Author Archives for Sonja

Free crochet pumpkin pattern

My favourite time of the year has started and I wanted to share my joy by giving you something fitting & fun to make. What about a free pattern for these two crochet pumpkin cuties?

realistic crochet pumpkins

Fall has always been my favourite time of the year. The light is getting softer and warmer, the temperatures are dropping and the colours are changing from shiny brights to warm darks. Especially the end of summer is dear to me, as it still is nice and warm to enjoy everything nature gives. My favourite lantern plant’s cheerful little ‘lanterns’ are shining ever so bright and it is time to harvest the pumpkins. Here I have to correct myself, I can’t actually harvest any pumpkins. My precious city garden is too shadowy and small to grow veggies. That is why I decided to ‘grow’ my own pumpkins out of wool instead of seeds 🎃

The abundance of lovely free pumpkin patterns made it quite difficult to come up with something original. But I had my mind set on how the pumpkins should look. They had to be realistic, which meant the shape should have vertical lines instead of horizontal like when you crochet in the round. They also needed to have a smooth surface, so that when you create the characteristic pumpkin bumps, there aren’t any bumps in the way. I came up with these two pumpkins and love them. They have an almost knitted feel and if you use the recommended yarn, they are about the same size as those little pumpkins used for decoration. In the pattern, which you can find below these images, you can find all the info you need.

 

And here it is, the pumpkin duo pattern, enjoy it! If you prefer having a neat PDF file of this pattern, you can donate me a little amount of your own choice and I will email you the pattern.

Crochet pumpkin duo pattern

This pattern is written in standard American crochet terms. If you use the recommended yarn, your wide pumpkin will be 9 cm wide by 6.5 cm high without the stem (2.5 by 3.5 inch) and the high pumpkin 8 cm wide by 9 cm high (3 by 3.5 inch).

For these pumpkins you’ll need worsted weight yarn and an E US/3.5 mm crochet hook. The yarn I’ve used is Istex Lètt lopi, a 100% wool, you need two colours; orange (1704) and a small amount of green (1406). You can easily make 2 pumpkins with one skein of orange Lopi yarn. You will also need strong orange embroidery thread to close and shape the pumpkins and fibrefill to stuff the pumpkins. Pipe cleaners for the stems are optional.

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 pumpkins are worked flat in rows. After each row you do a chain 1 and then turn. The first stitch of each next row you do in the second chain from the hook. The stems and bottoms 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.

 

Instructions

wide crochet pumpkin

Wide pumpkin In orange and worked flat in rows. Leave a long yarn end at the beginning of your chain.

1.   ch 21, in 2nd ch from hook sc, sc in next 4, hdc in next 10, sc in next 5 = 20

2.   ch 1 & turn. In 2nd ch from hook sc, sc in next 4, hdc in next 10, sc in next 5 = 20

3-33.   repeat row 2

34.   repeat row 2 but sl st in last and leave a long yarn end.

 

Bottom patch In green and worked in the round. Make two if you make both pumpkins.

1.   magic ring of 6 = 6

2.   (sc in next, 2 sc in next) x 3 = 9, sl st and leave yarn end for sewing.

 

Stem In green and worked in the round. Make two if you make both pumpkins. 

1.   magic ring of 6 = 6

2.   in BLO, sc in each around = 6

3.   s2tog, sc in next 4 = 5

4-9.   sc in each around = 5

10.   2 sc in next, sc in next 4 = 6

11.   sc in each around = 6

12.   (sc in next, 2 sc in next) x 3 = 9

13.   (sc in next 2, 2 sc in next) x 3 = 12

14.   (sc in next 3, 2 sc in next) x 3 = 15, sl st and leave yarn end for sewing.

Skip the next part and continue with finishing if you are only making the wide pumpkin.

 


High pumpkin 
In orange. Work flat in rows. Leave a long yarn end at the beginning of your chain. 

1.   ch 25, in 2nd ch from hook sc, sc in next 4, hdc in next 14, sc in next 5 = 24

2.   ch 1 & turn. In 2nd ch from hook sc, sc in next 4, hdc in next 14, sc in next 5 = 24

3-31.   repeat row 2

32.   repeat row 2 but sl st and leave a long yarn end.

 

Finishing the pumpkins

Below this section you can find step by step images of the process. Read this whole section before you start sewing, to get a complete idea of how it works.

Slip stitch together the side edges of the pumpkins. Fold the piece in half, wrong side out if you have a favourite side. Insert your hook through the 1st loop on the edge with the starting chain and through both loops of the stitches on the edge you ended with, yarn over and finish the stitch as a sl st (photos 1 and 2). Work your way like this till you reach the end. Turn the piece right side out so that the slip stitched seam is on the inside.

Use a strong embroidery thread to close the bottom; you don’t want it to snap when you pull it tight (I used it doubled to be sure). Leave a long end at the beginning for a knot and sew it clockwise through the highest stitches on the outside of the edge (photo 3). The stitches aren’t all easy to see, but if you sew through 3 out of 4 the little trick will work. When you’ve worked your way around, tie a knot with the beginning of the strand and pull it as tight as you can, leaving the smallest gap possible (photo 4). Secure your knot and work the thread ends to the inside.

