Summer Popkes

amigurumi crochet patterns

The Popkes and I risked a heath stroke this afternoon, doing a photoshoot outside whilst it was 35 degrees celsius! Admitting, it was probably just me getting a bit over heated, they seemed to rather enjoy themselves really.

What a thrill, my summer holiday has almost started! Just relaxing, watching wildlife and doing long forest strolls are the things I am looking forward to so much.

I had to postpone the puffin pattern a bit, but not to worry. I think during all the relaxing and wildlife watching, I probably cannot stop myself from working on it every now and then. The puffin pattern will be the first pattern to be released.

I hope everybody is enjoying themselves as much as my crochet animals in the picture above. I wish all of you a lovely summer, cheers and see you soon!

As seen on BBC Springwatch

Puffin_medium2

For the last three weeks, I have been watching one of my most favourite tv shows, BBC Springwatch. It is a fabulous series about wildlife’s life in spring (or autumn and winter) in the UK. It is a tv show that is such a delight to watch and I always learn so much from it. The show is divided in two parts, you first see a one hour episode on tv, and after that there is a half hour extra called Springwatch Unsprung you can watch online or on a certain red button if you live in the UK. Unsprung is a rather interactive bit, that evolves partly around the viewer.

For me, Springwatch is such an inspiring show and every year I try to crochet an animal that suits the Springwatch series. This time it was a Puffin, as I had seen one during my holiday to the UK and knew it would be featured in this years Springwatch series.

Just for the fun of it, I replied to a tweet to Springwatch, from a crafter who had knitted an adorable Springwatch inspired fish, by showing her the Puffin head I had just finished.

What happened next was amazing. I was watching Springwatch Unsprung when I saw to my utter surprise, the puffin head on my tv screen! I was totally flabbergasted. Wow, they actually picked out my puffin head to show in a bit about Springwatch inspired art made by the viewers. What a jolly surprise it was. I was feeling a bit euphoric after that as you can imagine.

It also made me rather enthusiastic to finish the puffin as soon as possible. I am working on the body and wings now and hope to have the puffin pattern finished within a few weeks!

An upcoming bird pattern

Puffinsketch2This week I began quietly working on a new pattern. It is of a bird! When we visited the UK, we also visited the Bempton cliffs in Yorkshire, hoping to see one of my favourite birds, a puffin. We tried to see them a few years back at a little Norwegian island called Runde, but with no luck.

This time, we did have luck. I saw a fabulous little puffin sitting on a nest. I only could see her through a scope, but so amazing it was to actually see one.

PuffinsketchWhat a very special bird. I think they look like a mix of duck and penguin, but with a very special shaped and coloured bill.
Actually, I was planning on designing a rhinoceros pattern. But when I saw that puffin during my vacation, a puffin needed to be made in crochet. I have drawn a few simple sketches of the shape and size and already finished a prototype head. I’m rather excited with the looks, how thrilling!

I’m taking a break

Hi everybody,

It has been awfully silence here I know. Since I’m home from a wonderful holiday to the UK (Lake District and more national parks), which I will tell all about later, I am not feeling myself. I’m struck with an ear infection and utter exhaustion from lack of sleep. I must eat to feel better, but eating itself makes me feel nauseous, not a very handy combo….Between my downs every day, I try to answer mails etc. but that’s about it. I’m not feeling like crocheting at all.

I was going to design a rhino pattern after my holiday and after seeing an utterly adorable puffin at the Bempton cliffs in the UK, I postponed that rhino and looked very much forward to designing a crochet puffin. But at the moment that’s not going to happen. Things will get better. I’m not the kind of person to go and talk about my health online, but do want to give this update as my blog seems to have fallen silent. As soon as I’m feeling my old self again I will post a more happy update here!

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This is pretty much my current state, lol. This was me last week in the UK, at the famous church yard of Grantchester.

See you soon fellow crocheters.

Lazy Koji

Son's Popkes artwork, illustration.

This time I did not announce I was working on a new Son’s Popkes artwork, because let’s be honest, the last time the illustration did not turn out as I hoped. Fortunately, my latest illustration featuring nothing else but Koji, has become the artwork I fancied and I am proud to present it here.

It is simply titled ‘Lazy Koji’.

