Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Free Crochet Amigurumi Pattern - Seamless Octopus

If you are familiar with my crochet designs you will know that I am not a big fan of sewing/seaming. This crochet pattern is one of the first in a series of no-sew, quick projects that I am creating. Basically it's all about no-fuss, easy crochet designs to make in one night.


The octopus crochet pattern is cute, quick and requires no sewing/seaming what-so-ever making it ideal as a last minute gift! As for most of my Amigurumi designs you can adjust the hook size and weight of the yarn but keep in mind this will affect the size of your completed project.




If you're anything like me and enjoy relaxing with your hook without the need to refer to a pattern too much, here's a bit of a tip for the crochet octopus pattern: it's all about the number 8. You increase your stitches till you reach 48 stitches (divisible by 8), you work 8 even rounds, you then add 8 legs, and from there, work the decreases. Simple! But to clarify, here's the detailed pattern for the crochet octopus. I hope you enjoy crocheting.


Crochet Octopus Pattern


Pattern is written in US terminology

Materials
Approx. 90gr (10 ply Aran) with 5mm hook or 40 gr 8ply/dk with 4 mm hook
Safety eyes (or thread to embroider eyes)
Thread to embroider mouth
Stuffing

Gauge is not important for this pattern. You can adjust yarn and hook size as desired but keep in mind the size of the finished crochet toy will vary. With mentioned yarn and hook sizes my crochet octopus circumference measures approximately 14 inches with aran weight yarn and 8.5 inches with dk (8 ply) yarn. 

Copyright

Please do not distribute or reproduce any part of this pattern without permission

Body

Work in continuous rounds.

Rnd 1   Make 6sc in magic circle

Rnd 2   2sc in each st around (12)

Rnd 3   
*sc in 1 st, 2sc in next st* around (18)

Rnd 4   *sc in 2 sts, 2sc in next st* around (24)

Rnd 5   *sc in 3 sts, 2sc in next st* around (30)

Rnd 6   *sc in 4 sts, 2sc in next st* around (36)

Rnd 7   *sc in 5 sts, 2sc in next st* around (42) 

Rnd 8   *sc in 6 sts, 2sc in next st* around (48)




Rnd 9-15   sc in each st around [8 rounds] (48)   


In the following round you will work the tentacles.

Rnd 16   sc in 5 sts, ch 22, sc in 2nd chain from hook and each chain just worked, sc in next st, (one tentacle made). Repeat 7 more times around.  After you complete this round you should have 8 tentacles with 6 sc between them. The sc count around the octopus does not change i.e. you will have 48 sc around (do not count the sc on the tentacles in this count). 

Tip! You can make your tentacles longer or shorter by adjusting the amount of chain stitches. You should find the tentacles will naturally curl with the sc stitches. You can also use your fingers to help them curl up as desired. 


Rnd 17   sc in each st around (48). When you reach a tentacle, push it forward towards the body and work your sc around the back of the tentacle. Refer to picture below.


Now you are ready to decrease each round to close up the hole. If using safety eyes, attach now. 

Rnd 18   *sc in 6 sts, sc2tog* around (42)

Rnd 19   *sc in 5 sts, sc2tog* around (36)

Rnd 20   *sc in 4 sts, sc2tog* around (30)

Rnd 21   *sc in 3 sts, sc2tog* around (24)

Rnd 22   *sc in 2 sts, sc2tog* around (18)

Rnd 23   *sc in 1 st, sc2tog* around (12)

Rnd 24   *sc2tog* around (6)

Finish off your work by weaving your yarn through the outer loop of each stitch.

Embroider mouth as desired. Your octopus is complete!




I hope you enjoyed this free pattern. I always enjoy hearing your feedback so please share your thoughts and comments below. Stay tuned for more quick, no-sew patterns to be released soon. 


