Crochet Diploma: Module 11

My favourite crochet subject – toys and amigurumi!

I learned most of my amigurumi skills from Youtube by following tutorials on making play food and small toys for my daughter. I used these techniques to write my very first original pattern for crochet macarons.

This module covered the basic principles of making toys such as safety, creating faces and choosing the correct stitch type to allow for stuffing and embroidery.

It also touched on a very important subject in the textile artist world – plagiarism. Every toy maker has to use the same basic stitches and shapes to create their design however there is a very clear line that must be respected when it comes to including inspiration or techniques from other people’s designs. I spent a month reading every other crochet macron pattern out there before hitting publish on my own pattern. I created the pattern because I had already read most of them and none actually had the right cookie look I was after but I just wanted to make sure. It’s been several years now and my pattern has been referenced, shared and used by many people including one really clever designer who used it to make little animals. I loved that. Some little pattern on a tiny blog in a niche hobby won’t attract much attention but when you level up to submitting designs to magazines or being published on the big websites, sadly things get very wild west.

Charlotte's doll
Crocheted doll for my eldest daughter. Pattern by Happy Berry Crochet.

I have sung the praises of Laura Eccleston of Happy Berry Crochet multiple times on this blog. Her videos taught me advanced crochet and made me the crocheter I am today. Every so often her maple leaf pattern is published under a thief’s name in a reputable magazine or she finds yet another place selling copies of her free pattern under another name. This is an ongoing issue that she has had to battle and I know she isn’t the only crocheter out there this happens to.

one piece bears
One piece bears. Pattern by Raphaela Blumenbunt https://www.blumenbunt.de/de

Getting back to the lesson, this module highlighted the importance of safety when creating toys for children and pets. Selecting materials is very important here and you need to consider how the item will be washed and how roughly it will be loved. I have always opted for embroidered faces as I have never been able to find safety eyes I actually trust. This part struck a chord with me as I crocheted a premmie Octopal for my own little miracle baby who’s happy, healthy and four months old now. Her original octopal from the special care nursery did not make it home with us but I made her a new one to the exact specifications of Octopus for a Preemie (we call our bubs premmies in Australia). You can find more information here. Please make sure your octopals are donated through a proper group so they can undergo QA before being put in tiny little hands. I will be writing more about this soon.

My baby's octopal
My baby’s octopal. See Octopus for a Preemie for regional specifications.

This module included a cute pattern for a little postbox which I have saved in my stash for Christmas when it will be added to my eldest girl’s fairy village she sets up every December so her little critters can write to Santa.

The assessment was easy and I really enjoyed this module.

Happy Hooking!

Liz x

EDIT – I received a score of 100% for this module.

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Pokéball Crochet Pattern

My family is majorly in to Pokemon Go right now. My husband actually walks home from work to catch more, our 3 year old is utterly delighted that she caught a Pidgey all by herself, I’m impressed by the game and all three of us have spent so much time together rediscovering something my hubby and I loved as kids and introducing it to our own child.

The original Pokemon series is on Netflix here in Australia, and Little Lottie is working her way through the episodes. A Pokeball is an obvious thing to crochet for a child who is now calling herself Pikachu instead of her actual name but it only occured to me to sit down and make it when I caught her throwing her hard, plastic pencil sharpener shaped like the Death Star at the TV.
I only found one pattern on Pinterest and it didn’t turn out the way I wanted. It was too small and didn’t look quite right. So I set out to write my own and after some trial and error – documented here and here – the pattern is finally done!

