Author Archives for Sonja

Monty, crochet marmot aka groundhog, woodchuck or whistle pig pattern

What a number of names this silly animal can be called by! I proudly present to you Monty II! In Europe we call them marmots, and I believe in the US people also know what animal you mean if you are talking about marmots, but they are also called groundhogs, woodchucks, or whistle pigs there. Yes, whistle pig is my favourite name from now on! Look at this new Monty, isn’t he a marvellous, cranky-looking crochet marmot? Perfectly suitable for Groundhog Day, I would say!

amigurumi groundhog

Many years ago I designed a marmot amigurumi pattern after a holiday in the Alps. During our hikes, we often heard a strange high whistle, and after longing to find out what made the noise, we finally saw the culprit. It was the first time we saw Alpine marmots, and I absolutely loved them. Such funny-looking fluffy beasts. After seeing the marmots, of course I had to make a pattern for them. I later realised that the silly animal in the much-loved movie “Groundhog Day” is a marmot, too, how perfect!

Last year I updated many of my older patterns. Some crochet animals got a little makeover, and others stayed the same but got an updated pattern with more pictures and a better layout. There were a few patterns I skipped, and Monty was one of them. I realised that I had learned so much in the past few years that I would make him quite different if I redesigned him. I decided to temporarily put his pattern on hold till I found the right moment to design a new one. And because at the beginning of the new year it always is a bit difficult for me to start something new, this seemed the perfect moment to make Monty II.

And look at him! He looks so much more like a marmot than Monty did. When I made the beaver pattern, I realised that proportions similar to that would be very suitable for a marmot. I designed a new head for Monty with little crocheted-in eyebrows and a new body with a much better shaped yellowish belly. The first Monty was a cute little doll but this one has much more of the marmot attitude, don’t you think? Check out these pictures of this cute marmot/ woodchuck/ groundhog/ whistle pig amigurumi; below them you can find info about and links to buy the pattern.

Info about & links to buy the pattern

Monty is made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. I chose to make the ears, hands, feet, and tail a little bit darker than the body and head, but doing them all in one colour works perfectly well, too. Monty is 5.5 inch / 14 cm high when made with this yarn.

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 fluffy marmot 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 Monday the 28th of January.

Important update about my Craftsy shop

Today I discovered my shop at Crafty is practically gone. I was totally shocked to see Craftsy isn’t called Craftsy anymore but Bluprint and I only sell one pattern in the little bit of my shop that is left. Thankfully they have a live chat option, so I immediately started a chat to ask what was going on. It seems that I have missed an email that was send to me, oh stupid me – I didn’t read it thoroughly because I thought it wasn’t THAT important – in which was explained Crafty is turning into Bluprint and that shops will be reduced untill they have their new platform running again. This is the message I received:

So this means, my Craftsy shop is temporarily unavailable, unless you want to buy Flam’s pattern. I can proudly say my shop is important to them, so it will return! Later in 2019, it will be re-opened as a Bluprint shop with all the patterns that I sell. I have no idea when this will be, and neither does the Bluprint/ Craftsy team. They are currently working on it so we just have to wait and see. I also hope the Bluprint shop will be just as lovely as my Craftsy shop was. I’ve grown quite fond of it, it was my first shop.

A big benefit of Craftsy for indie designers like me was, they do not charge any fees. The price you paid for a pattern, was the price I received. On Ravelry a seller pays a reasonably fair fee, but on Etsy, the fee is quite high for pattern sellers. Also, when you are from Europe or certain states of the US, you pay extra VAT. That is why I’ve never mentioned my Etsy shop here before. I like my patterns to be found by Etsy customers, but if someone finds my patterns here, I preferred directing them to Craftsy or Ravelry.

For now, you can still purchase my patterns at Ravelry and Etsy. Everything is there. I will keep you updated about Bluprints progress and please do not forget about them, they are the most fair platform to us designers. I’m waiting with anticipation for their new platform for sure!

This is not a very fun way to start the new year and means a bit of extra work for me. But I won’t let it spoil the fun of designing new patterns, I have some very interesting ideas for new patterns, so see you soon!

My favourites from you!

