Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Sunshine, Stripes and New Amigurumis

It’s been a busy week! I’m finally finding my feet again after Christmas and beginning to be a little more productive. I’ve been working on finishing my twin elephants, Eleanor and Elijah.

Here’s a little sneak peak at my elephant babies. The pattern will be out very soon, I just have to make the cover, give the whole thing a final check and it should be good to go.

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Eleanor and Elijah turned out bigger than I had originally planned, they sort of grew and grew as they went along – rather like me over the Christmas break! I just love their cuddly rotundness though, they’re kind of cute in their overstretched pinafore and overalls!

This week I’ve also been working at a steady pace, stitch by vibrant stitch on my winter warmer Mexican Stripe blanket. It’s moving pretty quickly now due to the double crochets (or triples to my UK friends). That’s a stitch that is very easy on my poor overworked wrist and knuckles too. After all the tightly tensioned single crochets (UK doubles) used in my amigurumi, it’s good therapy to change stitches and loosen up for a while. Here’s my progress so far.

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As you can see I’m concentrating on getting blocks of stripes crocheted and then joined together. I like to work in chunks like that. A row of Granny Squares then a block of Granny Stripes, alternating the tasks to get some variety as I work. It’s getting there but I’ve still got a long way left to go. I’m enjoying this project lots. It’s having the desired effect of cheering up my January, even if it has actually been much sunnier than expected so far. It’s still been cold and the days are still too short, though they have been unexpectedly sweet.

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These sunbeams just make the blanket look even jollier! Oh, and I tidied my studio last weekend. What a huge task that was. I remember doing the same post Christmas purge on unnecessary clutter around this time last year and writing about it here. My tidy studio was a pleasure to behold for all of, well, around a fortnight or so! Let’s hope I can keep it nice for a bit longer this time. Like at least three weeks, or maybe even a month!! Too ambitious? We’ll see. I’ve even tidied up my Granny Square centres by skewering them onto knitting needles. Mmmm, yummy yarn Kebabs!

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When I’m working on a project I’m a sucker for matching up my accessories the best I can. It’s not always possible to do this 100% just with what I already have lying about, but I reckon I got pretty close this time. Stash bag, pencil case, scissors… all gathered up together to keep this particular project organized, handy and ready to follow me on car journeys and bus trips of varying lengths, as needs be. A great grab-and-go ensemble! I’m loving all the hot pinks!

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Now the missing must-have accessory for a Mexican Blanket is surely a Mexican Cactus to be my faithful sidekick and trusty pincushion. So I took a teensy  break from the Granny Stripes to whip one up. Now I’m pleased to introduce Carlos the Cactus. Here he is lurking in amongst the yarn and crochetwork.

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Look! He’s waving to you! What a happy chappy 🙂

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Now to transfer the pins from the toadstool. Time for some Cactus acupuncture.

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That’s better!  He’s promised to be on hand to lend me pins every time I need to attach the squares to the stripes. You see this has turned out not to be an exact art. Even though I’ve been sure to match up the stitch count across the Granny Square stripes and the Granny Stripe stripes, the Granny Square stripes always end up a little longer than the Granny Stripe stripes (tongue twister time there!). I think the squares are just a bit more prone to stretching but all of that is put right with a bit of careful pinning and all squares and stripes match up beautifully in the end. Phew!

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So January turned out to be pretty good after all. I’ve decided there are worse things than dark chilly evenings tucked up with crochet in a warm cosy home. I get the feeling that Minnie agrees with me too!

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One blissed out cat, settling in for the night… and hogging all the yarn and blanket pieces while she’s at it!

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Keep warm and cosy folks!

See you soon with an update on my new amigurumi designs!


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Winter Blues? No Thanks!

Christmas is over, the New Year’s celebrations have been and gone with a pyrotechnic bang and, as so often happens at this time of year, I’m feeling in need of a pick me up. The wine consumption is very sensibly down to zero as part of my traditional New Year austerity measures, chocolate and cake are out of the picture until the extra few pounds of Christmas indulgence is banished from my waistline. With all that in mind, and with grey skies from one horizon to the next, this begs the question of how’s a girl supposed to cheer herself up through the long dark winter? Well, of course there’s always crochet and there’s always colour, so I’ve started a brand new Blues-Chaser blanket!

