Cute Little Bunnies

These cute little bunnies are my latest pattern to be made available as a single pdf download. They originally appeared in Issue 113 of Inside Crochet magazine and with Easter fast approaching I thought it might be fun to share this cute pair with their adorable little outfits!

You can buy the pattern on Payhip, and it can be downloaded from  Love Crafts. Sewing features is often the hardest part of amigurumi projects, a slightly wonky eye or a misplaced nose can totally alter the character of your makes. So,  I have included a couple of close up photos which I hope will help you. The pattern consists of six pages, with full instructions for making the bunny and all the clothes. You’ll need to be able to crochet in the round and read a crochet pattern written in UK crochet terms.

Most of this week I’ve been “stalking” the Postie, waiting for new yarn to arrive for a commission. It finally arrived today and I wish I could share it with you – it’s the beautiful shade – but you’ll just have to wait until it appears in print for details (or follow me on Instagram for sneaky peeks)…

Sofia and Sparkles

Sofia and Sparkles Family Group 2019.jpgWell hello – and thanks for stopping by! I want to introduce you to Sofia and Sparkles. Sparkles the mouse made her debut on Instagram before Christmas, but it’s taken me three months to write up and check the pattern, meanwhile she was joined by Sofia, a little bunny with an impossibly cute pom pom tail!

There will be a wardrobe of clothes for these little cuties –  I just need some decent light to photograph the samples – it’s so wet and grim here in Cheshire at the moment. Sparkles and Sophia were both made in Alpaca yarns, Sparkles is Whitfell DK in natural and Sofia is made using King Cole Alpaca in Grey. I loved using these yarns. Alpaca is so soft and it gives a lovey fur like texture. The clothes are made with oddments of double knitting yarns and Sofia’s pom pom tail is made from some leftover silk / mohair (Kidsilk Haze would be perfect). To stuff them, I used a natural wool fibre stuffing, which you have heard me talk about before. It’s so lovely to find an alternative to man made fibre stuffing. I buy mine from Wool Warehouse, but you can find other stockists.

Sofia Bunny March 2019 2

 

Both Sofia and Sparkles are ideal for beginners who can work into a ring. They are constructed using double crochet in rounds, with some increasing and decreasing for shaping.

While making these toys I also discovered my new favourite crochet tool – a felting needle! Because these amigurumi use all natural fibres, you can needle felt the ears and limbs into the most pleasing position and be sure they’ll stay put! You can also needle felt the head if it feels a little floppy. I am currently experimenting with adding  colour to my makes, spots, stripes and patches could be so much simpler than working colour changes whilst crocheting (which I know is something lots of my crochet pupils struggle with). To be honest, I often find the colour changes on such small numbers of stitches can look a little “clunky”, so using a simple needle felting technique might be the answer.

Sparkles Mouse March 2019

 

I hope you like Sofia and Sparkles, I imagine them getting up to all kinds of mischief and adventures. Both patterns can be downloaded now from Ravelry  or  Love Crochet soon. Look out for more clothes and accessories, which I’ll be adding here over the next couple of weeks.

Free Pattern: Wee Mousie

Hello Little Mouse!

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I make no apologies for my current obsession with tiny cute things – making them is a joy – and being able to make something so quickly is definitely a bonus!

These little mice started life as a sample for a Learn to Crochet Class, I quickly realised that others might fall in love with them too. They’re much cuter than the real thing, which we occasionally spy scuttling across the patio!

Of course, I had to make three (in honour of the nursery rhyme Three Blind Mice).

Each mouse is made in a different shade of King Cole Baby Alpaca (I had oddments left over from some other projects, which you’ll see in print soon) and is stuffed with wool stuffing. You can use any yarn you like and as mice come in many shapes, sizes and colours, you can dive into your stash and come up with a unique little mouse.

I’ve used beads for the eyes, but you could use embroidery if you prefer. The trickiest part is the whiskers; it was so hard to come up with a colour and texture that looked attractive. In the end I went for a combination of cotton yarn and sewing thread.

I’ve listed this as a free pattern, which means it hasn’t been tech edited. It has been tested by some of my pupils and proof read, but mistakes can still sneak through. If you spot an error please let me know and I can fix it. You’ll find a full list of crochet terms and abbreviations here.

I always like to start working in the round with a crochet ring, if you prefer an adjustable or “magic” ring, feel free to start that way instead. Remember, the only rule in crochet is there are no rules!

To make your mouse you will need:

2.5mm crochet hook, oddments of dk yarn (about 18m) and approximately 6g of toy stuffing or wool scraps. Two beads or black embroidery floss for eyes.

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Pattern starts here: (written in UK crochet terms)

Make 2ch.

Round 1: 4dc into 2nd ch from hk. 4dc

Round 2: (1dc, 2dc in next st) twice. 6dc

Round 3: (2dc, 2dc in next st) twice. 8dc

Round 4: (3dc, 2dc in next st) twice. 10dc

Round 5: (4dc, 2dc in next st) twice. 12dc

Round 6: 1dc in each st around.

Round 7: (3dc, 2dc in next st) 3 times. 15dc

Round 8: (4dc, 2dc in next st) 3 times. 18dc.

Rounds 9 – 18: 1dc in each dc around.

Stuff head and body.

Round 19: (4dc, dc2tog) 3 times. 15dc

Round 20: (3dc, dc2tog) 3 times. 12dc

Round 21: (dc2tog) 6 times. 6dc.