Hi there, crafty people! It is a tradition of mine to post pictures of the dolls you’ve made with my patterns at the end of the year. I have to admit I have become a bit lazy typing blogposts, when there is such a handy medium called Instagram to give little updates. And it is Instagram I can use to easily find all your creations, as most of you use #sonspopkes when showing your work, how very pleasant for lazy me.

This year I’ve seen so many lovely dolls you’ve made with my patterns, and some of you even took the time to send me pictures of them, which I really love. Seeing what you have made gives me so much pleasure. Every doll is unique and has its own character, I really love that. They all have become personal dolls that radiate a bit of the maker.

Because I’ve seen so many pictures of your beautiful creations, I always have to make a selection. These are some of my favourites, but it was really hard to choose!

Some crafters bring the dolls with them on holiday and take the most amazing pictures, and others have a closet full of Popkes by now, what a joy! My editor Sandy always is the first to make a new animal, and sometimes she has to do it with a pattern that is still missing many images. She can completely surprise me with a beautiful finished animal, and the horse you see is made by her, with about half a pattern!

To sum things up, your work really brightens up my day and I totally love seeing it. Have a wonderful new year, sweet people, and embrace your inner Popke!

Windu, crochet horse pattern

Brace yourselves, horse girls and boys, for I have finally made you a pattern! I present to you Windu the crochet horse!

realistic crochet horse

Now that this amigurumi horse is finished, I almost regret I haven’t made a horse sooner. I think it’s not just horse people who will like this majestic cutie. I cannot deny that I have a preference to make small, furry wild animals. Horses are gorgeous and clever but I’ve never been a horse girl. There is a big heathland in our area that we often visit where sheep and cows and two sweet Shetland ponies graze. When we go there, we always call the ponies and they come running to us and we can pet them. They have a gorgeous wild fur, and it is so amusing to see those two characters between the other grazers. But it was when I met the Exmoor ponies in the wetlands close to my home that I got excited about making a horse pattern. I absolutely fell in love with those gorgeous, fuzzy and wild ponies.

Because Exmoor ponies are quite big, I decide I could make a horse pattern instead of a pony, as they look so similar anyway. And it is basically up to us, isn’t it? I mean, Windu could just a well be a Shetland pony as a horse!

When I started working on this crochet horse pattern, I wasn’t sure what colours to use. I decided to go freestyle and see what would happen. When I had created the perfect shape for the head, I knew I wanted a lighter nose and a white triangle shape on the head. When I designed the legs, my idea was to give this horse white socks. But while testing, I discovered a darker foot sole with white on top looked perfect. The pieces of the puzzle fell together and I found that I had created this beautiful horse. I’m especially proud of the shape of the head and the mane. Because the head has a very realistic horse shape, you can use any colour you like to create your own horse. So go ahead crafters, experiment and create your favourite! Here are some more pictures of Windu, and below them you can find info about the pattern and links to buy it.

This lovely fuzzy horse is made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. He is 6 inch / 15.5 cm when sitting.

The pattern is written in US terms and 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 horse 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 Craftsy and in my shop at Ravelry or order it here.

This pattern has a one dollar release discount till Thursday the 13th of December, so get your copy soon!

Floki, crochet beaver pattern

It’s my pleasure to present a new crochet animal pattern to you! This time I made a rather nibbly little creature. I proudly present to you Floki the beaver amigurumi.

Realistic crochet beaver pattern

A crochet beaver pattern has been on my list of animals for a long time, and now I have finally made one. I’m so glad I did. This beaver turned out to be a little doll but he is also very realistic. Before I start making a crochet animal, I think about how I picture the animal, and with beavers it’s their relaxed way of living that is striking to me. They are kind of plump creatures and whatever they do, they do it with total ease. I really like watching them.

So, for this beaver amigurumi I had in mind to create a ‘relaxed’-looking doll, nicely shaped with big webbed feet. For the body I wanted to try a different method of shaping, by crocheting the leg- and hip-shapes directly into the body with some extra increases. It worked out quite well, but after the body was stuffed, the shapes became a bit less noticeable. I decided a bit of extra shaping was needed after the body was stuffed, so I sewed a few stitches through the completed body to recover the intended dent. That worked out perfectly and resulted in chubby little hips, and a small tummy even emerged above the hips, how lovely! The dent that formed at the back could easily be covered underneath the big tail, which creates the bottom of the back before the actual tail starts.