While searching for inspiration I started thinking where in the world would I really like to be right now if I could get away from all this drizzly, cold, grey English weather?  Mexico would be good – with it’s sunshine and super bright colour palettes that are guaranteed to put a person in a perky mood!  As a trip to sunnier climes is not currently a realistic option, a quick search for ‘Mexican Colours‘ on Pinterest seemed to be the next best thing. And even though I can’t hop on a plane and be there myself, I have to say that this was nearly as good therapy. I think you’ll agree when you see some of my favorite images. Got your shades ready? Prepare to be dazzled!

Mexican-ColoursAnd in case that’s not enough of a cheery blast for you here are some more sizzlingly gorgeous picks.820Mexican-Colours-2Then to the yarn stash for a big rummage around to see if I could match up that Fiesta feeling. This is going to be another thrifty blanket – also part of the New Year austerity measures mentioned above, so I really can’t buy in any more balls of wool for this one. Not that that should be any kind of problem as my long term addiction to popping into any and all yarn shops I happen to pass by has always necessitated at least one 50g purchase of something soft and luscious. I must surely have enough wool around for a hundred blankets by now! (New Year’s Resolution – no more buying yarn unless absolutely necessary. New Year’s conundrum – define ‘absolutely necessary’!)

After digging deep I eventually found these lurking around and they were just right for what I had in mind.Mexican-YarnI mentioned in an earlier post about my Daisy Blanket that I wanted to make something stripy this time. Oh boy, I loved doing these stripes. They’re a very relaxing and low concentration kind of endeavor. I made a slight variation on the granny stripe theme by adding in little blips of contrasting colour in between the larger stripes. I think the smaller points of colour really zazz the whole thing up. Very happy with this so far.820-Mex-StripesThen I got to thinking that it might be a bit samey after a while and that it might lose its punch a bit as the blanket grows bigger and bigger as there will be no solid blocks of colours to add impact. Lots of the images I found of Mexican textiles had plain stripes alternating with patterned stripes, which I really liked. My solution to the lack of variety was to put in a few rows of mini Granny Squares to shake things up a little.820-Mex-GranNow that the colours are sorted, the basic maths is calculated and a rough idea of a design is forming it’s time to pack up a basket with all the necessaries and get hooking!Mexican Blanket BasketThis is going to be fun. The colours make me smile just to look at them and should provide a nice fix to carry me through until the spring. Whatever the weather for the next few months the only winter ‘blues’ that are allowed around here are being crocheted into this comforting blanket.Mex-Blanket1Come rain, snow, hail, gale or just plain old sombre grey skies, I’ve got me a bright and happy place to dip in and out of as and when I need it!Mexican-RumpleAnd just in case you need another dose of Mexican colour therapy here are some pretty, eye popping pinatas. Ooh, those colours are so lush!Pinatas-1 Pinatas-2

Question: Who put the Sombre into Sombrero? Answer: No-one!


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Pushing On With The Daisies

Hip, Hip Hooray! All my Daisy Blanket squares are finally crocheted together, and the blanket is just in need of a finished border. The end is in sight and the whole project has provided me with a very welcome burst of colour therapy to get me through these wet, grey and generally pretty dreary late autumn days we’ve been experiencing around here lately. We have had some sunshine today though, so I took advantage of the light to take a few pictures.DaisyLinesIt’s difficult not to smile quietly inside when you are tucked up on the sofa, hooking a methodic row of little shells, lap all warm and toasty underneath the blanket, along with the the odd cat too. It’s a bit tricky turning the corners with a furry lump hunkered down in the middle of your yarny endeavor, but if you could hear how loudly Mojo was purring you wouldn’t want to move him either!DSCN5835Then it’s Pogo’s turn. Well, we can’t give the cats any cause for jealousy issues, so they’re all welcome for a cuddle and a snuggle. I just do what I can, when I can and the cats rule the roost, as usual.PogoThough I really love the yellow centres of the daisies I just couldn’t get used to the white/yellow/white stripe I originally made for the edge in this next photo. I decided that I wanted the border to be made of richer colours, so the work you see here has now been unpicked! There’s no point spending all that time on something just to have it niggle at you because it’s not exactly right.DSCN5845So I stripped it back to the first round of white edging and began again. I’ve got this far… and already I like the purple better.DSCN5963Some orange, pinks and greens should set it all off a treat. I hope so anyway, as unraveling hours of work is always a bit of a drag. Here’s the blanket basking in today’s bit of sun as it glances through the french windows in the kitchen.DSCN5953I’m always keen to get as much free warmth as possible at this time of year and it’s been lovely spending some time hooking at the kitchen table, soaking up the rays and watching the colours sing.KitchenCrochetGet it while you can, that’s what I say 🙂FlowersThe blanket is a bit puffy and doesn’t quite lie flat in places but that’s really the result of using a random collection of mis-matched yarns, even if they are all labelled as Double Knit. This is a ‘thrifty’ blanket though, and as such I have only used the yarns I’ve had to hand, so I think it’s wobbly, bobbly nature should be embraced in celebration of all that is cheap and cheerful!DSCN5977Mojo doesn’t seem to mind it’s lumpy qualities. He knows cosy when he sees it. Much better than the bare wood for sitting on and I suppose the more it’s squashed by a cat’s backside the flatter it’s likely to end up!MojoSittingIs that a mouse? Quick, pounce!MojoPounceDSCN5969Oh, no, it’s just a ball of wool with a crochet hook in it.DSCN5970Much better than playing with the real thing Mojo. Just try not to snag up the blanket while you’re at it!

