Finse and Jonesy’s night of fireflies

10 Apr

night painting forest fireflies

As desktop wallpaper I most often use one of my illustrations. Untill yesterday, my Christmas illustration featured on both my laptop and iPhone desktops, which obviously was becoming outdated. I had many ideas for new illustrations, but didn’t find the time to actually make one. After Jones was finished I decided to skip crocheting for a few weeks to paint a new illustration.

First I thought of making a strictly seasonal spring painting but also had the idea of a big field with fireflies in it. And by all means, it had to become a Son’s Popkes themed illustration. I decided to go for the field with fireflies, and Finse and Jonesy.

When the illustration was finished, I was not happy at all with the result. Somehow the colours didn’t seem right to me. As usual I’m starting to like the illustration now. It is not perfect, but I love the atmosphere and the expressions of the animals. It is probably some kind of an artist syndrome, not liking the result immediately….it always takes time for me to really love what I made and then I’m absolutely proud. It is a weird thing.

Well, now I’m back to crocheting. On a whim I decided I’m going to design a panda. Two leftovers of yarn caught my attention and I decided they had to become a panda. (Hopefully there is enough for the whole beast.) After that I’m back to my list of otter, mole and red panda. I don’t know the order in which I’m going to make them and a rat or mouse also is on my mind.

Enough to be done!

Finse and Jonesy’s night of fireflies is acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 cm.

Jonesy, crochet duckling pattern

24 Mar

Now, here is another spring and Easter like animal, a yellow duckling. I proudly present Jonesy, my new crochet duckling pattern.

crochet pattern duckling, amigurumi duck

This crochet duckling is the first bird pattern I have designed and I’m absolutely fond of the result. When Jones was finished, I immediately got many ideas for more birds….

The part of this duckling pattern I was most worried about, where the feet. I had no idea how to make them. My crochet skills actually are fairly basic. Skills of interesting techniques I don’t have, since I only ever crocheted animals. But I decided to just start with a flat, upside down triangle and it worked out wonderfully perfect. I started by making a narrow triangle, till it was wide enough and then realized I could easily decrease the top of it to get the pointed middle toe. For both feet, two pieces are sewed and crocheted together and it is very easy to do so and gives a fantastic result.

This cheerful duckling is 4,9 inch/ 12,5 cm tall, sitting. I designed him without a scarf, but soon realized a scarf looked perfect on this little duck. Both duckling and scarf are made with my favourite Létt Lopi yarn, a 100% wool. Here are some more pictures of Jonesy. The first picture nicely displays his shape and proportions and even shows the lovely feet.

haakpatroon jonge eend, eendje, duckling amigurumi

duckling amigurumi

The crochet pattern for this spring time, cheerful duckling Jonesy, you can find in my shop and in my shop at Ravelry. The pattern contains a clear description of how to crochet and attach this animal, illustrated with pictures. It tells you what materials you need, the Lopi colour numbers, in short, everything you need to know to make this little duck.

I love this picture too so added it later, here’s one last image of my crochet duck pattern.

yellow crochet duck pattern, duckling.

The sewing of parts tutorial

24 Mar

When making crochet animals, the attaching of body parts is something that goes with it. But how do you do it the neatest and best possible way? For example, when I started making these animals, sometimes my sewed on muzzle looked very different from when it was pinned on, and certainly not better.

When designing my latest animals, I paid close attention to how I attach the muzzles and heads. How do I do it and how can I explain it to you? I have come up with two photo tutorials.

How to attach a muzzle.

You can see the direction of the needle for all four steps of both tutorials in the pictures.

1. Of course the muzzle or beak is pinned to the head before you start. When you start sewing, make sure the thread is at the outside of the muzzle, like you see in the first image.

2. To make your first stitch, sew through both loops of the next stitch of the muzzle and pull the thread.

3. Now find ‘the right stitch’ in the head and sew through that stitch and pull the thread. Usually that stitch is below the pinned on muzzle. Sometimes you have to try a few stitches to get the desired result.