The idea of how to make the feet looked webbed came pretty easily after the cute little toes I made for the realistic hedgehog. I had in mind to give the beaver the same little toes (nails), this time in a contrasting colour. Now if I embroidered four lines halfway over each foot, starting in the nails, I could create the impression of webbed feet. Luckily for me, my plan worked. The arms I kept small and basic, as beavers have such cute little front paws.

Now I’m being all positive about the process, but I had some difficulties. My hedgehog pattern had become so amazing that it felt like I had to make something just as perfect. And with every piece I made for this beaver, I was thinking ‘is this good enough?’ It was silly, really. I had to let that feeling go, because it is nonsense to think that hedgy is the best thing I ever made and now everything has to be just as perfect. I’m totally being honest here: I actually thought of abandoning the beaver. Fortunately, I’m not the kind of person to give up on something, and I had my mind set on finishing this beaver, so after a while that feeling disappeared and I started to really love the little creature I was making. I had so much fun I even made him a little stick. Here are some more pictures of little Floki, and below them you can find all the info you need to get the pattern.

This realistic crochet beaver is made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. He is 5.5 inch / 14 cm high when made with this yarn. The pattern includes the instructions for the little stick. 🌿

The pattern is written in US terms and 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 beaver 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 Craftsy and in my shop at Ravelry or order it here.

This pattern has a one dollar release discount till Friday the 9th of November so get your copy in time!

Realistic crochet hedgehog pattern

Wow, he’s finally finished, I’m so excited to share my realistic amigurumi hedgehog, just look at him!

amigurumi hedgehog pattern

My editor commented in the pattern ‘it almost hurts to see the needle!’. I think that is the best compliment I have ever gotten. And I am so excited to share this pattern because I’m absolutely fond of the result. This little hedgehog looks so real I even surprised myself. Sometimes you have an idea, and you’re not sure it will work out, but this did – well, in the end it did!

I love creating playful doll-looking crochet animal patterns but it’s also challenging to create a realistic animal every now and then. When this Summer a gorgeous little hedgehog visited our garden every evening, I knew I had to design a realistic crochet version.

Hedgehogs do not have the most complex body shape, they basically are an oval-shape on paws. But they do have those prickly spines that makes them a huge challenge to create from yarn. But there I had this little advantage, I have a hedgehog plush with double coloured hair that looks very realistic. That gave me the idea to use two colours of lace yarn held together as one strand, to get a similar look. I also knew I had to use ‘cut loop stitches’ to get the most perfect result. And that is when the story began.

I started by making a nice looking hedgehog head, based on Flims’s head. My idea was to crochet the head and body in one piece and then to add the spines like a tortoise shell. When you crochet the loop stitch, the loops will form on the inside of your work, and turning around a two-coloured head was not an option. The spined-shell had to be attached later.

But the idea of a shell didn’t work out. My shell stayed flat and I could not get it tortoiseshell shaped….shoot. I had to come up with something different.

After some consideration I decided to make the head and body as separate pieces, so I could crochet the body the wrong side up. That was easier said than done. Designing a two-coloured body in loop stitches the wrong side up means you have practically no idea about the result when you turn it around and have cut the loops. Let’s just say you crafters are very blessed to have a pattern to follow. When I had finally managed to get a good proportioned body, I cut the spines too short and had to make another one. It was a good opportunity to test my own instructions. I had already seen how the hedgehog was going to look and that made me very enthusiastic. When the new body was finished, all I had to do was to design some cute footsies with little toes, and the hedgehog was finished.

And I am so proud and happy with the result. Here are some more pictures of this cuddly prickly crochet hedgehog, and below them you can find all the info you need.

Info about & links to buy the pattern

This realistic crochet hedgehog is made with Istex Lett Lopi and Einband Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. He is 6.5 inch / 16.5 cm long from nose to bottom when made with this yarn. This isn’t a very difficult animal to crochet, even the loop stitch is quite easy when you get the hang of it, but cutting and modelling the spines does require your own skill together with the instructions in the pattern.

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 hedgehog 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 Craftsy and in my shop at Ravelry or order it here.

This pattern has a one dollar release discount till Monday the 8th of October!

