Friday, 2 October 2020

Tree Folk and Fungus Folk Amigurumi Pattern

I love my walk every day through local fields and woods, getting to see beautiful trees and spot toadstools popping up through the earth at this time of year. These two patterns celebrate, in cute amigurumi form, my fondness for these elements of nature. 

These two types of creature are not in scale with each other - true Tree Folk are much more mighty than these little fellows, whereas Fungus Folk are small and unexpected, brightening the woods with their colourful caps.

If you need a little friendly Tree Folk or Fungus Folk in your life, this pattern has all the details you need to make them, with lots of photos to illustrate the more complicated elements. Depending on the yarn you use (I used DK weight, but slightly thinner or thicker yarn will work just fine) the Tree Folk will end up about 12cm/5" tall, and the Fungus Folk will be 10cm/4" tall.

For the Tree Folk you can use a range of yarn colours: different greens for the crown (variegated colours look good) or russet if you want an autumnal tree, and various browns and grey for the trunk. For the Fungu Folk the instantly recognisable red with white spots of the Amanita muscaria or fly agaric is a great choice, but you can make it in any colour, or to look like any mushroom you like.

Find the pattern in my Etsy shop, or on Ravelry.

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Fuzzy Troll Amigurumi

Whenever I go into a yarn store, I can't help but be tempted by those fuzzy fun fur-type yarns, they look so fluffy and tactile. The sort of yarns I'm talking about, sometimes called eyelash yarn, have a thread base with strands sticking out from this. Back when I had just started making amigurumi I bought quite a lot of them, in all sorts of different colours, and then I had to work out what to do with them. I ended up using them to make Fuzzy Trolls for my children, but until now I hadn't got round to turning this design into a pattern.

These trolls are friendly little creatures, who love nothing more than relaxing in a meadow filled with wildflowers. They are brightly coloured, with horns and long fuzzy-ended tails, and the pattern gives you all the details you need to make either a large (15cm/6" tall) or small (12cm/5" tall) fuzzy troll.

My new pattern is available on Etsy and Ravelry, and because using fuzzy yarn can be a bit challenging, I have created a series of videos to take you through the whole process of making a Fuzzy Troll, which you can find on this playlist on my YouTube channel. 
Here is the first video, which tells you how to choose the fuzzy yarn you need.

Along with the pattern, you can work your way through all the videos in order and they will guide you through everything you need to do, or you can just check out any elements that you are unsure of.

This is my first time making video crochet tutorials, so I hope you find them helpful. They show a lot of tips and tricks as to how to make various elements of amigurumi, so you might find it useful to watch them, even if you're not making a troll. In the future I'd like to make some more, perhaps showing how to make some of my small free patterns in detail, hopefully that will be helpful to anyone who's new to making amigurumi.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Ahsoka Tano Amigurumi Pattern

My latest pattern, to make Ahsoka Tano from The Clone Wars, is now available to buy in my Etsy and Ravelry shops. The Clone Wars series has been responsible for some great serialised story-telling in the Star Wars universe, and for creating a character in Ahsoka who has become a fan favourite. She's introduced as Anakin's young padawan and is enthusiastic and honest, with a good moral compass. She's not perfect, she makes mistakes, but she has great character development over the series, and goes on to appear in Star Wars Rebels as well.

Ahsoka is a Togruta, with orange skin and blue and white head parts, consisting of two pointed montrals at the top and three tails, or lekku, at the bottom. Creating this at a relatively small scale (she's only 11 cm/4.5” tall) was quite the challenge, and it took quite a few attempts to get it right. Because of the complicated structure of the head piece I've added lots of photos into the pattern to explain each stage clearly, so I hope it won't be too difficult for people to follow.

I based this pattern on her look at the start of The Clone Wars, but it would be easy to alter it slightly to look like the outfit she wears from series 3. To make her with the dress and leggings rather than top, skirt and leggings, just crochet the orange skin section in the middle in brown instead, and use two chains of russet brown/dark orange yarn to make her belt. You can also make her an extra lightsaber. Her later grey/blue costume would just need changes in colour for the different parts, and white lightsabers.

I've listed the yarn I used to make her at the end of this post: Star Wars Crochet - yarn used. I hope those of you who are fans of Ahsoka will enjoy making this mini version of her!

