Happy Easter!

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Happy Easter!

Its been a while since I crocheted amigurumi,  so I was more than happy to get back to it when I found this cute Ichigo-Chan Easter Bunny Pattern by Mei of AmiguruMEI.

This well written pattern was quick and easy to follow and in little time I had my very own bunny ready for Easter.

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The details of the bunny – its bow and popping cheeks as well as embroidered eyes were a different but delightful way to how I usually decorate my amigurumi.

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The only things I changed in this pattern were (apart from the colours and positioning of the arms) were crocheting a tail instead of using a pom pom. You can kind of see it in this picture – I forgot to get a proper shot!

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I hope you all enjoy your Easter weekend. I will be spending mine with this little rabbit, much chocolate (much of which I’ve already eaten!) but more importantly remembering how Jesus so generously, willingly and lovingly died for my (and your) sins so I/we will never have to.

Happy Easter!

FREE PATTERN: Kangaroo

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Last year I created an amigurumi Kangaroo to take with me while I traveled. I received a lovely email shortly after if I’d ever release the pattern for it. I promised I would, and finally (thanks for your patience Susana!) I’ve put together the pattern (after testing it by making another kangaroo!) and some instructions which I hope you’ll find useful.

Please let me know if you do end up making your own Kangaroo – I’d love to see it!

Materials:

-          Tan Yarn (for body)

-          Purple Yarn (for shirt)

-          9mm Safety Eyes

-          Fiber Fill

-          Darning Needle

-          Black Felt (for nose)

-          Black Thread (for mouth)

-          Scissors

-          3.75mm hook

 

MUZZLE

With tan yarn

R1: 6sc in Magic Ring (6sts)

R2: 2sc in each sc around (12sts)

R3: *Sc 1, 2sc in next sc*, rep 6 times (18sts)

R4: 18sc

 

Fasten off leaving long tail for sewing

Sew mouth features onto muzzle and glue/sew on nose

 

HEAD

With tan yarn

R1: 6sc in Magic Ring (6sts)

R2: 2sc in each sc around (12sts)

R3: *Sc 1, 2sc in next sc*, rep 6 times (18sts)

R4: *Sc 2, 2sc in next sc*, rep 6 times (24sts)

R5: *Sc 3, 2sc in next sc*, rep 6 times (30sts)

R6-13: 30sc

R14: *Sc 3, dec 1*, rep 6 times (24sts)

R15: *Sc 2, dec 1*, rep 6 times (18sts)

 

Insert 9mm safety eyes about half way of the kangaroo’s face. Keep in mind you need to leave space in between his eyes for his muzzle too.) Stuff head firmly.

 

R16: *Sc 1, dec 1*, rep 6 times (12sts)

R17: *Dec 1*, rep 6 times (6sts)

 

Fasten off and weave in end.

 

EARS (Make 2)

With tan yarn

R1: 5sc in Magic Ring (5sts)

R2: 5sc

R3: *Sc 1, 2sc in next sc*, rep 2 times. 1sc (7sts)

R4: *Sc 1, 2sc in next sc*, rep 3 times. 1sc (10sts)

R5-7: 10sc

R8: *Sc 1, dec 2*, rep 3 times. 1sc (7sts)

R9: 7sts

 

Fasten off and leave tail for sewing

 

BODY

With tan yarn

R1: 6sc in Magic Ring (6sts)

R2: 2sc in each sc around (12sts)

R3: *Sc 1, 2sc in next sc*, rep 6 times (18sts)

R4: *Sc 2, 2sc in next sc*, rep 6 times (24sts)

R5: 24sc

R6: *Sc 2, dec 1*, rep 6 times (18sts)

 

Switch to purple yarn

 

R7-9: 18sc

 

Fasten off and leave long tail for sewing

 

TAIL

With tan yarn

R1: 6sc in Magic Ring (6sts)

R2-4: 6sc

R5: *Sc1, 2sc in next sc*, rep 3 times (9sts)

R6: *Sc 2, 2sc in next sc*, rep 3 times (12sts)

 

Fasten off and leave long tail for sewing

 

LEGS (Make 2 of each part)

With tan yarn

 

PART A

R1: 6sc in Magic Ring (6sts)

R2: 2sc in each sc around (12sts)

R3: 12sc

 

Fasten off and leave tail for sewing

 

PART B

R1: 6sc in Magic Ring (6sts)

R2-5: 6sc

 

Fasten off and leave tail for sewing

 

ARMS (Make 2)

With tan yarn

 

R1: 5sc in Magic Ring (5sts)

R2-4: 5sc

 

Fasten off and leave tail for sewing

 

ASSEMBLY

 

1)      Sew the body onto the head – this makes it easier to place remaing features.

