals. Spencer can even play the fiddle and still have six legs left to dance a jig! It’s going to be one helluva party in my shed tonight.

I was invited and I thought I might try to be brave and go along – but then this big Black Widow arrived and suddenly I’m thinking… I’ll take a rain check on that. I know her tricks. BlackSpider She’s got a habit of playing dead and then biting your ankle when you’re not looking! Not my idea of fun!!820DSCN4302I think I’ll just leave them to it. I know the famous saying ‘If you want to live and thrive, let a spider run alive’ but I think it’s going to be me doing all the running every time I bump into this lot together.SpiderParty There’s just way too many eyes and legs gathered together in one space. I’d love to try to get over my arachnaphobia but I think I’ll have to take it one spider at a time.


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The Outdoor Studio

It’s been a scorcher of a week here in Worcester. I’m still a little bit yearning to be back at the seaside though that has been nearly compensated for by having such a lovely spot in the garden in which to work. It’s become my outdoor studio space since Hubby finished making the big new dining table a few weeks ago. DSCN4213There’s certainly plenty of space with which to tackle all my crochet projects and the dappled shade is perfect. (As you can see, Tigger thinks so too). If you look carefully you can see a little teaser of my next crochet pattern!

The table has been thriftily recycled out of the boys old playhouse. They’ve passed that stage in their lives when a small wooden hut on stilts is enough to provide them with hours of imaginative role play and hide-away fun. Now that the wood has been re-purposed it serves to pull all the family together for some laid back al fresco meal times.DSCN4216 We all enjoyed some great new vegetarian barbecue recipes from the BBC Good Food website that were completely lip-smackingly delicious.

 Melting-Middle Aubergine Parcels and Courgette and Haloumi Skewers

In the balmy evenings I’ve been sitting out until after dark, stealthily working on the stack of granny squares I started last weekend.

They’ve now all been edged in a slightly different multi-tone yarn. This is a James C Brett yarn and I’m really pleased with the way it has framed the Noro squares and tied all the random elements of colour together. Those contrasting twists are just gorgeous. Here are the squares before and after I edged them.

I’m planning on making a poncho and a bag out of these. When the weather finally gets cooler I’ll be finding my warm and richly coloured ensemble very useful I’m sure!DSCN4223Lushious colour contrasts make each square totally unique and are going to leave me spoilt for choice as to how to combine them. I’ll keep it all quite random I think…

Now it’s time to get back to my new amigurumi design. I’ve got some final pattern writing to do which means an evening installed in front of the computer and away from my new outdoor studio. I’m looking forward to getting it finished though and adding another creature to the Moji-Moji family.

Here’s a final sneak peak of them as a work in progress.DSCN4210Curious little things that they are, I think they’re enjoying a sneak peak back at you too!


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Summer Flowers and Rain Showers

What a week for unpredictable weather! Although as most summers are like this it might be more accurate to say that the weather is predictably unpredictable! I’ve been crocheting outside when the sun has been shining and crocheting indoors when it’s been raining. To make things easier I’ve re-purposed a wash-bag and filled it with all my crochet and craft essentials so now I’m always ready for any weather eventuality!

In the hope of more good than bad weather this summer, I’ve been sewing some pretty flowery bunting for the garden made out of a few cheap and cheerful shower curtains (and the bunting will match my new crochet bag too. How cool is that!)

Here’s one of the finished lengths.

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Hmm, another of those projects temporarily halted by one of my cats taking up residence on top of it. That’s the kind of sour-puss face I’m not messing with. Tigger can stay put for a while, I’ve got some crochet to be getting on with anyway!

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I’m still working on the daisy squares and have used some of them to make a cushion cover.

I’m going to make a few more with some of the other squares. It’s kind of nice to have a quick fix project sometimes and they’ll be perfect for when I’m lounging around outside, in between the storms!

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The view from my bedroom window says it all about this weeks mixed bag of meteorological horrors and delights!

So, whether the weather be good…

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or whether the weather be bad…

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or whether the weather be somewhere in the middle…

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Here’s to another week of happy hooking and bunting making under stormy and/or sunny skies!


