Thursday, 26 November 2015

Facebook Page!

I have finally got around to setting up a Facebook page for my work as an amigurumi artist.   It would be wonderful, if you like my work and are on Facebook, if you 'Like' it! 


I'll be using it both to show off my creations (there are two albums at the moment - one containing pictures of my stall, one of the amigurumi themselves), and to provide information about where and when my stall will be.

It also means I can advise customers if I need to cancel my stall for some reason, such as ill health or high winds (the bane of my life - amigurumi are light).

Customers also have another way to get in touch with me if they want to request custom amigurumi - always a good thing!

Important Customer Announcement

I am no longer accepting orders for custom amigurumi for Christmas as I am fully booked up and cannot guarantee delivery in time for the big day on any more requests. I apologise if this disappoints but I only have one pair of hands!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Bruce the Deer

 I love doing commissions - I get to make some very interesting characters - and the most recent one was no exception.  A friend of mine is a huge fan of the Animal Crossing series of games (as am I) and requested her favourite character - Bruce the Deer.  She sent me some pictures, including some screenshots from the Nintendo 3DS version of the game and I was sure I could do a good job.

After a rummage in my *ahem* extensive stash, I found the perfect DK yarns - a dusky slate-blue and a paler version for his head stripes and muzzle.

Using the pictures as reference, I began by making his head first as that contained the most detail and would set the scale for the whole figure.   The head stripes were then made as one separate piece that was sewn in position, followed by his muzzle.  His nose was embroidered using a small amount of black yarn and his little smiling mouth with one unraveled thin strand of the same yarn, using back-stitch for the lines and couch-stitch to shape it into the curve.

His eyes were made using 6mm safety eyes and ovals of white felt - I took a while to decide if I wanted to give him eyelids, as in some of the pictures, but he didn't look so cute with them so I make the decision to leave him wide-eyed.  I think it was the correct one :)

His ears were crocheted as slightly round-based pyramids, flattened, folded over at the base and sewn into shape.  The detail was then added with orange and yellow felt hot-glued carefully in place.

His body was made to scale based on the size of his head and sewn in place.  I then made his little legs and rather than stuffing them which would have been unsatisfactory as they were so thin I put dark blue pipe-cleaner inside to give the necessary rigidity to allow him to stand up straight, and to be invisible through the stitches.

 His arms also have dark blue pipe-cleaners in them so he can be posed as desired.

His little outfit was made from felt.  His undershirt in red, sewn on at the back, and then the little black sleeveless jacket over the top, open at the front.  His 4 shiny buttons were made from gold brads (paper-fasteners) which had the backs removed with snips and then were carefully hot-glued in place.

His horns were the hardest part.  I originally made them from felt but struggled to make them look right - they didn't have the right curve and weren't large enough.  They looked like horns, but not like Bruce's horns.

 I eventually removed them and remade them using a 1mm crochet hook and pale yellow embroidery cotton.  Fiddly as anything but very effective.  I then used a single strand of dusky grey-blue embroidery cotton to back-stitch the spiral around them as a finishing touch.

The finished product came out really well and exactly as I had hoped.  Really pleased :)

The best part of a commission, the part I enjoy the most, is handing it over to the new owner, and this one was no exception.  She was delighted and later posted this lovely picture on Twitter of Bruce with her 3DS running Animal Crossing and showing his virtual self.

Please note: The character Bruce and the game Animal Crossing are owned by and copyright Nintendo.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Tiny Penguin Pattern

I've been getting a lot of requests for penguins on my stall recently, and I've never been happy with any of the penguin patterns I've found out there - the best looking are a bit large for me - I like tiny and super cute!  So I decided to design my own, and here he is! 

He comes out about about 5cm tall with basic DK yarn and a 2.5mm hook, but obviously that will vary if you use different yarn or hook size.

On to the pattern (written in US terms even though I am British -  I've got so used to them I find it hard to think in UK crochet terms!)  All pieces are worked in the traditional Amigurumi way, in a spiral - don't join rounds.


