Crochet Yourself an Amigurumi Easter Egg. Video Tutorial & Pattern

Doesn’t it feel like Spring already?! That means Easter is just around the corner. You may recall that last year I came up with a cute little design for crochet Easter eggs. The surprisingly awesome thing is that it has been a really popular pattern (mostly thanks to Pinterest, not anything I’ve done). To accompany the written pattern I thought that it would be useful if I did a video tutorial. And not just any old video tutorial… my first ever video tutorial! So, it’s apparent that I need to perfect my video making skills somewhat, but you’ve got to start somewhere!

The written pattern is super straightforward and quick to do. The video is probably best viewed as a companion to the written instructions. The video also demonstrates how to embroider the stitches, which the written pattern does not (the time stamp for the decorative bit is 18.25). If I’d been more YouTube savvy I could have made two different videos but I didn’t think about that until afterward!

If you fancy having a look (afterall, Easter is coming up pretty soon) then please click on this picture to take you to YouTube! And then let me know if you’ve made some!! I would absolutely love to see. X

How to crochet an amigurumi Easter Egg video

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A Crochet House Spider. A Free Pattern for Hallowe’en.

free-crochet-pattern-little-crochet-house-spider

I’m a little early but I couldn’t wait to get stuck into some Halloween crochet! Wahaha. This pattern is so speedy, it really only takes a few minutes. You could make an army of crochet spiders, it’d be brilliant! These guys are so much better than real spiders, which intefere with your telly watching (out of the corner of your eye, there they are stomping across your sofa, on their way to eat your face whilst you innocently watch Bake Off).

I’m a little disappointed that this spider pattern didn’t become part of last year’s amigurumi Halloween collection but I hadn’t thought of it when I designed that lot. This pattern is a great partner to all the other spooky creations from that collection though…

[Edit: New for the summer of 2017 is a YouTube tutorial!! If you’d rather watch me make a spider on film, then pop over and take a look! Thanks]

Anyway here’s what you’ll need:

3.5mm hook (you could go up or down a hook size if you want), DK acrylic yarn, darning needle.

For the eyes you’ll need some sewing thread, a fine needle and little beads.

step-one-of-crochet-spiderCrochet House Spider

(I’ve written it in US terms, that’s what I’m used to with amigurumi).

  1. 6 into a magic ring [6]
  2. Increase around [12]
  3. Sc around [12]
  4. Decrease around [6]

Fasten off leaving a tail of about 50cm. Stitch the hole closed with a darning needle, looping through the 6 front loops. Pull closed and secure. Do not cut yarn, you’ll need it for sewing on the legs.

starting-headChoose where you want your head to be. Get a slip knot on your hook and attach the yarn with a slip stitch to the body. I put my hook on/behind row 3. (The pictures above are two different angles of the same thing. It’s just demonstrating where I’ve put my hook and where I’ll be making the slip stitch).

making-the-head-iittle-crochet-spiderNext, make a puff stitch. To get a nice plump head, yarn over and pull through 4 times (you’ll have 9 loops on your hook). Chain 1 and join back to the body with a slip stitch in the same place. Fasten off and sew in the head ends.

crochet-spider-legsMake four chains for legs: 1. ch18, 2. ch20, 3. ch22, 4. ch24.

Before you snip them short, pull the legs really tight to make sure they won’t become undone. This is why it’s best to use acrylic yarn, it’s less likely to break off when you pull.

Using the tail from before, thread through the middles of all the legs and stitch to the underside of the body. Shortest legs nearest the head.

attaching-crochet-spider-legsStitching the legs on is really simple. When they’re secure, thread the yarn out through the spider’s bottom.

stiching-on-the-crochet-spiders-legsPass the yarn through the ends of the two back legs.

crochet-spider-pattern

There is now a spider… where there wasn’t one before!

purple-red-eyed-crochet-spider

Little beads make great eyes. I went in from underneath with the thread, going in and out a couple of times to make sure it wasn’t going to go anywhere.

This sparkly, purple job has too many eyes but I wasn’t really concentrating. Most spiders have eight eyes if you want to go for accuracy!

And it’s as easy as that! A happy Hallowe’en house spider!

This is a free pattern that has been designed by me (Zeens and Roger). Please don’t sell the pattern or finished product. They’re all mine! Tis personal use only. Thanks very much. X

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Amazing Crochet Techniques That’ll Knock Your Socks Off!


amazing-crochet-secrets-thatll-knock-your-socks-off

One of the great things about crochet is that there is constantly new stuff to learn. I’m always completely bowled over when I stumble upon a new technique, pattern, colour combination… all the other things.  Actually I think what astonishes me most is that it still has the ability to surprise me!