2)      Sew onto the head the muzzle and ears.

3)      Sew the tail onto the back of the body

4)      Sew PART A of the leg to the body first. This makes placing PART B easier.

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5)      Sew arms onto the front of the body, just beneath the join of the head.

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6)      Done! You now have yourself a little kangaroo to take along with you for adventures! :)

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This pattern is an original pattern by Rachel of Drawn and Hooked (March 2014). Please do not claim this pattern as your own. You may link to this pattern but please do not reprint it on your site, sell or distribute it, or sell items made from this pattern. Thank you! :)

Coming Up: FREE Kangaroo Pattern

Amigurumi_Kangaroo

Do you recognise the little guy in green? His name is Rory and I created him mid 2013 to take along on holidays. When I first posted him, I received a lovely email from a reader called Susana asking if his pattern was available. I promised Susana that I would eventually check and type up his pattern and I’ve finally got around to doing so (I’m sorry it’s taken so long Susana!).

I’ll be posting Rory’s pattern later this week! Stay tuned. :)

Happy Chinese New Year!

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Happy (Almost Belated) Chinese New Year! I think I can *just* get away with saying that seeing Chinese New Year celebrations last 15 days after the first day of the new Lunar month.. 

Apologies for not blogging much in the last month or so. I was busily preparing for my community college class (which sadly ended up getting cancelled) and finishing off my assignments for a class I’ve been taking online (more on that another time). 

When all the busyness started winding down, I managed to fit in this project – All About Ami’s annual Chinese New Year amigurumi. Stephanie has written a pattern for Chinese New Year for the last 4 years. This year, as it is the Chinese Year of the Horse.. the pattern was for a horse – which you can find HERE

Last year was the first I tried making one Steph’s CNY patterns. I made last year’s amigurumi snake using the traditional festive Chinese colours of red and gold (which I substituted with yellow.. because it’s pretty hard to find gold yarn!). When it came to making this year’s horse, I decided to stick with the same colour scheme.

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I’ve always been a big fan of Steph’s work (as anyone reading this blog can see… haha) but was even more so impressed with this horse pattern as it involved slightly more complex shaping methods. It was a welcome departure from the regular ball and sausage shapes of many amigurumi patterns and created a little horse that was delightfully original. 

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Given how well this horse pattern turned out I’m keen to try and apply My Little Pony colours to it sometime. I have friends who are big fans of Rainbow Dash (but how to make that rainbow mane and tail?!), Rarity and Princess Celestia (though she is an alicorn… and a rainbow maned/tailed one at that too!) so it may well be worth a shot. 

Did you make a little horse/pony for Chinese New Year too? Do you think you’d apply My Little Pony Colours to this pattern? 

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Happy 2014!

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Happy 2014 Everyone! I hope you all had a refreshing and enjoyable Christmas and New Years!

Have you made any new year’s resolutions? One of mine is to read more. I used to read continuously as a child – but as I’ve grown older and accumulated more digital devices (which are sometimes black holes of distraction/procrastination) I can barely remember the last book I’ve read. And I miss reading, as I remember how much sharper my brain felt when I was in the midst of a book. So to hopefully kick start my reading habit, I’ve set myself the task of reading at least 12 books this year. Hopefully I’ll read a lot more, but it’s a start. :)

Speaking of resolutions, if you are interested in learning to crochet amigurumi (for those of you in this lovely city of Sydney, Australia) next month I’ll be teaching a beginner’s class at  Sydney Community College. You can find out more about it HERE.

It will run for 5 weeks, on Saturdays from 10am-12:30pm starting the 1st of February, 2014 to the 1st of March, 2014.

