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 Patterns for Easter

2013-03-29 09.59.08My garden is full of spring bulbs, the dawn chorus has begun to wake us and Mr T has brought the wooden garden furniture out of hibernation. This can only mean one thing: Easter is almost upon us.  These tiny Easter eggs are made in just a few minutes and are ideal for using up your stash. They look fabulous strung with ribbon from tree branches, added to spring display or just for a bit of Easter whimsy! You can buy polystyrene eggs in most craft shops.

Pattern:

Each egg uses up a tiny amount of yarn. I used scraps of dk and 4 ply mercerised cotton and a 3mm hook.

Make 4ch, join to form a ring and work in spirals as follows:

Round 1: 6 dc into ring

Round 2: 2 dc in each dc (12dc)

Work in a spiral until the cover fits 2/3 of the way down the egg (working from pointy end downwards).

Round 3:  (1 dc, 2dc) to end of round. Work 2 rounds without increasing. Slip the cosy on the egg. Fasten off yarn and draw the tail through the last round of stitches. You can easily adapt this to any size egg.

I also discovered that if you use pure wool (not superwash), they felt quite successfully, giving all kinds of opportunities to embellish with a bit of needle felting or freehand embroidery.

If tiny eggs aren’t your thing, maybe this little fella is more your style?

bunny egg cosyThis pattern is amde in a spiral, do not turn and do nut join each round with a slip stitch.

Using dk cotton and a 3.5mm hook make an adjustable ring, make 6dc into the ring.

Round1: 2 dc in each dc. 12 dc

Round 2: [1 dc, 2 dc in next dc] 6 times. 18 dc

Round 3: [2 dc, 2 dc in next dc] 6 times. 24 dc

Continue in dc rounds until your cosy is your desired length. Fasten off yarn, weave in ends.

Make two ears by making 5 ch, 2 dc in 2nd ch from hook, dc to end of chain, Fasten off.

Sew the ears to the top of the cosy. Use tiny beads for eyes and a nose and small lengths of black thread for whiskers. With a few little tweak, he becomes a little Easter chick (just make in yellow, sew the ears to the sides as wings).

chick egg cosy 2

NB: Pattern written in UK crochet terms.