So there we have it. Just a few more rounds to do, and a few more ends to darn in over the course of this weeks evenings. Then I can start on the next one. Oooh, how exciting. I might try my hand at some stripes next. I’d better be off then, I’ve got several hundred Pinterest images to scroll through in search of my next inspiration. It’s a tough life 😉


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Pressing Projects

I took myself off for a little stroll around the river to do a bit of leaf collecting last weekend, with a view to pressing some and keeping them for posterity. Well for a few weeks anyway. I thought a nice autumn leaf bunting/garland would be pretty hanging on my wall. So, with the help of my ancient flower press that I’ve had since the 1980’s…820flowerpress…and a  hard backed craft book for the larger specimens, some paper towels and a heap of pretty leaves, my youngest son and I got to work.820leavesAnd what a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.

We figured that patterns like these deserved to be preserved. (Yes, I’m a poet too!)

All the colours that spring to mind when thinking of the autumn are in those leaves. I also scattered some in front of the fire to dry naturally so they’d have a much more crinkly look, (rather like me these days!)820grateFast forward a little bit and here they are, all rustic and glorious in one of my favorite old chippy china bowls…820chippybowl…and I’m loving how they echo some of the colours in my almost-very-nearly-finished poncho. I may have started it last season but I think the colours are just right for this season.820ponchoI’ve only got to put the rest of the tassels on and darn in a few more ends. One last heave-ho push and it will be ready to wear just in time for the cold snap, especially useful when we’ve just been told to expect a month of storms ahead! My house is old and draughty so it will be nice to have a woolly buffer zone made by my own fair hands to swan around in this winter. So far as the usual British climate goes, we’ve had more than our fair share of sunshine and tropical temperatures this year. It couldn’t have been any hotter when I started making this poncho during a trip to Weymouth.DSCN4115The squares have actually turned out to be a crazy mix of the rich reds and browns of autumn thrown in with this gorgeous azure blue of the sea at Chesil Beach, which all seems very fitting – like I’ve crocheted the memory of that glorious day into a winter comfort. The bright reds in my poncho will remind me of the accidental sunburn too. Oops!DSCN4108Wow, it’s good to look back and remember all that fabulous weather, I’m very glad of this years copious sunshine and feel I can more cheerfully face the winter months with a little more vitamin D and a lot more happy sunny memories stored away!820ponI’ve been around the poncho once and put tassels in every chain space, but I think the fringe needs to be more dense. It will hang better too with the extra weight. I cut a few more 12″ lengths to finish the fringing, counting out the right amount of threads, so as not to waste any precious yarn. That’s stage one of the final push done and dusted.DSCN5781Stage 2 is to get distracted piddling around with the colours for no obvious reason, other than it’s fun! Look, I made a still life in the style of Van Gogh. This ones called ‘Sunset Over the Malvern Hills’ 820tassOr how about ‘Starry Night with Fish’?820fishReally, it’s no wonder it’s taking me so long to get it finished! And then, the inevitable Minnie Interlude. Aww bless.820allmineOn with the Daisy Blanket instead then. The end is in sight for this project too.DSCN5744Which begs the question, how long until another of my cats turns up and decides they just have to have a nap in this pile of woolly heaven? I’ll let you know… but I already suspect it won’t be too long. Perhaps we’ll all curl up in it this chilly autumn night and be glad of the warmth and the company!SlippersOr I might go work on my new Elephant pattern. This is Elijah and he’s looking kind of cute so far.820ellyIt appears he enjoys snuggling up in blankets too. In fact he’s refusing to come out until I crochet him a girlfriend. He says he’s too shy to go on Etsy on his own. He’s made me promise to start making Eleanor tomorrow at the latest. So that’s my plan, unless I get distracted again by random things, like housework, though I’ll try my very best not to let that happen 🙂


