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Yarn Ball & Crochet Hook Pin

During our California Blog Meet Up (read all about it HERE), we had a delightful pin exchange in which we prepared crafty pins ahead of time for each other!  As soon as fellow amigurumi artist Jo suggested that we do a pin exchange, I knew exactly what type of pin I wanted to make!

I love perusing Craftgawker, and there was a particular project that had caught my eye from December of last year.  Francesca of “Fall for DIY" had made some beautiful "DIY Monkey Fist Knot Earrings”, and I absolutely loved how they looked like little yarn balls!  For our pins, I thought it would be so cute to make a little yarn ball with a crochet hook similar to the one pictured in my blog logo!  In Francesca’s blog post on how to make her earrings HERE, she includes step-by-step instructions, and she also filmed an extremely helpful video entitled “How to Tie a Monkey Knot” HERE (I’ll embed the video at the end of this blog post too!).  Rather than reiterate her instructions, we recommend that you visit her blog post and watch the video to see how it’s made!  

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We searched for the perfect pink yarn, and we ended up going with Lion Brand Yarn’s “Martha Stewart Extra Soft Wool Blend in Gerbera Daisy”.  Ryan is actually the one who mastered the monkey fist knot, and to keep the yarn balls consistent and similar-sized, he made them all!  It was such a whirlwind leading up to our California trip since we were making our costumes for Anime Expo as well, and I am so thankful that I have such a supportive husband who helped me make these pins!  Here are some step-by-step photos showing how Ryan made our little yarn balls and crochet hooks :)

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We bought some brass jewelry pins from Michaels (came in a set of 10) and hot glued the little crochet balls onto the pins after tying the ends of yarn into a knot.  To make the crochet hooks, we used these ornament hooks that we purchased from Walmart a couple years ago (we have a large stash of these since we use them to hang the baubles from our white Christmas tree every year)!

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Ryan used pliers to shape the ends of the ornament hooks to resemble crochet hooks!  You may recall that we made a similar crochet hook for Mochi our Fluff Bear to hold (read about the making of our amigurumi Fluff Bears HERE)!

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Ryan placed the crochet hook through the yarn ball so that the yarn ball was at the bottom of the hook.  He then added some hot glue to the middle of the crochet hook and then slid the yarn ball upwards into the glue in order to secure the hook in place.  After each pin was complete, we mounted them on cardboard and were so excited to give these out at the meet up!

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To see the making of a monkey knot in action, please see this wonderful video below filmed by Francesca of “Fall For DIY”!  We paused this video many times as we followed along to learn how to make this special knot!

Here are some notes about making your own yarn ball:

- Instead of wrapping the yarn around the hand three times, we did it four times to make a bigger yarn ball (depends on thickness of yarn).

- Towards the end, try and pull each strand of yarn evenly and with consistent tension to make a uniform yarn ball.

- Don’t pull the strands of yarn too tight or else the yarn ball will be squished.

- Ryan made many “failed” monkey knots/yarn balls before getting the hang of it and achieving the right look, so just keep trying and practicing and don’t be discouraged!

These little yarn balls are so cute, and once you’ve mastered how to tie this special knot, they are inexpensive and relatively quick to make!  Wouldn’t yarn ball earrings or a yarn ball necklace pendant be the perfect gift for us yarn lovers?  The addition of the little crochet hook helps us proudly display the love of our craft too!  I hope you enjoyed reading about the making of our “Yarn Ball & Crochet Hook Pin" and I want to extend a big thank you to Francesca for inspiring this idea!  We are giving away one of these pins on my Instagram page (@AllAboutAmi) since we reached 5000 followers recently- if you would like to win one, just follow me on Instagram and leave a comment on the picture of the pin to enter!  Happy monkey knot and yarn ball making :)

New Blog Redesign

Hey everyone!  Notice anything different around here?  As I mentioned a couple of months ago, I’ve been trying to revamp my blog and make it more unique and reflective of my own style!  I’m so excited to show you my newly updated blog and explain the process behind it!

I started “All About Ami" about three and a half years ago on tumblr, and I remember I was so excited to choose a blog template back then.  I ended up going with "Royal Ribbon”, a free template by Simon Fletcher designed in 2010, and I loved the clean grey and pink theme that looked very classy.  However, as time went on, I wished that I had a sidebar, and I found out that this could not be implemented easily if it was not a part of the theme.  I also came across many others who used the exact same theme as me, so I didn’t feel very unique!  I was itching to redesign my blog but it always seemed so daunting, especially for someone with very limited html knowledge!

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A couple of months ago I started looking into different tumblr themes to see what was out there.  I really wanted to stick with tumblr since it has been such a supportive community for me, but I was a bit dismayed that there seemed to be fewer options for blog templates and customization options compared to Blogspot or Wordpress.  However, I came across a tumblr theme that I really liked called “Atlantic Noir" designed by Style Hatch.  It’s a premium theme ($49) that allows for a lot of customization options.  I loved how it had the traditional blog look with the sidebar.  Ontop of that, Jonathan Moore, the founder and creative director of Style Hatch, was extremely quick and responsive to all my e-mails, so this gave me the confidence to go ahead with this theme since I knew I would have support!  This is what the default “Atlantic Noir” theme looks like:

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I purchased “Atlantic Noir” over the weekend, and I didn’t know that it would be implemented right away!  My heart skipped a beat and I tried to revert back to my old “Royal Ribbon” theme but alas, I could not find it as I do not think it is available anymore.  Trying not to panic, I quickly tried to work on all the changes little by little.  I actually started feeling nostalgic and missed my old template since I had used it for 3.5 years!  Thank goodness I had taken some screenshots last week so I could remember what it looked like!  If you visited my blog on Saturday evening, you may have seen some wonky things happening!  I changed the font and colours, deleted some items from the sidebar, and added my own background (check out “michLgstudios" on Etsy HERE for some beautiful blog backgrounds).  I was still waiting for my final graphics, so this is what my blog looked like without the header and welcome button:

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I hired Leonora of “Yellow Heart Art" to design my header, logo and buttons.  I love her work (check out her Etsy store HERE and her blog HERE) and am so happy with how everything turned out.  I wanted to have a pink, grey and gold colour palette as I think it looks very pretty and classy!  Below you can see how adding the header and welcome button changes so much!

