Friday, 7 October 2016

Little Pumpkin Mice - free amigurumi pattern

I made Little Kissing Mice for Valentine's Day and a Little Christmas Mouse for (you've guessed it!) Christmas, so now that autumn is here I thought it would be fun to make some Pumpkin Mice.

I’m not sure if these mice have eaten their way through tiny pumpkins or if they’re wearing little costumes but either way they’re cute, and they make perfect decorations for autumn and Halloween.

ch = chain
st = stitch or stitches
ss = slipstitch
sc = single crochet (US), double crochet (UK)
dc = double crochet (US), treble crochet (UK)
tog = together
sc2tog = decrease by working two sc together
FLO = work in front loop only
FO = fasten off

Approximate size: 5cm/2" long without tail.

General instructions:
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 to ch 2, and work the appropriate number of sc into 1st ch. If you work the sc over the tail of yarn as well you can use that to pull the hole tight.

When changing from one colour of yarn to another work the stitch before the change until there are two loops left on the hook. Then use the new colour for the final yarn over hook and pull through.

Stuff as you go along.

Work through both loops of stitches unless otherwise indicated.

You will need:
Small amounts of yarn in a natural colour for the head and tail, and orange for the pumpkin, double knitting or worsted weight.
Small amounts of black yarn to embroider eyes.
Small amount of stuffing.
3.5mm (E) hook.
Tapestry needle.

Start with natural colour yarn.
Round 1: Ch 2, work 4 sc into 1st ch - 4 st.
Round 2: [2 sc in next st, sc in next st] 2 times - 6 st.
Round 3: [2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 st] 2 times - 8 st.
Round 4: [2 sc in next st, sc in next 3 st] 2 times - 10 st.
Round 5: Sc in each st around – 10 st.
Round 6: [2 sc in next st, sc in next 4 st] 2 times - 12 st.
Round 7: Sc in next 6 st, [ear, in FLO of next st: ss, ch 2, 5 dc, ch 2, ss], sc in next 3 st, [ear as before], sc in next st – 12 st (counting each ear as one st).
Round 8: Sc in next 2 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in next 3 st, sc in back loop behind ear, sc in next st, sc2tog, sc in back loop behind ear, sc in next st – 12 st.
Change to orange yarn.
Round 9: [2 sc in next st] 6 times, sc in next 6 st – 18 st.
Round 10: [2 sc in next st, sc in next 5 st] 3 times – 21 st.
Round 11 - 16: (6 rounds) Sc in each st around – 21 st.
Round 17: [Sc2tog, sc in next 5 st] 2 times, sc2tog, sc in next 3 st, change to natural colour yarn, [tail: ss in next st, ch 20, miss ch next to hook, ss 19, ss back into original st and change back to orange yarn], sc in next st – 18 st.
Round 18: Sc2tog 2 times, sc in next 6 st, sc2tog 4 times – 12 st.
Round 19: Sc2tog 6 times – 6 st.

FO, leaving a length of yarn about 15”/40 cm long. Finish stuffing and use black yarn to sew eyes. Using the length of yarn, sew up the bottom of the mouse neatly. Then sew six lines evenly spaced around the pumpkin, from the neck down to the bottom (the bottom point shouldn’t be the hole you sewed up, just a little in front of that will be better and will make the mouse sit up properly). Pull each line through tightly so your mouse has a flat base.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Mini Pets - Tiny Cat and Dog Amigurumi Patterns

I’ve never been able to resist tiny things – as a child I was always delighted with tiny toys and anything made in miniature. So, it's natural that I sometimes like to make really small amigurumi animals. It is possible to make a tiny version of any crochet toy by using thin crochet thread instead of yarn and a much smaller hook, but that can be very fiddly and hard on the eyes, especially if you have to sew incredibly small parts together.

However, I’ve designed these tiny cats and dogs to be made all-in-one, using normal sized yarn and hooks, with the legs, ears and tails worked as you go along. There is minimal sewing needed, just embroidering the features and sewing up the hole at the end, which makes them pretty quick and easy to complete

I first came up with a mini dachshund years ago, when I was making little toys for my sons' school bazaar. Using popcorn stitches for the legs was perfect for these dogs, so when I decided to try some different breeds of dog I went for others which have short legs, like Jack Russell terriers and corgis, or ones that are often a little tubby, like pugs and French bulldogs.

Having made these dogs, I then wondered if the same technique would work for cats. Since they're a bit smaller than the dogs I used increases and decreases in the right places to make their legs seem more proportional to their bodies.

So, my new pattern has all the details to make cats in various colours and fur patterns, and five different breeds of dog. It also tells you how to make most of the dogs with little sweaters.

These mini pets range in size from 2.25" - 3.5" long (6 - 9cm), and fit easily in your hand (even small ones!) which makes them perfect for little gifts. Make a pet for a doll, or turn one into a keychain. Or crochet all the different breeds and organise a pet show!

You can buy this pattern now from EtsyRavelry or LoveCrochet.