A very special project

This fresh new year, I am starting with a very special project. I am making the pattern for a fossilised monkey. And it is not even that simple, the monkey I am making is a prosimian or a lemur monkey. The researchers are not completely sure about it. This monkey, called Ida (based on Darwin’s name), died 47 million years ago and was found in Messel, Germany.

monkWhy am I making a fossilised monkey that lived 47 million years ago? To be honest, I’m not really a monkey fan. They just aren’t my kind of animals. I do love some lemurs and prosimians and please don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike monkeys, but they aren’t on my list of cute and cuddly things that make me feel all happy like when I see a guinea pig, fox or squirrel.

But this Ida monkey does! This was the cutest and most beautiful monkey ever. A friend of mine, who is a wildlife and paleo artist, made the most fabulous illustrations for a book about Ida. Because Ida was so very well preserved, Esther could draw her exactly as she looked, except for the colours. They couldn’t see those from the fossil so she had to chose the most likely colours. And how she portraid Ida, I was in love with her from the start! She made the monkey look so gorgeous and exotic.

Ida is a lemur or prosimian monkey and has this specific type of body. I really like the shape of her head and flexible form. She is perfect for the monkey I like to make. The coloured illustration you see is one of the illustrations Esther made for the book. Ida is the baby monkey carried by the mother.

idaEsther has asked me before if I could make an Ida monkey, but I never wanted to because it doesn’t exist anymore and therefor crafters won’t recognise the crochet monkey. But lately I was thinking about making a hanging monkey and got stuck on which type. I asked Ether if she knew an extra cute one and of course she said I should make the Ida monkey. I wasn’t sure about it at first but the more I thought about it, the less unlikely it felt. Why wouldn’t I make a pattern for this type of monkey? Ida is absolutely gorgeous and If I design a hanging Ida monkey, I bet many crocheters would just love it. The colours can easily be replaced for colours of existing monkeys if one prefers so what’s the problem. It was done. I was making a fossilised monkey as first project of the year! Now to think of a suitable name…

 

Oakie, crochet armadillo pattern

Sitting as promised in my original Popke style, I proudly present to you Oakie the crochet armadillo.

armadillo crochet pattern

Wow, what a process this was. I never expected all the bumps on the road of designing this crochet armadillo pattern. In my previous post I explained about the challenge of making this interesting looking creature. Making an animal that would never, ever even think of sitting on its bottom, sit on its bottom was for starters a classical design issue. But the body armour was so utterly complicated to design that the sitting thing seemed nothing. I wrote about the smooth textured Linen stitch I was planning to use for the armour. When I started everything seemed so jolly well. What a perfect stitch for armadillo armour. But then some in- and decreasing had to be done and how on earth could I do that with this stitch? I googled for info and found nothing, who would have thought about that? People only seem to crochet scarfs and pillowcases with this stitch, not animals. So I had to find a way myself. After testing all sorts of solutions and almost writing a post here begging someone to help me, I found the solution to my problem. Decrease three stitches instead of two. How simple could it be. Not everything was rough on this road. From the start I knew how I was going to design the arms. The legs and feet just fell into place when I made them and the tail looks fabulous because it is worked flat.

I really like the almost reptile looking appearance of Oakie’s face. The smaller eyes, unworked back loops and chain stitches form a perfect whole to create that characteristic armour texture. The rugged Lopi yarn accentuates it even more. Oakie might be unable to roll himself into a ball, but you can easily imaging him to do so. Just look at him! This armadillo is the most special creature I have ever made a crochet pattern for. Below the pictures you can find info about this armadillo amigurumi and the links to buy the pattern.

armadillo-amigurumi

crochet-armadillo-amigurumi

Info about & links to buy the pattern

This very rugged but cuddly crochet armadillo is made with Istex Lett Lopi, a worsted weight wool. He is 14 cm / 5.5 inch when sitting. All the additional information you need to know about this pattern you can find in the shop listings. You can buy this pattern in my shop at Craftsy and in my shop at Ravelry or order it here. It contains a clear and colour coded description of how to crochet and assemble the armadillo with extra illustrations and example pictures at the bottom to help you get everything right. In the pattern you can also find what materials you need, the yarn colour numbers, in short, everything you need to know to make your own ancient looking friend.

And heads up, this pattern has a one dollar release discount till Wednesday the 28th.

Just a little update

Hi Crafters! I just wanted to let you know I am working on a new pattern. An armadillo that is and I must say, it is very challenging! Making the mostly seen on four legs creature sitting on its bottom for one thing is a bit tricky,  but let’s not forget about that very cool but difficult to crochet armour.

img_3987I have the head finished and decided to go for one piece. Originally I thought of giving the head an armoured patch, but I couldn’t manage myself to get it into the right place so that was a no go. Now, the armoured part of the head is crocheted differently than the rest of the head and to let it stand out more I used a neat looking and simple sewing trick. You’ll find out more about that when I publish the pattern.

