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Cover of Dragon Feature

Hello my crafty friends!  As you all know, I love amigurumi, and it was my pleasure being featured in a wonderful amigurumi article found in Issue 20 of “Simply Crochet" magazine.  "We Love Amigurumi”, written by Judy Darley of Future Publishing, is about the joys of making amigurumi toys, and I am so honoured and happy that I could be a part of it!

I was interviewed alongside fellow amigurumi artists Maike van den Dries of the Netherlands and Mei Li Lee of Malaysia.  I really enjoyed reading this delightful article, seeing all the beautiful pictures, and hearing what Maike and Mei had to say as well.  Click on each picture to enlarge it, and read the whole “We Love Amigurumi" article for yourself to hear about why we think amigurumi stands out from other kinds of toys, advice on getting started, amigurumi challenges, and what we all love about amigurumi!  It makes me so happy to see features such as these that promote amigurumi and introduce this beautiful art to people who may have never heard of it before!  Yay for amigurumi  

I am so honoured that Dragon is the cover photo of this article and that they included pics of my “Knotted Headband”, “Spring Bunnies”, “Cotton the Lamb”, and the “Fluff Bears: Coco & Mochi”!  You can buy digital copies of Simply Crochet magazine HERE and also find hard copies in Barnes & Nobles and Chapters Indigo stores!  Enjoy reading this amigurumi article, and let me know what you think!

Homespun Cover Siu Mai Amigurumi Feature

Remember the amigurumi siu mai I crocheted three years ago?  Recently they were featured in the July issue of “Homespun Magazine”, Australia’s leading monthly craft title!  Click on each pic above to get a closer look at each page :)  It’s neat how my little pork dumplings are getting some time to shine in the Land Down Under- have any of my Australian readers checked out “Homespun” before?  If you want to crochet your own expressive siu mai, be sure to visit the step-by-step blog post HERE and the very easy free pattern HERE!

Studio Ami Pig

Last week I blogged about how I was crocheting some amigurumi gifts for the daughters of some of our good friends.  One of the girls loves elephants (see the one I made for her here) while her sister’s favourite animal is a pig!  And so, I scoured Ravelry to look for a free and cute pig pattern.  I really liked the look and simplicity of Studio Ami's “Micropig”, so I decided to give it a try!  

However, I knew that the original pattern would yield quite a small pig, and I wanted to give the girls an elephant and a pig that were similar in size.  I also wanted to use the same yarn that I used to make the elephant (Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids) so that the amigurumi would match!  Instead of modifying the pattern to make it bigger, I wanted to keep it simple and follow the existing pattern but hold two strands of worsted weight yarn while crocheting.  I used a 5 mm crochet hook to accommodate for the thickness, the largest hook I’ve ever used to make an amigurumi!  As you know, the thicker the yarn and the larger the crochet hook you use, the bigger your amigurumi will turn out!

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As you can see, the stitches are massive but no holes are visible and the piece has a sturdy feel to it because of the thickness.  

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This pig works up really quickly!  I love how simple this pattern is as the body/head is already complete :)

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With the eyes in place I thought this little one was starting to look like a Sackboy!

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Next I crocheted the pointy ears…

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And then the four stubby legs!  When attaching the ears and legs to the body, I only used one strand of yarn as it was simply to thick and difficult to use both strands to sew the pieces together.

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After attaching the ears, legs and also the felt snout, here is what our pig looked like!  

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The original pattern does not include a tail, but I thought it would be fun to add a little curly tail!  I crocheted the tail as follows:

Ch 5.  3 sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each chain across (12 sc).  Fasten off and leave long end to attach tail to bottom-back of pig.

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To make our elephant and pig amigurumi match even more, we added a cute floral bow to the pig using the same fabric we used for the lining of the elephant’s ears!  What do you think of her?

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She is a ball of cuteness, so round and sweet!

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The curly little tail adds a nice touch, don’t you think?

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I was really happy with how this pig turned out and how it was similar in size to the elephant I blogged about last week!

Have you ever tried holding two strands of yarn together to make amigurumi before?  What have you done to make your amigurumi larger?  If you’ve been looking for a cute amigurumi pig pattern, I highly recommend checking out the free one provided by Sylvia of “Studio Ami" HERE!  Thanks for sharing your free pattern with us, Sylvia!