Together with my autumn Popkes artwork, I posted a ‘painting process’ slideshow. I think it is fun to show you how an illustration comes about.

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I must admit to myself, I like crocheting better, find it less frustrating. That is rather curious, as I have been drawing practically since I was born. Crocheting I have only been doing for five years now. The thing is though, when working on a painting, I can come to a certain point where I absolutely do not know how to proceed. It drives me nuts, I totally think I can never make the painting as beautiful as I fantasize, so what is the point in continuing?

For this illustration, I can show you exactly when that was, as it happens, after the second pic. There still was a lot of blue in the image and I had no idea what to do next. I just did not see it and felt like stopping. I took a break, thought about what to do and decided to just fill in the blank spaces with the colours I though would be right. And that helped. The painting now had the right mood, and for me, when the mood and colours are set, I can fill in the details and so on. Just look for yourself how much difference it made.

Maybe blue as a background colour was a bit poorly chosen for this painting and I should have started with a yellow background, but in the end, I did get it right!

Koji, crochet tiger pattern

My glorious crochet tiger pattern is finished. Meet Koji!

tiger amigurumi crochet pattern

This was beyond doubt the most ambitious crochet animal I have made so far. Yet, knowing that from the start, I was ever so excited to make a crochet tiger. I fully accepted I probably had to make many more test pieces than usual, but I knew that in the end it would be worth it. Well, at least I hoped it would be!

Making a crochet version of a complexed coloured animal like a tiger, comes with many dilemmas. I always fancy my animals to look as realistic as possible, but with a tiger, I knew I had to make some compromises. Certain characteristics of a tiger just are impossible to recreate in a small crochet version. For instance, a tiger’s face has many stripes, going in different directions. I only had room for two stripes at the top of the head and two at the sides. I had to find the right look for my simple stripes, to get that classic tiger face. Also, tiger ears are quite striking with light orange fuzzy front sides and dark backs with a white spot. But there was no way I could make a simple crochet version of such small ears, coloured like that.

Essentially, the whole proces went like that. Should I let the dark stripes of the body run over into the white belly? Nope, did not look good at all whatever I tried. Tigers have orange toes, black soles and white hair between the toes. What should I do to make that look best? Many questions like these followed, but it was very rewarding every time I found a good solution.

Koji has become a striking tiger doll. I think he looks playful, but also shows a bit of that tiger wisdom. Personally, I think he looks young and sweet in the first picture and more wise and mature in the picture below, that is really curious isn’t it!

Here is another picture of Koji and below it you can find info about and links to the pattern.

amigurumi tiger

Koji

This crochet tiger is 5,8 inch / 14,8 cm when sitting. I spend a lot of time writing an extra easy pattern to make this animal. There is a lot of colour changing, so I added a bit more info about it and wrote the pattern for the head and body in stitch colour, so you can even see from the lines how your rounds of stitches should look. Koji is made with three colours of lett lopi, a 100% wool. I would strongly advice the use of a fuzzy yarn, as it leaves much neater colour changes.

The pattern for this beautiful animal, you can find in my shop and in my shop at Ravelry. It contains a clear description of how to crochet and attach the tiger with example pictures at the bottom to help you get everything right. In the pattern you can also find what materials you need, the Lopi colour numbers, in short, everything you need to know to make this glorious animal.

And heads up, the pattern has a one dollar release discount till April the 12th.

Koji says hello!

Koji-sketch-webNormally, I make the sketch of a doll before I start crochet designing it. The sketch functions as a reference of sizes and shapes and basically is my guide. This time however, I only made the sketch just now, after I already finished the actual crochet animal. Now why is that?

Before I started working on this tiger, I was not sure about how I was going to make him. I had many options of how to design him. I could go for horizontal stripes or realistic ones. And should I tilt the head so the stripes would follow the lines of the crochet rounds better? There were so many options, I had to try it all. Then of course at some point, I found the right style for the tiger and went along making him.

Stopping then just to make a sketch was not going to happen. As soon as there is a sweet little face looking at me, I can not wait any longer to finish the animal.

Everyone here reading my blog has to be a little patience still. The pattern is not finished yet and pictures have to be taken too. In the meantime, enjoy the sketch of Koji, my glorious tiger. The pattern will be released somewhere next week.

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