Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Dante and Carlos

I’m very happy to be able to say I’ve finally finished my Dante the Donkey and Carlos the Cactus pattern. These little guys were originally inspired by my Mexican blanket project *all those pretty colours*  and were just the most fun characters to make.

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They’ve also turned out to be the best and most devoted amigos ever!

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They first met in the Mexican desert after Dante got lost straying too far from his family’s rancho. Carlos the Cactus chatted away enthusiastically and shook his maracas to cheer the little donkey up as he rested his weary legs through the long, dark night. By the time the sun rose and the morning shone its welcoming light, they were firm friends. Bored of being mostly alone in the desert with only the other cacti for company, Carlos persuaded Dante to dig up his roots and put him in a terracotta pot so he could travel around with his new found soul mate wherever he roamed.

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With Carlos along for the ride and offering some much needed moral support, you’ll doubtless be relieved to know that Dante eventually managed to find his way back home. Now the two of them spend sunny days and starry nights planning their next daring adventure together. Carlos has said he’ll travel to the ends of the earth just to be with his new friend. Dante’s a little more cautious about wandering too far again after his recent incident, but whatever they do they’ve agreed that they’ll do it together. Here’s proof that best friends can come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes make the most unlikely alliances!

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Happy as he is with his new life, Carlos still likes to meet up with his old succulent chums from time to time. Since he started wearing his jazzy pot he appears to have sparked a new fashion.  Now all the best dressed cacti are sporting one! Well, it certainly makes them more mobile – as long as they can get a friendly donkey to carry them about that is. Here they are getting ready for the local Fiesta.

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Dante sets up a food stall to sell some of his homegrown carrots and specialty basil flavored hay to the other hungry donkeys…

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…While Carlos and his friends make a bit of pocket money supplying firecrackers to liven up the crowds, and homemade sombreros to keep them cool. Very enterprising!

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Have a happy weekend!

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xoxox


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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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Trick or Treat!

Autumn (or Fall for my friends over the pond) is fast approaching and my thoughts are turning yet again to all the wonderful cosy treats and celebrations that always cheer up our journey into the tail end of the year. With dark nights beginning to draw in, a chill in the early morning and late evening air and a definite lack of sunshine around here, there are less reasons to be lolling around in the garden or lazing on the beach and more reasons to be tucked up under a favorite Granny Square blanket, warm and glowing with the pleasure of a new crochet project or two, or three, or four, or in the case of this new pattern – five!

So come and meet my new, Autumn season bunch of mini makes.820HallySquareIt’s another one in the Minimals range and I’ve called this one ‘Teeny Halloweeny’  – mainly because they’re really rather teeny and extremely Halloweeny!

This gang of diminutive Fright Night dress ups will promise to be the life and soul of your Halloween party.820woodsThey may well be the cutest Trick or Treaters that you’ll ever find knocking at your door and they’re certainly every bit as sweet as all that candy they hope you’re going to give them!DSCN4785I’ve  had such a lot of fun designing these diminutive Trick or Treaters. They work up nice and fast and it’s very satisfying to have your finished results so quickly. I’m planning on making a whole crowd to hand out to my real life Trick or Treaters this year, along with the usual selection of lollipops and chocolates. I can’t wait 🙂

Who’s missing the summer already? Not me!


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The Adventures of a Pampered Pooch

Hi guys! It’s the weekend again and I’ve been working flat out to fine tune my new pattern, Pandora the Poodle. She’s the poshest pooch you could ever hope to meet and here she is with two of her high-faluting canine pals, Porscha and Paloma.

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If you can keep Pandora in the style to which she is accustomed then she’d just LOVE to come and live with you (and so would I for that matter!). She’ll sit for ages tucked up in your Prada tote as you stop by at Tiffany’s – you did promise her a diamond collar, didn’t you?

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Shopping in Bond street is her favorite pastime, now will it be the pink outfit or the blue today? Oh the decisions a pampered poodle has to make!820pooch2

A little dash around Harrods is always sure to make her tail wag and if you take her for lunch at the Dorchester she absolutely pinky promises to be on her best behaviour. Cucumber sandwiches, fancy cupcakes and a pot of tea? Yum! She’s licking her lips already.

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Now there’s just enough time left for a visit to Vidal Sassoon on South Molton Street to get those poodle puffs into perfect tip top shape.