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Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Pig by Studio Ami
I made this amigurumi bigger by crocheting with two strands of worsted weight yarn at the same time!  Have you ever done this before?  Full details coming up soon!

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Pig by Studio Ami

I made this amigurumi bigger by crocheting with two strands of worsted weight yarn at the same time!  Have you ever done this before?  Full details coming up soon!

I’ve really enjoyed seeing the elephants you’ve crocheted using the English translation that I posted last month!  The construction of these elephants is really ingenious, and I’m glad to hear that many of you have been challenged and also impressed by its design!

I wanted to crochet something special for the daughters of our good friends- when one of them said that elephants were her favourite animal, I knew which pattern to turn to!  I decided to make her the same pink elephant with blue floral lining that I made for Myla.  I did not have enough “Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice" yarn left, so I turned to "Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids in Soft Rose" as I happened to have a full skein in my stash.  

Vanna’s Choice is labeled as a worsted weight yarn (category 4 medium, 10 ply) and Impeccable Solids is also labeled as a worsted weight yarn (category 4 medium, 10 ply).  However, as people who work a lot with yarn know, even though yarns may be given the same level or weight class, they can actually be quite different.  As you can see in the pictures above, the pink elephant crocheted using “Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids” (on the right side of both photos) turned out larger than the “Vanna’s Choice” elephant even though I used the same size crochet hook!

Even within the category of “worsted weight yarn”, there is a wide range, and Planet June did a very informative blog post and comparison that can be found HERE.  She classified different worsted weight yarns as light worsted, worsted or heavy worsted.  Thus, if you want your amigurumi to be a little bit bigger, you could always try out different yarns!  Have you noticed in your experience that some worsted weight yarn is thicker than others?  What are your favourite worsted weight yarns to work with?  If you want to crochet your own elephants, check out my step-by-step blog post HERE and the free English translation HERE!  

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Cupcake Bib (modification of Twinkie Chan's free “Cupcake Dishcloth" pattern)

Sneak peek of upcoming blog post: Cupcake Bib (modification of Twinkie Chan's free “Cupcake Dishcloth" pattern)

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)

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. 

Elephant

Do you remember the “Amigurumi & Crochet Blog Directory" that I compiled last year in August?  I really enjoyed visiting blogs from around the world and seeing what projects different crochet artists were working on.  When I clicked on "Petite Maille”, a French blog by Fannie, I was greeted with some pictures of an absolutely adorable elephant (see here).  I was immediately intrigued by the construction and shaping of this amigurumi as it looked very different from the traditional method of crocheting individual limbs and then attaching them altogether.  I was delighted to see that Fannie provided the free French pattern on her blog.  Fannie had translated a Spanish pattern that she herself had discovered on a blog called “Amigurumies" by Rani.  I mistakenly thought that Rani was the originally designer behind this elephant, but Rani herself and some Facebook followers pointed out that the original pattern was Japanese, and that Rani had translated this pattern found in a Japanese pamphlet into Spanish for her blog.  

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Rani showed me what the original Japanese pattern looked like, and after some sleuthing and help from my Japanese friend (thanks Saho!!!), we believe that the artist who designed this elephant in the above pamphlet is Chisachi Kushima (久嶋千幸).

I was so incredibly excited to try crocheting this elephant and learn some new amigurumi techniques along the way!  Armed with Fannie’s French pattern and Rani’s Spanish pattern, I began translating the pattern into English which turned out to be not too bad at all since I had previously studied both French and Spanish in school.  It also made it easier since I had two patterns in two different languages to cross-reference in case I wasn’t sure about a particular phrase or the wording of something.  I used this chart here to reference what the crochet terms were in different languages (e.g. “punto bajo” is “single crochet” in Spanish) and sought to make the pattern as clear as possible in English.  After I had translated the pattern into English, I began following it to make my very own elephant!

The top part began with crocheting around a foundation chain to create this oval shape.  Then the elephant’s body began to expand!

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A hole was left where the trunk of the elephant would be added later on.  A tab was then crocheted under the hole to help connect the front part to the rest of the body and legs.