Make tail:

Row 1: 1sl st into next dc, ch16, 1sl st in 2nd ch from hk and in each ch across, 1 sl st in same place as first sl st. fasten off yarn.

Add more stuffing to body if required and close hole using long yarn tail.

Ears: (make two)

Make 4ch.

Row 1: 3ch, 4tr in 4th ch from hk, sl st in same ch. Fasten off yarn.

Sew ears to top of head (use photo as a guide).

Finishing:

Sew eyes, nose and whiskers using photo as a guide to placement.

two little mice.jpg

I hope you enjoy making these teeny mice – you can share your makes on my Facebook page, or on Instagram (just tag your photos #grannycoolcrochet). I do love to see your photos.

Happy crocheting!

 

Felted Baubles

Another one of my very early designs for Inside Crochet, these felted baubles have become a Christmas tradition. I love to find new ways to decorate them. Hand stitched with beads or covered in sequins, they always look spectacular. Remember to use a natural fibre such as wool or mohair, not a superwash wool or they won’t felt.

Of course, you can make the same pattern in cotton yarn and just add more stuffing – they look great hung on the tree in jewel bright colours. I like to finish them with a couple of rounds of metallic thread for extra “bling”!

If you want to try making some for yourself, you can buy  the pattern on Love Crochet

Jingle All the Way

JIngle Bells 2.jpgWelcome back! I’ve just opened Day 4 of my advent calendar and I’m starting to feel very festive. It won’t belong before I succumb to the charms of a gingerbread latte and curl up on the sofa to watch Elf (the best Christmas film ever – except for Die Hard of course!!!)

Inspired by Elf and in an attempt to bring some more traditional colour to my festive decorations, today I’m sharing a simple Jingle Bell decoration. The bells I’m using were bought from a high street craft shop in a pack of 12. I’m sure you have your own favourite craft suppliers, where you’ll find the same or similar. You’ll also need some ribbon, a metal hoop (I’m using a thin child’s bangle, bought in a multi pack on the high Street), green yarn and a crochet hook. A tapestry needle is useful for threading the bell. You can use any yarn. I used 4 ply cotton from my stash and a 2.5mm crochet hook.

Begin by working  double crochet (that’s UK terminology – dc, if you’re in the USA you probably call that a single crochet!) around the hoop (think of the hoop as an an extra large magic ring or chain ring). Work enough dc to fit comfortably around the ring, but allowing the stitches room to move (otherwise you will find the next round puckers). Slip stitch into the first dc to finish the first round. Now you get to choose. For a narrow hoop make one slip stitch in each dc, for a wider hoop work dc around.

Whichever you choose, slip stitch into your first stitch to complete the round and fasten off your yarn.

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Thread the jingle bell through the top of the hook, tie a piece of ribbon in a bow to decorate and hang on your tree, the kitchen window, on a door handle — wherever you like and let’s hope the jingle jangle doesn’t annoy you by the time the big day arrives!

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I’ll be back tomorrow with more quick makes

Ho Ho Ho xxx

A Bright Bauble Christmas

Yes, eagle eyed readers have seen this wreath before, especially when Simply Crochet magazine featured it on the front cover of the Crochet Christmas collection in 2016. I just love these bright colours!

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bobble wreathThis pattern can be bought from Ravelry or for the special price of £1.00 plus VAT on Love Crochet. You can choose to follow my bright colour palette or stick to more festive shades. Just remember to cover your polystyrene wreath in fabric or ribbon as some glues will cause the plastic wreath to melt! I have also made a version using a card circle, cut from the bases you sometimes get with frozen pizza!

 

I do hope you’re enjoying these festive makes and feeling inspired to make a few handmade additions to your Christmas decorations. Don’t forget to share your makes with the hashtag #grannycoolchristmas, I love to see what you’ve all been making!

 

Welcome Back Pookie Pals

Pookies in Crochet Now.jpgI have always had a secret (or not so secret) obsession with crocheting cute, tiny things. It’s often a way of destressing after a difficult or complicated design project. Sometimes I just get the urge to crochet something that is quick and allows for some creativity.

That’s how the Pookie Pals were born. The original template patterns (for pig, bear and bunny) appeared way back in issue 9 of Crochet Now magazine and the plan was to add to the collection with embellishments and new animals. I submitted drawings for foxes, bears, rabbits and even a festive Rudolph.  But, as is often the way with publishing, a new editor, new book commissions and life in general meant that they never appeared.

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Now the book is done and dusted, I find myself returning to those cute crochet Pookies (names for the book character). Last week I tried out an updated Pookie Bear, which even Mr T agreed was a “cutie”, even though he thought it looked like he was wearing a cyclist’s bib shorts (the man is obsessed with all things bike!)

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In my mind, there are at least a dozen of these Pookie Pals and as a little project for the coming year I will be making and sharing a new one every month.

Do you enjoy crocheting cute, tiny things? Would you be interested in the patterns for these as they appear? I’ll pop the original Pookie Pals pattern online shortly, if anyone reading this would like an advance copy to before it goes on sale, send me a message and I’ll pick a few of you at random to get a free copy before it goes on sale. The pattern is written in UK crochet terms, suitable for anyone who has mastered double crochet, increasing, decreasing,  working in rounds and feels confident to follow a written pattern without a photo tutorial. Look out for Pookie FOx next month – he’s already on my hook!

Happy hooking xxx