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Awesome Autumn

It seems we’re well on our way to a proper Autumn at last. Slow to get going this year because of all the unseasonably warm weather, a big storm a few days ago has blown the leaves down and those left on the trees are turning deeper shades of red and orange every day. Time to cosy up! And now I remember all the things I love about this time of year. And lots of them involve yarn or food! Here are a random selection of ten of them.
1) A cosy combination of, skinny jeans, sturdy boots and fake fur.
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Just right forexploring the autumn countryside on one of my favorite Malvern walks. It’s a long hard slog to get to the top but it’s always worth it for the views.

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Even if it’s about to pour down with rain!
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2) Re-discovering my collection of hand knitted socks. Yes I know I can buy a pair of socks for a fraction of the cost and save time too, but where’s the fun in that!
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I found some great free patterns over at Dyed Jems Yarn Company. I might try these sweet pumpkin coloured Waffle Socks next, or maybe the Rippled Lace or the Lattice pattern.


All my socks have been plain stocking stitch so far. It might be time to ramp things up a notch! Although Minnie seems to have taken a proprietorial stance with the sock yarn now. Perhaps I can persuade her to let go of it if I promise to knit some for her!
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4) Shiny new Horse Chestnuts fresh out of their armour. Whose up for a conker fight?
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5) Freshly collected Sweet Chestnuts, roasted and eaten while they’re hot with a glass of cold milk. Oh so yummy! (Don’t forget to split the skins first or they’ll explode!)
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The milk and the chestnuts do wonders for each other. If you’ve never tried them together before, I highly recommend it.
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6) Colourful fingerless gloves that keep my hands warm while I work. I want to knit another pair of these soon with some of my sock yarn stash… but not until I finish these chunky crocheted boot cuffs. I’ve got way too many part finished projects as it is!
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7) Making red wine with this year’s bumper crop of small, but beautifully formed grapes. It took longer than I expected to squeeze all the grapes by hand, but it was so satisfying and possibly even more fun than popping bubble wrap!


Now to rack it a few times until it’s crystal clear, bottle it up and wait a year. Five gallons ought to be enough to get us through next winter!
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And just look at those gorgeous leaves from the grapevine. It would be enough to grow it for those patterns alone, the grape crop is just an added bonus! Had to get a closeup. Just wow!
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8) Pumpkins, of course. I love having these scattered around the house adding a splash of autumn colour.
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9) Carving pumpkins and eating Pumpkins is all good too! Here’s my Halloween lantern…
820lanternDSCN5715…and the soup from the excavated pulp, complete with roasted, spiced pumpkin seeds for scattering on top.
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10) And my final autumn joy in this list, my nearly completed set of blanket squares, I’ve been making a couple, or sometimes more, every evening, spurred on by the recent drop in temperatures. It’s getting quite chilly around here at last, so I’m going to need it sooner rather than later.
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Hopefully I’ll be showing you the finished daisy blanket in the not too distant future!
So all in all, autumn’s pretty awesome really.
Wishing you all a good share of blessings too!


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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.

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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!


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Showers, Flowers and Crocheting for Hours

Here we are, back from our weekend away. Nothing really went to plan this time so we improvised ourselves some fun instead! We were heading to a festival down on the Somerset Coast. It’s only an hour and a half journey so we set off mid morning, in high spirits – despite the drizzle.

