Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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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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Christmas Corkers

We’re getting so close to Christmas now and I’m finally starting get into the festive mood, helped along splendidly by this little troop of winter wine cork cosies!820ChristmasCorkersLineup

I had just as much fun coming up with the patterns for these as I did drinking the wine in the first place! They proved popular on my Facebook page and I’ve had lots of requests for the pattern. So as an early Christmas present to all my lovely followers here it is.

You will need:

Fizzy wine corks similar to these:

Corks
Light worsted weight (double knit) yarn in green, white, black, red, and any other colours you prefer.
3.25 mm crochet hook.
Yarn needle.
Polyester toy stuffing.
A selection of beads and bells to decorate.
White paint and paintbrush (emulsion paint works well).
Felt tip pens in red, black and orange.
Pink pencil crayon.
Scissors.
A suitable fabric glue (something like UHU or Bostick).
MaterialsAnd now we have everything collected together let’s get hooking 🙂

US crochet terms are used throughout. See here for a simple to use conversion chart for UK terms.

Square brackets [ ] indicate a group of stitches to be worked the amount of times stated after the brackets. Asterisk * indicates a point of repeat

Christmas Tree

820trees

With Green yarn make 2 ch. (Alternate rounds with a light and dark green yarn if you prefer)
Rnd 1: 3 sc in second ch from hook. (3 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 3 st. (6 sts)
Rnd 3: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 5 st. (7 sts)
Rnd 4: Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 3 st. (8 sts)
Rnd 5: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 7 st. (9 sts)
Rnd 6: Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 4 st. (10 sts)
Rnd 7: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 9 st. (11 sts)
Rnd 8: Sc in each of next 5 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 5 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 9: [Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (15 sts)
Rnd 10: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 11: [Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (18 sts)
Rnds 12-16: Sc in each st around. (5 rounds)
Rnd 17: * Slst in next st, 4 ch, Slst in next st, repeat from * to end.
Fasten off, weave in the yarn end.
Stuff the top two thirds of the tree. Put a little glue all around the fattest end of the cork, position the tree so that the frilly edge is roughly level with the bottom of the fattest part of the cork. Hold in place securely until glue has set.
Now you can sew on your seed beads, sequins, mini pompoms etc. Or leave it plain for a natural look.

Little Elf

820elves

Hat
With White yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 3 sc in second ch from hook. (3 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 3 st. (6 sts)
Change to your chosen Second Colour here and continue alternating the colours each round until the end.
Rnd 3: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 4: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 5 st. (7 sts)
Rnd 5: Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 3 st. (8 sts)
Rnd 6: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 7 st. (9 sts)
Rnd 7: Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 4 st. (10 sts)
Rnd 8: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 9 st. (11 sts)
Rnd 9: Sc in each of next 5 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 5 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 10: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 11 st. (13 sts)
Rnd 11: Sc in each of next 6 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 6 st. (14 sts)
Rnd 12: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 13 st. (15 sts)
Rnd 13: Sc in each of next 7 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 7 st. (16 sts)
Rnd 14: 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 15 st. (17 sts)
Rnd 15: Sc in each of next 8 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 8 st. (18 sts)
Fasten off, weave in the yarn end.
Glue to top and back of fattest end of cork. Fold tail over and sew in place with a few stitches. Sew a small pom pom or bell to the end.
Scarf
With your chosen Second Colour yarn make 37 ch.
Change to White yarn.
Row 1:  Starting in second ch from hook, sc in each ch to end, turn. (36 sts)
Change to your chosen Second Colour yarn
Row 2: 1 ch (does not count as a st), sc in each st to end. (36 sts)
Fasten off and tie ends together in a knot. Trim to make a small ‘tassel’. Tie around elf’s neck. Draw on the eyes and mouth using felt tip pens in black and red. Colour in rosy cheeks with a pink pencil crayon.

Toadstool

820toadstool

With Red yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 3: Sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 4: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 5: [Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 6: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 7: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 8: [Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 9: [Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (36 sts)
Rnd 10: Sc in each st around.
Change to White yarn.
Rnd 11: Working in back loops only: [Sc in each of next 4 st, dec] 6 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 12: [Sc in each of next 3 st, dec] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 13: [Sc in each of next 2 st, dec] 6 times. (18 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Stuff top part of toadstool. Fit opening of toadstool over top of fattest part of cork. Thread the yarn tail onto your needle and sew in and out of stitches on the final round. Pull tight to form a snug fit just under the fattest part of the cork. Secure with a knot then pinch the edge of the toadstool together and sew a few stitches through the pinched edge of the toadstool to form the shaping.  With White yarn,  embroider a few French Knots onto the top of the toadstool, or use white seed beads or sequins, or tiny buttons.

