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38 posts tagged cute

Cupcake Bib/Dishcloth

One day while shopping for yarn at Michaels, I came across this free adorable “Cupcake Dishcloth" pattern designed by Twinkie Chan.  Twinkie Chan is the queen of yummy and deliciously cute crochet (check out her site here), and I had seen her mention this project before on her social media.  I excitedly took a copy of the pattern home and began working on it right away with some Bernat cotton yarn that I already had in my stash!

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I was very impressed with this pattern and how this cupcake was designed.  The pink frosting part involves using a magic ring, but rather than working continuously around the circle, you turn your work in order to achieve this semi-circle shape.  The pink edging hanging over the green cake liner adds a pretty and whimsical touch.  My favourite part though was achieving the cabled effect on the green cake liner by working front post half triple crochets (FPhtr) around stitches found in rows below.  I thought this technique was brilliant and I love how it turned out- I’ll have to keep this in mind for future projects!

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The original project includes the pattern for a circular cherry with a loop on the top so that you can easily hang your dishcloth.  I wanted to make this dishcloth convertible into a bib as I wanted to gift it to a newborn baby girl!  Thus, I did not include the loop on the cherry- instead, I crocheted a little stem.

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After following the pattern for the cherry, I did not fasten off.  I did the folllowing:

Ch 6.  Sc 1 in 2nd chain from hook.  Sl st in next 4 chains.  Sl st in next 2 stitches of circle.  Fasten off and leave end to attach cherry to cupcake.

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In order to make this cupcake convertible into a bib, I added these two straps to the back of the pink frosting so that I could run a long neck strap through them:

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To crochet these:

Ch 7.  Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each chain across (6 sc).  Fasten off and leave ends to attach straps to frosting.

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Next I crocheted the long neck strap consisting of double crochets with a button on the end.  By using double crochets, this made the strap adjustable since the button can fit between any of the stitches!

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To crochet the neck strap:

Chain 70.  Dc in 4th ch from hook and in each chain across (68 dc).  Fasten off and weave in ends.  Sew button firmly onto one end.  (My strap measured approximately 17 inches).

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After feeding the neck strap through the pink straps, this is what my cupcake bib looked like!  I thought that the family could use it at first as a bib, and when their baby daughter no longer needed to use a bib, they could remove the neck strap and continue using it as a cute dishcloth in their kitchen!

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Cupcakes are so pretty and whimsical- I’m sure a Cupcake Dischcloth or Bib would be a welcome addition into many homes and kitchens, especially for those with a sweet tooth!

Myla absolutely detests wearing bibs now, but we managed to get her to wear this Cupcake Bib for a split second to capture this photo before she ripped it off, haha!  Isn’t the bib adorable?

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To make your own Cupcake Bib or Dishcloth, check out Twinkie Chan’s free pattern HERE!  Her post also includes a very informative YouTube video in which she shows you how to crochet the entire project as well :)  Have fun, and happy crocheting!

Pattern: Elephant

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Crochet these absolutely adorable, whimsical elephants with a brilliant amigurumi technique that requires minimal attaching.   Make them in a multitude of colours and add some fabric lining to the ears as a pretty touch!  This elephant is an original design by Japanese artist Chisachi Kushima.  For the Spanish translation, see Rani’s post HERE on “Amigurumies”, and for the French translation, see Fannie’s post HERE on “Petite Maille”.  Below is the English pattern that I have translated!  [Don’t forget to click the “Print" button at the bottom of this blog post right above the comments for a printer-friendly version of this pattern!]

Materials:

  • grey or pink yarn (I used Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice in “Pink and Silver Grey”) 
  • 2.5 mm or 2.75 mm crochet hook (I used a 2.75 mm hook)
  • yarn needle
  • fiberfill
  • 6 mm or 9 mm safety eyes (I used 9 mm)
  • fabric for lining of ears
  • white felt for tusks

Note: I worked in continuous rounds (vs. joined rounds).  ***PLEASE follow along with my blog post HERE to see many more step-by-step photos.  It is also VERY IMPORTANT that the "right" side of amigurumi is facing outwards for this project, otherwise the stitches of the body and the legs will look different.  Please read about the “Right Side of Amigurumi" HERE to learn more!

Body:

Ch 9 ( this is the foundation chain),

R1: Starting from second chain from hook, Sc 7 in back loops of foundation chain.  3 sc in last stitch.  Turn the chain, Sc 6 in front loops of foundation chain, then 1 inc in next front loop [we are making an oval by crocheting around the chain].  (18 sts)

R2: 1 inc, 6 sc, 3 inc, 6 sc, 2 inc (24)

R3: 8 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 11 sc (27)

R4: 1 inc, 9 sc, 1 inc, 2 sc, 1 inc, 2 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc (33)

R5: 2 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc, 1 inc, 3 sc, 1 inc, 3 sc, 1 inc, 11 sc, 1 inc, 2 sc, 1 inc (39)

R6: 1 inc, 11 sc, 1 inc, 4 sc, 1 inc, 4 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 3 sc, 1 inc, 3 sc (45)

R7: 15 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc, 1 inc, 17 sc (48)

R8: 2 sc, 1 inc, 14 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 4 sc, 1 inc, 2 sc (54)

R9: 4 sc, 1 inc, 7 sc, 1 inc, 7 sc, 1 inc, 7 sc, 1 inc, 17 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc (60)

R10: 6 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 18 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc, 1 inc (66)

R11: 1 sc in each sc (66)

R12: 1 inc, 17 sc, 1 inc, 9 sc, 1 inc, 9 sc, 1 inc, 11 sc, 1 inc, 7 sc, 1 inc, 7 sc (72)