4. Now sew through both loops of the same stitch of the muzzle you just came from, as illustrated in the last picture.

If you repeat step 2 till 4 for the complete muzzle or beak, you have it sewed on exactly as it looks when pinned on. Because you have sewed behind the crochet loops, the stitches you’ve just made are barely visible. Now you can decide if and which stitches need to be tighter, so the muzzle blends in better. You can stitch them the way you like to.

Attaching the head to the body, both open pieces with the same stitch count.

The most challenging thing about sewing these parts together, is preventing the neck from becoming too narrow. You also want the pieces to blend together nicely.

1. I usually sew with the tail of the head. Make sure it is on the outside of the head when you start.

2. Now sew through both loops of the body, from the outside to the inside and pull the yarn, but not too tight.

3. Sew now through only the outside loop of the stitch of the head, which is just above the stitch of the body you just sewed through, like you see in the second picture. Again, pull the yarn, but not too tight.

4. Now sew through both loops of the second stitch of the body and repeat the steps.

By pulling the yarn not too tight, the stitches become less visible and the neck won’ become too narrow. It does have to feel steady, so experiment a bit how tight works best for your doll.

I hope this tutorial is a good tool so everyone who makes my patterns can attach their animals perfectly. If you think something is missing, please let me know.

Free Easter crochet pattern

12 Mar

A few times a year I try to design fun and free crochet patterns, as a ‘thank you’, to all of you who have bought my crochet patterns and have supported me. This time I made little crochet Easter eggs and a basket that fits precisely two of the eggs.

free easter crochet pattern

With this free crochet pattern for little Easter eggs and a basket, you can create fun Easter ornaments. I made the size of the eggs and basket so it combines well with my crochet animal patterns.

Of course especially Finse will make a lovely, quizzical crochet Easter bunny.

crochet easter bunny, rabbit, hare amigurumi pattern, haakpatroon paashaas

Finse finds himself not particularly a crochet Easter bunny, but more a normal rabbit, as you can tell by his expression.

 

The eggs and basket pattern

For this pattern you’ll need worsted weight yarn and hook US E/3,5 mm. to get an approximately 2,7 inch /7 cm wide basket and 1,77 /4,5 cm high eggs. I used a bunch of colours of Lètt Lopi, a 100% wool. To stuff the eggs you will need fiberfill and a two beads or buttons are optional. I’ve used beads to accentuate where the handle of the basket is fixed.

You can use a paper clip as stitch marker to mark the beginning of each round. Move it up each time you start a new round. The exact colours I have used for this little pattern you can find below it and,  if you’ve become fond of Finse and want to complete the eggs and basket with a suitable bunny, you can find the pattern in my shop or my shop at Ravelry.

Abbreviations: ch = chain, sc = single crochet, sl st = stip stitch, dc = double crochet stitch, hdc = half double crochet stitch, s2tog = decrease.

The basket

Work around the chain.

1. ch of 7, in 2nd ch from hook 2 sc, sc in next 4, 2 sc in last, turn/go to bottom loops, 2 sc in bottom loop of that last st, sc in next 4, 2 sc in last = 16

2. 2 sc in next, sc in next 6, 2 sc in next 2, sc in next 6, 2 sc in next = 20

3. 2 sc in next, sc in next 8, 2 sc in next 2, sc in next 8, 2 sc in next = 24

4. 2 sc in next, sc in next 10, 2 sc in next 2, sc in next 10, 2 sc in next = 28, close with sl st.

5. ch 2 and go back (you go back so the stitches will be stacked different, which will form a nice seem for the side of the basket. You only do it this one time) dc in next 28 = 28, sl st

6. ch 2, dc in nect 28 = 28, sl st

7. ch 1, sc in next 28 = 28, sl st and weave in end.

 The strap.

Leave a long tail when you make the chain, for sewing.

1. ch of 20, in 2nd ch from hook hdc, hdc in next 17, sl st and leave tail.

(You can of course make the strap as long as you like, or two so you can make a backpack for a doll. Do whatever you like!)

