Hello and welcome to Son’s Popkes! My name is Sonja van der Wijk and I am a Dutch crochet animal pattern designer and illustrator. Here at my blog you can read all about the process of how I design my animal patterns.
Seeing crochet animals in a local shop was the inspiration for me to learn to crochet. I absolutely adored the old school look and texture of these stuffed animals and I immediately started fantasizing about which animals I would crochet and how they should look. But first I needed to learn the skill of crocheting. Surprisingly, it was much easier than I expected.
After making a few patterns I purchased online, I began to design my own animal patterns. For each of my designs, my goal is to create a doll that resembles the real animal, but is also playful with its own character. An expressive creature that radiates the enjoyment and care I put into my design process. The yarn I use is pure wool. The natural and hairy texture of it gives my animals their fuzzy rustic appeal, which I love.
There are a lot of things I love about what I do. I am an animal lover and seeing them in the wild always fills me with delight, even a little mouse or a common bird. I am fascinated by their sheer beauty and analyzing the animal I am going to make is one of my favourite things to do. I am also thrilled at being able to combine my work as an illustrator with designing crochet patterns. The illustration I make of an animal before I start crocheting, functions as a guideline when I design the crochet version. Making the doll resemble that character is a challenge I am very keen on. In all my patterns you can find the illustration at the top.
By selling my patterns, I have met enchanting and interesting people and even have made friends. I really enjoy looking at pictures of animals made with my patterns and I love hearing from you. So if you have something on your mind, just leave a comment. You can also write me a message here.
And… Popke means little doll, which is nice to know, isn’t it? If you are interested, you can see my illustration portfolio here.
25 thoughts on “About”
Your blog and your work are very beautiful, both the stuffed and the “flat” art! Thanks for sharing it. I don’t crochet much anymore myself but am subscribing to your blog so I can enjoy reading / looking at your posts again.
Hi Ingrid, thanks for your very kind comment, it’s great to hear you like my work. I’ll hope my future work will keep you interested, there is a lot more to come, both stuffed and flat.
I also checked out your blog. I used to have loop braided bracelets, they are nice and personal, what you make looks very beautiful!
I really like the fox…this is awesome. Do you sell your finished creations or are they just for your personal enjoyment?
Nice to hear from you. I’m sorry, but I only sell the patterns for my creations. I get attached to the dolls I make when I write a pattern, and making another one I don’t really have the time for, because usually I already have an idea for a new animal. Maybe you know someone with crochet skills who can make a fox for you?
I finished making your fox pattern and I love it! It was such a pleasure to crochet! I created a project on Ravelry which includes photos. I lost your email address so send me it again if you’d like me to send you photos. Your pattern design is amazing, really clever shaping and colour changes. You are a true artist and I look forward to trying more of your patterns 🙂
Hi Joanne, I checked out your photo’s at Ravelry. You made two foxes! They’re a cute couple. They turned out great and that’s good to see.
I’m glad you liked the pattern so much. Maybe there will be another pattern for you here someday.
Have fun with your fox duo, do they have names?
Wat een talent. Ik vind de spullen die je maakt erg mooi. Denk niet dat ik me ga wagen aan het maken van de dieren. Ik kan wel haken, maar dan eenvoudige dingen, of dingen uit mijn hoofd. Ga je blog wel volgen…
Groeten van Juffrouw Mier
Hi Juffrouw Mier,
Wat leuk dat je m’n blog gaat volgen en natuurlijk bedankt voor je compliment! Jammer dat je je niet gaat wagen aan het haken van mijn popkes. Ze zien er misschien moeilijk uit (niet te moeilijk voor iedereen hoop ik!) maar ze zijn vrij makkelijk te haken.
Ik blijf in ieder geval tips en tricks en andere leuke en interessante dingen schrijven, tot de volgende keer!