R13: 1 sc in each sc (72)

R14: 2 sc, 1 inc, 18 sc, 1 inc, 10 sc, 1 inc, 10 sc, 1 inc, 12 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 6 sc (78)

R15: 1 sc in each sc (78)

R16: 4 sc, 1 inc, 19 sc, 1 inc, 11 sc, 1 inc, 11 sc, 1 inc, 13 sc, 1 inc, 9 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc (84)

R17: 1 sc in each sc (84)

R18: 6 sc, 1 inc, 20 sc, 1 inc, 12 sc, 1 inc, 12 sc, 1 inc, 14 sc, 1 inc, 10 sc, 1 inc, 4 sc (90)

R19-22: 1 sc in each sc (90)

R23: 39 sc, chain 6 (skip 12 sc to create the hole for the trunk), 39 sc (84)

R24: 37 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc, 1 dec, 37 sc (82)

R25: 1 sc in each sc (82)

Cut the yarn.  Leave a marker in the last sc of Row 25.  Work by rows for the next part.  We will now be crocheting the tab that falls below the trunk.

R26: Skip 37 sc.  Rejoin yarn and make 8 sc (8)

R27: Ch 1, turn, 1 sc in each sc (8)

R28: Ch 1, turn, 1 dec, 4 sc, 1 dec  (6)

R29: Ch 1, turn, 1 dec, 2 sc, 1 dec (4)

R30: Ch 1, turn, 2 dec (2)

Fasten off.

We have now created a tab that falls below the trunk. 

Place safety eyes between Rounds 16-17.

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Legs:

In order to create the legs, we will divide the body into leg chains.  Each leg chain consists of 6 chains and we will be making 4 leg chains (A-D) in total.  

Leg Chain A: Join to one end of the last sc of R25 (see pic below), chain 6, count 21 sc, join with sl st to this end.image

Leg Chain B: Continuing on from Leg Chain A, Ch 6.  Sl stitch to last stitch of Row 30 of the tab. 

Leg Chain C: Continuing on from Leg Chain B (the first end is in the last stitch of Row 30), chain 6, then count 15 sc from the beginning of the base of the tab of R25 and join with sl st..

Leg Chain D: Continuing on from Leg Chain C, Chain 6 then join with sl stitch to last stitch of R25 (where your stitch marker is).  Do not cut yarn.

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We will now be working on each individual leg, crocheting around the body and the leg chains that we have just created.

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Leg  A:

Starting from last stitch of Row 25 (so where the marker was, i.e. no need to cut the yarn from before, simply continue working):

R1: 21 sc (of the body), 6 sc (of the leg chain A) (27)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (27)

R3: 5 sc, 1 dec, 12 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc (25)

R4: 17 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc (24)

R5: *2 sc, 1 dec* repeat around (18)

R6: *1 sc, 1 dec*, repeat around (12)

R7: 6 dec

Fasten off and weave in end.

Leg B:

Count 23 stitches from where marker was in Row 25 (or as indicated in diagram above) and rejoin yarn.

R1: 15 sc (of the body), 6 sc (along the edge of the tab), 6 sc (of the leg chain B) (27)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (27)

R3: 1 dec, 12 sc, 1 dec, 11 sc (25)

R4: 1 dec, 23 sc (24)

R5: *2 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (18)

R6: *1 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (12)

R7: 6 dec

Fasten off and weave in end.

Leg C:

Begin in the last stitch of Row 30 (the tab) or as indicated in diagram above and rejoin yarn.

R1: 6 sc (along the edge of the tab), 15 sc (of the body), 6 sc (of the chain C) (27)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (27)

R3: 5 sc, 1 dec, 12 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc (25)

R4: 17 sc, 1 dec, 6 sc (24)

R5: *2 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (18)

R6: *1 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (12)

R7: 6 dec

Fasten off and weave in end.

Leg D:

Rejoin yarn in the body in the stitch next to Leg C (as indicated in diagram above).

R1: 21 sc (of the body), 6 sc (of the leg chain C) (27)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (27)

R3: 1 dec, 12 sc, 1 dec, 11 sc (25)

R4: 1 dec, 23 sc (24)

R5: *2 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (18)

R6: *1 sc, 1 dec*, rep around (12)

R7: 6 dec

Fasten off and weave in end.

Trunk:

Rejoin yarn in the hole left for the trunk.  Rejoin in stitch in the middle of the tab (tab edge consists of 6 sts).

R1: 3 sc (half of the tab), 12 sc (of the body), 3 sc (other half of the tab) (18)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (18)

R3: *1 dec, 4 sc*, rep 3 times (15)

R4-5: 1 sc in each sc (15)

R6: *1 dec, 3 sc*, rep 3 times (12)

R7-8: 1 sc in each sc (12)

R9: *1 dec, 2 sc*, rep 3 times (9)

R10: 1 sc in each sc (9)

R11: *1 dec, 1 sc*, rep 3 times (6)

Fasten off and weave in end.

Belly:

R1: 6 sc in the MR (6)

R2: 6 inc (12)

R3: *1 inc, 1 sc*, rep around (18)

R4: *1 inc, 2 sc*, rep around (24)

Stuff body and trunk firmly.  To close the belly, attach the crocheted belly piece to the edges of the four leg chains.  The belly piece should fit in perfectly since it consists of 24 stitches while the leg chains each consist of 6 chains (i.e. four leg chains x 6 chains = 24 stitches).

