Flisby, crochet kingfisher pattern

This must be the most challenging pattern I’ve ever designed. I proudly present to you Flisby, the amigurumi kingfisher!

amigurumi kingfisher

Birds are slowly becoming part of the collection of crochet animal patterns I’ve designed. Because birds aren’t fluffy and cuddly, they somehow often miss my attention. Only the ones that are very dear to me make it into a crochet pattern. The kingfisher is an example of that. For the last few years I’ve been doing volunteer work as a fieldworker, basically I’m tracking animals so that the local wildlife organisations can map what lives where, to protect the animals and, for example, to create save passageways underneath roads, etc. I started in a badger team, but this year I expanded my work by collecting otter spraints (scat) for DNA analyses. That’s when I stumbled upon beaver tracks in an area they had not been seen before (it was fabulous, imagine how excited I was!). That of course led to a search for the beaver’s home, and that brings me back to the kingfisher. Practically every time I was following the beaver’s trail, which was an amazing adventure, I heard or saw a gorgeous kingfisher. They are birds of an exceptional beauty, and you always hear their cheerful shrieks before you see them flash by. I’ve been fortunate to see one sitting down a few times, and I was surprised by how small they actually are. Somehow I made them bigger in my mind because they are so beautiful.

So then came the challenge to create a crochet version. How was I going to mix realism and my doll-ish style in a little crochet bird? I started with designing the bill, which had to be as small and pointed as possible. If I got the bill right, I basically knew the size for the rest of the bird. I had in mind to make the kingfisher in one piece, so a seamless bill, head and body. But when I made the bill seamless, the shape was all wrong, way too flat. And when I finished the head with all the colour changes in the right place, I crocheted ahead to make the body, but I couldn’t get the shape right. So I started a new body, from the bottom up. When all the pieces where finished, I decided to keep it like this. I liked the seam between the head and body, the versions I had that were made in one piece looked stiff. My crochet animals must look playful, and for a bird that’s more difficult than a mammal. I think I managed to add a bit of doll-style in how I designed the feet and wings. Of course real birds have tiny feet, so I could have used a different material to create realistic feet, but I love the features of crochet, so I made the smallest possible, cute little bobble stitch feet. It gives Flisby the right personality, it makes him a Popke!

I could write so much more about this process, about how difficult it was to choose the right colours and the effort to create the perfect colour changes. All I’ll say is, I really love my little kingfisher. I love how the embroidered spots create that glowing shine of feathers, and I also love how this crochet kingfisher is about life-size when he’s made with the yarn I used, how about that! Here are some more pictures of Flisby, and below them you can find all the info you need about this pattern.

Info about & links to buy the pattern

This realistic crochet kingfisher is made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. He is 4.3 inch / 11 cm tall when made with this yarn. Despite the many colour changes for the head, this isn’t a very difficult pattern to crochet, as long as you follow the instructions to the letter and untangle your skeins after every round. The spots on the head and wings are easy enough to embroider because of the way they are placed. Assembling the animal and getting all the pieces in the right place will require some skill, but I guide you with the text and images in the pattern. As long as you take your time, you can make yourself a gorgeous little bird, I’m sure!

The pattern contains a clear and colour-coded description of how to crochet and assemble this animal, with extra illustrations and example pictures at the bottom. 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 kingfisher amigurumi. 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 Ravelry, Etsy or order it here.

This pattern has a one dollar release discount till Thursday the 21st of May!

Woolfie, realistic crochet wolf pattern

Never have I worked on a pattern for so long, and now I can finally show you Woolfie, my refreshing new crochet wolf pattern!

Realistic crochet wolf

Refreshing? Well, yes, I learned a few new techniques to make this wolf amigurumi. More about that later.

