Tag Archives: art

Free crochet bumblebee pattern

I’m ever so excited to present to you this little gift pattern. Just look at these crochet bumblebee species!

bumblebee amigurumi

Last week I had a Spring holiday and suddenly got the idea of making a free crochet bumblebee pattern. The first bumblebee turned out so lovely that I decided to make more kinds of bumblebees. And when they where finished, I wanted to create a classic-looking image with the bees on a white background and their species name written next to them. In short, I had a lot of fun with my sweet little pattern and hope you will too! Bumblebees and insects are so important but their numbers are declining dramatically. Make these bees to show the world we must not forget about them! 🐝

Crochet bumblebees

Before you start

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 bumblebees will be 3 inch / 5 cm long. Because the size of the bee is dependent on the yarn you use and how tight you crochet, it’s useful to experiment with the eye size, despite my recommendations. I would strongly recommend a fuzzy yarn for the bumblebees. The yarn I’ve used is Istex Lètt lopi, a 100% wool. Use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of a round, move it up each time you start a new round. The colour changes are written after the description of the round, so read the whole line before you start. 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. At Son’s Popkes is a tips & tricks category. Here you can find useful info regarding my patterns.

Materials

For these bumblebees you’ll need worsted weight yarn and an E US/3.5 mm crochet hook. You’ll also need some lace weight yarn (Lopi Einband) for the wings: beige heather (0886). You need four colours of worsted weight yarn (left-over bits are enough): sheep or mixed black (0052 or 0005), yellow (1703), orange (1704) and light grey (0054). For the eyes I’ve used 7 mm animal eyes. You will also need fibrefill to stuff the bees.

Accessories

Hook E US / 3.5 mm, scissors, embroidery needle, stitch markers or paper clips.

Abbreviations: ch = chain, sc = single crochet, st = stitch, sl st = slip stitch, hdc = half double crochet stitch, dc = double crochet stitch, s2tog = invisible decrease.

 

White-tailed bumblebee (bombus terrestris)

Body

Bottom of bee

Start in black, change colour when indicated. To get neater colour changes, you aren’t working in a spiral but closing each round with a sl st. At the end of each round, sl st in the first sc of the next round, then ch 1 and sc in that same stitch. This is the 1st stitch of the next round. At the end of each round you will skip over the sl st and ch and crochet a sl st, ch, sc in the following stitch. Don’t cut the yarn  between the colour changes but carry it along.

1. magic ring of 4 = 4

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

Mark the stitches of round 3 in which you’ll make the 2nd and the 6th stitch with a coloured strand. (Insert the strand into the gap of the stitch you normally put your hook in.) When the strand is placed, just do the stitch like you always do. You’ve now marked where you later attach the eyes.

3. (sc in next 2, 2 sc in next) x 2 = 8, change colour to yellow in last st, sl st in 1st

4. ch 1, sc in same, [2 sc in next, (sc in next, 2 sc in next) x 3] in BLO = 12, change colour to black in last, sl st in 1st 

5. ch 1, sc in same, [sc in next 11] in BLO = 12, sl st in 1st

Attach the eyes permanently in the marked spots. It helps turning the piece inside-out when you attach the caps. After I attached the eyes, I inserted a little bit of stuffing between them, as shown in the images below. 

6. ch 1, sc in same, sc in next 11 = 12, change colour to yellow in last st, sl st in 1st 

7. ch 1, sc in same, [sc in next 11] in BLO = 12, change colour to black in last and cut yellow, sl st in 1st 

8. ch 1, sc in same, [sc in next 11] in BLO = 12, change colour to light grey in last and cut black, sl st in 1st 

9. ch 1, sc in same,  [sc in next 11] in BLO = 12, sl in 1st

10. ch 1, sc in same, s2tog, (sc in next, s2tog) x 3 = 8, sl st in 1st

Stuff the bumblebee.

11. ch 1, sc in same, sc in next, s2tog, sc in next 2, s2tog = 6, sl st in 1st

Add a little bit of stuffing if needed and then 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. Make sure your bombus has a nice oval bottom.

 

Red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius)

1-3. Follow the instructions for the white-tailed bee but skip the sl st and ch 1 and don’t change colour to yellow in round 3.

4. In BLO: (sc in next, 2 sc in next) x 4 = 12

5. sc in each around = 12

Attach the eyes in the marked spots.

6-7. sc in each around = 12

8. sc in each around = 12, change colour to orange in last and cut black, sl st in 1st

9. ch 1, sc in same, sc in next 11  = 12, sl st in 1st

10-11. follow the instructions for the white-tailed bumblebee.

 

Tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

1-3. Follow the instructions from the white-tailed bumblebee, change colour to orange instead of yellow.