Stuff your pumpkin. When you stuff it, push the stuffing outwards to prevent the pumpkin from getting stretched in length, leaving a hole in the middle that you can fill last. If you have stuffed it correctly, your stuffing sits close to the edge but doesn’t bulge out when you knead your pumpkin. Now your pumpkin is ready to be closed. Do it the same way you closed the bottom (photo 5). 

When the pumpkin is closed, it needs a bit of extra shaping. Attach a very long strand of the strong embroidery thread to the edge of the hole at the bottom. Leave a long end to tie knots with and make sure the rest of the strand is long enough so it can encircle the pumpkin a few times. Encircle the pumpkin with the strand once and mark the path (photo 6). Now start at the beginning and sew under and then over the stitches of the path you chose (photo 7). When you are at the bottom again, pull the yarn as tight as you think looks good and make a knot with the beginning. Now repeat this step a few more times to create the right pumpkin shape. When you are satisfied, sew the last end of your strand a few times from the bottom to the top to create a nice dent in the middle (photo 8).

To finish your lovely pumpkins, attach the bottoms and the stems. The bottoms are sewn between the stitches of the edge of the bottoms, so the shape stays the same (photo 8). When you attach the stems, insert a pipe cleaner first if you want the stems to be bendable and insert the end into the pumpkin. When you sew the stem on, sew over the edge and into the pumpkin to create an invisible seam (photo 9).  

 

Enjoy nature’s change of seasons!

 

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

Pacu, crochet alpaca pattern

And here he is, the fuzziest and softest crochet animal you can imagine, this is Pacu the crochet alpaca amigurumi.

crochet alpaca pattern

Ever since I started knitting, I’ve been in love with alpaca yarn. This alpaca crochet pattern is an ode to this soft and utterly fluffy animal. And the perfect yarn to create that gorgeous fur is alpaca yarn of course. I prefer alpaca yarn to knit with, because it feels so delightfully soft on my skin to wear, but for my crochet patterns I’ve always worked with a more rough Icelandic wool. For this alpaca I’ve combined my two favourite yarns to create a perfect doll. Each part of Pacu is made in two steps. First a base is made with the Lett Lopi wool, partly worked in the back loops only, and to the unworked front loops the drops alpaca yarn is attached. Like this you can create a perfect looking fluffy fleece.

For this crochet alpaca, I found it very important to create a dense outer layer that made it look like there was an animal hidden somewhere beneath all the fur. Honestly, alpacas are very sweet but a bit silly looking animals, especially after they have had a shave. There isn’t much of them left when the hair comes off.  I shaped the fur very precisely around the snout and eyes to create that look and it gives Pacu that characteristic sweet expression. His long neck and small hooves make him a lovely doll shaped alpaca. Isn’t he the softest looking doll I ever made a pattern for?

Info about & links to buy the pattern

Pacu is made with a combination of Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool and Garnstudio Drops alpaca bouclé, a fuzzy loopy yarn. For those of you who can’t find a very fuzzy alpaca yarn I added alternative instructions to the pattern to create the furry look with a less fuzzy yarn. Pacu is 6.5 inch/ 16,5 cm when sitting. The pattern is written in standard American crochet 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 super soft alpaca amigurumi. All the additional information you need to know about this pattern you can find in the shop listings, like the yarn you need etc. 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 Wednesday the 1st of August!

Note: how very silly, it is the warmest weather one can image and I am publishing a fluffy, woolly alpaca, how appropriate!

A super fun collaboration

They are available now, the first ever original Son’s Popkes crochet mini kits, composed by Lucy McKelvey from Lucylocketland. Lucy and I are having a super fun collaboration. She has a wonderful craft shop in Sunderland in the United Kingdom with an online shop and she has composed five fabulous Son’s Popkes kits already and there are four more to come. (The text continues below the images.)

lucylocketland

The animals you can make with the kits will look a bit smaller and less fuzzy than my original animals, because Lucy has picked different yarns for them, but they look very cute nonetheless. There are currently only 2 kits available per animal in either Scheepjes Catona or Adriafil Regina 100% Merino but more will follow. The kits contain everything you need; yarn, pure wool stuffing, animal safety eyes and even the right size crochet hook. And how can I forget, a printed copy of the pattern!

‘So far you can choose between Jonesy the flying ace duckling, Moser the mining mole, Flam the stylish fox, Odi the adorable owl, Plubby the perfect puffin or Balloo the cute little lamb’, I’m quoting Lucy here. Kits for Finse the crazy rabbit, Floro the red squirrel, Gus the sweet piglet and Friebel the sneaky house mouse will follow.

I’m ever so proud and excited, what a lovely little kits they are. Go and check them out!