For quite a while I have wanted to make a fox that can sit but that has flexible limbs. Somehow it didn’t work out no matter what I tried, so at some point I gave up. But then came the news that a wolf had been seen in my country, and then another one and even more. Wolves have been extinct for a long time in my country, but these sightings meant that wolves were interested in living here. And then a female wolf settled in a rural part of the Netherlands and successfully raised three pups. Wolves have now officially returned! I think this is fabulous, and I hope it will work out. Of course I had to make a new wolf pattern now. I stepped back into the ‘drawing room’ and took another look at my fox sketches. It became clear that if I wanted to make a fabulous wolf, I would need to improve the technique I had tried to use for that fox. So I practised, making many sketches to visualise how everything should look. And then I started crocheting.

First I made the head. I figured that if I made a cute face, it would be difficult to quit and I would have to finish the rest. And it worked! After I made the head, I started trying out different body shapes. One thing was certain: the body and front paws needed to be seamless. Since I already had a long time to think about it after I stopped working on that fox, I soon found the right shape and size. Then the body needed colouring. I looked at many wolf pictures and decided that my wolf needed to have a light-coloured chest with a grey back. But when I finished the body like that, the front looked like a straight flat piece, very shapeless and not at all what I had in mind. I had to use my imagination to think of a solution that still looked realistic but added much more character. I grabbed my main sketch and started drawing again. After a few tries I found something I liked and worked it out in crochet, and it looked perfect.

But then I had a setback. When I started the body, I thought, ‘I’ll figure out the back paws later’. That wasn’t very smart of me. When I pinned the basic back paws I had made to the body, it looked all wrong. Now I had a complex-looking, seamless body with simple, silly-looking back paws. That weekend I had no idea how I was going to shape them. And then I looked at Boeloe the Koala and got an idea: what if I slimmed down the body and create paws like Boeloe’s, with a hip and a leg part? Would that create the flexible look I desired? Some quick math revealed that I only had to slim down the lower bit of the body to compensate for the bulk the hips would add. Because I didn’t want to end up regretting that I hadn’t made a seamless tail, I also worked out how to create a hole for that.

After all the effort and a pile of failed attempts, Woolfie now is sitting in front of me and he is so gorgeous! He looks more like an excited wolf pup than an adult wolf, but who cares about that? This is a win-win situation: I made a super-realistic new wolf pattern AND I learned a lot of new crochet skills. And the good thing for you is, the way these techniques are worked into the pattern doesn’t make it much more difficult to make, because you can just follow the instructions. I have figured out for you how to do these cool things the easy way!

Here are some more pictures of sweet Woolfie, and below them you can find all the info you need about this wolf amigurumi pattern.

Info about & links to buy the pattern

This realistic crochet wolf is made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. He is 6 inch / 15 cm sitting when made with this yarn. This isn’t a very difficult animal to crochet, even the seamless bits are quite easy to attach if you follow the instructions.

The pattern contains a clear and colour-coded description of how to crochet and assemble this animal, 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 realistic wolf amigurumi. 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 Ravelry, Etsy or order it here.

This pattern has a one dollar release discount till Thursday the 16th of April!

Boeloe, crochet koala bear pattern

Many crafters are making koalas at the moment to give attention to this vulnerable animal that has suffered so much from the fires in Australia. I decided to join them and have designed a beautiful koala amigurumi pattern. This is Boeloe, a super-sweet and vulnerable-looking crochet koala.

realistic crochet koala bear

It really breaks my heart to read and see what has happened to animals in Australia. Not only koalas and other mammals but so many birds, reptiles and insects have suffered and died in the fires. It’s devastating! I really hope designers like myself can help rescue wildlife and restore habitats a little bit by designing patterns so people can make and sell the dolls to collect money to donate to Australian wildlife organisations. I will donate the earnings from the first six patterns I sell to Wires, an Australian wildlife rescue organisation. I know it is not a huge amount, but even small donations help.

When designing this animal, there were so many pictures of burned and suffering animals that it was hard to find example pictures. But I tried my best to create a cute and realistic-looking crochet koala. Very important to me was to capture its vulnerability, which was difficult. I figured that as long as I tried to make the face look as realistic as possible, it should work. When I posted a teaser picture on Instagram, someone commented “so sweet and vulnerable-looking.” I was really glad it showed! Despite all the devastating pictures, it was interesting to design this pattern. To me, koalas are kind of silly-looking animals, with their big heads and lack of tails. But they are incredibly cute and they have absolutely gorgeous, almost teddy-like fur. It was a fun challenge to design a pattern that matched that cuteness. I had thought about brushing the animal all over, but I decided not to. The texture of the Lopi yarn adds enough fuzziness, and I like it when you can clearly see that it is a crochet animal. Here are some more pictures of this adorable koala amigurumi and below them you can find info about and links to buy the pattern.