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Designed for absolute beginners, the course will cover basic crochet stitches and amigurumi techniques. I’ve designed the patterns of the cat, rabbit and bear above especially for this course. My hope for this class is that by the end of the course all students will have the skill set to have created not only the amigurumi designed for class – but any amigurumi pattern they set their eyes on! Crocheting amigurumi is a fun, relaxing hobby, and one I hope to share!

So if you’re in Sydney and keen of learning how to crochet amigurumi with a hands on tutor and other like minded beginners, I hope you’ll consider joining Amigurumi for Beginners!

- Rach

Koala Christmas Ornament

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Christmas is almost here again! But unlike the Northern Hemisphere where places are being blanketed in snow, here in the Southern we’re in the midst of summer. It hasn’t been an especially hot summer yet, but this week we’ve had highs of 34C. The funny thing with Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere though is that a lot of our decorations are inspired and influenced by the Northern Hemisphere. “White Christmas” plays as often as any other Christmas carol in the shops, Santa still wears his full wintry suit, we still decorate our trees and windows with snowflake cut outs all the while sweltering in the heat! It’s a strange tradition – but delightful in its own way.

To bring a handmade touch to my Christmas tree this year I decided to crochet one of Stephanie’s (from All About Ami) Teddy Ornaments! Stephanie wrote the pattern so that it could be made into a bear, panda and/or koala. Being an Australian, I felt it was only right I make the Koala Ornament! ;)

Though a scarf is somewhat out of place with the current weather, it only looked right that the Koala wear one, so a red and white scarf he got!

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I took the photos of my Koala on a gum tree (I hooked the ribbon onto a piece of protruding bark) and think he looks pretty at home there!

I definitely recommend this pattern to anyone looking for a last minute Christmas crochet project as it is easy to follow and comes together quickly with great results. A bonus for Australian crocheters is that the pattern uses a yarn that is the equivalent of our 8ply standard! So with the correct tension, your ornament will turn out the correct size!

Have you been working on any Christmas crochet projects? What would you recommend as a last minute project?

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Please Vote: Mario the Italian Chef Cat

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Meet Mario the Italian Chef Cat – my entry in the Amigurumi Patterns’ Design Contest! I’m sorry that lately my posts have been competition related – I promise that it will be the last for some time. However, if you would be so kind as to spare a moment or so by clicking HERE, and voting for Mario I would be ever so grateful! Thank you in advance.

I thought in this post I’d also share a bit of my process in putting together Mario. When I watch animations, I’m always interested in the nerdy commentaries about the production… so I hope you find this brief “behind the scenes” of my pattern making somewhat interesting!

When I first heard about the Amigurumi Patterns’ Design Contest I was still in a holiday withdrawal kind of phase. So when I discovered the theme for the contest was “Animals at Work” my inspiration, naturally, was drawn from my travels. In Italy, Greece and Turkey I had encountered a LOT of stray cats. (The picture below is a cat eating a cupcake in Ephesus.) Therefore I decided I would create an amigurumi cat.

MarioCat_4

 

As for my cat’s occupation – because I had loved so much of the food I had eaten, I decided that my cat would be a chef (so I would have an excuse to crochet little foods too… haha). Mario’s name came from this bit of graffiti I found carved into a train in Rome.

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As Italy has a lot of iconic meals, I decided that my little chef Cat would be an exclusively Italian Chef. That set, I went about sketching Mario’s “look”. (Yay! Finally! Some illustration in my posts!)

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As you can see, my sketch of Mario, compared to his finish self only changed a little. I omitted Mario’s moustache as I felt it was a bit distracting to his face. I also omitted his apron as I ran out of time. Despite this, I was still happy with how Mario turned out.

To give Mario a bit more character I alternated between a dark brown yarn and the multi coloured yarn to give him distinct markings – such as a patch around his eye and an odd coloured ear. I also applied this technique to his tail.