Toadsies, free crochet toadstool patterns

Hi there crafty folks, is it Autunm yet? I have another colourful treat for you! These are the Toadsies, two lovely free toadstool patterns.

toadstool amigurumi

During one of those heat waves in this crazy hot Summer, I decided to distract myself by making Autumnal items, as a reminder good times are coming. Occasionally my hands got so sweaty even this lovely distraction wasn’t working all that well, but nonetheless I enjoyed my endeavours and they resulted in some very cool toadstools. And what could be more rewarding than to share the lovely toadsies for free with you lot, my biggest supporters? Scroll all the way down to find the marvelous pattern, and if you prefer having an even more fabulous looking PDF of this pattern, make me a small donation and I’ll email you the pattern.

But first a bit more about how I came up with these. As you can see, I made almost-true-size fly agarics. A young one, and a more fully grown version. We often come across these fungus when walking through our local nature, and I always love the moment I can take the first pictures of them with my phone. You know, from below to get that immense statue of a mushroom effect. In these cool pictures, you can get a good view of the spores and so I had to create them in my toadsies. Also very important to me was to create different sizes of little spots, to get a realistic appearance.

Making these was fun, I figured out pretty soon I could create the spores with treble crochet stitches, and the spots look totally “spot on” and even help to keep the toadsies in shape. And maybe the best thing about these I saved for last, you can make these crochet toadstools in one go. So go for it, I say!

Toadsies, crochet toadstool patterns

This pattern is written in standard American crochet terms. It’s useful to read it before you start. If you use the recommended yarn, your toadstools will be 9 cm / 3.5 inch high (wide version) and 7 cm / 2.8 inch high (small round version).

For these toadstools you’ll need worsted weight yarn and an E US/3.5 mm crochet hook. You’ll need three colours of (Lètt Lopi) yarn: red (1409), sheep white (0051) and barley (1419). A small amount of each colour will do. You will also need fibrefill to stuff the toadstools.

Abbreviations: ch = chain, sc = single crochet, st = stitch, sl st = slip stitch, hdc = half double crochet stitch, BLO = work in back (inside) loops only, s2tog = invisible decrease

The toadstools are worked in the round/ spirals. You can use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of a round. Move it up each time you start a new round. About changing colour: always change colour in the last loop of a stitch, so the loop on the hook you end with is the new colour. That means the next stitch is in the new colour, not the one you changed in.

Instructions

These toadstools are made in one piece. You start with the red colour to create the top. The first round of the white inside of the toadstool you will work in the back loops (BLO) only to create a nice folding line. In this round you decrease the number of stitches by half to create a flat inside; the dc’s & trebles will create the spores. After these rounds you will make a new folding line by working in BLO again, and then you work your way down to create the stems.

Round toadstool

Start in red, change colour to white and straw when indicated. 

1. magic ring of 6 = 6

2. 2 sc in each around = 12

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

4. (sc in next 4, 2 sc in next) x 3 = 18

5. (sc in next 5, 2 sc in next) x 3 = 21

6-8. sc in each around = 21

9. (sc in next 6, 2 sc in next) x 2, sc in next 6, sc in next, sl st in white in BLO in same = 24, cut red and continue in white.

You have made that white sl st in the back loop to create the neatest colour change possible. Count the sl st as a st. I experimented and this little trick creates an almost straight red edge with as small a bump as possible.

Stuff the first part of the toadstool. Stuff flexibly, leaving a little hole in the middle. Don’t just put the stuffing in but push it against the sides and mould the outside. The hole that is left in the middle you can use to shape the toadstool.

Special stitch instruction for dc dec, this is worked in BLO: yarn over (yo) and insert your hook into next st, (yo) and draw the yarn through the st, insert the hook into next st, yo and draw the yarn through the st, yo and draw the yarn through 3 loops on the hook, yo and draw the yarn through the remaining 2  loops on hook.

10. in BLO:  ch 2, dc dec x 12 = 12 (the ch 2 you only do in this round)

11. in 3rd ch from hook in BLO: sc in each around = 12

12. in BLO: sc in each around = 12

13-14.  sc in each around = 12

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

16.   in BLO: (sc in next 3, s2tog) = 12 

Now you can stuff the rest of the toadstool. It is important to stuff it flexibly and to shape the cap correctly by pushing the spores (dc stitches) inwards with both thumbs as you can see in the image below. When you stuff the stem, keep that shape in mind.

17.   s2tog x 6 = 6, sl st and leave a very long yarn end for sewing and embroidering the little white dots.