Info about & links to buy the pattern

Boeloe is made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. If you use the recommended yarn, your koala will be 4.7 inch / 12 cm sitting.

The pattern is written in US terms and contains a clear and colour-coded description of how to crochet and assemble the animal, 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 vulnerable friend. 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 RavelryEtsy or order it here.

This pattern has a one dollar release discount till Thursday, the 19th of February. I hope many of you will make this pattern, just for yourself or to sell, so that together we can help Australian wildlife! If you like to see quick updates about my work, please follow my Instagram page.

Crowly, crochet raven pattern

I hereby present to you yet another dark and mysterious creature: meet Crowly the crochet raven, or crow, that’s up to you!

amigurumi crow

I’ve wanted to make a raven or crow for a long time, but until now I hadn’t gotten into it. Crows aren’t cuddly cute creatures, but they are very intelligent and compassionate. I’m fascinated by them, and I especially love ravens. For a few years now we’ve seen ravens in the areas we hike. Well, most of the time we just hear their ‘krok krok krok’ call.

Now why have I called my raven amigurumi ‘Crowly’? To be honest, I wasn’t sure wether to make a crow or a raven. I assumed crows would be more loved and popular than ravens, so when I first started I was thinking Crowly should be a crow. But because ravens are my personal favourite, I wasn’t sure what to choose. 

I think this pattern offers the option for the crafter to decide what it is. Ravens and crows both belong to the corvids (corvidea) species. There are differences between the animals, especially the size and the shape of the wings, but this pattern isn’t realistic enough to show them. The details I added for the wings will work perfectly for either a crochet crow or raven, or even a rook if you make the top of the beak black.

Here are some more pictures of this adorable crochet raven/ crow, and below them you can find info about and links to buy the pattern.

Info about & links to buy the pattern

Crowly is made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. If you use the recommended yarn, your bird will be 5 inch / 13 cm standing.

The pattern is written in US terms and contains a clear and colour-coded description of how to crochet and assemble the animal, 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 cuddly corvid. 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 RavelryEtsy or order it here.

This pattern has a one dollar release discount till Thursday, the 25th of December, Christmas day! If you like to see quick updates about my work, please follow my Instagram page.

Mr. Batty, crochet bat pattern

realistic crochet bat

I proudly present to you Mr. Batty, a common pipistrelle bat, who got delayed and couldn’t arrive in time for Halloween. But does that really matter? You can still see these wondrous creatures in November, just in time before they go into hibernation for the winter. And of course, crocheting a fabulous bat you can do all year long!

The pipistrelle bats in my courtyard inspired me to make this realistic crochet bat pattern. For some years they seemed to have gone, but this year I started seeing them again at dawn. Fast and swift I saw them fly between the houses and when I got lucky, I could see their perfect shape very clearly, such gorgeous little creatures they are!

This small and realistic bat is a bit bigger than the palm of your hand when you hold it with the wings spread. I’ve decided to keep everything pretty basic but strikingly realistic. You only need two colours of yarn to make this bat amigurumi, and you can decide for yourself if you want to use pipe cleaners. I’ve used them to keep the wings in shape, but if you make Mr. Batty for a little child, pipe cleaners aren’t an option, so you can stuff the tiny arms and legs to make them more steady. If you’re experienced, you can make this bat in an afternoon, although the tiny arms and legs are a bit fiddly to crochet. I tried working with i-cords instead of 4-stitches-wide tubes, but the i-cords weren’t steady enough to balance the wings.

Info about & links to buy the pattern

Mr. Batty the crochet pipistrelle bat is made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. If you use the recommended yarn, he will have a span width of 18.5 inch/ 22 cm. I would strongly recommend a fuzzy yarn, because it hides the seams of the colour changes.