Snowman

820snowmen

First paint your cork white, then allow to dry.
Hat
With Black yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: Sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (15 sts)
Rnd 4: Working in back loops only: Sc in each st around.
Rnds 5-6: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds)
Change to your chosen Second Colour
Rnd 7: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 8: [Sc in each if next 3 st, dec] 3 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 9: Working in front loops only: [Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 10: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (24 sts)
Fasten off, weave in the yarn end.
Scarf
With your chosen Second Colour yarn make 37 ch.
Row 1:  Starting in second ch from hook, sc in each ch to end. (36 sts)
Fasten off, weave in ends.
Stuff the hat and glue directly on top of fattest part of cork. Tie scarf around neck. Draw on the eyes, mouth, carrot nose and buttons using felt tip pens in black and orange. Colour in rosy cheeks with a pink pencil crayon.

Oh Mojo! Am I not giving you enough attention? Time for another sit down protest then!

Moji

Now all we need is a little snow for the perfect Christmas. Looks like a digital snow flurry will have to do for now!

820Christmasmedley


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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.
DSCN5514
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.

DSCN5517

DSCN5470
Even if it’s about to pour down with rain!
DSCN5473
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!
820socks3) Knitting more socks. A girl can never have too many pairs and the 4 ply stash has to be used up somehow, if only so I can go out and buy more.


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!
DSCN5532
4) Shiny new Horse Chestnuts fresh out of their armour. Whose up for a conker fight?
820conker2
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!)
DSCN5644
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!
DSCN5657
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!
DSCN5666
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.
820blankie
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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Even More Bucket Loads of Fun

Well, you can’t have too much fun can you? So after a few requests from friends in response to my last collection of Bucket Head bags, I’ve made a second set of different characters to brighten up your Trick or Treat adventures, or just to add a bit of holiday magic to your Halloween decorations this year. This time I have Frankenstein’s Monster, a Candy Corn Man and a Scarecrow to introduce to you.Bucketlineup2If your favorite character wasn’t included in the last set then maybe these will be more to your liking 🙂Bucket2

Happy Trick or Treating to all you Halloween Fanatics!


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Is It Nearly Here Yet?!

Of course I’m referring to my all time favorite festival… Christmas. There are, admittedly, still 77 days left until the Big Day itself. That probably sounds like a lot to the non crafters amongst us, but those of us who love to dabble in the handmade know that we really ought to be getting on with our seasonal preparations already! So, with that in mind, I’ve made a cute little pattern for some of my favorite Holiday characters. Let’s raise a toast to the timely arrival of the Itsy Bitsy Christmas team!Christmas-ensemble2psdTheir small size makes them ideal for tree decorations, stocking stuffers, party favors or cracker gifts. ItsylineupI’m already busy making a whole host of angels in all the different colours of sparkly yarns from my stash to add some cuteness to my Christmas tree this year. But a helping of elves, a baking tray of gingerbread ladies, or maybe a blizzard of snowmen would look just as effective in a little festive corner of your home. As for Santa, well, we all know there can be only one!itsysqaureHere’s to visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads as we wend our way towards another winter of cosy dark evenings, warm woolly blankets, hot toddies, comfort foods and holiday crafting!


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Bucket Loads of Fun!

Hooray! Just launched a new pattern for Halloween! Now I know I’m cutting it a bit fine time wise but these Bucket Head Trick or Treat bags are crocheted with doubled up worsted weight (aran/10 ply) yarn and a big hook so they really don’t take that long to make.

Come and meet my empty headed and empty bellied Vampire, Witch and Pumpkin who are just waiting to be filled up with loads of Halloween candy 🙂820HalloweenLineThey’ve got dangly arms and legs and a comfy handle to carry them around with.

Even though my kids are a bit too old to go trick or treating now I shall be making them one each and filling it with their favorite chocolate. Because chocolate is the one thing they don’t seem to have outgrown yet! (I’m still waiting too!)