Sew the hole closed by putting the needle from the inside out through all the outside loops of the 6 st, clockwise. If you do it correctly, you can now pull the end and it will close the gap. Weave in the end so you’ll have a nice flat bottom. Don’t cut the remaining the yarn end but leave it long for now. After you’ve created the straw-coloured skirt around the stem, you will use the white yarn end to shape the toadstool and create the white dots. 

The little skirt in straw

Find the first front loop of round 11 (the front loops closest to the stem) and attach your yarn to it with a sl st; sc in same, ch 1 & dc in next, sc in next, ch 1 & dc in next, dc in next, sc in next, ch 1 & dc in next, sc in next 2, ch 1 & dc in next, dc in next, sc in next, sl st in 1st st and leave a long yarn end to add some straw coloured spots to the cap.

Finishing

To finish this lovely toadstool, use the white yarn end to secure the bottom of the cap that was pushed inwards while at the same time embroidering the spots:  

Step 1. First sew a stitch into the bottom of the cap between the front loop of rounds 10 and 11 and let the yarn enter above it somewhere in the red cap. Pull the yarn as tight as necessary and sew a stitch into the cap. Now make the dot as big as you like. 

Step 2. When the dot is the size you like, sew the yarn back to the white bottom of the cap without tension on the strand and take one stitch to secure the yarn. 

Repeat steps1 & 2 all the way around so the bottom of the caps stays shaped a bit inwards and there are plenty of white dots. If you like you can also add a few straw-coloured dots, that’s up to you.

Wide toadstool

Start in red, change colour to white and straw when indicated. 

1. magic ring of 6 = 6

2. 2 sc in each around = 12

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

4. (sc in next 4, 2 sc in next) x 3 = 18

5.   sc in each around = 18

6. (sc in next 2, 2 sc in next) x 6 = 24

7.   (sc in next 3, 2 sc in next) x 6 = 30

8. (sc in next 4, 2 sc in next) x 6 = 36

9. (sc in next 5, 2 sc in next) x 5, sc in next 5, sc in next, sl st in  white in BLO in same = 42, cut red and continue in white,  like you did for the round toadstool.

Special stitch instruction for treble dec, worked in BLO: yarn over (yo) 2 times and insert your hook into next st, (yo) and draw the yarn through the st, insert the hook into next st, yo and draw the yarn through the st, yo and draw the yarn through 3 loops on the hook, yo and draw the yarn through the remaining 3 loops on the hook.

For the hdc tog: yarn over (yo) and insert your hook into next st, (yo) and draw the yarn through the st, insert hook into next st, yo and draw the yarn through the st, yo and draw the yarn through the 4 loops on hook.

10.   in BLO:  ch 3, treble dec x 21 = 21 (the ch 3 you only do in this round)

11.   in 4th ch from hook: (hdc in next 5, hdc tog) x 3 = 18

 

Stuff the first part of the toadstool like you stuffed the round version.

12.     (sc in next, s2tog) x 6 = 12

13.   in BLO: sc in each around = 12

14-15. sc in each around = 12 

16.   in BLO: sc in each around = 12

17-20. sc in each around = 12

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

22.   sc in each around = 15

23.   in BLO: (sc in next 3, s2tog) x 3 = 12

Now you can stuff the rest of the toadstool, like you did for the round version. For this toadstool it’s also important to push the spores inwards as much as possible.

24.   s2tog x 6 = 6, sl st and weave in yarn end.

The little skirt in white and straw

Hold your toadstool upside down and attach the yarn as in the round version to the last front loop of round 11. (It’s the last because you are holding the toadstool upside down.) 

1. sc in each front loop around, change colour to straw in last st.

2. sc in next, dc in next, 2 dc in next, sc in next 2, ch 1 & dc in next, dc in next, hdc in next, sc in next 2, hdc in next, sc in next, sl st in 1st and weave in yarn ends.

Finishing

Finish this toadstool like the small round one, but attach a new, long strand of white yarn close to the stem and use that to shape the toadstool and add the dots. In the image below you can see how I arranged my toadstool’s little dots.

You can make as many of these as you like; try making one in orange or browns. Enjoy Autumn!

Copyright © 2018 by Sonja van der Wijk. Please do not reproduce this pattern in any way.