Saturday, 4 March 2017

Tunip and the Purple Vegimal Free Crochet Pattern


The Octonauts are very popular in our household and to be honest, I think it would have to be one of my all time favourite kids show. If you don't know who the Octonauts are it's a popular cartoon show and books created by the Meomi duo. So who are the Octonauts, exactly? Well they are a group of animals (and vegimals*) whose mission in life is to "Explore, Rescue and Protect". Basically, they explore the ocean and save any sea creatures along their journey. My boys find it really entertaining but I guess the best bit, is that it's educational too. It teaches them a great deal about marine life and environmental issues.

*Vegimals...not exactly animal and not quite vegetable. These cute creatures are a mixture of both.

For my son's third birthday he was keen to expand his Octonaut collection. The only Octonauts missing in his collection were Tunip and the Vegimals. Well, unfortunately, when I went to buy his present I couldn't find the Vegimals anywhere! After some online research it seems the Vegimals are extremely difficult to source in Australia, so, I decided to make them instead. Granted, the boys can't take them in the bath like their other Octonaut toys, but I think they sure look cute and they are pleased with them which is all that matters.

I decided to make Tunip (the leader of the Vegimals) and his purple friend, the larger one who appears frequently in the books. I am not sure of his name though, so if anyone knows what he is called be sure to let me know.

So here is the pattern and I hope you enjoy.

Tunip and the Purple Vegimal Free Crochet Pattern





Tunip

Pattern is written in US terminology

Body and Limbs - Blue and yellow yarn Aran (10 ply)
3.5mm hook
Leaf Hair - Green fingering yarn (4 ply)
2.5mm hook

Safety eyes or thread to embroider eyes
Small amounts of felt for facial details or extra thread if embroidering facial details
Small amounts of wire for feet (optional)
Stuffing

Gauge is not important for this pattern. You can adjust yarn and hook size as desired but keep in mind the size of the finished product will vary. With mentioned yarn and hook sizes my toys measure approximately 3.5 inches (9cm) height + hair.

Copyright

Please do not distribute or reproduce any part of this pattern without permission

Body

Work in continuous rounds.

Rnd 1   Using blue yarn and larger hook - work 6sc in Magic Circle (6)

Rnd 2   *sc in 1 st, 2sc in next st* around (9)

Rnd 3   sc in each st around (9)

Rnd 4   *sc in 2 sts, 2sc in next st* around (12)

Rnd 5   *sc in 3 sts, 2sc in next st* around (15)

Rnd 6   *sc in 4 sts, 2sc in next st* around (18)

Rnd 7   *sc in 5 sts, 2sc in next st* around (21) Change to yellow yarn

Rnd 8   *sc in 6 sts, 2sc in next st* around (24)

Rnd 9-12  sc in each st around [4 rounds] (24)

Rnd 13   *sc in 4 sts, sc2tog* around (20) If using safety eyes, put them in now. I placed mine between round 11 and 12 approximately 5 stitches apart.

Rnd 14   *sc in 3 sts, sc2tog* around (16)

Rnd 15   *sc in 2 sts, sc2tog* around (12)

Rnd 16   *sc in 1 st, sc2tog* around (8)

Fasten off. 

Legs - Make 2

Work in continuous rounds.

Rnd 1   Using blue yarn - work 6sc in Magic Circle (6)

Rnd 2-3   sc in each st around [2 rounds] (6)

Rnd 4   *sc in 1 st, sc2tog* around (4)

Rnd 5   sc in each st around (4)

Fasten off, leaving sufficient yarn to sew legs onto the body.

Arms - Make 2

Work in rows. Ch1 at beginning of row does not count as a stitch.

Row 1   Ch2, sc in 2nd chain from hook (1)

Row 2   ch1, turn, 3sc in st (3)

Row 3   ch1 turn,sc in each st across (3)

Fasten off, leaving sufficient yarn to sew arms onto the body.


Tunip's Leaf Hair - Make 5

Use fingering (4 ply) yarn and smaller hook (2.5mm) Rounds 7-9 apply only to one slightly longer leaf.