The pattern is written in US terms and contains a clear and colour-coded description of how to crochet and assemble the crochet bat amigurumi, 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 wondrous crochet bat. 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 Ravelry, Etsy or order it here.

Heads up: it has a one-dollar release discount till Thursday the 21st of November.

A Son’s Popkes postcard!

Painted Christmas card

For a long time I thought about offering the Popkes artworks I made, some as Christmas cards, as postcards. I never actually dared to do it, until now! After many friends and crafters told me I really should give it a try, I decided to have my favourite winter-themed artwork printed as a postcard, how exciting! You can now order ‘A Popkes winter wonderland’ as an A6 postcard in my Etsy shop. I decided to offer a single card ($1,85) and sets of 2, 4, or 6.

The postcards are printed on 350gsm sulfate cardboard. The front is semi-glossy and the back is matte, perfect to write on. They are professionally printed in the Netherlands. On the back in the bottom left corner you’ll find a small graphic and info about the artwork. There is plenty of space to write on.

These cards feel like a classical winter animal tale. They would make a perfect Christmas greeting to send to your loved ones and friends or a lovely wall decoration to brighten up your room! If you are a Popkes fan, you know who’s on this card, but to those of you who don’t know, this postcard features Flam the fox, Finse the rabbit, and Falun the badger. For years it has been a tradition of mine to paint an original Christmas card to send to my family and friends. Before I started Son’s Popkes, I painted funny scenes featuring Santa experiencing bad luck. But when Son’s Popkes became a success, I realised it would be great fun to make the crochet animals the main characters of my Christmas cards. At some point, I even started painting more Popke artworks, where the animals are doing all sorts of things in their natural environment. Who knows what their next adventure will be?

Where to buy?

You can purchase the cards here. Keep in mind that if you order these in December, they will take longer to arrive because of the Christmas rush.

If you have questions or remarks about this postcard, don’t hesitate to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!

Barnsby, crochet barn owl pattern

I’m so excited to present you this pattern! Meet Barnsby, a super-realistic but too-cute-to-be-real crochet barn owl.

amigurumi owl

It has been such an interesting ride to design this owl amigurumi pattern. First of all, barn owls are wondrous-looking creatures with their flat dish-like-looking face. Basically, the face functions as a big ear. The flat disc catches sounds incredibly well, so that they can hear even the tiniest rustle of prey. The challenge for me was to create a flat face that would stay flat when attached to the head. Also, for this streamlined animal I wanted to make a design without too many bumps and attached bits. The owl had to be as seamless as possible.

And that was something new for me. This summer I’ve been experimenting with new techniques, and I had something in mind that could do the trick. I had never tried something like it before, but how hard could it be? I enthusiastically accepted the challenge. After a few silly-looking experiments, I learned how to use this technique properly. I’m not going to go into details, but attaching a body piece to an unfinished body and then crocheting ahead is a brilliant and super-easy way to get a seamless result. It won’t work for every animal or design, but it’s perfect for birds.

And the face! I got so many positive reactions about the owl’s face, so many people found it perfect. So very jolly you all liked it so much. The face is simply sewn to the head, and by pushing the stuffing to the back of the head and keeping the front practically empty, the face stays nice and flat.

I really hope the finished crochet owl meets your expectations! I can’t deny that I’m very proud of the looks and simplicity of this pattern. With this pattern I think even someone with basic skills can make this super-realistic-looking barn owl amigurumi.

Here are a few more pictures of Barnsby the barn owl, and below them you can find info about and links to buy the pattern.

Info about & links to buy the pattern

Barnsby the realistic barn owl is made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. If you use the recommended yarn, he will be 6 inch / 15 cm high. I would strongly recommend a fuzzy yarn, because it hides the seams of the colour changes.

The pattern is written in US terms and contains a clear and colour-coded description of how to crochet and assemble the crochet owl amigurumi, 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 wondrous owl. 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 Ravelry, Etsy or order it here.

Heads up: it has a one-dollar release discount till Thursday the 10th of October.

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