Crochet Pokeball Pattern

 What you’ll need

  • 8 ply acrylic yarn in red, white and black
  • 4mm crochet hook
  • Darning or upholsterer’s needle
  • Scissors
  • Toy stuffing

Terminology;
Sc = single crochet,
(SC2) = Sc2 in the same stitch to increase stitch count
(SC2tog) = SC two stitches together to decrease.
SlSt = Slip Stitch
(no.) = Indicates the stitch count for the row

Pattern

  1. Start with white yarn. SC6 into a magic circle, SlSt together. (6)
  2.  Sc2 in each stitch around. (12)
  3. SC1 (SC2) x 6 (18)
  4. SC1, (SC2), SC2, (SC2), SC3, (SC2), SC2, (SC2), SC3, (SC2), SC2 (23)
  5. (Sc2), Sc4, (Sc2), Sc3, (Sc2), Sc4, (SC2), Sc3, (Sc2), Sc4 (28)
  6. Sc3, (Sc2), Sc6, (Sc2), Sc6, (Sc2), Sc6, (Sc2), Sc3 (32)
  7. Sc 1, (Sc2), Sc7, (Sc2), Sc7, (Sc2), Sc7, (Sc2), Sc6 (36)
  8. Sc 6, (Sc2), Sc11, (Sc2), Sc11, (Sc2), Sc5 (39)
  9. Sc8, (Sc2), Sc12, (Sc2), Sc12, (Sc2), Sc4 (42)

Switch to Black yarn
10. Sc15, (Sc2), Sc26 (43)
11. (Sc2), Sc42 (44)
12. Sc44 (44)

Switch to Red yarn
13. Sc42, (Sc2tog) (43)
14. Sc26, (SC2tog), Sc15 (42)
15. Sc4, (SC2tog), Sc12, (SC2tog), Sc12, (SC2tog), Sc8 (39)
16. Sc5, (SC2tog), Sc11, (SC2tog), Sc11, (SC2tog), Sc6 (36)
17. Sc6, (SC2tog), Sc7, (SC2tog), Sc7, (SC2tog), Sc7, (SC2tog), Sc1 (32)
18. Sc3, (SC2tog), Sc6, (SC2tog), Sc6, (SC2tog), Sc6, (SC2tog), Sc3 (28)
Stuff your Pokeball until it firmly holds it’s shape.
19. Sc4, (SC2tog), Sc3, (SC2tog), Sc4, (SC2tog), Sc3, (SC2tog), Sc4, (SC2tog) (23)
20. Sc2, (SC2tog), Sc3, (SC2tog), Sc2, (SC2tog), Sc3, (SC2tog), Sc2, (SC2tog), Sc1 (18)
21. (SC2tog), Sc1 x repeat around (12)
22. 4 x SC decreases. Fasten off and weave hole shut.

Button

  1. SC 6 in a magic circle (6)
  2. 2SC in each stitich (12)
  3. Change to black, SC in ea stitch (12)


Fasten off and cut leaving plenty of yarn for sewing the button on. You can increase the stitch count to 18 if you prefer but I’ve found that 12 gives a much tighter and straighter edge when the button is sewn onto the Pokeball. Sew button on over any visible colour change stitches.

And there you have a Pokéball!


This takes me about 45mins to make at the moment but I’m getting faster. I’ve already got lots of requests from friends and family for Pokéballs and I can’t wait to make them. Gotta catch ’em all!

Liz x

Amigurumi 💕

Usually I find a cute pattern, crochet it, hand it to Lottie then never see it again.


I found these when organising her toy chest and was hit with the instant urge to make all of the things!

The macaroon is my own pattern, strawberry and cupcake from HappyBerryCrochet and the star was a mix of a Pinterest pattern and my own improvising. 

Amigurumi is one of my favourite things to crochet as it is usually quick and satisfying. The pieces look polished and adorable when they’re done and they’re just so cute!

Liz x

Cute Crochet Bunny for Easter

I wanted something special and not made out of chocolate for Lottie’s Easter present.

Thanks to the wonderful Laura at HappyBerry Crochet I was able to make this sweet little bunny.


Lottie loved her bunny and I loved the sweet amigurumi pattern that worked up in a few nights.

Here is the link to the video tutorial and also HappyBerry Crochet‘s wonderful website if you are looking for polished, easy to follow patterns.

I’ve been crocheting all my life on and off however the last 2 years of actively working on my skills has been helped so much by this website and Laura’s videos. I’ve made beanies, toys, play food and all sorts of things and I always know they will turn out perfect if she wrote the pattern.

