Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Another Present!

Recently I happened to be at the pub meeting a group of Indie game developers who were in Brighton for the Develop conference.  As the evening progressed and the beer flowed a tipsy discussion began between myself and a lovely chap called Alistair over whether baby mice or baby hippos were cuter.  Despite my obsession with mice, and my photographic evidence on my phone of how cute baby mice are,  we eventually agreed that both baby animals were equally cute.  It turned out that my new friend was quite fond of hippos, so I decided to make him one.  This is the result - may I introduce Heathcliff! 


Getting the face right was the most important part.  The pattern started off inspired by a free Crochet-Along pattern from The Craft Frog, (available on Ravelry for $4 now) but I made a lot of alterations, including the length of the body and legs, but mostly the shape of the head and face to make it more realistic.  The photos don't really show the shaping on the top of his muzzle very well, unfortunately.  I think he came out really well.

And most importantly, my friend loved his present :)

Thursday, 3 July 2014


I discovered recently that a friend of mine is a huge fan of the insanely cute Japanese character Rilakkuma, whose name means 'Relax Bear'.

Of course I knew immediately that I had to make an amigurumi Rilakkuma for him.  He loved it so much that he took it to work and a colleague saw it and adored it too.  He has now commissioned me to make another to give to her as a gift.

Since I made the original up as I went along I didn't keep a note of the pattern, so to make another I had to create it from scratch again.  That said, I think the second one has come out even better than the first, and this time I wrote down the pattern!

It's my first pattern, so I hope it makes sense.  I've used standard US crochet terms (despite being in the UK as I am more used to them. If you prefer UK terminology, just substitute sc (single crochet) for dc (double crochet).

Rilakkuma Amigurumi

You will need:

  • 3mm crochet hook
  • Bright Yellow yarn (I used DK)
  • Gingery Brown yarn (I used DK)
  • Yarn needle
  • A pair of 6mm Safety Eyes (or black beads if preferred)
  • Polyfill Toy Stuffing


Head (Make 1)

Using brown:

Round 1 - 6sc into Magic Ring (6)
Round 2 - inc in each (12)
Round 3 - 3 inc, 3sc, 3inc, 3sc (18)
Round 4 - 3sc, 3inc, 6sc, 3inc, 3sc (24)
Round 5 - (3sc, inc) x 6 (30)
Round 6 - (4sc, inc) x 6 (36)
Round 7-12 -  sc round (36)

If using safety eyes, insert now between rows 9 & 10, 6 empty stitches between them.

Round 13 - (4sc, dec) x 6 (30)
Round 14 - (3sc, dec) x6 (24)
Round 15 - (2sc, dec) x 6 (18)
Round 16 - (sc, dec) x6 (12)
Stuff firmly
Round 17 - dec round (6)
Fasten off leaving long tail for sewing.

Muzzle (Make 1)

Using white:

Round 1 - 6sc into magic ring (6)
Round 2 - sc, 2 inc, sc, 2inc (10)
Round 3 - sc, inc, 2sc, inc, sc, inc, 2sc, inc (14)
Slip stitch into next stitch and fasten off leaving long tail for sewing.

Embroider nose and mouth with black yarn and sew muzzle in place between and just below the eyes (see photo for placement)

Ears (Make 2)

With yellow (inner ear):

Round 1 - 8sc into magic ring (8)
Pull tightish, keeping a flat edge on the open side (making a semicircle).
Round 2 - ch 1, turn, sc across (8)
Bind off.

With brown (outer ear):

Repeat rounds 1 and 2, DO NOT BIND OFF after round 2.

Round 3  - ch 1, turn
Round 4 - Hold the yellow piece against the brown piece, back to back. sc though back loop of yellow and front loop of brown (the loop of each colour in the middle nearest each other) across, joining the two pieces together. 

Fasten off leaving long tail for sewing.

Fold a couple of millimetres of the edge of ear over (one left and one right) and sew in place.  Sew ears into sides of head.  See photo for positioning.

Body & Legs (Make 1)

Begin with first leg:

With yellow:

Round 1 - 6sc into magic ring. (6)

Change to brown:

Round 2 - Back loops only, (sc, inc) x 3 (9)
Round 3-5 - sc round (9)
Slip stitch to next stitch and bind off.

Second leg - repeat Rounds 1 to 5 of first leg - DO NOT bind off.

Round 6 - sc into next stitch after slip stitch on first leg and continue round, connecting both legs in a figure of 8 shape. (18)
Round 7 - sc round (18)
Stuff legs

Round 7 - 4sc, inc, 8sc, inc, 4sc (20)
Round 8-13 - sc round (20)
Round 14 - (sc, dec) x 6, 2sc (14)
Round 15 - (sc, dec) x 4, 2sc (10)
Stuff firmly.
Round 16 - dec x 5 (5)
Slip Stitch into next stitch and bind off.

Sew head to body.

Tummy Patch (Make 1)

With white:

Round 1 - 6sc into a magic ring (6)
Round 2 - sc, 2 inc, sc, 2inc (10)
Round 3 - (sc, inc) x5 (15)
Bind off leaving long tail for sewing up.

Sew tummy patch to the front of body.

Tail (Make 1)

With brown:

Round 1 - 6sc into magic ring (6)
Round 2 - inc round (12)
Fasten off, leaving long tail.

Weave yarn tail through the 12 stitches and pull tight like a drawstring. 

Stuff lightly as it gathers into make a nice ball. 

Sew into rear of body just above the legs.

Arms (Make 2)

With brown:

Round 1 - 6sc into magic ring (6)
Round 2-7 - 6sc round (6)

Stuff lightly.
Sew open end shut flat and sew each to body in the crook between body and head.

Embroider pads on the paws with yellow yarn.

The character Rilakkuma is copyright San-X 2003. Rilakkuma's Homepage (Japanese)

Please note: You can sell the finished product in small quantities at local craft shows etc (with credit to me as designer), but not on the internet.  The written pattern must not be sold in any form or used on any other website or in hardcopy/print without my permission.