Matisse, crochet giraffe pattern

Very proud and happy I present to you my jolly new pattern, Matisse the giraffe.

giraffe amigurumi pattern

When I started designing this crochet giraffe amigurumi I loved the challenge and was excited by the idea of creating a realistic and cute giraffe doll. And I have to admit, I even surprised myself with the result. I think my giraffe looks absolutely fabulous! When the head was pinned to the first prototype body, I was stunned with how it looked, somehow I managed to get the spots in excactly the right place to get a perfect giraffe skin, it was amazing. A a few little adjustments would make everthing look ‘spot on’, but the main shape was just right.

As for all my crochet animal patterns, my giraffe had to have a realistic appearance. The spots are very important to achieve that. Real giraffes have many spots, the further down their body the bigger and there is some sort of pattern in them, like water puddles on the beach when it is low tide. I knew that with my limited number of spots, most important was to resemble that look.

Another special thing about this giraffe are his long ‘arms’. Giraffes are special looking creatures with their long necks and diagonal backs and because I wanted to make a doll shaped giraffe, it is a bit hard to reproduce that look. I think the longer arms do suggest that shape and also make this doll able to sit in different positions. I just love it when Matisse sits forward with his front paws between his legs and like that he even gets that unique giraffe shape. I hope you crafters are just as surprised and happy with this doll as I am!

Info about & links to buy the pattern

Matisse is made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. He is 6.5 inch/ 16,5 cm when sitting. The pattern is written in standard American crochet 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 realistic and playful crochet giraffe amigurumi. All the additional information you need to know about this pattern you can find in the shop listings, like the yarn you need etc. 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 Tuesday the 3rd of July!

Something new and excitingly different

After finishing my otter pattern, I jumped right into my next project. All those free days are fun but they can make one, hence me, a bit, well very lazy.

Because I knew many crafters are pining for a Son’s Popkes giraffe pattern, I started designing one right away. However, designing the giraffe’s head made me wonder about that longing for this pattern you all seem to have. Why on earth would you want a pattern with so many colour changes? Even I got completely tangeld up in all the strands and had to unravel (myself) many times.

Okay I’m just joking around. It isn’t that bad. As long as you keep your three skeins of yarn untangled, the head works up just fine.

The thing that was difficult for me to decide was how to divide the colours. I want my giraffe to look realistic but also basic. Two colours made him look too simple, so I chose three colours.

But where to use which one? The brown was easy, that colour is for the spots.

I had a hard time deciding where to use the camel and beige.

When my final design for the shape of the head was finished, I made two different coloured versions to see what looked best.

I made a version with a darker, camel snout with a beige/ brown spotted skin and a version with a light, beige snout with a camel/ brown spotted skin.

Because it seemed most realistic and looked the best in my opinion, I decided to go for the camel snout option. I probably am not going to change my mind, but am curious what you think looks better.

I am looking forward to hearing from you. Cheers!

Bubbly, crochet otter pattern

And here he is, my whimsical looking crochet otter amigurumi called Bubbly.

realistic crochet otter pattern

It felt like I have been working on this pattern for ages. That’s probably because of all the free days we are having this time of year. But that doesn’t spoil the fun of publishing something new, on the contrary, I was looking so much forward to writing this post.

What do you think? Did I manage to capture the thing that make otters the popular and much loved animals as they are? I think I did, I’m so happy with this otter. Bubbly looks like an enthusiastic, funny young otter, who’s up to many tricks. Designing crochet animals and creating a doll that resembles the real animal in a basic way is a challenging thing, and for some animals it is harder than for others.

Otters are the kind of animal that need a bit of extra attention to give the doll the spirit real otters have. For example, my previous otter pattern looked like an otter, there’s no question about that and it is a lovely looking doll, but it missed that extra bit of character. This otter contains the sense of humor I like to add to my designs, his quizzical expression is priceless! I love Bubbly and hope you will love this otter amigurumi too.

Here are some more pictures of this funny looking crochet otter and below them you can find info about and links to buy the pattern.

Info about & links to buy the pattern

Bubbly is made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. He is 6.2 inch/ 15,5 cm tall when made with this yarn. The pattern is written in standard American crochet 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 funny looking crochet otter amigurumi. All the additional information you need to know about this pattern you can find in the shop listings, like the yarn you need etc. 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 Tuesday the 29th of May!

In my garden

Hi there lovely crafters! I’m writing this from my garden office. The weather is so very lovely finally, how can I sit inside while it is nice and warm outside?

Yes, I am finally working on my new otter pattern. After all the updates, I was really looking forward to a new project but forgot my hard working boyfriend had a week off. Of course I wanted to do fun things together and go out into nature. The otter had to wait a bit. Despite all our outdoor activities, I did finish a lovely head and am now working on the rest of the otter and the pattern.

Most of you know I already made an otter pattern once, but I decided to make a completely new version, a much more mischievious looking one. This otter will have a younger and more whimsical appearance. Basil is a lovey otter, but he misses a bit of the characteristic funny otter looks.

There are two other patterns I almost can’t wait to start on. I already bought yarn for a giraffe pattern and after that I want to make an alpaca pattern, yes! I saw alpacas in a field and they are such silly looking creatures, I love them and all their fuzziness. I think I’m going to use an alpaca yarn to make one, how exciting!

See you soon with new and fun patterns!