Ears (make 2):

Ch 7 ( this is the foundation chain),

R1: Starting from second chain from hook, Sc 5 in back loops of foundation chain.  3 sc in last stitch.  Turn the chain, Sc 4 in front loops of foundation chain, then 1 inc in next front loop [we are making an oval by crocheting around the chain].  (14 sts)

R2: 1 inc, 4 sc, 3 inc, 4 sc, 2 inc (20)

R3: 1 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 5 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc (26)

R4: 1 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc, 8 sc, 1 inc, 1 sc, 1 inc (32)

R5-6: 2 hdc, 9 sc, 7 hdc, 9 sc, 5 hdc (32)

R7: *1 dec, 8 sc, 1 dec, 4 sc*, rep twice (28)

Fasten off and leave long end for sewing.  Fold crocheted piece in half so that it curves inwards.  Sew fabric onto inner part of ears.  Sew open piece shut.  Attach ears to body.

Tail:

R1: 4 sc in the MR (4)

R2: 1 sc in each sc (4)

R3: *1 inc, 1 sc*, rep twice (6)

R4: 1 sc in each sc (6)

R5: *1 inc, 2 sc*, rep twice (8)

R6-7: 1 sc in each sc (8)

Fasten off and leave long end for sewing.  Attach to body.

Tusks (optional):

Cut tusks out of white felt.  Attach with glue gun with tusks pointing upwards or downwards.

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Now you’re done!  Enjoy your sweet elephants and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more crafty and crochet updates!

This pattern is an English translation by Stephanie of All About Ami (April 2014).  Please do not reprint this translation on your site. 

Amazon affiliate links:

Lion Brand Yarn 860-101A Vanna’s Choice Yarn, Pink

Here is a sneak peek of the latest amigurumi that I will be blogging about!  Isn’t this elephant absolutely adorable?  It’s a Japanese pattern that I first discovered on ”Amigurumies”, a blog by Rani who translated the pattern into Spanish!  
Stay tuned for the full step-by-step blog post and the free English pattern coming this week!  I absolutely love how this amigurumi elephant is constructed!

Here is a sneak peek of the latest amigurumi that I will be blogging about!  Isn’t this elephant absolutely adorable?  It’s a Japanese pattern that I first discovered on ”Amigurumies”, a blog by Rani who translated the pattern into Spanish!  

Stay tuned for the full step-by-step blog post and the free English pattern coming this week!  I absolutely love how this amigurumi elephant is constructed!

Fox Basket/Pillow

This past weekend I attended a good friend’s baby shower, and I was so happy to gift her with some crocheted goodies!  A while back, I came across a really cute pattern for a “Foxy Stash Basket” on the “Yarnspirations" website HERE.  I thought it would be a wonderful gift as it would not only make an adorable addition to the baby’s nursery, but also have the functional ability of storing items such as little hats, socks or towels!  I had a lot of fun crocheting baskets in the past (see posts HERE and HERE), so I was very excited to make a cute animal basket!  

I went out and looked for red and beige cotton yarn: I ended up purchasing “Bernat Handicrafter Cotton" yarn in "Off White" and "Country Red”.  You need to hold two strands of yarn together when crocheting this basket.  I did not buy enough skeins of yarn during my first shopping trip- in total, I used 4 skeins of the beige yarn and 2 skeins of the red yarn!  Some black yarn is also needed for the eyes and nose, but I simply used some black acrylic worsted weight yarn that I already had in my stash.  

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I began by working on the base of the basket with the beige yarn.  I loved the look and feel of it already!  I used a 6 mm crochet hook for the basket and a 4 mm crochet hook for the ears and eyes as recommended in the pattern.

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After crocheting the base, the basket started to build upwards…

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Then after all the increase rounds, it was time to build up the height of the basket!

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Next, I added the nose with some black yarn!

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I was excited to begin working with the red yarn!  Rather than cutting the yarn every time you need to switch colours, this basket is worked with the tapestry method of crochet in which you hold both colours at the same time, carrying and crocheting around the strands that are not currently in use.  If you are unfamiliar with this technique, check out this video HERE to see it in action!  Since you are working with two colours in the round, that essentially means that you are working with two strands of one colour while carrying along two strands of the other colour (thus four strands going at once)!

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As I was following the pattern exactly and building up the red in subsequent rounds, I noticed that the red appeared to be going lopsided upwards.  Even in the photo provided in the pattern (appearing below), I thought that the face looked crooked or lopsided.  When I read the pattern through, I thought it made sense in theory if each stitch were placed exactly ontop of one another round after round.  However, as you can see, stitches are not exactly aligned ontop of each other (e.g. third stitch of Round 3 will not be perfectly below third stitch of Round 4), as they tend to build up at an angle.  Thus, I tried to make some modifications and eyeballed it as I went along, trying to make the face as symmetrical as I could!

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This is what I came up with as I crocheted more and more of the face…

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Then it was time to cut off the beige yarn and continue working only with the red yarn!

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I tried my best, but I admit that I did not do a perfect job of making the face exactly symmetrical.  As you can see in the image below, the sides are not identical (left side curves more at an angle while right side falls more steeply).  I did not have the patience to undo my work and start that part over again, but you can always give it a try yourself and see what you come up with!

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After some decrease rounds, the last round was given a nice finishing touch as it was worked with the reverse single crochet.  I absolutely love the beautiful roped and textured feel that the reverse single crochet gives to the basket!

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The basket was not as sturdy as I expected it to be (compared to the other baskets which I had crocheted using two strands of super bulky yarn and using an 8 mm crochet hook).  Thus, we thought it would be neat to give this basket another function: by adding buttons to the top, the basket could be closed up to be a pillow or cushion!