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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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Lazy Daisy Days

Well, that’s half term over and out. It completely flew by again at lightening speed, like it always does! I didn’t get much amigurumi done as it’s just nice to be with the boys sometimes and not have a head full of stitch counts and row numbers for a change. Even hubby was at home all week too, so some proper family time was definitely a priority. Of course I still did quite a lot of crochet (obviously!) I’ve been enjoying lovely, lazy, hazy, daisy making sessions on car journeys and day trips, at stately homes, on buses, in cafes, at picnics, during barbecues and even in the pub! My travel box of daisy delights can accompany me anywhere and keeps everything nice and clean and oh-so organized! A little box of woolly heaven. Daisy1

These nosy snails seem to approve! Or maybe they’re thinking what a tasty snack a box of daisies would make. Though I’m pretty relaxed about what they eat in my garden, I’m not quite so relaxed about my crochet. These daisies are definitely not up for grabs. Better shut the lid, quick!

Daisy2 Here are a few of my completed squares. So far I’ve been sticking to a much more limited colour palette than my last Granny Square project.  I’ve just used a light and dark shade of blue and pink. Daisy7 I’m liking the fact that I’m being rather restrained in my colour choices this time. Sometimes I have to remind myself that less can be more! Daisy4 My final daisy square count to date is 42. I think I’m about a third of the way there if I decide to make another blanket. Either that or I’ve got four cushions and two thirds good to go which is quite tempting actually. I’m in need of some snuggly cushion covers for the lounge. These could fit the bill rather well. Oh decisions, decisions!

A Blanket?

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Or cushions?

Daisy6 Or maybe cushions and a blanket, if my patience and my wool stash can both hold out for long enough that is!


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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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Crochet Alfresco

It’s so nice to have all the family together over this lovely long weekend. We’ve had plenty of sunshine here too and so lots of opportunity to get out in the garden.

My first Granny Square blanket is finished. Complete with a stripy border and a pretty scalloped edge. It’s been great for wrapping up in as the sun goes down and the evening chill settles in. I love it’s bright colors out here. It kind of makes up for the fact that I’m not very good at growing flowers. Here’s the finished blanket looking bright and zingy on my favorite garden bench – my perfect outdoor crochet and reading corner.

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I found the whole blanket making process so relaxing I’ve started another one already. I chose a daisy pattern this time, if I can’t grow them then I’ll crochet them instead! I found this great tutorial on Laura’s tillie tulip blog with lots of helpful photos too.

So far I have these squares made up and am still at the color experimenting stage.

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You can see that the color picks are much softer in this picture of the old blanket next to the new squares I made today.  I’ve also made a bunch of purple squares and a couple of pink ones too. I think I’ll just keep on experimenting with different color combinations for now and decide on the look for the next blanket later. I can always make cushions with the squares that I don’t choose. They’ll look great in the garden and will make lounging around outside even more appealing.

Have a lovely Easter everyone!

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When even the bad weather’s good!

There was no day trip out with my boys last weekend after all as the weather was unspeakably horrid with lashings of rain, hideous thunderstorms and some gale force winds thrown in for good measure – It was all just too tempting to stay tucked up indoors. Turns out, all that rain really is the perfect weather for ducks. You see, as a result of being housebound I managed to completely finish my pattern testing of Sarah from  Sarselgurumi’s Puddles the Duckling and, oh my! She turned out sweet! Take a look…

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And here she is making friends with two of my own Minimals, the duckling and the frog, they’re having a jolly good chat around the pond, and my little duck is not at all jealous now he has got to know Puddles better. In fact those two haven’t stopped quacking since they met and the poor frog is having a hard time getting a ribbet in edge ways!

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Here’s the rest of the Minimals-In the Garden gang, all sitting pretty together!

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Even though the weather was terrible last weekend, and continued to rain most of this week, the good thing is that as a result of all this staying home,  as well as being ahead of schedule with the pattern testing for Zoomigurumi 3 , I’ve also finished and sent off my own contribution (a hedgehog named Hedley, I’ll post some photos of him soon!) and  caught up with most of my paperwork, my accounts and the dreaded self assessment tax form. But I’m going a bit stir crazy now!

The sky still looks grey and like it’s threatening more rain soon but I’m going to take a cheeky Friday off anyway. I fancy a brisk walk to see how the floods are looking on the banks of the river Severn. (Spurred on  by the fact that my favorite yarn shop is only a quick detour from the river, around the cathedral and in to town!) Either way, come likely rain or unlikely shine, it will be good to stretch my legs after being cooped up indoors for the best part of a week. I might take the two ducklings with me to meet their Severn dwelling brethren! I guess they won’t need umbrella’s and wellington boots, being ducks and all, but I’ll definitely be taking mine!

What ever the weather where you are, have a fabulous weekend everybody!