Rnd 1   Work 6sc in Magic Circle (6)

Rnd 2-3   sc in each st around [2 rounds] (6)

Rnd 4   *sc in 1 st, sc2tog* around (4)

Rnd 5-6   sc in each st around [2 rounds] (4)

Rnd 7-9 (one leaf only) sc in each st around [3 rounds] (4)

Fasten off, leaving sufficient yarn to sew leaves to the head.



The Purple Vegimal


Work body, legs, and arms as per Tunip crochet pattern, but replace the blue colour with purple. The purple Vegimal is also a bit bigger than Tunip so I used a 4mm hook for mine. 


Purple Vegimal Hair

Use fingering (4 ply) yarn and smaller hook (2.5mm)

Work in continuous rounds until stated otherwise. Note - "base" refers to the stitches created in Rnd 7.

Rnd 1   Work 6sc in Magic Circle (6)

Rnd 2-4   sc in each st around [3 rounds] (6)

Rnd 5   2sc in each st around (12)

Rnd 6   *sc in 1 st, 2sc in next st* around (18)

Rnd 7   *sc in 2 sts, 2sc in next st* around (24)

Do not fasten off. Now you will work in rows. Ch1 at beginning of row does not count as stitch.

Row 8   sc in 3 sts

Row 9-11   ch1 turn, sc in 3 sts [3 rows] (3)

Row 12   ch1, turn, sc3tog (1)

First petal formed

ch1, ss down side of petal back to the base

Row 13   sc in next 4 sts of base 

Repeat Row 9-13 five more times to make six petals in total. For the last petal omit Row 13 and instead work one sc in the last st of base.


Assembly

Now you are ready to assemble your Tunip and Purple Vegimal Amigurumi toys.

The wire is handy as it gives the feet more support, shape and allows them to bend. This was the first time I actually used wire in an Amigurumi toys and I am really happy with the results, but really it's an optional step, so if you are not using wire you can simply go ahead and attach your feet as they are. These are the steps I used to add the feet with wire. I used a flexible wire bought from a crafting shop and wire looping pliers for shaping the wire.

Firstly cut a small piece of wire. Use your wire looping pliers to create a loop at one end of the wire. Check the size of the loop against the foot (Figure 1)

Figure 1



When you are satisfied with the wire's shape, insert the wire into the foot (Figure 2).

Figure 2

Next insert the exposed wire through the bottom of your Tunip Amigurumi toy. (Figure 3).

Figure 3

Now using the long finishing tail and darning needle stitch the foot to secure to the body. I found it easier and neater to work through the outer loops only of the foot. (Figure 4).

Figure 4

Now to work the other foot. Once again, check the wire for length. Snip off any excess yarn (Figure 5). You can check the exact length by creating the loop first, then snipping off excess, but I prefer not to double bend my wire with pliers, so I just take a guess.
Figure 5

Using your wire looping pliers create a loop for the second foot (Figure 6). 
Figure 6
Next insert the wire into the foot and seam it to the body, as you did for the first foot (Figure 3 and 4).

Arms

Sew the arms to the body. I turned the triangle arms to the side so that both the starting thread and finishing thread are at the top (Figure 7). I used both threads to attach the arms to the body, stitching across the top of triangle to meet the threads in the middle. I then tied the two threads in a knot underneath the arm, before weaving them through the body to fasten off.


Figure 7
Hair

For Tunip's leaf hair-do, I attached the longer hair leaf first in the centre of the head (Figure 8).

Figure 8

For the remaining hair pieces, I sewed 2 leaf pieces together before attaching to the head (Figure 9). Repeat for the last 2 leaf hair pieces, then sew the leaf pieces on either side of the centre leaf. 
Figure 9

Finally, create the facial details by gluing small pieces of felt, or embroidery.

The Purple Vegimal is worked the same way as Tunip, apart from the hair. The hair piece is easier to attach as it's only one piece. I only sewed half the petals down so some of the petals would stick up a little.