I have a basket full of sunshine in the form of vibrant crochet squares so I’m completely immune to doom and gloom anyway!DSCN4645 I mean, rain or shine, who could fail to be happy with this mountain of Granny Square glory to get your hook stuck into? DSCN4651Time to make a start on joining them all together to make my poncho. I’m thinking at this point that I might get half of the main body finished by the time we reach our destination, but oh no! That wasn’t quite how it happened and, to cut a long story short, the hour and a half journey slowly morphed and expanded into a five and a half hour journey, with traffic at a standstill or, at best, reaching the giddying excesses of more than two miles an hour for much of the way.

Things progress very nicely with the poncho at least. Good job I brought it with me or I may have gone just a little bit crazy having nothing to do but contemplate the view of the back of this grubby lorry for over three hours!DSCN4654

By the time we actually get to Watchet the sun has come out and, after spending an hour making camp, it was just too tempting to stay put and admire the pretty views rather than trekking across fields to enjoy the last few measly hours that constituted the remnants of Saturday’s festival.DSCN4657 So stay put we did, and had a splendidly quiet evening instead. After all that painfully slow driving poor hubby’s back and knees were playing up anyway. We have wine and we have those fine dining camping essentials – Pot Noodles! DSCN4656I have my crochet too, so I think that’s the dream checklist with a big fat tick in every box. That’s us sorted then! DSCN4660It feels good now we’ve made our minds up to just chill out. The sunshine seems to agree with our decision and pours down it’s approval on us. Thanks to the many extra hours spent in the car my poncho is now nearly all joined together and a few extra squares have been created too. As the sun begins to head towards the horizon I’ve also made a good start on the hood.DSCN4662We can hear the distant beats of the festival going on several fields away but I’m just glad to be here right now. We slurp our wine and watch the sun set.

There are some fabulous cloud formations and the lapping of the waves to keep us entertained, followed by the promise of a contemplative night of starry wonderment when it gets too dark to crochet. The simple pleasures are often the best! There’s a whole day by the sea to look forward to tomorrow as well. Yep, I’ll settle for that!

Of course weekends away are all about leisurely mornings too. So the next day hubby makes us a camper’s breakfast while I add a few more squares to make the hood part of my ever expanding poncho a little bit cosier.DSCN4673Then it’s off for a day out. We start at Dunster Castle where I’m amazed at the scale of these rather Jurassic looking leaves.DSCN4690On another scale entirely we find a rather dainty ornamental flower garden where I try out my macro photograpy…

…and take note of some beautiful colour combinations. Maybe I’ll draw on these for my next granny square project (I’m not showing any signs or symptoms of getting bored of them yet!)DSCN4701Time for a spot of lunch already, so it’s off to Minehead to find a good pub with sea views. We have fish and chips somewhere towards the end of this promontory so we definitely fulfilled the sea view part of our criteria there.DSCN4710With our appetites satisfied it’s time to settle down on the beach for a signature yarn bomb for me, and a postprandial snooze for hubby!DSCN4711 It starts to rain just as I finish the last few chains so we head back to the tent, leaving my crocheted calling card behind.DSCN4705In the morning it’s still raining, so the decision is quickly made to head straight back home. There’s no point tramping down to Watchet Beach to search for fossils in the pouring rain so that pleasure is saved for another time. With the recent memory of our epic journey down here we brace ourselves for a good long haul back down the motorway in the Bank Holiday mayhem. But, unpredictable as always, there is hardly any traffic on the roads at all and we make it back easily in the hour and a half that we anticipated for the outward journey. We are home and snug hours before I thought we would be and can now revel in the luxury of having all day to unpack the camping gear as well as a little extra home time to indulge ourselves in before the working week starts again in earnest tomorrow. I think it all panned out very nicely in the end. It’s good to just go with the flow sometimes, don’t you think?


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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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A Weekend Away