I am very new to crocheting. I have made four amigurumi animals and one doll. I just purchased your rabbit pattern and am making it for a new baby on the block. Do you offer video tutorials as I start to second guess myself and like to refer to a tutorial. It also feels like you have company when your crocheting, (sounds silly, I know). Please advise. P.S. Your patterns are incredible. Keep up the great work. Warmest regards, Stephanie
Thanks for your compliment.I’m sorry but I don’t have any video tutorials. The tutorials I refer to you can find at my blog in the tips & tricks category in the green menu bar at the top of my blog. Here are tutorials with pictures. I hope these are helpful enough for you. Especially the one about colour changing I would recommend before you start with the body of the rabbit, if you are a bit new to crocheting.
I hope this helps.
Kind regards, Sonja.
p.s. My cat keeps me company when I work on my patterns.
Hi, I just wanted to let you know how much I love your patterns. And, I am learning so much from your written tutorials. My amigurumis are looking more realistic and professionally done thanks to your assembly tips. I’m so glad that I’ve found your website. I am in the process of setting up a real life mini-farm and can’t wait to start on recreating your patterns. They will look fabulous displayed in my home! :~} I have 2 questions for you…are any of your oder test patterns currently available…and…do you have a projected launch date for your next test pattern? I really look forward to hearing from you!
Your Newest Crochet Fan,
Welcome Donna and thank you for your lovely message. I’m glad you like my work so much and are learning from my tutorials, that is good to know!
Wow, it sounds amazing you are making a real life-mini farm. I’m flattered you are using my patterns to make the animals. I would love to see some pictures sometime. It sounds wonderful!
And I’m sorry to say, I don’t have any test patterns. Currently I am working with one pattern editor, after I’ve tested the patterns myself first. So for now I can’t really help you with it.
Have a delightful evening, kind regards, Sonja.
I just found your site, and I can’t tell you how much I love it. I’ve been crocheting for many years, and it’s always been animals or birds, fish, etc. It becomes difficult at times to find a pattern realistic enough for my tastes, so you can imagine how thrilled to find your patterns. I actually sat and read every word of the entire site including the patterns. So cute they all have names…I really, really love them. My intention is to eventually buy the entire set. I’ll be sure to send photos. Keep up the great work, and many thanks for sharing. I’ll be waiting for the next pattern.
Your newest fan,
Thank you so much for your comment, I’m glad you’ve found my blog! When I first started crocheting, I had trouble finding realistic enough animals too, it is partly the reason I started making these patterns. My patterns are quite realistic but also characteristic dolls to play with. I don’t want them to look too ‘statue-ish’.
I’m thrilled you’ve read my entire blog! I hope you will enjoy my upcoming patterns as much as the rest!
Lovely to hear from you, kind regards, Sonja.
what gorgeous work! I have shared a link on my facebook page and one of these days I will find time to crochet a squirrel instead of just photographing them.
Hi Nancy, thanks so much for sharing my work on Facebook! I’ll check out your site soon, the name sounds promising.
Thanks for stepping by here, have a lovely Sunday, cheers, Sonja.
Just found your patterns – WOW! When I get a job I look forward to buying a couple. Thank you for sharing your creativity and talent.
Thanks for stopping by here and I’m glad you like my work.
Hope to see your around and have a lovely weekend.
I gave nominated your blog for the Real Neat Blog Award.
More about this nomination is at
Wow, thanks so much Petrel! I’ve never been nominated and feel very honored! I’ll post about it later today. 🙂
Well deserved 🙂 You will probably get more nominations.
I am so looking forward to your sloth pattern. I follow the Costa Rico Sloth Sanctuary and have an adopted sloth called Bruno. I can’t wait to crochet your sloth pattern. I love your work. You are so talented.
Thanks Moira, it’s almost ready, it should be here today, so keep an eye out!
I was looking for a lion crochet pattern and happened on your blog. I just want to tell you how your artwork, your crochet designs, and your spirit touched my heart today. Love your blog and would love to hear more about those sheep you are walking with. Thank you for sharing your gifts with all of us. Your love for animals and nature shines through all your work. Joy and blessings!
Thanks so much Karole, for your lovely comment, it means a lot to me! In my spare time, me and my boyfriend hike a lot in Drenthe, near where we live. The sheep we found in a field and they were very enthusiastic and curious and followed us. Very delightful. They are not mine, I wish they were.
Have a lovely, crafty weekend and I hope to see you again.