Tag Archives: arts and crafts

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.

Free crochet snail pattern

Am I serious? Yes, I thought it would be fun to make a crochet snail, a little friend who can accompany the hedgehog in pictures. So why not make a free pattern as well. I know you all yearned for a crochet snail. Who doesn’t want to make a crochet snail?!

Crochet snail pattern

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 snail will be 3 inch / 7 cm long. 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.

Materials

For these snails you’ll need worsted weight yarn and an E US/3.5 mm crochet hook. You need 2 colours of yarn (left-over bits are enough): I’ve used light beige (0086) and acorn (0053) for the light snail and oatmeal (0085) and chocolate (0867) for the darker one. I’ve split a strand of the darkest colour to embroider a mouth. You will also need fibrefill to stuff the snail and a pipe-cleaner to bend the body is optional. Not really my style, but I painted the eyes, using acrylic paint. I couldn’t think of another way the create dark dots. (Needle felting could do the trick, but most people don’t have the tools for that.)

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, dec = normal decrease.

Instructions

Shell

The whole shell (round 2 – 5) is worked in the backloops only, so the unworked frontloops form a visible spiral on the outside of the shell.

1. magic ring of 4 = 4

2. 2 sc in each around = 8

3. (sc in next, 2 sc in next) x 4 = 12

4. sc in each around = 12

5. (sc in next, dec) = 8, sl st in 1st backloop and leave yarn end for sewing.

 

Body

1. magic ring of 4 = 4

2. sc in each around = 4

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

4-9. sc in each around = 6

10. sc in next, s2tog, sc in next, 2 sc in next 2 = 7

11. sc in next, s2tog, sc in next 2, 2 sc in next, sc in next = 7

12. s2tog, sc in next 2, 2 sc in next, sc in next 2 = 7

13. repeat round 12 = 7

14. sc in next, 2 sc in next, sc in next, s2tog x 2 = 6, sl st and leave yarn end for sewing.

You can now insert a pipe cleaner if you like to use one. 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.

Make the eyes by attaching the yarn at the side of the head, between round 2 and 3. Ch 3 st, in 2nd ch from hook sl st and weave in the yarn ends as shown in the image. You can embroider the mouth between round 1 and 2.

Now stuff the shell and attach it to the body. Position the shell as shown in the image and sew between the frontloops of the last round so you don’t change the edge. I’ve sewn back and forth between the side of the snail. 

There, your not-so-slimy slimy new friend is finished! 

A barn owl pattern in progress

Some of you know already I am working on a barn owl pattern. A while ago I posted a picture of the face I designed on Instagram and I’ve been busy working on the body. At the same time I’ve been working on other things and everything isn’t going as speedily as I had hoped for.

So here’s a little progress update. Last week I finished the barn owl’s body, thinking this would be the final version. But I am not completely satisfied just yet. I tried something new to attach the tail and wings seamlessly and it looks very neat, but new things take more time.

In the picture you see prototype 2. I want to use a lighter colour for the wings and back. Also, I don’t like how the spots on the belly are positioned, I tried to make them look random, but they’ve become quite geometrical on the right side (in this picture). And I think the chest needs to be a bit wider, the wings are too close to each other. I’m hoping to publish the barn owl pattern the first or second week of October and it looks like I am going to make that date!

I’ve also been working on a crazy little free pattern, a little creature many of us don’t like to have in high numbers in our gardens, but hedgehogs do. Yes, they will be cute! That pattern will be available here by the end of this week.

And what could it possibly be?

Free crochet bumblebee pattern

Flowers and bee amigurumi

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.

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!

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!