Well hello again! It’s been a very hectic couple of weeks since I last managed to post. I’ve just been away for a much needed break by the sea and now feel completely recharged and ready to tackle my huge to-do list back home. It’s amazing what a change of scenery can do for the spirits! Now you might guess that my recipe for a dream weekend includes organizing some holiday crochet as a top priority.DSCN4019I reckoned that this should be enough yarn for a minimum six hours in the car and a few hazy hours at the Jurassic Rocks Festival on Saturday, plus a lazy Sunday on the beach. And in case I do run out, I have a back up project. Little necklace purses for my next craft fair. Both projects are using self striping yarns so I get all the fun of working with lots of colour but without having to pack up tons of different balls of yarn.DSCN4027 I can cope for the weekend if I forget a change of clothes or my toothbrush but I’m not so laid back if I don’t have a project to keep my hands occupied.  It’s my meditation and recreation all in one. So Saturday morning has arrived and we have woken up to thunderstorms and torrential rain here in Worcester. Time to check the weather forecast…and it’s not looking too good, with severe weather warnings in place for much of the country, most specifically down south which is where we’re headed!DSCN3832 Not to be deterred we pack up wellies, waterproofs and umbrellas. A good time will be had – regardless of the British weather. After all, a rain sodden car journey can always be made more tolerable and much brighter with a few balls of cheery coloured yarn.DSCN4039In the end the wet weather and stormy clouds cleared completely by the time we reached Weymouth. So glad we didn’t chicken out and cancel our weekend. Instead I got to do a bit of drinking and crocheting while listening to some local bands and basking in the sunshine:DSCN4056DSCN4058These lovely blue skies certainly cheered everyone up and added to the bon homie! Several hours and several bands later it was time to retire to the tent with a whole day by the seaside to look forward to tomorrow. Bliss! After packing up the tent in the morning we headed off in search of a cup of tea. It took us longer than we anticipated because of all the distractingly beautiful views on the way from Portland to Weymouth.DSCN4075DSCN4071 But we got there in the end. In fact right at the bottom of this street was a life-saving brew. DSCN4079DSCN4081(Those are hubby’s hairy arms by the way, not mine, but you probably already guessed as much!) With the morning ritual of a good old cuppa sorted we were ready to head off to Chesil Beach for a few hours of rest and relaxation. I took some photos of beautiful tangles of fishing nets on the way as I can’t resist anything remotely yarn like!

And at last we arrive at the beach.DSCN4108Time to have a good look through my Granny squares from yesterday evening.DSCN4106Hmmm, I think this one may have been made after one too many ciders last night! It’s definitely not very square. I love the way the colours echo the sea and the pebbles though.DSCN4113I made a few more squares but then decided a bit of beach art in the form of a yarn bomb might be more appropriate. I got hold of the biggest pebble I could lay my hands on and, inspired by all the fishing nets I’d been photographing, I set to work. An hour or so later and here’s my homage to the sea-side.

There is a strict policy about not removing pebbles from Chesil beach so I hope it gets to stay there until the 100% natural wool yarn just weathers away one day. I had lots of fun improvising with my rock while Hubby had a much needed snooze. Time to say goodbye to Chesil and hello to Weymouth. We’re off in search of a crab salad!DSCN4140There’s plenty of eating places to choose from so we took our time and had a wander around all the little alleys full of wonderfully tacky kiss-me-quick hats, buckets, spades, saucy postcards and the obligatory sticks of rock.

Then off to the harbour…DSCN4152 …where we ate the perfect crab lunch from the Ivy Coffee House on Cove Row.DSCN4172Lovely views and an outdoor table in the shade made it all just perfect. DSCN4167Now for a tub of cockles and a bit more exploring before we head off home.DSCN4165DSCN4156DSCN4183 DSCN4175  On the horizon is the Isle of Portland where we spent last night camping underneath the stars.DSCN4178 The clouds have been very kind and stayed light and wispy around the periphery of the sky all weekend. We have a car boot jam packed full of wet weather gear in all it’s forms but I’m certainly not complaining that we didn’t get to use it. Back in the car at last and the journey whizzes by. I’m a little sun burnt (yes, we packed wellies but didn’t think we’d need to pack any sunblock, but as the saying goes – ‘Life’s a beach and then you fry’). I’m a little tired too but the Radio is on and I’ve still got a ball of yarn left and so I embark on the last of the Granny Squares. Looks like rain again as we get nearer to Worcester.DSCN4188 Ah well, no-one can say that we haven’t had our fair share of sunshine this weekend. By the time we arrive back home I’m glad to unpack, have a cool bath to take the heat out of my lobster red shoulders and take a minute to assemble all of my weekends crochet achievements. Not a bad haul for such a busy couple of days. Now the next fun bit is deciding what to make with them. Whatever they end up being used for they’ll always remind me of my gorgeous weekend of fun in the sun.DSCN4196 DSCN4201

I never needed my back up project of crocheted necklace purses in the end. I’ll just have to schedule another trip to get those finished in time for the autumn craft fair season. What a lovely thought!