Two 6mm black safety eyes
2.5mm crochet hook
Black DK yarn
White DK yarn
Yellow DK Yarn
Yarn needle
Small amount of fibrefill stuffing


slip = Slip Stitch
sc = Single Crochet  (Double Crochet in UK)
dc = Double Crochet (Treble Crochet in UK)
ch = Chain
inc = Increase - Crochet 2 stitches into one stitch
dec = Decrease - Crochet 2 stitches together
FLO = Front Loop Only
FO = Fasten off.


10sc = sc in each of the next 10 stitches
[sc, inc] round = repeat the contents of the brackets round - in this case - single crochet in next stitch, 2 sc in next stitch, sc in next stitch, 2 single crochet in next etc until you reach row stitch count.


You need to make these first because you will need to put them on while making the body.

With White:
1) 6 sc into Magic Ring & FO - don't slip to join into a circle and don't pull tight yet!
2) Insert safety eyes into centre of ring - carefully pull tight around eye to form a semi circle.


With White:
1) 6 sc into Magic Ring (6)
2) inc round (12)
3) [sc, inc] round (18)
FO leaving long tail for sewing on.


With Yellow:
1) 6sc into Magic Ring (6)
2) sc round (6)
FO leaving long tail for sewing.

Flatten them as shown in the second photo. Do not stuff.



With Black:
1) 6 sc into Magic Ring (6)
2) inc round (12)
3) [sc, inc] round (18)
4) sc round (18)
5) sc round (18)
6) [sc, inc, inc] round (24)
7) [slip, ch 1, dc] in FLO of next stitch, [dc, ch 1, slip] in FLO of next stitch - (makes wing), 10sc (in both loops), [slip, ch 1, dc] in FLO of next stitch, [dc, ch 1, slip] in FLO of next stitch - (makes wing), 10 sc (in both loops) (24)
8) sc round (crochet into the spare back loops where the wings are) (24)
9) sc round (24)
10) sc round (24)

At this point insert your eyes (with white semi-circles) between rows 5 & 6, with 2 holes (between stitches) between them, or wherever the white semi-circles touch or almost touch.  Don't sew on yet, but do put the backs on the eyes to lock them in place.  Don't over tighten the safety eyes - remember you are going through two layers of crochet - if you do them too tight the eyes sink into the white and don't look very good.

11) [sc, sc, dec] round (18)
12) [sc, dec] round (12)

Stuff, not too firmly but enough to hold the shape.

13) [dec] round (6)
FO and sew base shut.

Making Up

You can now sew the white eyes in place - keep them at a slight angle at the bottom to match the curve of the tummy circle.

Sew on the tummy circle, as close to the bottom of the eyes as possible.  You can tuck the stitches of the tummy under the eyes if you are careful for a neat finish.

Flatten the base of your penguin and make sure he sits OK.  Flatten the feet and sew on along the bottom front edge either side of the tummy circle.

Finally sew his beak - I do 2 stitches to form a V shape, then 2 or 3 to fill in the middle and finish with a horizontal stitch across the top to make it look neat.

And your cute tiny penguin is complete!

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.

Monday, 28 September 2015

A Special Commission - Part 2

The other character from Rayman I was commissioned to make was a warrior princess called Barbara.

She was more of a challenge than the Teensy Wizard as she is significantly more complex and detailed, but I was sure she would come out well.

I started with her feet and legs, and bent a pipe cleaner down each leg and into each foot to both provide strength and allow her to be posed.

The join between her feet and legs did not need to be perfect, as the character wears fur gaiters which once added would cover the join.

The finished shoes & gaiters were made using small pieces of fur fabric sewn into tubes around her ankles and then sewn in place so they don't slip down.  A mid brown yarn was used for the strapping.

 Her arms also have pipe cleaner in them so that she can be posed and can hold her axe, which is made from a bamboo skewer.