Yesterday I spend most of the day by googling crochet stitches that give a smooth texture. The body armour is worked flat in rows. Working in rows and therefor turning your work, results in a sort of striped texture because every row you work in the opposite direction of the previous row. I needed to find an existing crochet stitch with a very different texture. Luckily for me, that isn’t very hard these days. Just type the right search terms and a whole new world of crochet stitches opens up for you. I found the perfect stitch for the body armour, called the linen stitch (or moss, or granite stitch) and it is very easy to do, it isn’t even a stitch really but more a skip and chain thingy but it gives a gorgeous knit looking texture.

Well, I am off now, have to actually make the armour and the rest of the armadillo. I wish you all a lovely weekend!

Son’s Popkes Holiday gifts CAL & photo contest!

santa-and-rupert-guinea-pigs

Hi there lovely Crafters!

It still feels a lot like autumn but the holiday season is getting so close. Many of you crafters will be making their own gifts and a lot of Popkes will be made. Therefor, let’s share some crafty fun! I thought it would be a splendid idea to give a crochet along another try. And, by adding an Instagram and Ravelry photo contest to this CAL, you can win two of my patterns.

You can join this festive crochet along in my Ravelry group. It starts now and ends December 24, just before Christmas. You can choose any of my patterns.

There will be a discount on all my patterns for this CAL too. The coupon code for a 10% discount you can find in the CAL’s topic in my group.

There’s also an Instagram and Ravelry photo contest attached to this CAL, where the winner can win two of my patterns by their choice and a second price of one pattern.

  • To join the photo contest, simply post a gorgeous picture of the end result in the CAL thread on Ravelry and add it is your entry for the contest.
  • If you do not have a Ravelry account but are making Popkes as Christmas gifts, you can also join via Instagram, if you do, use hashtag #popkejoy
  • You can enter the maximum of three pictures
  • The winner will be announced on boxing day, December the 26th.

Do not be shy and join my group and this CAL, it is so much fun. You meet lovely new people and can even make friends, and you can win two patterns. If you can, share the word about this CAL and photo contest, the more people who join, the merrier.

See you in my group!

Free mini antlers pattern

With this funny little pattern, you can now turn every Popke into a reindeer. It’s an easy and quick to make pattern, although the antlers are a bit tiny so enough light and some patience is very much needed.

free crochet animal accessory pattern

Mini antlers pattern

You’ll need worsted weight yarn in brown and any other colour you like and hook E/ 3.5 mm. You will also need pipe cleaners to make the pieces bendable.

The antlers

(Brown, make two of each piece)

Part 1
1. magic ring of 4 = 4
2 – 6. sc in each around = 4, sl st and leave yarn end

Part 2
1. magic ring of 4 = 4
2 – 4. sc in each around = 4, sl st and leave yarn end

Part 3
1. magic ring of 4 = 4
2 – 3. sc in each around = 4, sl st and leave yarn end

Now you can put the pipe cleaners in the longest 4 pieces. Stretch the parts to get the right length and make sure the cleaners in the longest two (part 1’s) stick out just a little bit, so you can prick them into the headband. Now attach the parts 2 to the bottom parts of the parts 1 and the parts 3 to the top part of the parts 1, as shown in the picture. Sew in the end tails but skip the yarn end of the longest parts, so you can use them to sew the antlers to the headband.

Headband

(Any cheerful colour will do)

1. magic ring of 4 = 4
2 – 22. sc in each around = 4, sl st.

Now stretch this piece too and insert the pipe cleaner. Now you can sew the band closed by putting the needle from the inside out through all the outside loops of the 4 st, clockwise. If you do it correctly, you can pull the yarn end and it will close the gap

All you have to do now is attach the antlers to the headband, about two rounds apart. There, now you can give all your Popkes a reindeer metamorphose!

Pudding & Cake, crochet guinea pig patterns

With a lot of excitement and some pride, I present to you Pudding and Cake, my crochet guinea pig patterns. Meet the furry little boys!

Guinea pig crochet pattern

Not one crochet guinea pig pattern but two? Well yes! I started by making a sketch as I always do and somehow got to a final one showing two cuddly guinea pigs. At first that was just the lovely sketch but the further I got with making Pudding, I felt like actually making that second piggy on all fours too. My basic idea was to make a standing guinea pig, a whimsical character like most of my crochet animals are. I think because guinea pigs have a special place in my heart (I have had them when I was little and for the last 10 years too), it felt so natural to make Pudding a friend.

pudding-cakeMy crochet animals usually are a blend between a realistic looking animal and a playful doll shaped character. For the second piggy I decided to go for a more classical shape, standing on all fours. As that isn’t really my thing, it felt a bit odd designing an animal like that so I tried best to capture the playfulness my patterns normally have. And I had to, making Cake a perfect match to Pudding. Don’t they make the cutest pair? I’m a bit stunned myself, they look so adorable and funny together with their wild looks.