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Have a Birthday Cupcake With Me!

Hurray! Another year successfully navigated and another birthday to celebrate, and what better way than with a free pattern that I’ve written especially for the occasion!

So come and have a cupcake or two with me and we can party together 🙂DSCN4985

For the strawberry version you will need: 3.5 mm crochet hook and light worsted weight (double knit) yarn in a light pink, dark pink, white, beige and green.

US crochet terms are used throughout. See here for a simple to use conversion chart for UK terms.

Round brackets ( ) indicate a group of stitches to be worked into the same stitch. Square brackets [ ] indicate a group of stitches to be worked the amount of times stated after the brackets.

Strawberry Cup Cake Pattern:
With Light Pink yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (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)
Rnd 5: [sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 6: working in back loops only: sc in each st around. (30 sts)
Rnd 7-12: sc in each st around. (6 rounds)
Rnd 13: working in front loops only: [Slst in next st, (hdc, dc, hdc) in next st, Slst in next st] 10 times.
Change to Beige yarn
Rnd 14: working in leftover back loops from previous round: sc in each st around. (30 sts)
Rnd 15: [sc in each of next 3 st, dec] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 16: sc in each st around. (24 sts)
Rnd 17: [sc in each of next 2 st, dec] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 18: [sc in next st, dec] 6 times. (12 sts)
Stuff cup cake.
Rnd 19: dec 6 times. (6 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Thread yarn tail onto tapestry needle, pick up front loop only of remaining 6 stitches, pull tight to close the hole. Weave in end.

Icing:
With White yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 4: [Slst in next st, (hdc, dc, hdc) in next st, Slst in next st] 6 times.
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing. Sew edge of icing to top of cake.

Ribbon:
With Dark Pink yarn make 34 ch.
Row 1: starting in third ch from hook, hdc in each st to end.
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing. Sew ribbon to cake just under pink frill.

Strawberry:
With Dark Pink yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 3 sc in second ch from hook. (3 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 3 st. (6 sts)
Rnd 3: [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (9 sts)
Rnd 4: [sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (12 sts)
Rnd 5: sc in each st around. (12 sts)
Stuff strawberry.
Rnd 6: dec 6 times. (6 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Thread yarn tail onto tapestry needle, pick up front loop only of remaining 6 stitches, pull tight to close the hole. Weave in end. With a strand of White yarn sew small running stitches for seeds.

Strawberry Leaf:
With Green yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: Slst in second ch from hook (first ch), [2 ch, Slst in second ch from hook, Slst in first ch] 5 times.
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing. Sew to top of strawberry.
See diagram at end of post for how to sew fruit and shape cupcake.

If strawberries aren’t your thing try these instead:

Blueberry/Cape Gooseberry:
With Blue/Orange yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Rnds 3-5: sc in each st around. (3 rounds)
Stuff blueberry/cape gooseberry.
Rnd 6: dec 6 times. (6 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for finishing. Thread yarn tail onto tapestry needle, pick up front loop only of remaining 6 stitches, pull tight to close the hole. Weave in end.
Make a leaf as for the strawberry pattern. Sew flat to the end of the blueberry. Leave ends sticking up for cape gooseberry

Lime/Lemon Slice
With Light Green/Light Yellow yarn make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Change to Dark Green/Dark Yellow yarn
Rnd 3: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (18 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing. Fold circle in half and sew edges together. Using a strand of white yarn embroider segments with running stitches.

Parma Violet
Inner petals
With Dark Purple yarn make 2 ch
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: [Slst in next st, (hdc, dc, hdc) in next st] 3 times
Outer petals
With Dark Purple yarn make 2 ch
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [Slst in next st, (hdc, dc, hdc) in next st] 6 times
Sew inner leaves on top of outer leaves. Weave in ends.

To shape cupcake and attach the fruit or flower, thread a length of yarn through both the cake and the fruit/flower following the diagram below. Pulling on the threads gives your cake a flat base and will attach the fruit neatly at the same time. Knot securely and weave in endsCakethreading

Now you can be as inventive as you like with your flavor combinations. Vanilla, coffee, lemon or chocolate sponge with strawberry, orange, blackberry, mint… I could go on but it’s making my mouth water too much… I’m off in search of the real thing now. Well, why not? It is my birthday after all.DSCN4988

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing some birthday fun with me!


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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!