Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Dreaming of the Sea

The summer is pretty much over and I’ve been ‘staycationing’ year. Not having managed to escape to some heavenly beach retreat with my tent and sleeping bag I thought I’d bring a taste of the coast to me instead by creating a set of seaside inspired characters. One creature led to another and another until I ended up with four different patterns based on two distinct body shapes and a mini friend with a shape all of it’s own. I’ve bundled them into one bumper pattern and called it ‘Ocean Buddies’.

Ocean Buddies Pattern

This pattern has been through a few evolutions as I played around finding the right proportions and it proved to be the perfect picking in and out of pattern to take outside and work on in my garden while I daydreamed about being beside the seaside.

I’m not completely high and dry here in my favorite spot because we have a tiny pond in the shade of a shrub I can never remember the name of. I have even made a little shingle beach and scattered around a few of my scavenged fossils to remind me of past beach-combing adventures in Watchet on the Somerset coast.

Little 4 ply, 2 mm hook narwhal contemplates a dip but is somewhat put off by the film of duckweed. Can’y say I blame him. I wont be dipping my toes in either, no matter how hot it gets!

The Ocean Buddies accompanied me on landlocked car journeys up the motorway when we did take the odd day trip to Lancashire to visit relatives.

Annoyingly, I failed to bring any safety eyes or stuffing on this particular occasion (an early start you see, and my brain is rarely fully engaged until midday) and so my relaxing crochet session was properly scuppered. Aaaagh! The thought of three hours+ in the car with idle hands was almost too much to bear. Luckily I had started sewing a pompom trim onto my project basket the night before so I solved the fidgety fingers problem by painstakingly stitching on the rest of the trim.

Quite a fiddly process, with tiny stitches and a wickedly sharp needle for such a bumpy journey but I managed it with just the odd finger prick here and there to show for it.

By the time we got to our destination I had a very pretty pimped up basket. To be honest I can’t think of many things that don’t look better with pom poms attached. Do you see the green, green grass of my mother-in-laws garden? It really does put my coarse, dandelion infested back yard patch of scrub to shame.

Laddie, previously having belonged to said mother-in-law before we adopted him after she got poorly, and thus having been the joint owner of the garden perfection above, is so used to a fine weed free lawn that he appears to disapprove of my more slapdash approach to green spaces. So much so that he can only tolerate being in its vicinity if there is a wooden tray between the ground and his butt!

I also can’t help thinking he’s planted himself next to the lawnmower and rake as a sort of reprimand. Maybe I’ll get into this gardening malarkey one of these days. When there’s a showdown between the hook and the shears the hook will win out everytime!

In the mean time I’m content to use crocheted rugs to hide the multitude of unmown sins, unswept prickly leaves, miscellaneous weeds and bare patches of earth. The rag yarn crochet makes things a bit comfier and adds a bit of colour – a real plus point when all the flowers I have tried to grow are constantly eaten by slugs and snails.

Pesticide free, organic gardening is easy when you let the weeds take over, and rather good for the wildlife too no doubt. Everything has an up side! I think I’ll make this unkempt approach my horticultural hallmark.

As lovely as this unusually warm summer has been I have to admit that the heat did get the better of me from time to time. A shady spot in the studio with the slatted blinds sending the daylight coolly up in towards the ceiling went a long way to redressing the heatwave when things got too hot outside.

Crisp white walls and a clean white desk all add to the oasis like calm in here.

Mojo is not too keen on the savage sunshine at the peak of summer so I often found him in my crochet corner waiting to keep me company whenever I scuttled inside for a cool down.

It’s a little more difficult to get hold of my wool while he is around but we always manage to share it in the end.

When we got back from our day trip up north I attempted to put my newly embellished basket to good use as storage but before I could fill it with the next batch of yarn Mojo had crept in and wound himself into it – while it was still on my lap.

Yeah I know that look – ‘move me on at your peril human, I shall sulk for an hour if you do’ – or meows to that effect. So you see Mojo has a nice new cat bed. A bit on the small side maybe but it doesn’t seem to bother him one little bit.

This new sleeping arrangement has the added bonus of freeing up the rest of my chair for me. Instead of a furry, sprawling, purring cat rug draped over the entire seat Moji now likes to roll himself up like pill bug, tuck his head in and forget all about the outside world for a bit. Sounds rather appealing to be honest. Perhaps we should have human sized hibernation baskets to disappear into from time to time!

It frees up space for Orwell too. We all share and share alike here. A happy family of people, cats and crochet!

Mojo managed to prise himself out of the comfort of my stash basket when he saw the stage was set for a photo-shoot, sneaking in just in time for his cameo role.

Despite the intrusion I eventually took some shots I was happy with.

I have a new Nikon camera and have been experimenting with using it in manual mode so some of the colours are a bit more uneven than I would like but I think I’m getting the hang of it. Practice make perfect and and all that.

I’ve also been watching some YouTube videos on how to get whiter backgrounds for product photography by using Adobe Photoshop.

I’m learning so much that isn’t crochet related at the moment. None of it as much fun as crochet itself – but it comes quite close.

As summer draws to a close and chances of a holiday on some windswept beach diminish for another year I can’t say that I’m too heartbroken. I’ve had a wonderful summer at home with my family, my cats, my crochet and my imagination. A winning combination in my opinion!