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You look lovely Pandora. And what a lot of shopping you have!

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If only my weekend was going to be half as fancy!! In fact mine’s going to be pretty good but I don’t think it’s going to be Pandora’s kind of thing. We’re roughing it again at another festival. Mud, cider and less than immaculate port-a-loos await us! Pandora was invited but she just shuddered in horror. She’s already booked herself in for a few days at the local five star kennels!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend, whether it’s a posh one, a roughing it one or something in between 🙂


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Spencer the Spider

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

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

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


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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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Shelley the Snail and her Family

I’ve been busy with my crochet hook and yarn again this week and find that it’s now time to introduce you all to my new friends, the Snail Family! I have a soft spot for snails, which is why my garden always fails spectacularly. With a ratio of around 50 snails to every marigold or pansy (that’s what it seems like anyway), I think it’s a battle that I’ve resigned myself to losing. They’re just too sweet to wage a campaign against, so in the age old tradition of  ‘if you can’t beat them, join crochet them’  I made this pattern as a celebration of these terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs. (Don’t they sound grand when you put it like that!).

Please put your hands together and give a warm welcome to Shelley the Snail and her babies, Sheldon and Shelby!

Snail-TrioA rainy day is a jolly good day as far as Shelley the Snail is concerned. When everywhere is nice and damp she tentatively emerges from her shell, rounds up Sheldon and Shelby, and off they all go for a lovely slow motion wallow in the shallow puddles. They’re often found racing each other to the end of the garden. Shelley could win easily but she lets the babies have a head start while she munches on a tasty radish or two from the vegetable plot.

I don’t mind losing out on a few radish. I can always get a fresh bunch from the supermarket any time I want if the snails are really intent in staging a garden takeover. It’s been such a wet year too, I think they have the numbers to do just that right now!

If your a bit of a snailophile like me, then you can get the pattern from my Etsy/Ravelry/Craftsy shops. And if you’re busy gardening this weekend, have a little compassion and remember, snails are people too! (?) And if you really feel that it’s either your prized herbaceous border or them, you can always throw them over the fence into next doors garden. I’m sure your neighbors won’t mind 🙂


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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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Bradley the Badger

I’ve been working on this pattern for a while now. It’s been one of my more experimental designs as I’ve tried a different kind of pose to a lot of my other animals. He’s had several different incarnations, but I’m finally happy with how he looks. So here is my latest little critter, Bradley the Badger Cub.

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He’s already made good friends with Hedley the Hedghog. These two will be up to all sorts of adventures together I’ve no doubt! Hedley has been out foraging wild strawberries for his supper and because he knows they’re Bradley’s favorite treat he saved some for him too. How sweet!

 

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Then Bradley spent the afternoon exploring the garden with Mojo. I think they just heard something rustling in the bushes. The naturally nocturnal Bradley is a bit outside of his comfort zone in broad daylight.  Ah well, not to worry, safety in numbers. If these two little black and white fellas stick together and look out for each other then I’m sure they’ll be fine!

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Pattern now available in my Etsy, Ravelry or Craftsy stores if you want to make your own Bradley.

He’s so looking forward to meeting you!

 

 


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Hippopotamus Pyjama Party.

At last I’ve managed to finish a new pattern. It’s been a while this time due to book commitments, family life, a granny blanket obsession and getting out and about a bit more at weekends thanks to all the lovely spring weather we’ve been having. So I’m very pleased to finally introduce you to Harriet and Harvey, the baby Hippos who love bedtime, snuggly blankets, soft pillows and fancy pyjamas!

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Sleepover parties are one of their most favorite things, snuggled up in their blankets, chatting with friends into the small hours. There’s usually a secret midnight feast too, with cheese and crackers and chocolate biscuits, but only after they’ve crept around the house to make sure all the grown-ups have gone to sleep!  Harvey and Harriet also like a quiet night in. When it’s just the two of them they happily toddle off to bed for an early night with hot chocolate (marshmallows on top of course) and a good book. After all, little hippos don’t get to be this good looking without getting lots of beauty sleep!

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 The pattern has all the instructions you’ll need for Harvey and Harriet Hippo as well as their pretty matching bedding.

 Good night little hippopotami. Sweet dreams!