Tag Archives: illustration

Merry Christmas!

The Christmas holiday has started and I’m closing the previous period with a Son’s Popkes adventure.

Son's Popkes illustration, christmas illustration

A Son’s Popkes adventure by Sonja van der Wijk. Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 20 cm.

Finse, Falun and Rupert went into a dark forest to find themselves the perfect Christmas tree. It took them all day and by nightfall they finally found it and went back home.

I wish you all a great and fun time and a very cosy Christmas! On New Years day I’m back with an image post about dolls made by all of you. See you then!


For winter

Reindeer sketchAnother season based pattern is on it’s way. This time winter is the theme, obviously. I won’t stop enjoying autumn but I have to think ahead for my patterns. Here’s the sketch, just a basic one this time. I think it’s clear which animal this is.

A while back I bought lot’s of natural colours of my beloved Lopi yarn, so I would have suitable colours for many animals. All kinds of browns, grays, blacks and light colours. For this reindeer I am going to use a gray-ish beige, murky brown and chocolate brown. Only looking at those colours makes me longing for the end result. I love my Lopi.

I have to figure out if my reindeer will have a dark muzzle or a light one, and if the ears must have dark tips, but I see what happens. For the sketch I’ve chosen a light muzzle, gray body and dark paws. A little green red striped scarf might look very good on this doll, a little touch of Christmas….

Lett-Lopi yarn

For all of you who like to read, last friday my work was featured at the blog Illuminate crochet. It’s a little interview with me, about my favourite materials, stuff like that. I thought it was kind of cool she asked me.


A new project

This time I’m going to make a hedgehog. I’ve thought much about how to give him a prickly appearance and still I’m not sure what I’m going to do.

There are two options I consider. The first is simple, brushing. If I’ll get the features right and you see clearly it’s a hedgehog, brushing is a good option and easy to do for everyone who’s going to make him. My second option is using a loop stitch and a mixed colour yarn for the spikes. I’ve never done a loop stitch and I have no idea what it will look like. Also, it’s a small risk to use this for a pattern, because it can hold people back from trying to make the hedgehog, because he might look too difficult. I absolutely think the end result is most important, but I have to keep in mind I design my animals so other people can make them too.

Well, I’ll try out both things, and first I must find a suitable mixed yarn. If that’s too hard to find, option two is ‘out’ already.

Enough text! Here’s the sketch. I just made one and loved him right away.

hedgehog sketch

Sometimes I make ten sketches for a doll and still I’m not satisfied, this one was enough, how that works, I honestly don’t know.


The chubby badger sketch

This week I made a bunch of sketches and showed them to my boyfriend. He said ‘that one’, I agreed. This is the crochet badger I have in mind. A sweet and cute looking, chubby little badger.

BadgersketchI’ve been thinking much about how to do the colour changes for this badgers head. Should I crochet in two colours right away, so the dark stripes are worked into the design, or should I add the dark stripes later as patches. It’s an issue. Working in two colours usually would have my preference and sewing on patches I sometimes consider as ‘the easy way’ to get a two coloured animal. But, I also think worked in colour changes aren’t an end in itself, and if it limits the design, sewed on patches aren’t such a bad choice.

To me the character and expression of the animal is the most important goal. It’s a matter of experimenting to get it right. For example, Floro the red squirrel needed to have a beige nose. In order to try it out, I added a beige patch to a finished head, just to see how the two colours looked together. But by doing that I noticed the added patch gave the squirrel just the right little muzzle. A worked in beige colour nose didn’t add that bit of character, so I choose to use a patch. As for the eyes it’s the same thing. To me a worked in eyepatch isn’t round enough so I prefer to use a patch. Sizing it is much easier too.

For the badger I’ll try to work in the colours and I already decided to work in rows for that, because if I crochet in a spiral, the vertical stripes will be impossible to get. If the worked in stripes won’t look good, I’ll use patches. Secretly I think for a badger, sewed on patches will give the best result for what I want, but let’s wait and see.

Let’s hope the crochet badger will be much like this sketch, then I love him already!


I’m all badger’y

Yes, I can honestly say badgers are my ultimate favorite animals. For me it’s hard to choose one, because I’m fond of so many animals like squirrels, hedgehogs, ducks, foxes, sparrows, starlings, many rodents…..I just love animals.

But badgers are ultimate beauties. Their shape and colour, their playful character and little voices. There’s just so much to love about them. Unfortunately there is one downside about these fluff balls, they’re one of the toughest animals to crochet, all thanks to their beautiful striped head. But let’s forget about that for now, I’ll explain all about that and my plans on how to get it right in my next post. Yep, my next project will be a crochet badger pattern. I was going to make an adventurer badger first, but I just can’t wait to make a ‘normal’ badger doll.

Let’s now enjoy badger cuteness with a few pic’s I found online.



Badger from The Burrowers

These are both baby badgers. The second picture is from one of the badgers from the BBC program, The Burrowers.

For my smartphone I needed a new fabric case, so I made one with a badger. And….I recently discovered ‘Badger Balm’, how cool is that! It’s an American brand so American badgers, but they’re lovely too. The balms are completely organic and mostly of beeswax and olive oil. I adore the tins and the balms smell delicious.


And here’s something nice to close this post with, a badger painting I made years ago. Badger Castle.

badger illustration

Enjoy and I promise, this week I’ll post a first sketch of my crochet badger and I’ll explain all about the colour changes for this pattern and my vision about it.


The sloppy sketch

Sloppy-sketchF0r a while now I’m working on the crochet red squirrel pattern, in my head and on paper that is, and I decided to post this sloppy sketch. I can’t get a clear representation in my head of how I want the squirrel to look. I have ideas, but am not sure it will work out in crochet. I tried to make the perfect example drawing but I’m just not able to because of these little doubts.

My boyfriend commented on the drawings, about them being too serious and said: ‘draw the kind of squirrel you see, without the hips and realistic features’. So, I drew this sloppy sketch in a few seconds and it’s the best image of the idea in my head, funny how it works….

I’m just going to start crocheting the squirrel now, based on my ideas. My squirrel has to become a lively fellow, not the sitting kind you see all around. That is the typical squirrel position, but to me squirrels are lively, speedy, wild little beasties. I know my popkes don’t look particularly wild and speedy, but they are lively. The squirrel will have that doll-ish feature, but has to be an original addition. I’m always careful to not make my popkes to similar, they have to represent the animal they are and be original at the same time. The doll shape however has my preference for that, because it makes the animals flexible.

Let’s see what happens!


Some changes

When I started Son’s Popkes, I hadn’t designed that much crochet patterns yet, but I wanted a cheerful header with ‘popkes’ in it. I made some illustrations of dolls I had made and one of a doll I was sure I was going to make. The cat that was. But I’ve never made such a cat and don’t feel like making that one either….

I think it’s better to only have illustrations in my header of dolls I’ve actually made, and now I had enough to do so. Especially Finse needed to be in it. Because the cat is out of the header now, it was strange to keep him as blog icon, so I choose another appropriate doll for that, and Flam is now my new blog icon.

It does feels a bit strange to remove my happy cat. I associated him with my bog….I’ve always known I was going to do it, but still. I can always change it back….

Here’s a little image to remember him.