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I thought that the next part was incredibly genius: leg chains are created to divide up the underside of the body.  This creates little “compartments” where we can crochet directly onto the body without having to crochet the legs separately and then attach them later on.  Here is a visual showing where each leg chain is created and how many stitches are in between.  Don’t worry, the pattern will explain this more clearly!

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Here is a picture of the elephant-in-progress with the hole, tab and leg chains created!  Isn’t it neat?

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This next visual shows where each leg will be:

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And this visual shows where you rejoin your yarn for each leg and in which direction to crochet.  Remember that if the right side of amigurumi is facing outwards (see post HERE if you don’t know what I’m referring to), you should always be crocheting clockwise!  I tried to add more visuals to make the pattern as clear as possible :)

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And so, referencing the visuals that I created, I crocheted Leg A, Leg B, Leg C, and then Leg D!

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We then added the safety eyes!  Hehe, doesn’t he look funny without his ears and trunk…like some sort of weird lumpy creature?

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I then crocheted the trunk in the hole that was left for it.  To close up the belly, a circle was created and then sewed onto the underside!

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Next up was the ears!  We did a little modification to the ears and added fabric lining, just like we did with the Spring Bunnies :)  I think mixing fabric with crochet adds such a beautiful touch, and you can add so much character and variation by choosing different fabrics.  We thought that this red fabric contrasted nicely against the grey yarn.  As a tip, sew the lining onto the ear with small back stitches before you sew the ears shut.  

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Here is our little round elephant with his ears attached!  The fabric definitely adds a nice pop of colour, don’t you think?

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The last part to crochet was the little tail which I then attached to the back!

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And now may we present to you our sweet little elephant!!!

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We added some tusks made out of white felt which we glued onto either side of his trunk!

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Isn’t the shaping and design of this elephant absolutely brilliant?  I love the smooth contours and how the upper body becomes the legs and the trunk seamlessly.  There is minimal attaching (which is my least favourite part of making amigurumi) as you only need to attach the ears, belly and tail!

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I actually crocheted this little guy for a silent auction that my friend was organizing to raise money for an orphanage in Taiwan.  I was delighted to find out that a couple who was planning on adopting a child from the orphanage ended up with the winning bid as they were purchasing it for their future child- isn’t that so special?

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Of course, that also meant I HAD to crochet another elephant for us to keep since I loved the design so much!  I ended up crocheting a pretty pink elephant for Myla using the same fabric lining that I used for the Spring Bunnies.  For both elephants I used Lion Brand Yarn’s Vanna’s Choice (in Pink & Silver Grey).

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I named these two “Rosie" and "Gris" since "rose" is pink and "gris” is grey in French!  I think these elephants would look adorable using any colour…you could crochet an army of elephants in a rainbow of colours!  

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You may notice that Rosie has tusks pointing upwards while Gris has tusks pointing downwards for some variation!  You can choose which way you’d like them to point.

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A number of you mentioned on Facebook and on Instagram that this elephant looks like “Olli”, a popular Dutch character who is apparently the symbol of the Rotterdam Zoo and a professional football club!  I love our international community and how we can learn interesting tidbits of information that I otherwise wouldn’t have known :)

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Don’t you think these elephants would make an adorable and whimsical addition to any baby nursery or child’s room?  Hehe…they’d also be great desk buddies- judging from the response already, it seems that many of you love elephants!  

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Here is a short video I posted on Instagram showing Gris and Rosie in action!  You can follow me on Instagram (@AllAboutAmi) for more photos of my crocheted creations and day-to-day life…I really love my Instagram community and all the support and lovely feedback I always get on there!

I am just so impressed with this pattern and design and I love learning new techniques and skills to bring my amigurumi to the next level.  I find that Japanese artists are so creative and ingenioius in the way they design their amigurumi (e.g. the ball joint of Link here and the leg chains of this elephant).  I hope that I can incorporate some of these techniques into my future designs and keep expanding my repertoire of crochet skills as I continue making my own and trying other people’s patterns.  Thank you to Rani and Fannie who translated the original Japanese pattern into Spanish and French respectively and greatly helped me in my task to bring this amazing pattern to an English audience!  I hope that you enjoyed reading about and seeing the making of Gris and Rosie :)  ***The free English translation can now be found on my blog HERE***!!!

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………….

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

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!

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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