When I started designing Pudding, I really wanted to give my crochet guinea pig the appearance of the abbesinian guinea pig, my favourite type. But adding yarn like lion’s manes felt a bit too much, so I decided to go for brushing. Brushing the crochet surface gives an animal such a wonderful look and is so easy to do too. All you need is a hard brush and some courage.

Now about the patterns. Both piggies are about 5,5 inch/ 14 cm tall and made with Isex Lett Lopi wool. There are three versions you can buy.

You can order them directly from me here too.

All three versions contain a clear and colour coded description of how to crochet and assemble the piggies with example pictures at the bottom to help you get everything right. In the patterns you can also find what materials you need, the yarn colour numbers, in short, everything you need to know to make them. All the additional information you need to know about the patterns you can find in the shop listings.

Here are some extra pictures of the separate crochet guinea pigs.

guinea pig amigurumi pattern

amigurumi crochet guinea pig

Designing two crochet guinea pig patterns was such a delight. As always, the patterns have a one dollar release discount till Tuesday the 22nd!

Free mole accessory pattern: Moser’s miners safety helmet

Just for the fun of it I made another free accessory pattern, a miners safety helmet for Moser the crochet mole. I really think these simple accessories make the animals look even more whimsical than they did. And with the holiday season coming, I already have a fun accessory in mind that will fit every animal, so keep an eye on the blog for these little free patterns.

Look at Moser, isn’t he an adorable little miner! Below the pictures you can find the free pattern for the miners safety helmet and links to buy the crochet mole pattern you can find here.

Miners safety helmet pattern

Helmet (yellow)

  1. magic ring of 6 = 6
  2. 2 sc in each around = 12
  3. (sc in next, 2 sc in next) x 6 = 18
  4. (sc in next 3, 2 sc in next, sc in next 4, 2 sc in next) x 2 = 22
  5.  sc in each around = 22

Short rows to make the face opening

  1. sc in next 8, ch 1, turn
  2.  in 2nd ch from hook sc in next 17 = 17, ch 1, turn
  3.  in 2nd ch from hook sc in next 17 = 17, ch 1, turn
  4.  in 2nd ch from hook sc in next 15, s2tog = 16, ch 1, turn
  5.  in 2nd ch from hook sc in next 14, s2tog = 15, ch 1, turn
  6.  in 2nd ch from hook s2tog, sc in next 2, s2tog, sc in next 3, s2tog, sc in next 2, *s2tog (*finish this last st as a sl st), weave in yarn end.

Helmet flap (yellow)

To make a little flap to protect Moser’s eyes better, you crochet a new row into the outside loops of the face opening edge. You are going to crochet 9 new stitches. If you look closely to the face opening of the helmet when it is facing you, you see 7 normal stitches around the opening (the part above the eyes).

Row 1

Work front loops only. To create the flap, you insert your hook from the outside in, into the 3rd st before the normal stitches and pull a loop. Now make an sc in the next  2 st, sc in next 7 normal stitches, sc in the next st of the side of the face opening. You should now see a new row of 9 st in the middle of the face opening. If not, start this row one stitch later. It is a bit hard to explain in which stitch to start, because the stitches at the side edges of the face opening look different and are harder to identify. As long as your flap is in the middle of the helmet, nicely placed above Moser’s eyes, everything is ok.

Row 2 (this row is worked in both loops like you normally do.)

ch 1, turn. In 2nd ch from hook s2tog, hdc in next, dc in next 3, hdc in next, *s2tog (*finish this last st as a sl st), weave in yarn end.

Lamp (dark brown and light grey)

Ouside in dark brown

  1. Magic ring of 4 = 4
  2. 2 sc in each around = 8
  3. sc in each around = 8, sl st and leave yarn end for sewing

Light in light grey

  1. Magic ring of 4 = 4
  2. (sc in next, 2 sc in next) x 2 = 6, sl st and leave yarn and for sewing

Strap

Make a ch of 25 with long ends for sewing at both sides.

Now assemble the lamp by placing the light into the lamp bulging out, but as deep into it as possible. Attach it with one stitch trough the back of the outside with the tail of the light. Use the tail of the lamp to secure the light better and weave in the end. Attach the strap to the middle of the lamp using both tails. You don’t join the strap but attach both sides next to the magic ring of the lamp. Like that the lamp isn’t placed completely on top of the chain which would make it stick out more, but runs over into it at both sides, giving a slightly flatter appearance.

Well look at that. You have made Moser a very sturdy helmet!

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