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I enjoyed crocheting the ears as they were worked from the bottom to the top which is opposite to how I usually make my ears.  The shape turned out beautifully, and I love the pointed tips!  To give a bit more shaping and dimension, we pinched the ears in the middle and sewed the back, giving them a creased look.

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The eyes were simple to crochet as they were simply black circles with some white strands of yarn added!

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After attaching the ears and eyes, here was our finished product!

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These are the modifications I made to the original “Foxy Stash Basket" pattern by Yarnspirations (all modifications made to the FACE part, not the base):

  • 3rd rnd: With A, 1 hdc in each of next 6 hdc.  
  • 4th rnd: With A, 1 hdc in each of next 9 hdc.
  • 5th rnd: …………..Do not break MC.  With A, 1 hdc in each of next 12 hdc…………..
  • 6th rnd: With A, ch 2, 1 hdc in each of next 21 hdc……….With MC, 1 hdc in each of next 7 hdc…With A„ 1 hdc in each of next 13 hdc………
  • 7th rnd: WIth A, ch 2.  1 hdc in each of next 22 hdc…..Do not break MC.  WIth A, 1 hdc in each of next 14 hdc…….
  • 8th rnd: With A, ch 2.  1 hdc in each of next 24 hdc…..With A, 1 hdc in each of next 15 hdc………….

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I presented this Fox Basket packed with some goodies to my friend during her baby shower, and it was a hit!  I think it look so cute, don’t you?

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It would be such a beautiful and whimsical addition to the nursery of any baby boy or girl!  Here it is pictured with some of the steel bins from Myla’s nursery (purchased from Ikea and Home Sense).  Most of Myla’s stuffies in her nursery were actually my previous stuffies that I brought from home….that goes to show how much stuffies can be loved and cherished and passed down the generations, amigurumi included :)

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Here is the Fox Basket serving its dual purpose as a cushion or pillow!  Doesn’t it look so huggable?  And how adorable would this fox pillow look on any sofa or bed?

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Thus, if you don’t feel like using the basket as storage anymore or if a cute pillow is needed for a big boy or girl bed, it can be converted easily into a cushion or pillow simply by closing up the top with the buttons!

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We used fiberfill to show what it looked like stuffed as a cushion, but we would not recommend using it as the actual stuffing unless you sewed the top shut (hazardous for children as they might remove it, play with it or eat it)!  You could try finding a small pillow or cushion that would fit inside to keep the button closure and to easily switch from using this as a basket or a pillow!

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And here’s a third use for the basket….as a Fox Mask!  Haha all joking aside, I thought it was funny how this basket was pretty much head size!

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If you liked this basket, check out these baskets pictured below that I crocheted HERE.  I still use them to this day in Myla’s nursery and my workspace as they hold so much and look so beautiful.

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If you’re interested in crocheting a matching amigurumi fox, here’s a round-up of some cute FREE fox patterns that I found on-line:

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{1. “Cute Amigurumi Fox" by Anna S. of "Spool of Sunshine”,  2. “Amigurumi Fox" by Timea Venter of "Timic’s Home”, 3. “Fox Amigurumi" by Nimoe Galad of "Nimoe’s Blog”, 4. “Mother Fox and Baby Fox" by Allison Hoffman}

As I mentioned above, I think this Fox Basket would be so cute in a nursery, particularly if it had a “Woodland Forest Theme”.  I enjoy looking through the beautiful handiwork of different artists on Etsy, and I found the following items that would go perfectly in such a themed nursery!

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{"Charlie the Fox Baby Toddler Onesie by Le Trango, “Teacup Fox Original Watercolor Painting" by Alisa Belzil of Sweet Afternoons, "Organic Kawaii Fox Baby Swaddle Blanket" by Simply Boco Baby, "Mini Plush Woodland Animal Set" by A Little Bit of Joy }

Hope you enjoyed reading about the making of this fun project and how we made some modifications to the original pattern and made it convertible from a basket to a pillow!  Keep in mind that the Yarnspirations website gives it a 3 out of 4 “Intermediate” difficulty level as it does involve switching yarn colours using tapestry crochet.  To access the free pattern, click HERE and download it!  I love this idea of making baskets into animals- you could add bunny ears, cat ears, bear ears…the sky’s the limit!  Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to stay updated with my work by following me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Amazon affiliate links:

BERNAT Handicrafter Cotton Yarn Solids, Country Red

Sneak peek of upcoming step-by-step blog post: Fox Basket (modification of free pattern by “Yarnspirations”)

Sneak peek of upcoming step-by-step blog post: Fox Basket (modification of free pattern by “Yarnspirations”)

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This week we will be starting a new series called “Craft Chat" in which I will feature different crafting artisans who I have personally connected with and who are passionate about what they do!  I always find it fascinating learning about how people got started on their crafting journeys and what motivates them.  Nowadays with social media, blogs, YouTube and the internet in general, crafting is being taken to the next level as we can teach and learn from one another and connect with other crafters from around the world who we would normally never be able to meet!

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I am very pleased to feature “Momomints" in the very first edition of "Craft Chat”!  Hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sami and Marissa are the crafty duo behind “Momomints”, specializing in amigurumi crochet stuffed toys and keychains as well as polymer clay keycharms.  I first connected with them on Twitter and Instagram and was very impressed with their work!  Our love of all things kawaii and crafty bonded us and we became fast friends and great supporters of each others’ work!  It’s always amazing finding people who share the same interests as you in your own country or who live near you too, so it was neat for me to connect with these fellow Canadians :)

When Sami and Marissa found out that I was celebrating my 3 Year Blogiversary, they wanted to send something special.  They knew that Myla absolutely adores cats, so they sent us one of their signature "Meowchi" amigurumi cats!  Their Meowchi’s typically have big bows (see HERE), but they included a special “3” to help commemorate my blogiversary.  I love the shaping of their Meowchi, the blush cheeks and the beautiful hang tag!

