Tag Archives: sonja van der wijk

Woolfie, realistic crochet wolf pattern

Never have I worked on a pattern for so long, and now I can finally show you Woolfie, my refreshing new crochet wolf pattern!

Realistic crochet wolf

Refreshing? Well, yes, I learned a few new techniques to make this wolf amigurumi. More about that later.

For quite a while I have wanted to make a fox that can sit but that has flexible limbs. Somehow it didn’t work out no matter what I tried, so at some point I gave up. But then came the news that a wolf had been seen in my country, and then another one and even more. Wolves have been extinct for a long time in my country, but these sightings meant that wolves were interested in living here. And then a female wolf settled in a rural part of the Netherlands and successfully raised three pups. Wolves have now officially returned! I think this is fabulous, and I hope it will work out. Of course I had to make a new wolf pattern now. I stepped back into the ‘drawing room’ and took another look at my fox sketches. It became clear that if I wanted to make a fabulous wolf, I would need to improve the technique I had tried to use for that fox. So I practised, making many sketches to visualise how everything should look. And then I started crocheting.

First I made the head. I figured that if I made a cute face, it would be difficult to quit and I would have to finish the rest. And it worked! After I made the head, I started trying out different body shapes. One thing was certain: the body and front paws needed to be seamless. Since I already had a long time to think about it after I stopped working on that fox, I soon found the right shape and size. Then the body needed colouring. I looked at many wolf pictures and decided that my wolf needed to have a light-coloured chest with a grey back. But when I finished the body like that, the front looked like a straight flat piece, very shapeless and not at all what I had in mind. I had to use my imagination to think of a solution that still looked realistic but added much more character. I grabbed my main sketch and started drawing again. After a few tries I found something I liked and worked it out in crochet, and it looked perfect.

But then I had a setback. When I started the body, I thought, ‘I’ll figure out the back paws later’. That wasn’t very smart of me. When I pinned the basic back paws I had made to the body, it looked all wrong. Now I had a complex-looking, seamless body with simple, silly-looking back paws. That weekend I had no idea how I was going to shape them. And then I looked at Boeloe the Koala and got an idea: what if I slimmed down the body and create paws like Boeloe’s, with a hip and a leg part? Would that create the flexible look I desired? Some quick math revealed that I only had to slim down the lower bit of the body to compensate for the bulk the hips would add. Because I didn’t want to end up regretting that I hadn’t made a seamless tail, I also worked out how to create a hole for that.

After all the effort and a pile of failed attempts, Woolfie now is sitting in front of me and he is so gorgeous! He looks more like an excited wolf pup than an adult wolf, but who cares about that? This is a win-win situation: I made a super-realistic new wolf pattern AND I learned a lot of new crochet skills. And the good thing for you is, the way these techniques are worked into the pattern doesn’t make it much more difficult to make, because you can just follow the instructions. I have figured out for you how to do these cool things the easy way!

Here are some more pictures of sweet Woolfie, and below them you can find all the info you need about this wolf amigurumi pattern.

Info about & links to buy the pattern

This realistic crochet wolf is made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. He is 6 inch / 15 cm sitting when made with this yarn. This isn’t a very difficult animal to crochet, even the seamless bits are quite easy to attach if you follow the instructions.

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 wolf 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 Thursday the 16th of April!

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.

Dapper Poochey, crochet rabbit pattern

Well, what happened here? I liked Poochey in his trendy cardigan so very much that I decided to add him as a “dapper rabbit pattern” to my shops. Would you’ve been able to resist it? Just look at this utterly adorable crochet rabbit in his fancy outfits!

I cannot give myself all the credit for this. After I released the little cardigan pattern, Jan made a delightful collection of lovely little cardi’s for her crochet bunnies. After seeing her ever-so-cheerful pictures, I decided I just had to make a separate pattern for Poochey in the cardigan. I made Poochey’s cardigan just for fun after seeing a knitted rabbit wearing a sweater on Instagram, but when I put the sweater on and took that picture of him a while back, I began to get the idea of making a separate pattern. But because it felt a bit strange to re-launch an existing pattern, I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea. Jan made me realise that it is! Not everyone who visits my blog would want this version, but I don’t want other crafters missing out on this.