4. ch 1, sc in same, [2 sc in next, (sc in next, 2 sc in next) x 3] in BLO = 12, sl st in 1st

5. ch 1, sc in same, sc in next 11 = 12, change colour to black in last st and cut orange, sl st in 1st

Attach the eyes in the marked spots.

6. ch 1, sc in same, [sc in next 11] in BLO = 12, sl st in 1st

7. ch 1, sc in same, sc in next 11 = 12, sl st in 1st

8. ch 1, sc in same, sc in next 11 = 12, change colour to light grey in last and cut black, sl st in 1st

9. ch 1, sc in same, [sc in next 11]  = 12, sl st in 1st

10-11. follow the instructions for the white-tailed bumblebee. 

Early bumblebee (Bombus pratorum)

To make this bee, follow the instructions for the white-tailed, but make the bottom in orange instead of light grey. That’s all.

Wings

Make two for each bumblebee, use the thinner yarn with the same hook. If you use Lopi yarn but don’t have the Einband weight, split a lopi strand in half. Make the starting chain as long as the end, so you can use both ends together to attach the wings.

1. ch of 6, in 3rd ch from hook dc, dc in same, hdc in next, sc in next, sl st in next and leave yarn ends for sewing.

Use both yarn ends to sew the wings to the body. Sew them on top of the third round behind the head, as shown in the images. The head ends at the first round you do in BLO.

Wow, how cute is this? Have fun with your bumblebee collection. You now have the ability to make even more kinds! 

Copyright © 2019 by Sonja van der Wijk.

Sno & Snoosle, crochet sea otter pattern

Maybe this is the most special and adorable pattern I’ve ever made. I proudly present to you a mother and her pup, Sno & Snoosle the crochet sea otters pattern.

crochet sea otter

Look at them together! They almost look as heartwarming together as real sea otters. Some animals melt my heart when I look at them. I have to admit, I’m easily melted by animal beauty. Seeing mice, blackbirds or foxes doesn’t really matter, to me they all are gorgeous. But when I was looking online at pictures of sea otters, I even got a bit emotional by some of them. The love a sea otter has for its pup is so overwhelming. The way she holds her baby, tends and dries it and the way the baby sleeps on top of her, feeling completely safe, it’s absolutely heartwarming and shows the intelligence and consciousness of them. Of course the utter cuteness of the sea otter and especially the pup helps. Baby sea otters look like living plushies. Their thick and warm coat makes them look incredibly cute and that was a huge challenge for me in the design process. How could I ever match the cuteness of a real baby sea otter?

Well, I did the best I could, my first prototype pup looked more like a sloth than a sea otter, but at least I knew how not to make it. Actually, I started with the head of the adult. Most adult sea otters have a white face that looks flat, but if you take a better look, you notice they do have quite a snouty face. So, I had to find a way to make the face look flat, but with a muzzle. After several attempts I found the solution. The body of course was not easy to design either, because I wanted the otter to look upwards a bit. That meant I had to make a curved neck. Also, I wasn’t sure about how to attach the legs and tail to the body to make it look natural. When I got stuck on the adult, I started on the pup, a teeny tiny thing it is! In order to achieve making a tiny little otter, I decided to crochet the body as one piece, so you connect the tail and legs and from that point you work your way upwards. That of course was also the solution to create a realistic looking body for the adult otter. How splendid that worked out.

Because I like this text to be as short as possible, I’m not going to tell more about the process. But I do want to add that I am ever so delighted with the result. I absolutely love my sea otter amigurumis. Here are some more pictures and below them you can find info about and links to buy the pattern. And yes, the baby is part of this crochet sea otter pattern!

Info about & links to buy the pattern

Sno and Snoosle are made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. If you use the recommended yarn, your adult otter will be 8 inch / 20 cm and the baby 5.5 inch / 12 cm long.

The pattern is written in US terms and contains a clear and colour-coded description of how to crochet and assemble the animals, 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 adorable sea otter duo. 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 Friday the 22nd of Februari.

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!

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.

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!

I wish you a crafty Christmas!

winter snow forest painting

It was a last minute activity to make a Son’s Popkes artwork Christmas card. I used to make one every year but last year I just did not feel like it. Crocheting gives me so much more pleasure and taking off a whole week from crocheting to paint a Christmas illustration was simply not going to happen. This year I did feel like making a Christmas illustration and I had a lovely idea, but still working on  something for a week…

I postponed and postponed till I had a few days before ‘sending time’. I decided to do a water colour illustration instead of acrylic paint on canvas. I had exactly two days to draw, colour, edit, print and write the cards. It was a bit hectic indeed. But also fun and exciting, one change only, could I do it?

I wish you all a merry Christmas dear crafty folks. And a very happy new year full of new crocheting, knitting and crafting endeavours!

Cheers 🦊🐢🦉 🐑🎉

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