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This side view also shows Meowchi’s adorably long tail, cute yellow stripes and lovely “Momomints” label.  Marissa is the one who does all the crocheted work of Momomints, and I think she did a great job designing these Meowchi’s with all their details!

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Marissa also crocheted this mini Meowchi keychain for Myla as well!  I love the dainty feet, and Myla enjoys having a “big Mama cat” and a  ”small baby cat” :)  These mini Meowchi keychains are a new product in their Etsy store, and they come in different editions.  Marissa and Sami were so sweet to name the pink mini Meowchi the “Myla edition”!  You can read all about these cuties and the different editions in their blog post HERE!

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I love how you can take these mini Meowchi’s anywhere you go!

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When Myla has her own backpack or little purse, we know what we’ll be attaching to it!

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We were so excited to show Myla these handcrafted cats that were crocheted especially for her!

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Myla was thrilled and immediately said “meow meow” when she saw them!

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Myla is very gentle and sweet with her stuffies- she frequently gives them lots of hugs and kisses!  Thank you for crocheting these cats with so much love, Marissa- Myla will treasure these stuffies for years to come!

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I was very surprised to discover another gift from the generous duo of “Momomints”.  Sami, who does all the polymer clay creations, made me these custom polymer keycharms!  When I first saw these adorable teddies, I squealed with delight!  Upon closer inspection and seeing the ball of yarn and crochet hook that the white bear was holding and the scarf that the beige bear was wearing, my jaw dropped as I realized that these were my “Fluff Bears”, Coco and Mochi!  Sami did a wonderful job including the details and giving the bears a textured look to simulate their fluffiness!

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Here are my Fluff Bears (free crochet pattern found HERE) with their polymer keycharm counterparts!  How special is this?  

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I can’t wait to attach these Fluff Bear charms to my keychain or purse and take them wherever I go!  Thank you for these special teddies, Sami- your work is impeccable!

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Now that we’ve seen some of their work, here’s our chance to get to know Sami and Marissa of “Momomints” a bit better with the following questions that I asked them:  

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1)  Where did the name Momomints come from?

Sami: Momomints was an original name that Marissa and I had come up with. “Momo” translates to peach in Japanese, while mint is Marissa’s favourite colour (one she really wanted to incorporate into our branding). Combined, these two words form “Momomints”, a play on words that sounds like “mo-mints” or “moments”. Overall, we really wanted to create a handmade gifts business with unique and cute products for all those special moments in people’s lives. And so we like to say: “Momomints - peachy fresh creations for all occasions”. It may be a bit cheesy, but we think it really defines us!

2)  Describe your store in 5 words.

Cute, Japanese-inspired, Minty!, Handmade, Gifts

3)  When did your love of crafting first begin?  How did you learn your craft?

Marissa:  For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved doing arts & crafts.  When I was younger I remember watching Mr.Dress Up and always looked forward to the craft times where he would make things with ordinary craft supplies. And of course watching Martha Stewart on television!  I actually didn’t learn how to crochet amigurumi dolls until later on when I was in University.  I was browsing through some craft sites and stumbled upon the cutest fuzzy Panda Bear amigurumi pattern on Craftzine by Roxycraft.  From that moment on I was hooked on amigurumi!

Sami: Like Marissa, I have been crafting since my toddler days. I remember always trying to reinvent my toys, creating dolls and doll houses out of paper and cardboard, and doodling my own story books. I first discovered polymer clay charms through Oborocharms on deviantART. The first keychain I created was a replica of a special little ghost charm I received as a birthday present, and since then I’ve been creating them as special presents for other people =). 

4)  Where do you get your inspiration from?

Marissa: Cute packaging, nature and anime/cartoons. Lots of things inspire me at any place or any time.

Sami: Besides all the random things I’m inspired by in my day to day, I’m inspired by Marissa! I can say it without hesitation that she is the most crafty person I know. She has great taste and judgement.  

5)  Do you craft for a living? 

Sami: At this moment both Marissa and I work full-time jobs outside Momomints. I always like to say that Momomints is actually our second full-time job. We invest every other pocket of time we have into making products, promoting them and just growing Momomints into something more than just a hobby. Running Momomints and crafting for a living would be a dream but we understand that it will take some time and definitely lots of perseverance to get there. We’re just getting started!

6) What are some of your favourite crafting blogs or resources?

Martha Stewart, Craftzine, Mochimochi Land, Life Ann Style, Oh My! Handmade … way too many to list here!  And of course All About Ami :D

7)  What advice do you have for people who are thinking of starting their own store or business?

Marissa: Do lots of research (read through Etsy forums, reach out to fellow established crafters, join craft meet-ups). If you’re truly passionate about it just go for it and have fun in the process :)

Sami: When starting it’s important to plan things out. Think about what products you’d like to make and how you could possibly expand on this in the future! Don’t limit yourself from the start!  Think big!  Also do understand that starting your own business does require actual work! and of course focus. Keep at it and don’t give up =). 