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I had a lot of fun too crocheting Mario’s little foods – a pot of pasta, a pizza and a tomato. I also (crazily) built Mario’s little table out of balsa wood which I then painted (yes, I was the crazy one painting a miniature table at 10pm even though I had to wake up at 5:30am the next morning…). The backgrounds were some pictures I printed then arranged to create a small makeshift ‘scene’ for Mario to be photographed in… quite a bit of effort… but I felt that having put effort into every other part of the project it only made sense to finish it with equal dedication!

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Even if Mario doesn’t win any prizes, I enjoyed the experience of designing and creating him. Using techniques like joining his legs and body as one piece and interchanging yarns to create an eye patch challenged my crocheting skills. It was also pretty cool to translate a idea and sketch into something tangible! I hope to do more of this in the future.

When/If you create your own amigurumi patterns, how do you go about your design/creating process? Do you start with a sketch or do you crochet and see what happens?

I hope you enjoyed this little insight into how Mario the Italian Chef Cat came together. Please do vote for him if you haven’t already via the link at the beginning of this post. Many thanks! :)

Thank You for Voting for Frankenbear!

Thank You

 

I just wanted to say a quick “Thank You!” to everyone who voted for my entry into the “Little Yarn Friends’ Halloween Crochet Along 2013″! Unfortunately my entry did not receive enough votes to secure the Viewer’s Choice Prize, but I was honoured to be awarded the Grand Prize from the Little Yarn Friends’ Judging Panel! (Which is just as cool!)

Thank you though if you did vote for my entry – it really humbles me to know people like my work and would take the time to vote for it! And thank you Little Yarn Friends for running the CAL and giving me the privilege of a prize!

This all makes me feel warm and fuzzy and I’m so glad to be part of such a lovely online crochet community! :)

 

Please Vote for Frankenbear! :)

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Halloween is not a huge thing in Australia, but when I heard of Little Yarn Friends’ Halloween Crochet-Along I was keen to participate.

Because I am not a fan of the occult side of Halloween, I decided to create a character who was associated with Halloween instead and settled on Frankenstein’s Monster – - so presenting… Frankenbear!

Frankenbear was an adaption of Little Yarn Friends’ Lil Teddy Witch pattern. Apart from the obvious colour changes, I gave Frankenbear a flat top head, spray painted his eyes white, gave him eyebrows and stuck on tiny paper teeth. I tried to match Frankenbear’s appearance to Frankenstein’s Monster’s description in the book. However, the actual monster looked mostly like a giant (and unattractive) man than a monster – so for some features I was inspired by various Hollywood portrayals in the past!

Reading up on the original “Frankenstein” I discovered that he was actually a pretty misunderstood monster. Abandoned by his creator from the moment of his creation (for merely looking like a monster) he searched hopelessly for love and acceptance until he decided to unfortunately live up to being the monster everyone assumed him to be. It’s a pretty sad book!

I hope you find Frankenbear a little more appealing than his namesake and if you feel so inclined you can vote for him HERE by “liking” his picture on the Little Yarn Friends’ facebook “Halloween CAL Contest 2013″ Album. Thank you in advance if you do! :)

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Peas in a Pod

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I don’t like eating peas. Their taste and texture just don’t appeal to me at all. That said, I love sweet pea flowers – and crocheting a giant pea pod – especially when it doubles up as a set of balls for a baby to play with.

About a year ago I crocheted a pastel granny square blanket for my friend’s little girl. She is now turning 1 in a matter of weeks – so as a gift I’ve crocheted here these sweet little peas in a pod. The pattern is from Ana Paula Rimoli’s book Amigurumi Two.

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The round little peas will be great for a baby to toss around and squeeze – I hope she likes it!

I also loved this project for its simplicity. Unlike many amigurumi patterns (okay, most), this pattern was reasonably easy to fit into a bag and work on whilst out and about (e.g. on a tea break at work or whilst traveling – as a passenger of course!). I completed this project mostly on the go! There weren’t numerous limbs floating about – just a few pieces. With a bit of planning, it was possible to pack all the things I needed to complete the project (a tapestry needle, scissors, safety eyes and some stuffing) on the go. Obviously, it would depend on the journey also. :) When I knew I would only have an hour to pass I would just take a single ball and hook to crochet the “pod”.

What kind of crochet projects do you like to work on whilst “on the go”? Do you bother with amigurumi? :)

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