And how much fun it is to make all those little cardigans! Not only that, but all the tiny cute buttons you can’t put on your own garments, you can use for little bunny cardigans. I had so much fun looking for buttons that matched my bright-coloured sweaters. I found buttons with flowers and stars, animal-shaped ones – oh, there are so many fabulous buttons to find! And I cannot help laughing at Poochey’s expression every time I see it. In every single picture he has that same look of utter confusion. Which cardigan is your favourite? Mine is the green one with the star buttons.

Here are few original pattern pictures of this dapper crochet rabbit; below them you can find info about and links to buy the pattern.

Info about & links to buy the pattern

Poochey and his cardigan are made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. If you use the recommended yarn, he will be 7 inch / 17 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 rabbit 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 dapper rabbit(s). 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, on Etsy or order it here.

Heads up: it has a one-dollar release discount till Thursday the 11th of June. If you already have the pattern for Poochey and Fudge but want to make Poochey like this, you can find the free pattern for the cardigan here.

Autumn Popkes

amigurumi crochet patterns

Most of you probably know by now Autumn is my most favourite season by far. I enjoy strolling through the forest beneath those magnificent threatening skies, while listening to the rustling of the beautiful coloured leaves that soon will fall and breathing in the scent of moist and mushrooms. It is the season I engage in with every sense of my body.

Last year, to celebrate, I made a Son’s Popkes artwork set in Autumn and this year I fantasized about a special picture like the one I made for Summer.

Yesterday I finally had the change to go to a park nearby and collect leaves in all my favourite colours. While gathering some chestnuts, I felt if someone was watching me, but I didn’t see anybody. But later, when I looked up into the trees to see if there were fresh chestnuts still there, I saw this gorgeous big crow sitting right above me on a branch, curiously looking at me. ‘Ah’, I said to him, ‘I thought I felt somebody watching me, it was you!’

Back home I arranged the leaves I collected and took the picture. Enjoy Autumn everybody, it is over before you know it.

The pattern I am currently working on is of an owl. It took me a while to create a sweet looking face (the first heads I came up with looked rather unpleasant and mean) and that is why I wasn’t able to post a sketch already. To be continued….

Lazy Koji

Son's Popkes artwork, illustration.

This time I did not announce I was working on a new Son’s Popkes artwork, because let’s be honest, the last time the illustration did not turn out as I hoped. Fortunately, my latest illustration featuring nothing else but Koji, has become the artwork I fancied and I am proud to present it here.

It is simply titled ‘Lazy Koji’.

Together with my autumn Popkes artwork, I posted a ‘painting process’ slideshow. I think it is fun to show you how an illustration comes about.

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I must admit to myself, I like crocheting better, find it less frustrating. That is rather curious, as I have been drawing practically since I was born. Crocheting I have only been doing for five years now. The thing is though, when working on a painting, I can come to a certain point where I absolutely do not know how to proceed. It drives me nuts, I totally think I can never make the painting as beautiful as I fantasize, so what is the point in continuing?

For this illustration, I can show you exactly when that was, as it happens, after the second pic. There still was a lot of blue in the image and I had no idea what to do next. I just did not see it and felt like stopping. I took a break, thought about what to do and decided to just fill in the blank spaces with the colours I though would be right. And that helped. The painting now had the right mood, and for me, when the mood and colours are set, I can fill in the details and so on. Just look for yourself how much difference it made.

Maybe blue as a background colour was a bit poorly chosen for this painting and I should have started with a yellow background, but in the end, I did get it right!

It’s almost Christmas

A-popkes-winter-wonderland

Every year, I make a Christmas card. Before I started Son’s Popkes, I used to paint humoristic illustrations of Santa having bad luck. Now, with Son’s Popkes, I have this fabulous new subject, my crochet animals. This year I thought long of what to paint. At some point I started thinking of taking some nice pictures, because I still hadn’t got the right idea for an illustration.