                                    ***********************************************

I hope you enjoyed reading about these Canadian crafters who are producing such cute and high quality amigurumi and polymer keycharms!  They not only have an Etsy store, but also a blog in which you can keep up with their news.  They recently posted their FIRST FREE AMIGURUMI PATTERN for this incredibly adorable sheep named "Fluufie" HERE!  I think Fluufie is too cute for words and I know that many of you will be excited to make your own :)

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Visit the “Momomints” website HERE and follow them on their Facebook, Twitter (@momomintsshop) and Instagram (@momomintsshop) to see all the cute crafting that they’re up to!  Thanks for being a part of this “Craft Chat”, Sami and Marissa, and we are excited to see where your crafting journey will take you 

Year of the Horse: Pony

Another Chinese New Year is upon us and this year is the “Year of the Horse”!  As long time followers know, it’s been a tradition of ours to make an amigurumi of the zodiac animal of that particular year!  Last year I remember looking up 2014 and thinking that a horse would be a daunting task.  As we were brainstorming ideas over the past couple of weeks, I thought that designing and crocheting a pony would be a cute interpretation of a horse as ponies are simply smaller horses that often “exhibit thicker manes, tails and proportionally shorter legs”.  With the popularity of “My Little Pony" and unicorns, I thought this would be a great amigurumi project!  Ryan did the sketch below as we loosely based our design on some "Tokidoki ponies" that we saw on-line:

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This project was an interesting and welcome challenge for me as I had to crochet some unconventional shapes compared to what I was used to.  The head was an egg shape vs. the typical round or oval shape!

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The tip of the egg (where the magic circle is) served as the snout or nose!  After placing the safety eyes, Ryan embroidered these pretty eyelashes and then we stuffed and closed up the piece.  Notice that the eyes are placed below midline (when looking straight at the pony) to give her a cuter, doe-eyed look!

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The mane was quite the topic of discussion!  We talked about attaching strands of yarn or possibly using the loop stitch for the mane.  However, Ryan thought that crocheting individual pieces to create a puffy mane was the way to go, and he was definitely right!  We ended up crocheting five separate pieces (Mane Parts 1-5), each of varying sizes.  Mane Part 1 had a tip which would serve as the cute curl!

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Instead of attaching each separate piece to the head, we decided that attaching the individual pieces together first and THEN attaching the whole piece to the head would be easier.  Ryan flipped the pieces over and used the long ends of yarn left from each piece to attach them together.   

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He then draped the mane across the egg-shaped head and used the long strands of yarn to attach them in place.  Don’t I have the best hubby in the world?  Attaching amigurumi pieces together is my least favourite part of the process, and Ryan did this for me while I was figuring out the shapes for the other pieces!  Note that after sewing on Mane Part 1, it’s only necessary to sew portions of the mane to the head (the middle parts as shown below, not the sides) as you don’t need to sew the whole way around each piece.

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After the mane was secured on the head, we then attached these ears that I crocheted!

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Next up was the body!  This was another unconventional shape as we wanted the pony to have a little belly and a neck that curved upwards.  To shape the belly, I increased more on one side.  To make the neck, I did slip stitches on one side and half double crochets on the other side to build up height.  Because of these uneven increases and various stitches, it was VERY important that I not make a mistake and record my work very carefully!

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We then attached the body to the head!

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Next up were the hooves and the legs!  I started off with the coral yarn and then switched to white for the upper legs.  I decreased on one side while increasing on the other side to get this curved effect.  I did the opposite for the other two legs so that they would curve in the other direction in order to conceal the colour change better.  You can push the hooves inwards so that your pony will have more stability when standing too!

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After attaching the legs, our pony was almost complete!

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The tail was the last challenge!  We wanted her tail to curve almost like a flame and it took me a couple tries before we achieved the shape that we liked after some uneven increasing and decreasing!

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Now may we present to you our little amigurumi Pony in honour of the Year of the Horse!  I think she looks absolutely adorable sitting down!

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And the great thing is that she can stand up too!

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We decided to name her…..RUBY!  This was one of the names I thought of myself after completing her, and many readers suggested it too due to her beautiful red mane.  It holds special meaning for me because my birthstone is ruby too!  Other names that I was strongly considering were “Pippi the Pony" (named after "Pippi Longstocking”, the fiery red-headed little girl who could easily lift a horse with one hand) or “Poppy the Pony" (fitting since poppies are beautiful red flowers), and I really liked the alliteration.  Thank you for all your wonderful name suggestions- I was unaware that this year in particular was the year of the wooden horse, so all the names associated with wood were really meaningful!  I can’t wait for you to make your own ponies and name them all the creative and thoughtful names you came up with!

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Ruby looks so sweet when you look at her head on and you see her doe-eyes, little snout and cute curl atop her head!  

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We loved using fun, bright colours for our pony!  We knew that coral and white would be a great combo, particularly since red is commonly associated with Chinese New Year.  We had this beautiful coral yarn in my stash as it was left over from Myla’s Granny Square Baby Blanket (see here)!  For those interested, the exact yarns we used were “Loops & Threads Impeccable Yarn in Rouge" and "Patons Canadiana in White”. 

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Here is a back view of Ruby the pony!  I really love how her puffy mane and cute tail came out!

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It boggles my mind that we have been through FOUR Chinese New Years together, dear readers!  In 2011 when we first started the blog, we made “Chinese New Year Doll" holding a tiny bunny, and she will always hold a special place in our hearts as she was our first original design.  In 2012 we made Dragon and in 2013 we made Snake.  This year is all about the Horse/Pony!  Don’t you love our ever-expanding collection of zodiac animals?

