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Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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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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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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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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And the winner is…

Remember the design competition I wrote about in which Cyril the Squirrel insisted on taking part? Well Cyril actually came 2nd in the end! I’m very proud of him and with over 260 entries and 4500 people casting their votes (thanks to all who took the time!) I think that makes the competition a resounding all round success!

Here’s Cyril on the podium with the other winners, Zorg the Paleontologist by Sandy O’Brien, and Monsieur Le Lobster Chef, by Joyce Overheul.

Animals at Work Design Competition

Now I’m very happy to announce he’s going to be in an amigurumi pattern book published by Joke Vermeiren and, of course, it’s all about animals and the marvelous jobs they do. Who’d have thought that so many animals would be good at so many different occupations!

Follow me on Facebook to be sure of updates about this exciting new book or check in with AmigurumiPatterns.net for more details and you’ll be able to make you very own set of industrious animals soon!

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Luckily I wrote the pattern as I went along so it’s just a matter of reformatting it to suit the style of the book. With the deadline for copy fast approaching I’d better make like Cyril with his nut stash and get cracking!


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Cyril the Squirrel – Head Gardener and Nut Gatherer

I absolutely love this time of year, the reds and russets of the trees, the cozy dark evenings, the thin, fresh autumn sunshine (if we’re lucky!). So, in honor of all things autumnal, I have created this design for a squirrel named Cyril. This bushy tailed fellow loves  gardening. You could say it’s his passion. So he was thrilled to bits when he was offered the job of Head Gardener at Nutsford Manor, just down the lane from his mossy tree trunk home. He is, of course, naturally well equipped for the job with his huge bushy tail, which he puts to use to sweep the garden clean.  So now, every autumn, he gathers all the fallen leaves and twigs in his wheelbarrow, ready to make bonfires to warm the chilly evenings. One of the perks of the job is being able to gather up enough acorns and horse chestnuts for his supper too, plus a few to stash away in his pantry ready for the winter!

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And then after I  made him and he told me his story, I decided to enter him in a competition with the theme ‘Animals at Work’ as he fits the bill pretty well!

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And the great thing is that this competition is open to everyone, wherever you live, amateur or professional, pattern writer or free-wheeling yarn doodler! It’s totally free to enter (yay!) and there are some great prizes too. If you want to be a part of the fun then head on over to Amigurumipatterns.net  and have a look at what you could win and how you can take part. You’ve got until November 24th 2013 to get your entries in. Don’t worry if you’ve never made a written pattern before, you only need a photograph of your amigurumi to be eligible. So get out your hooks, rummage through your yarn stash and get creative!