So from Wendy the Whale…

…Sheamus the Shark…

…Nigel the Narwhal…

…Daphne the Dolphin…

…and, last but not least (though by far the smallest), Stephanie the Starfish…

…we bid yourselves goodbye for now and the summer farewell for another year.

I have a big bunch of autumn/winter projects to be getting on with over the next few weeks. (Spoiler alert – sneak peak for one of them below!)…

I’m aiming to tie up all the loose ends on my current WIPs and share in my next post. I hope you’ll join me then!


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Gardening Versus Crochet

We’ve had a good dose of sunshine this weekend here in Worcester. It’s been lovely to be able to take some time out and just enjoy the garden for a few days. I began by tidying up a few of the pots and tubs in the back yard. Some of my pansies have survived the winter despite an obvious all out attack from the slugs and snails, leaving the odd patch of bare soil here and there.

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Now you never know with the English climate if this might actually be the only real sunshine we get all year. Then again, we’re just as likely to have a heatwave too but, just in case, I’m taking no chances and getting my quota of sunbeams while I can.

So this weekend I’ve practically lived in the garden. Not to say I haven’t been ‘working’ of course. I’ve alternated short bursts of gardening with much longer bursts of blanket making. Now that’s the kind of ratio of chores to crochet that I like! You can see a visual representation of this in the photo below. A very small bag of gardening tools is dwarfed by a very big basket of crochet. That’s called getting your priorities right!

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On Saturday I tidied up the sunny spot near the back door. Sweeping it clear of last years leaves and squashed up, shriveled grapes (technically raisins I suppose, though I didn’t fancy eating any!) and hunkered down here for a while, much to the disgruntlement of Tigger who prefers to think he owns this bit of bench whenever the sun comes out.

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Though as the day warms up I actually don’t mind a shady spot so I move on over…

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…and Tigger moves on in. I think he’s daring me to reclaim the space but you can see he’s getting quite old these days and I think he deserves a spot of sunbathing on a comfy blanket. He can stretch out in style now!

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In between the sweeping and the dead-heading good progress was made with my crochet, so I felt very inspired to do the same on Sunday – weather permitting. And permit it did. In fact it was even warmer than Saturday.

The colours in my blanket really look pretty in bright sunshine. I’m suddenly feeling really impatient to get it finished.

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On Sunday I moved up the garden, sweeping a path through yet more leaves and winter’s strewn debris. There were lots of twigs and flower pots everywhere as a result of a spate of strong winds a few weeks ago, but it was worth doing just to sit and admire my handiwork from a new vantage point. This bit of the garden gets a patch of sun into the evening so I’ll be spending some well earned down time at the end of most sunshiny days here, I hope, hooking away at a project or two as the year progresses.

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It’s not long until Tigger discovers the newest desirable residence in the garden! Let’s see if I can squeeze in there as well. I know he likes to sprawl a lot but I think there’s room for two of us.

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Looks like he’s preparing himself to tolerate my company…maybe. Or is that a look of love? It’s so hard to tell with Tigger sometimes.

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Tigger is closely followed by Mojo whose nose looks slightly out of joint by Tigger’s presence on the bench next to me.

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But he patiently waits until the coast is clear and then takes up position, just as the sun comes out again. And here we sit for a good long while, companionably listening to the cathedral bells coupled with the wood pigeons cooing and the seagulls squawking. Very pleasant indeed.

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As a result I have very nearly finished my Mexican inspired striped blanket. I have to join it in the middle either side of the last Granny Square stripe as I chose to work the piece in two halves to make it more portable for car journeys and general out-and-aboutings, of which there have been a few this Easter.

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Monday evening’s work was to join the two and then to decide – to darn or not to darn. You see initially I was thinking of some sort of tasseled border so I could escape my nemesis of hours spent with a tapestry needle. I infinitely prefer the hours spent with a crochet hook instead! But looking at it I figured the yarn ends were a bit sparse to make a decent fringe without adding in a lot more of them to the edges of the blanket.

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It was going to be less time consuming to weave them all in than it would be to cut and trim the rest of the yarn needed for the tassels.

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Besides the edges do look quite raw and a bit wobbly, despite my careful attempts at keeping everything as even as possible so I think the addition of a border of simple Granny Stripes will work wonders. That’s decided then.

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So as the sun begins to sink I make a good start on those pesky yarn tails. Kept extra warm by the return of Mojo who settles down on my lap for another long while.

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Hopefully I’ll be finishing this project off in dribs and drabs over the coming week. I intend to make the most of any more sunshine. It’s been a real pleasure to work in good light for a change. This blanket was started as a winter cheerer, an antidote to grey days spent in woolly jumpers, and dark evenings tucked up indoors, curtains drawn, lights down low and heating up high.

Here are the yarn tails I’ve dealt with so far, now I’ve just got the same amount to do on the other side and then on with the final border.

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I’m glad that on closer inspection in the harsh light of day there are not too many mistakes or miscounted stitches. Those that are there don’t notice much anyway when you look at it in all its glory. It even looks pretty neat on the back as most of the darned ends are at the edges. I can’t wait to show you the finished thing!

It’s getting chilly again as I head in and call it a day. The view west from my garden is gorgeous with the wispy clouds and gentle glow that heralds the end of another lovely evening.

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I feel very lucky to have such a pleasant little spot to spend my time in and the sunset behind the cathedral is the icing on the cake, even if I have to stand on tip toes and peek over the fence to actually see it!