But then the idea finally was there. What about ice skating Popkes? That was a very fine idea indeed, so I started to sketch about and after some time I finished this Christmas card.

The painting is titled ‘A Popkes winter wonderland’ and is painted with acrylic paint on an 18 x 24 cm canvas board. I’ve grown very fond of this painted version of Falun, he looks so utterly adorable.

My Christmas holiday has started now. I’m going to enjoy it by finishing the book I’m reading, Roald Dahl’s ‘Going Solo’. My boyfriend and I like to go hiking in this wintery weather and in the evenings we will be watching our favourite movies. I always look forward to this time of year and wish you all a jolly good Christmas and a happy New Year!

 

Floro and Finse’s wondrous autumn

Every so often I feel like painting a picture, creating an image where everything is possible. My crochet animals are the perfect theme for these illustrations, as I can make them come alive in a fairytale world. For my ‘working self’ there is nothing more exhilarating than combining my work as an illustrator with my crochet designs like this. It is so much fun and inspirational.

‘Floro and Finse’s wondrous autumn’ is a seasonal Popkes painting, the third in a series of four illustrations. I previously made a winter and spring illustration featuring my crochet animals. A summer illustration should be next on my list, but as summer is my least favourite season that probably will take a while.

I thought it would be interesting to show you a slideshow of the process of making this illustration. As you can see, blue is my white and the painting slowly gets its full colour.

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It is no surprise to me that this illustration is my best loved so far, as autumn is my dearest season, it is those colours!

 

Finse and Jonesy’s night of fireflies

night painting forest fireflies

As desktop wallpaper I most often use one of my illustrations. Untill yesterday, my Christmas illustration featured on both my laptop and iPhone desktops, which obviously was becoming outdated. I had many ideas for new illustrations, but didn’t find the time to actually make one. After Jones was finished I decided to skip crocheting for a few weeks to paint a new illustration.

First I thought of making a strictly seasonal spring painting but also had the idea of a big field with fireflies in it. And by all means, it had to become a Son’s Popkes themed illustration. I decided to go for the field with fireflies, and Finse and Jonesy.

When the illustration was finished, I was not happy at all with the result. Somehow the colours didn’t seem right to me. As usual I’m starting to like the illustration now. It is not perfect, but I love the atmosphere and the expressions of the animals. It is probably some kind of an artist syndrome, not liking the result immediately….it always takes time for me to really love what I made and then I’m absolutely proud. It is a weird thing.

Well, now I’m back to crocheting. On a whim I decided I’m going to design a panda. Two leftovers of yarn caught my attention and I decided they had to become a panda. (Hopefully there is enough for the whole beast.) After that I’m back to my list of otter, mole and red panda. I don’t know the order in which I’m going to make them and a rat or mouse also is on my mind.

Enough to be done!

Finse and Jonesy’s night of fireflies is acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 cm.

 

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!

 

New logo, improved patterns

Logo-blogThis week I’ve been busy improving and refreshing all my patterns. When I started writing these patterns I didn’t have a good logo yet and did not use the sketches as more than just the sketch. Later I decided to make the sketches in colour and to add them to the patterns.

Also, the more animals I designed, the more complete the patterns became. Because I think good quality patterns are very important, the old versions were good, but the new ones just better(looking), I decided to give all my patterns the same layout. I also changed my Son’s Popkes name logo a bit, because I noticed some people couldn’t read it. And that is very important!

I’m glad I’m finished now with refreshing the patterns, it was a lot of work and not much fun to do. Everyone who’ve bought a pattern, will get an email from either Craftsy or Ravelry with a new and free download link for the improved version. It really looks better and I’m very happy with the result.

Here’s another image to show all the sketches that are now appearing in the patterns.

Son's-Popkes-sketches-blogHaha, Son’s Popkes! Thanks for all your support and I hope you like the improved patterns. If you’ve bought a pattern directly from me and want a new version, please let me know!