Friday, 27 March 2020

Fizzgig Amigurumi Pattern

After I saw The Dark Crystal for the first time as a child I totally fell in love with Kira's adorable and occasionally grumpy pet Fizzgig. Who wouldn't love that ball of fluff? And then, when the prequel series Age of Resistance was released last year, I fell in love with the whole world of Thra all over again, with its multiple Fizzgigs in different colours, including one with an eyepatch!. I've already posted about making a Fizzgig for myself (here) and the trip I took him on to see The Dark Crystal exhibition in London (here).

After that I decided to write up the pattern but I immediately encountered a problem. Fizzgig's fluffy fur is made by working the loop stitch, cutting the loops and them brushing with a wire pet brush to separate the strands. The yarn I used, which had a mix of light brown colours and a loose twist, was perfect for this, but was unfortunately not being made any more. I then had to experiment with other yarns and found that Hayfield Bonus DK and Robin DK brushed out the right way, and so I chose different shades of light brown, beige, honey and gold yarn, and used two colours alternately to give the right look. I found that Stylecraft Special DK does not brush out well, but I would recommend that anyone who wants to make a Fizzgig tests the yarn they've chosen. I've used 100% acrylic yarn, which works fine, and acrylic yarn mixed with wool or alpaca should work, as I think would 100% wool or alpaca. Cotton yarn would not brush out in the same way.

Fizzgig have four feet...

...which you can just see peeping out under their fur.

They also have long, fluffy tails.

Luckily mixing two yarns together worked, and gave a nice result. I tweaked my original pattern a bit and made it slightly taller, as well as giving Fizzgig the correct number of feet (four). I decided against trying to make a version with an open mouth, as this would probably have to be a puppet, and I was more keen to create a solid toy.

Large and small versions.

Brushing the yarn to make it fluffy takes a fair bit of work, you need to sit down with a fun TV show or podcast and just work at gradually brushing a few strands at a time. Because of that I designed a smaller version that would be quicker to make, and still be just as cute. The larger version is about 22cm/8.5" tall, the smaller one is about 16cm/6.5" tall, and the pattern includes details to make eyepatches for both sizes of Fizzgig. You can buy the pattern on Etsy or Ravelry.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Jon Snow and Ghost

While the final series of Game of Thrones was showing last year, I started working on these patterns, but various things conspired to mean that I hadn't got them finally finished and written up until now! I know series 8 got some mixed reviews, but I enjoyed it, and I thought the show as a whole was great. Jon Snow was always one of my favourite characters, and had a fascinating journey thoughout the show. I've designed him with a couple of different looks - the loose curly hair and mostly black clothes of the earlier seasons when he was in the Nightwatch, and the longer, pulled back hair and neck armour he wears in later seasons. The pattern also includes details to make a cloak with a fur collar for either version.


Of course, I had to make a pattern for his white direwolf companion Ghost. I thought it would also be nice to design two more versions with two-coloured coats so people can make a variety of different direwolves (or wolves - there's no difference apart from the scale with the Jon Snow figure). Wolves come in a variety of different colours - brown, black, reddish, grey or a mixture - so you can choose whatever yarn suits you best. If you can find a mottled one, that would probably give a really good effect.

Both patterns are available on Etsy (Jon Snow pattern here, Wolf and Direwolf pattern here) and you can buy them together at a reduced price here. You can also find them on my Ravelry page here.

Friday, 29 November 2019

Baby Yoda

So, who's watching the new Star Wars series, The Mandalorian? Not me unfortunately, because it's not available in the UK, but without even looking for spoilers I can't help but see images of the adorable baby Yoda that features in the show. It's not actually Yoda as a baby, but a member of his species, which doesn't have a name. The first thing I noticed when I looked at pictures of the cute little baby was that it looked a lot like my mini amigurumi of Yoda which appears in the Star Wars Crochet Kit and which is a small and very simplified version of Yoda.

So, I decided to try adapting that pattern a little to make it more like the baby in the show. If you have the Star Wars Crochet Kit then you can use these variations and make yourself your own tiny Baby Yoda. (Please note, I'm using US stitch names).

Follow the instructions to make the Head and Body as they are in the book, but use 9mm safety eyes for that big-eyed baby look.
After making the head change to dark beige yarn for the body on round 11.
When you get to round 20 don't change to green yarn and don't make the feet, just work 27 sc around.