Double thickness of grey felt (for rigidity) forms the blade, with detail added using a dark grey Sharpie pen.  Rivets are brads with the 'legs' removed and glued in place, and the handle is finished with brown yarn strapping and a wooden bead hot glued in place.

Her hair is made from ginger-red yarn, and the two braids each side of her face have sewn beige felt covers finished off with yarn wrapping and real wooden beads glued in place.

The skull on her belt presented a problem - I had no skull beads and my air dry clay had, ahem, dried in the packet.  I have Fimo (polymer clay) but our gas oven is very poor at baking it properly (a mini electric oven for my craft room is on my wishlist!).  After cutting the basic skull shape from white felt I found the flatness unsatisfying.  Suddenly I remembered some pound shop glass beads I had bought (but never used) ages ago.  They had zero quality control and many were very thin and flat.  They looked exactly like cartoon skull eye sockets, and once I glued them in place on the felt skull shape I thought they looked really effective.

A distinctive feature of the character is a generous bust - I've never had to crochet tiny boobs before! They look good, however, and I added a stitch when sewing on her green felt top to accentuate her cleavage.

Her helmet has embroidered crosshatched texturing, and the wings are made from chunky white pipe cleaner. 

A colour matched pair of large & small glass beads are sewn and glued in place to finish the top.


The brim of her helmet is golden coloured felt with two sized of gold brads inserted to make the studs.

I tried to make cartoon eyes to look more like the images of the character but no matter what I tried they just didn't look very good.  I opted for my usual amigurumi 6mm safety eyes and a little chain stitch nose.  I think the result is suitably cute :)

Overall, Barbara took about 10 hours to make, spread over about 6 days.  I am very, very pleased with how she came out!

Please note - this character created, owned and copyright Ubisoft.

A Special Commission - Part 1.

A few weeks ago I was tasked (by a friend) to make some characters from the video game Rayman as a birthday gift for a fan of the game.  After some discussion we decided that the character Rayman himself wouldn't work well as he doesn't have arms, legs or a neck (though he does have hands, feet and a head).

Without using 'invisible' thread to hold the bits together (which would have looked a bit odd) or using a prop like a chair to affix them to, he was just never going to look right.

We settled instead on two other playable characters - a Teensy Wizard, and a warrior princess called Barbara.  In this post I will showcase the Teensy Wizard, in the next I will showcase Barbara.

The Teensy Wizard. 

This character is a blue, long faced creature with a cute wizard hat & coat.

I made the head first - a sausage shape in mid blue which tapers to one end and is rounded at the other.  After that I was able to make the plump body in a pale blue to the right scale.  I made the rounded cone shape first, then made the base separately as a flat circle.  This meant that he would sit properly upright. I then sewed the conical shape onto the base to make the finished body.

 His arms were made from the same mid blue as his face, using a simple chain and slip stitch technique to make the three fingers and thumb.

The swirl on his face was embroidered on using a darker royal blue yarn, and his wry smile using black yarn.

The hat and robe are made of royal blue felt, sewn together, and the stars are made from a mid blue felt.  The same colour stars are on his body and his coat, the felt needed to be darker than his body but lighter than his coat.  Thankfully I have a lot of felt lying around! I made the stars using a sharp paper punch with the felt sandwiched between two sheets of paper for a cleaner cut.  I had planned to sew the stars onto his body and coat but it is almost impossible to hide the stitches on felt, so I opted for a thin layer of hot glue instead to ensure they would not come off.

His eyes protrude from his head so rather that using my normal safety eyes I opted for two black beads sewn on with strong thread.  As this amigurumi was not for a child this was OK, and looks really effective.

I added two little feet in the same colour as his face an arms - simple dome shapes folded in half , lightly stuffed at the front and then sewn on to the base of his body.

I'm delighted with how well he turned out.  He took about 6 hours in all, over a few days.

Please note - this character created, owned and copyright Ubisoft.