Next I want to try another crochet doll. I wasn’t all that happy with my first attempt and I think I need something easier, a bit more piece by piece instead of working the whole body, head and legs in one. Any suggestions?

Liz xx

 

Crochet Macarons Pattern

Feb 2019 Update – PDF Pattern now available on Etsy

I’m considering making a bunch of these as favours for Lottie’s birthday party next month so I combined some of the bits I’ve picked up from amigurumi and cupcake patterns and came up with a pattern of my own. I have come across crochet macarons before but they always turned out so small and not very macaron-looking. So here’s my own attempt at a pattern.

free crochet macaron pattern from liz&lottie

They are pretty much the same size as a regular macaron you get from a cafe. Perfect for pretend tea parties and play kitchens.

Here are the finished products. They work up in about half an hour if you’re familiar with the 6-12-18-24-30 round stitch expansion.

crochet macaroons 3

  (20c coin for scale)

I think they look pretty good. Here’s the super basic pattern.

Crochet Macarons

U.S based terminology; SC = single crochet, SlSt = slip stitch, Ch1 = chain one,

(2SC) 1SC x 6 = two SC into one stitch to create an increase, 1 SC into the next stitch then repeat six times.

{xx} = stitch count at end of round.

You will need; 

  • 3mm crochet hook
  • 8 ply/ DK yarn in 2 colours – one for the biscuit and on for frosting.
  • Toy stuffing or yarn scraps
  • Scissors & Yarn needle

Method; Top Biscuit

  1. 6 x SC into a magic circle. Sl St to join. Ch1. {6}
  2. 2 x SC into each stitch around. Sl St to join and Ch1. {12}
  3. (2 SC) 1 SC x 6. SlSt and Ch1. {18}
  4. (2SC) 2 SC x 6. SlSt and Ch1. {24}
  5. Final increase round. (2SC) 3 SC x 6. SlSt to join and Ch 1 {30}
  6. SC into each stitch around. SlSt, Ch1 {30}
  7. SC into each stitch, change colour and Sl St, Ch1 to reach row 8 with a new colour. {30}

Frosting

8. 30 SC into back loops only. SlSt to join. Fasten off leaving a long tail for sewing.

Bottom Biscuit

Repeat steps for rows 1 – 7 and fasten off instead of changing colour.

vvvv What you have should look something like this vvvv

crochet macaroons 1

Notes on Sewing

Everyone has their preferred way of putting crocheted toys together. In this instance putting the needle straight through the V created by the SC in the frosting and then into the bumps on the inner side of the bottom biscuit all the way around created the neatest edge. It also made a little ridge on the bottom part to match where you crocheted into back loops only.

crochet macaroons 2

Sew 2/3 of the way closed then stuff with toy filling or yarn scraps. Don’t over stuff or you’ll end up with an oval shaped ball. Even out the stuffing by holding your macaron in the centre between your thumb and forefinger and rotating it to flatten the shape slightly. Finish closing the gap and sew in your ends. And that’s it!

I’ve made a bunch of these and have plans to put them in my Etsy store as well as use them for party favours.

I’m loving making these and I hope you will too.

Liz x

The usual blog pattern disclaimer notes apply; You can sell the macarons you make but don’t sell this pattern. If you share it on your blog, Pinterest etc. please link back here. Thanks!

Bumblebees for Spring!

It’s spring in Sydney and that means fresh strawberries, flowers and ice cold lemonade feature heavily in our weekends. Lottie is almost 3 and really into tea parties and role playing with food. I have to check the grill for plastic donuts before putting on dinner!

I used HappyBerry Crochet’s wonderful pattern to create this strawberry –


– which was such a hit I’m going to make a few more for the play kitchen.

Today’s project though is this bumble bee courtesy of  Mohu Blog and it turned out great!


I’ll be knocking out a few more for a friend’s little girls as soon as I’ve got more wool and a rattle ball to pop in the middle. I made the wings bigger and just did simpler eyes than in the pattern.

Both the strawberries and the bees take less an an hour to complete and make great gifts or additions to a home made mobile.

Happy Saturday everyone!

Liz x