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We are sooo excited to see your ponies and what colours you will use!  Does anyone already have some colour combos in mind?  You could also easily make her into a unicorn too by adding a horn and some wings :)

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Myla LOVED Ruby the Pony as soon as she saw her and she couldn’t stop smiling!  It’s really sweet because Myla loves choosing her favourites from my amigurumi shelf and taking them down to play.  Whereas before when my amigurumi would simply sit on my shelf, they are now getting new life as our little toddler plays with them (haha kinda reminds me of “Toy Story”)!

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Myla gave some kisses to Ruby the Pony too :)  Don’t you love her Chinese New Year outfit?

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I hope you love this sweet little pony as much as we do!  Her puffy mane, curved pony tail, pretty lashes, tiny belly and little legs make her oh so sweet!  What do you love about Ruby most?

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We strive to do better and learn new techniques with each project and design.  I am very proud of how she turned out and the different shapes that we were able to create!  I know many of you have asked me advice on “How to Design Your Own Amigurumi”- I will try and put together a post when I have the time and walk you through the process that we go through!  Perhaps I can use Ruby the Pony as one of the examples!

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The free pattern for Ruby the Pony can now be found HERE!  She would make the perfect gift for horse-lovers, “My Little Pony”-lovers, people who are the Year of the Horse and expectant/new moms with babies who will be born in the Year of the Horse!  I hope you enjoyed reading about the making of Ruby the Pony and are excited to make your very own :)  We thank you for all the wonderful feedback we’ve received about her from the sneak peek and are so delighted to hear that she is already so loved!

Here’s a sneak peek of our latest amigurumi creation for Chinese New Year which is less than a week away!  What do you think?  We need help naming her!!!  Please leave suggestions in your comments below- we LOVE hearing your ideas!
Full step-by-step blog post & free pattern coming this week!  

Here’s a sneak peek of our latest amigurumi creation for Chinese New Year which is less than a week away!  What do you think?  We need help naming her!!!  Please leave suggestions in your comments below- we LOVE hearing your ideas!

Full step-by-step blog post & free pattern coming this week!  

The Fluff Bears: Coco & Mochi

Two years ago Ryan and I came across some white eyelash yarn while shopping at Michaels, and we decided to pick it up along with some other yarn since we thought it would be so cute to make a fluffy bear!  I’m embarrassed to admit that this white eyelash yarn remained in a Michaels bag on a shelf in my desk as months and months went by.  I continued to work on other projects and once in a while Ryan would say, “Hey, weren’t we going to work on that bear with that special yarn we bought a while ago?”  It wasn’t until this past summer that we decided to finally pull out this yarn and use it to make an amigurumi!

This was my very first time working with eyelash yarn which is a type of novelty yarn that “appears as a thread base with several long strands spaced at even intervals that jut out at an angle from the main strand” (according to Wikipedia).  The particular brand that we had purchased two years ago was “Patons Allure" in "Diamond" and more recently we purchased "Loops & Threads Luxurious Fur" in "Lynx" to make a second bear!  It’s interesting because both eyelash yarns are made of 100% nylon whereas previous yarns I’ve worked with are typically cotton or acrylic.

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As you can see, eyelash yarn is very fuzzy!  The white yarn had a more scraggly look to it…

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The beige yarn was less scraggly and actually had a beautiful shimmer to it!  It’s neat how various eyelash yarns have different looks to them which help give the resulting amigurumi different looks too!

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I was unaware of this at the time of purchasing the yarns, but they were of different thicknesses.  And so, I ended up not being able to use the same pattern when making both bears because of this.  As shown in the picture below, the white yarn ontop was bulky (5) while the beige yarn underneath was medium (4).  

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I started off making the white bear and since the white yarn was bulky, the whole pattern worked up very quickly!  I began by working on his head…

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When working with fluffy yarn, it is important to leave the “wrong side" of amigurumi on the outside as it is actually fluffier than the "right side" (read about "The RIght Side of Amigurumi" in my blog post HERE).

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I must also warn you that working with eyelash yarn is not for the faint of heart or for beginners as it is extremely difficult/nearly impossible to see the individual stitches.  Using a stitch marker to mark the beginning of each round is imperative!  I used a bobby pin before purchasing actual stitch markers as you can see in this picture below.  If the next round was supposed to have 12 stitches, I knew that directly across from the bobby pin I should be at around 6 stitches and so a quarter of the way around the circle I should have about 3 stitches.  This is how I estimated where to stick my crochet hook round by round :)  Working with this yarn is also very forgiving, so even if you miss a stitch here or there or make a couple of mistakes along the way, it will not be visible!

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When I was about to close up the ball we added our safety eyes!  He looked so cute, and kind of reminded me of a soot sprite from Totoro!

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Ryan then embroidered this sweet little nose on felt and glued it onto his face.  I love how different noses can give amigurumi various expressions and character.  Ryan always does a great job with the noses, and here he is showing off his handiwork!

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I crocheted these tiny ears and then sewed them onto the teddy’s head!

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Next came the fluffy body!

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For the limbs and the ears I used a lightweight (3) mercerized cotton (“Patons Grace”).  This type of yarn contrasts nicely against the fluffy eyelash yarn and really helps the limbs and ears stand out!  The arms are actually longer than the legs which gives a really cute look!