Sew the strap to the basket and add a button or bead if you like.

 The eggs. In multiple colours. If you make striped eggs, change colour in the last stitch of a round. Change colour in the last loop of a stitch, so the loop on the hook you end with, will be in the new colour.

1. magic ring of 5 = 5

2. 2 sc in each around = 10

3. (sc in next 3, 2 sc in next) x 3 = 15

4 – 6. sc in each around = 15

7. (sc in next 3, s2tog) = 12

8. sc in each st around = 12

9. (sc in next 4, s2tog) x 2 = 10, now stuff the egg firmly.

10. sc in each st around = 10

11. s2tog x 5 = 5. Sew the hole closed by putting the needle from the inside out, trough all the outside loops of the 5 st, clockwise. If you do it correctly, you can now pull the tail and it will close the gap. Weave in the end.

Lopi colour numbers. Brown: 0053, orange: 1410, yellow: 1411, pink: 1412, apple green: 1406, grey green: 9422 and mustard: 9264.

Have a lovely spring and Easter festive.

 

Upcoming spring pattern

10 Mar

And now for something completely different. Well, perhaps not completely but a bit. My next pattern will be my first bird pattern. Last year I thought of making a duckling and decided to wait till spring this year. Yes, a duckling! I love ducks and especially mallards and white ducks and do think a pattern for a crochet duckling will make a perfect crochet spring project.

If the duckling is going to meet my expectations, I will also make his father someday. I very much hope I can make my duckling as whimsical as he looks in the second sketch. Looking forward to present my first little bird.

Eendjes

A little surprise pattern will follow soon……

Monty’s holiday

28 Feb

Monty's-holiday

I just got back from a short break in the country and of course I took my newest crochet animal Monty with me. We have visited the Veluwe, which is the largest wood and heathland surroundings of the Netherlands. Last year we also went there and I already knew where I was going to take pictures of Monty. The place I had in mind is called Kootwijkerzand and it is the largest sand plain in Europe. It’s an absolutely stunning environment and perfect for an interesting picture.

Generally I am not super excited about nature in my country. It is small and not as mind blowing as nature can be in other parts of Europe. But this particular area is and I am happy to share some more pictures. The first picture is a larger view of the sand plain I mentioned above and in the second picture you see my favourite scenery, the heather and grass landscape which borders the sand plain.

IMG_0687

Buurlo

Monty the crochet marmot pattern, aka groundhog or woodchuck

19 Feb

It feels a bit strange, mentioning all these animal names in the title of this post, but Monty is a marmot, and there are quite a few types of them. Their shape is basically the same, but they vary in colour and size. I have chosen to make an Alp marmot, which looks quite similar to the yellow bellied marmot.

Meet my chubby little crochet marmot called Monty.

marmot crochet pattern

Marmots, groundhogs or woodchucks don’t have the right body shape to give them the doll shape most of my crochet animal patterns have. Their body is more suitable for a standing type of amigurumi. When working on a doll with a shape like this, I have to be careful not to make it too realistic. My animals should resemble the real animal enough, so you immediately see what you are looking at, but more important, they have to be playful inventive characters. And Monty is.

Giving the head and body the appearance they are one piece, was the most challenging thing when I made this pattern. Marmots don’t have a visible neck, so my crochet version should not have one either. Making the head and body in one piece didn’t had the result I desired, so I had to make them separately. By making the body wide at the opening, I was able the let the pieces run smoothly over into each other. I’m quite happy with the result.

Here’s more of Monty and below it you can find information about the pattern.

woodchuck marmot crochet

Monty is 5,5 inch/ 14 cm tall.

The crochet pattern for Monty the marmot you can find in my shop and in my shop at Ravelry. Monty is made with Lett Lopi, a 100% wool. I have chosen to make the yellow bellied version of the marmot, but when you choose other colours you can make any kind you want. In the pattern you can find the Lopi colour numbers to make Monty, the materials you need to make him and of course a clear description of how to crochet and attach him, with example images as an extra help.

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