That's it! Your tunip and Vegimal is complete. Hope you enjoyed this free crochet pattern. 


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Crochet with Fluffy Yarn- A New Method

In my last tutorial I discussed two different ways you can crochet with fluffy (fuzzy, eyelash, feather) yarn. In this tutorial I am going to show you a third, and new, way to crochet with fluffy yarn, as well as share with you a free crochet pattern so that you can try out this new method.

If you missed my previous post, you can go here to see different ways to crochet with fluffy yarn as well as read a few different key points about purchasing fluffy yarns.

I came up with this new method of crocheting with fluffy yarn after much frustration while crocheting with fluffy and feather yarns. I wanted to create an Amigurumi toy that would be super fluffy and I wanted to find a sure-fire way to be able to see the stitches every time. I realised that if I use a second ordinary yarn between each round of fluffy yarn, that it can act as a kind-of leading guide to help me see where I can place the stitches. So this method, I call the Alternating method, and here is how it works…

How to Crochet with Fluffy/ Fuzzy Yarn - Method 3 - The Alternating Method


Note – when I refer to ‘ordinary yarn' I refer to any yarn that is non-fluffy.

To begin your work, you crochet with ordinary yarn. In the following round you will crochet with fluffy yarn, however the key point here is that you work the fluffy yarn, in the front-loop only. Once you have completed the round with fluffy yarn, you switch back to the ordinary yarn. You will ignore the fluffy yarn round, and work your stitches into the ordinary yarn, into the unworked back loop stitches. So you basically continue this process, alternating between the fluffy and ordinary yarn for every other round. The ordinary yarn is always worked in the back-loop only, and only worked into the ordinary yarn; the fluffy yarn is always worked into the front-loop only, and only into the ordinary yarn. 

In effect, what happens is that you never have to search for the fluffy yarn stitch as the yarn is always worked into the ordinary yarn. Also, the fluffy yarn is the only yarn that is visible on the finished product as it is worked into the front-loop only. And what happens to the ordinary yarn? Well, it gets hidden, as it is always worked into the back loop only. Cool right?!

 I think the best way to show you this method is by sharing a photo tutorial with a free crochet pattern. This is an easy crochet pattern, designed specifically so you can practice this new technique.

Free Crochet Pattern for a little Fluffy Friend

A new way to crochet with fluffy yarn!


Gauge – Gauge is not important for this pattern. You can adjust hook and yarn size as desired, but keep in mind the size of finished object will vary. With the mentioned yarns and 4mm hook my finished product measures approximately 22cm (9 inches) in circumference
Copyright - Yes, you can sell items created from this pattern but please acknowledge Roaming Pixies as designer. Mass production is not permitted. Please do not reproduce or distribute any part of this pattern without permission.
Yarn - You will need two types of yarn for this project. Fluffy yarn and ordinary yarn . When choosing your ordinary yarn you want to keep it at a weight that is similar to the fluffy yarn. For this project I used two contrasting colours, and I think it is a good idea when starting out with this technique.

These are the yarns I used  - Slumberland Moloka (a yarn that is produced by Spotlight - Australian craft store) The weight reads as a bulky yarn but really I think it feels more like a aran weight and it's mainly the fluffiness, that gives it the bulky weight label. The regular yarn I used was a generic worsted weight yarn.

Other Materials
7mm safety eyes
small amount of thread for mouth
darning needle
stuffing

Pattern is written in Us Terminology. Work in continuous rounds i.e do not join at the end of rounds

Rnd 1 Work 6sc in magic circle

Rnd 2   2sc in each st around (12)

Rnd 3   *sc in 1 st, 2sc in next st* around (18)

Rnd 4 *sc in 2 sts, 2sc in next st* around (24)

Rnd 5   *sc in 3 sts, 2sc in next st* around (30)

Rnd 6   *sc in 4 sts, 2sc in next st*around  (36)

Rnd 7   *sc in 5 sts, 2sc in next st around (42) 

Now it's time to introduce the fluffy yarn, drop the ordinary yarn but do not cut it, as you are going to need it again, after this round is complete. The yarn that is not in use can be carried up under the first stitch of each round.