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We knew we wanted to have this teddy hold something and we brainstormed different ideas….  I thought it would be SO cute if he was a crocheting bear so we quickly made some accessories for him with items we already had around the house!  For the crochet hook we used some wire that we use to hang our Christmas ornaments onto our tree- Ryan cut and shaped the tip to make it look like a hook!  And for the yarn, we used embroidery floss: Ryan tied many knots to form the base and then wrapped the embroidery floss around the knots while adding glue from a glue gun along the way so the floss would remain in place.  To give you some perspective on how tiny his accessories are, this next photo shows a comparison of the yarn and hook with a Canadian penny:

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Once we placed the yarn and hook into the teddy’s hands he was all finished, and I absolutely fell in love with him!  I love his sweet face and how fluffy he is, and of course I adore how he’s doing my favourite hobby…crocheting!  I decided to name him “Mochi" with the help of "artsysketchpaper" on Instagram!  Mochi is one of my favourite foods and it is chewy and fluffy….I thought it would be the perfect name for this little cutie!

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Here is a side view of Mochi!  

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As soon as we finished Mochi we knew we wanted to crochet him a little companion.  Ryan came up with the idea of having a second female bear wearing a scarf using the same embroidery floss that Mochi was holding!  Mochi would express his love by crocheting a scarf for his sweetie!  And so, I quickly whipped up a second bear using the beige medium (4) yarn and adapted my pattern along the way.  We gave her a pink nose and had her hold a flower for Mochi so that she could give him a gift too (the flower is from one of those scrapbook accessory kits)!

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We decided to name the girl bear “Coco" which is short for coconut since it’s fluffy and continues with the food theme :)  Thank you to Betty, both Emmas, Kim and "disqus_bqN3KZ6mig" (I don’t know why your name didn’t appear, sorry!) through the blog comments and "iamanhera" on Instagram for helping me name her (as you can see, this was a popular name choice)!  Here is a side view of Coco- I love how fluffy she is!

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And here is a pic of Coco and Mochi together!  I really appreciate your help in naming these two…. I could not think of any creative names for them and I am SO GLAD I could draw upon the collective minds of my blog readers!!!  So many of you suggested very cute and meaningful names- I hope you’ll use them for your own bears!  I decided to call these two “The Fluff Bears" as a set!  Who knows…maybe we’ll be adding more bears to the Fluff Family in the future :)

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To give you some more perspective on just how tiny these two are, here’s a picture of me holding them!  They fit nicely in the palm of my hand!

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Aww, Coco and Mochi are so very much in love :)

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[Arrow x Heart Flowy Tank Top by “The Steppie; Necklaces by “Loft 82]

Here is one last picture of the two Fluff Bears Coco and Mochi lounging in my crocheted basket (check out the blog post for the basket HERE).  Aren’t they just adorable?

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Ryan and I wanted to show Coco and Mochi in action so we shot this little stop motion video for you to enjoy!

Prior to making Coco and Mochi, the only fuzzy amigurumi I had made were “Valentine Teddy" and "Fuzzy White Bear”.  The fuzzy look for these two was achieved by using a dog slicker brush to fuzz up the yarn.  Using eyelash yarn gives a very different look as the individual stitches are not visible at all.  This results in a very plush and furry amigurumi that does not even look crocheted!  I really enjoyed working with eyelash yarn and I am excited to work with it again :)  

I think it would be so cute to personalize these teddies by having them hold or wear different objects (e.g. guitar, book, hat, ballerina tutu) based on your own interests or the interests of the person you are gifting them to!  The free pattern for these two teddies can be found HERE!!!  Follow me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to get my updates :)  Thanks for reading the story behind Coco and Mochi and I hope you’re excited to make your very own fluff bears!  

Hey everyone!  Cute Outfits Online has put together a very sweet and comprehensive blog post featuring my style and crochet fashion HERE!  When they first contacted me, I was expecting a short blurb about my blog, but I was astounded by the very long post featuring everything from my cowls and headbands to my maternity and nursing fashion…and even a section on baby Myla’s style, hehe!  I could tell that Scarlett, one of the admins of Cute Outfits Online, had scoured my blog and put a lot of effort into the feature, and I was so honoured and flattered by her kind words about my style, projects and blog!
Scarlett recently let me know that they have launched an online shop!  They are offering us a 10% discount off the whole cart (excluding Mary Kay products) using the coupon code “AMI10" which is good until December 31st, 2013!  You can find their shop here!
The collage above shows some of the projects and outfits that are featured!  The free patterns and step-by-step blog posts are available for all of them, and from left to right, top to bottom we have my Chunky Double Crochet Cowl, Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanies, Knotted Headbands and Long Double Crochet Cowl!  With the cooler temperatures and fall approaching, now’s the time to break out your crochet hooks and start working on these cozy pieces!  Which of these have you made?

Hey everyone!  Cute Outfits Online has put together a very sweet and comprehensive blog post featuring my style and crochet fashion HERE!  When they first contacted me, I was expecting a short blurb about my blog, but I was astounded by the very long post featuring everything from my cowls and headbands to my maternity and nursing fashion…and even a section on baby Myla’s style, hehe!  I could tell that Scarlett, one of the admins of Cute Outfits Online, had scoured my blog and put a lot of effort into the feature, and I was so honoured and flattered by her kind words about my style, projects and blog!

Scarlett recently let me know that they have launched an online shop!  They are offering us a 10% discount off the whole cart (excluding Mary Kay products) using the coupon code “AMI10" which is good until December 31st, 2013!  You can find their shop here!

The collage above shows some of the projects and outfits that are featured!  The free patterns and step-by-step blog posts are available for all of them, and from left to right, top to bottom we have my Chunky Double Crochet Cowl, Urban Jungle Slouchy Beanies, Knotted Headbands and Long Double Crochet Cowl!  With the cooler temperatures and fall approaching, now’s the time to break out your crochet hooks and start working on these cozy pieces!  Which of these have you made?

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