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For my logo, I really wanted to incorporate a crochet hook and a ball of yarn.  I love what Leonora designed and how the strand of yarn is in the shape of a heart!  We also added some gold leaves to help frame the logo and tie in the colour scheme.

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For my header, I wanted to include a subheader/tagline saying “a crochet blog" in case people didn’t know what "All About Ami" was about!  The little sideways hearts also represent crochet stitches (like the ‘v’s consisting of a front and back loop) and I love how Leonora included them in the header and in my welcome button too!

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I wanted to have some sort of welcome button that also introduced myself in case people don’t click my “About Me” tab!  Many people still think my name is “Ami”, haha.  We’ve been meaning to take a new profile pic, but we haven’t had the time!  I’ll add an updated one once we’ve taken it :)

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Leonora also made these pretty pink social media buttons on my “Contact" page!  They’re actually not functional yet but I’m hoping they will be soon!

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I have had so much fun trying to redesign my blog and I am incredibly happy with how it has turned out!  I think it has an airy and elegant feel to it and is definitely more reflective of my style.  It’s been fun putting our own touches on it so now it does not look like any other blog!  I wanted to extend a big thank you to Leonora and Jonathan for all their help, and also to Ryan who has helped me envision this along the way!  There are still changes to be made, but I’m excited with how it’s coming along.  I would LOVE to hear your feedback about what you think of this new redesign!  Thanks so much for all your support throughout the years!

Hand Made Toys Bookazine

Hello everyone!  I wanted to share about an exciting feature that my amigurumi Dragon has in a beautiful new bookazine called “Hand Made Toys”!

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When Helen, the editor of “Hand Made Toys”, asked if my Dragon could be included in this special edition, I happily said yes.  Helen is an editor at Future Publishing in the UK, and this publishing company is behind “Simply Crochet" and "Mollie Makes”.  As some of you may remember, Dragon was also previously featured in the premier issue of “Simply Crochet" magazine last year!  I was very impressed when I received my own hard copy of this bookazine as all the projects included are incredibly cute and whimsical!

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Hand Made Toys" contains 40 toy designs to crochet, knit and sew.  I loved seeing the different crafts put together in one magazine, and some of the sewing designs really caught my eye…I have already forgotten how to use my sewing machine, but there are some hand-stitched toy patterns that I could possibly try!  The crocheted hedgehogs seen on the cover look absolutely adorable too- I might have to make some :)

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The bookazine is divided into 5 sections: (1) “Once Upon A Time" containing fairytale and rhyme characters including my Dragon; (2) “Busy Bees" containing indoor toys for children; (3) “Special Friends" containing a variety of adorable animals; (4) “Let’s Pretend" containing delicious play food and treats; and (5) “Just For Fun" containing mini toys for big craft and play happiness!

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I am so happy to have my amigurumi Dragon featured in “Hand Made Toys" along with some of my other crochet blogger friends including Mei of “Amigurumei" and Tanya of “Little Things Blogged”!  Thank you for including my work in your bookazine, Helen!  It truly is a delightful magazine with such a wide variety of cute toys!

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If you’re interested in getting your hands on your own copy, you can order “Hand Made Toys" by mail HERE or find copies in WH Smith stores and leading newsagents in the UK and in Barnes & Noble stores in the US.  You can also buy a digital copy of “Hand Made Toys" through the Apple Newsstand (download the free Simply Crochet container app, and the digital version of Hand Made Toys will be available there).  I think it’s so special how people all over the world are continuing to discover my amigurumi Dragon pattern, often through features such as these, and I truly adore seeing all the Dragons who have been crocheted with so much love 

On the weekend we visited Deserres, a Canadian art and craft store based in Montreal.  We were impressed by how they stored their yarn as it kind of reminded us of the “Lion Brand Yarn Studio”!  They used the Expedit shelving unit from Ikea (which is very popular as I know many people have Expedits in their homes!) and then inserted corrugated plastic dividers to help maximize the space.  We used the same material to make the dividers for my yarn storage (read all about my “DIY Yarn Storage" HERE)!  I just wanted to quickly blog about this to give you another idea on how you can organize your yarn with an easy and inexpensive solution!

On the weekend we visited Deserres, a Canadian art and craft store based in Montreal.  We were impressed by how they stored their yarn as it kind of reminded us of the “Lion Brand Yarn Studio”!  They used the Expedit shelving unit from Ikea (which is very popular as I know many people have Expedits in their homes!) and then inserted corrugated plastic dividers to help maximize the space.  We used the same material to make the dividers for my yarn storage (read all about my “DIY Yarn Storage" HERE)!  I just wanted to quickly blog about this to give you another idea on how you can organize your yarn with an easy and inexpensive solution!

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!  

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***!!!

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!

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