Rnd 8   Working with the fluffy yarn, sc in each st around FLO (42) change back to ordinary yarn

Work your fluffy yarn into the Front Loop Only



Rnd 9   sc in each st around of the unworked back loop stitches of the ordinary yarn  (i.e the unworked back loop stitches from round 7), 

As you can see there is a lot of fluffiness!  I pulled down the very fluffy yarn to get to the stitches, but still, those back-loop only stitches with the ordinary yarn are very clear to see. 




Note - now is a good time to attach the safety eyes and to embroider the mouth.

Rnd 10-18  Repeat rnd 8 and 9 [These are the even rounds, and will add the thickness to your little fluffy friend, before you begin the decreases. You can repeat more rounds to make the body thicker, or less for a smaller body). To begin the decreases you will need to be working with ordinary yarn, so you will have to be on an odd numbered round.



 This is a picture of my work on round 11. I am working the fluffy yarn in the front loop only. You can totally see that fluffy texture building up and how the guiding yarn gets hidden.



Rnd 20  Working with ordinary yarn, sc in the BLO stitches of the ordinary yarn, *sc in 5 sts, sc2tog* around Change to fluffy yarn

Rnd 21  sc in each st around, FLO (36) change to ordinary yarn

Rnd 22  sc in the BLO stitches (of the ordinary yarn) *sc in 4 sts, sc2tog* around Change to fluffy yarn

Rnd 23  sc in each st around, FLO (30) change to ordinary yarn

Rnd 24  sc in the BLO stitches (of the ordinary yarn) *sc in 3 sts, sc2tog* around Change to fluffy yarn

Rnd 25  sc in each st around, FLO (30) change to ordinary yarn

Rnd 26  sc in the BLO stitches (of the ordinary yarn) *sc in 2 sts, sc2tog* around Change to fluffy yarn

Rnd 27  sc in each st around, FLO (24) change to ordinary yarn

Rnd 28  sc in the BLO stitches (of the ordinary yarn) *sc in 1 st, sc2tog* around Change to fluffy yarn

Now is a good time to add stuffing.

Rnd 29  sc in each st around, FLO (12) change to ordinary yarn

Rnd 30  sc in the BLO stitches (of the ordinary yarn) *sc2tog* around. Do not change back to the fluffy yarn at this point, as you are ready to finish off. Add your final stuffing.

Now finish off your work by weaving your yarn through the outer loop of each stitch. Check out PlanetJune for a comprehensive Tutorial on the Ultimate finish for Amigurumi for this final step. 




Finally all you have to do is weave in that last fluffy piece of yarn. And that's it, you now have a fluffy friend to love and hold.


So how do you apply this method to everyday crochet work...

This method involves alternating between fluffy and ordinary yarn, every other round. The ordinary yarn works as a guide into which to work your fluffy yarn. As this method requires you to work extra rounds I admit, it can be time-consuming, so it is best saved for smaller projects like small Amigurumi toys, or if working a fluffy edging around a project, like a hat for example. I think it can make very effective hair-do for an Amigurumi doll that can be actually worked as you go. I think any crochet project you find you could ultimately make it fluffy with this method. Keep in mind these following three rules and really you can use this method however you like...


* Always work the fluffy yarn in the FLO as this is the round that will be exposed

* Always work the ordinary yarn into the BLO of the ordinary yarn round from the 2nd round below

 * Always do the shaping on the rounds crocheted with ordinary yarn, that is, decreases and increases are never worked on the fluffy rounds as this is the round that is too hard to see. 


I hope you learned something new today. Have fun crocheting .Feel free to share your thoughts and questions. 

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