Baby Yoda's ears are proportionally larger, so make them as follows:
Rnd 1: ch 2, work 6 sc into first ch - 6 st.
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around - 12 st.
Rnd 3: 2 sc in each of next 2 st, (hdc, dc) in next st, ch 1, (dc, hdc) in next st, ss in next st - end round here and FO.
Follow the rest of the instructions in the book to shape and attach the ears.

Start making the arms as described in the book, then after round 2 change to light beige yarn and work 6 x 2dc bobbles around. Change to dark beige yarn and work rounds 3 - 6 as in the book, miss round 7 and work round 8 as described.

To make the cowl neck collar using light beige yarn:
Ch 26.
Row 1: miss ch next to hook, sc in next 25 ch, ch 1, turn.
Row 2: sc in next 25 st, ch 1, turn.
Row 3: sc in next 25 st, FO.
Pin around the neck and top of the arms with the starting chain at the top. Overlap at the front as shown then sew in place. Fold over and secure the front with a couple of stitches.

I hope you enjoy making your own little Baby Yoda!

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Little Monster Finger Puppets - free crochet pattern

Here's a little treat for Halloween that's quick and simple to crochet.

You will need:
Small amount of yarn for the body, any colour you like (I think green or purple looks good).
Small amount of red yarn for the mouth and eyes.
Small amount of black yarn for eyes.
Tapestry needle.
3.5mm crochet hook (US E hook).

Finished size: approximately 4 cm/1.5” tall.

ch = chain
st = stitch or stitches
ss = slipstitch
sc = single crochet (US), double crochet (UK)
dc = double crochet (US), treble crochet (UK)
hdc = half double crochet (US), half treble crochet (UK)
BLO = back loop only
FLO = front loop only
tog = together
sc2tog = decrease by working two sc together
bob = bobble (see special stitch instructions)
FO = fasten off

General instructions:
This pattern is written using US crochet terms. For the UK equivalents, see abbreviations list.

Work in rounds unless otherwise stated and do not join rounds unless told to. Use a stitch marker to mark the start of a round - a small piece of different coloured yarn placed under the stitch at the start of the round will do. To start a round, you can use the magic ring method, but I prefer (ch2, work 6 sc into 1st ch). If you work the 6 sc over the tail of yarn as well you can use that to pull the hole tight. You can find a detailed tutorial on how to do this here on my blog.

Work through both loops of stitches unless otherwise indicated.

Special stitch instructions:
3 dc bob: bobble stitch for nose. YOH (yarn over hook), insert hook into next stitch, YOH and pull through loop, YOH, pull through 2 loops, *YOH, insert hook into same stitch, YOH and pull through loop, YOH, pull through 2 loops, repeat once from*, YOH, pull through all 4 loops on hook.

Start with yarn for body.
Round 1: ch 2, work 6 sc into 1st ch - 6 st.
Round 2: 2 sc in each st around - 12 st.
Round 3: [2 sc in next st, sc in next 3 st] 3 times – 15 st.
Round 4: sc in each st around - 15 st.
Round 5: sc in next 6 st, 3 dc bob in next st, sc in next 8 st – 15 st.
Round 6: sc in next 4 st, [FLO: sc in next st, 2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 2 st, 2 hdc in next st, sc in next st], sc in next 5 st – 17 st.
Round 7: sc in next 4 st, change to red yarn, [work in back loops remaining from working in front loops in previous round: hdc in next 6 st], change to body yarn, sc in next 5 st – 15 st.
Cut red yarn, leaving a length to sew the eyes. Sew 4-5 lines vertically over rounds 3 and 4 on either side of the nose. Use black yarn to sew a dot in the centre of each eye. Secure ends of yarn.
Round 8: sc in next 5 st, [FLO: sc in next st, 2 hdc in next st, hdc in next st, 2 hdc in next st, sc in next st], sc in next 5 st – 17 st.
Round 9: sc in next 5 st, [work in back loops remaining from working in front loops in previous round: hdc in next 5 st], sc in next 5 st – 15 st.
Round 10: sc in next 3 st, [arm: ss into next st, ch 7, turn, ss into next 2 ch, (ch 3, turn, ss in next 2 ch) 2 times, ss into next 4 ch, ss back into original st on round], sc in next 7 st, [arm], sc in next 3 st - 15 st.
Round 11: sc in each st around (work into the first ss used to make each arm, not the final ss) - 15 st.
Round 12: sc in each st around - 15 st.
Ss in next st, FO and weave in end of yarn.

Stick it on your finger and have some monstrous fun!