I learned to crochet six years ago (Nanna tried to teach me when I was little; I didn’t get on with it). After six years I still love crochet and I still love it when it teaches me something new. A lot of it is probably my childish pride but I don’t care, it makes me happy. It makes me squee when I accomplish something that’s new to me. I’ve found a hobby that continually delights me! And that’s the point, these things are new to me but they might not be new to somebody else. They’re discovered by somebody and we’re lucky enough that these crochet tips and tricks get shared for us all to find and gleefully enjoy.

I’ve recently found a few fabulous crochet techniques and I thought it would be a really good idea to collate them all together. It also got me thinking about the ones that blew my mind in the past. So they’re here too. Some are more common knowledge than others but I didn’t know them at one time, maybe you don’t either. Let me know what you think and let me know if there are some crazy crochet secrets that I’ve missed.

Circle in square crochet blanket. Free pattern.

  1. The Standing Start.

Check out Moogly for how to seamlessly start a crochet project without “ch3 (counts as first stitch).”

2. The Chainless Foundation.

I love this. As this tutorial at Steel and Stitch says, there’s more elasticity using this method. And miraculously, you do away with fumbling over a foundation chain.

3. Stop your Chains Twisting!

If you want to chain the old fashioned way, here’s how to stop the twist! You’ll need it for a project like an infinity scarf. I haven’t tried the chainless foundation for something which is joined together (an infinity scarf) so I don’t know if it’d work. Sometimes the old method is a good method.

Amigurumi Easter Eggs. Free crochet pattern.

4. The Invisible Decrease.

Planet June has great amigurumi tutorials for techniques that create wonderfully neat crochet creatures. The invisible decrease is ace; it’s one of my favourite amigurumi secrets.

5. Finishing off your Amigurumi.

This saved me from having lots of stuffed toys with ugly bottoms. Quite literally for this fawn (not that you can see his bottom in the picture below). Have a look here (at the technique, not fawn’s bum).

6. The Perfect Crochet Circle.

This can be done in a couple of different ways. It’s all about mixing up the stitches or as this tutorial demonstrates: you don’t always have to work in a continuous round for amigurumi. Interesting…

amigurumi fawn. a bit dusty now

7. Work under the Bumps.

This one, I learned near the beginning of my crochet obsession and I still think it’s fab.  I used to go into just the one loop of each chain, which felt like cheating. And trying to work in the top of a foundation chain is just asking for trouble, so under the bumps it is (unless, you know, chainless…)

8. Get Tidy Edges.

I only found this one a few days ago so I haven’t tried it yet. It looks great! My edges tend to look messy even when I make an effort to be extra neat. Felted Button has a great tutorial to rid you of unsightly borders.

9. Lose the Granny Twist.

Why are my Granny’s twisty?! Cherry Heart will tell you. So simple yet I never thought of trying any of these at first.

working on the border

10. The Continuous Join as you go.

Not to be confused with the Join As You Go method, which still results in lots of ends to sew in, The Continuous has only two ends to sew in and it’s really easy! Honestly, if you haven’t done this before, it’s life changing. I’ve tried a couple of different methods and the one over at Patchwork Heart is the best.

11. The Fancy Continuous Join as you go.

I really really want to do this. You can save time and be pretty! It’s the Continuous Flat Braid. Same as above, but fancy!!

12. The Neat Granny Border.

If you’ve gone to the effort of stitching all your granny’s together, the least you can do is make sure they get a beautiful border too. Too many clusters around the edges can cause a bit of a ruffle. Pop over to Bunny Mummy’s guide for how to crochet a flat border.

crochet blanket enjoying the autumn sunshine.

And that’s it for now. As I’ve been writing  this, I’ve spotted more but do you know what? I reckon I’ll have to do a sequel!

autumn-colours-crochet-blanket

Me You and Magoo
amazing-crochet-secrets-thatll-knock-your-socks-off

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So Many WIPs…

cat-crochet

I have a silly number of Works in Progress at the moment. Here is the cat, sleeping on one that I left on the sofa.

workings

She’s sleeping on this; the never ending half circle I’m trying to work out. I think I’ve mentioned before about trying to work out patterns and how it’s done. My method is Trial and Error because I know no other way. So, with that in mind, I have, in fact frogged several rows this morning. Too many stitches were causing it to get ruffled. I don’t know how/where to increase the stitches in a nice, even way at the minute. Too many, not enough, blahhh. Whatever I try, it doesn’t want to mirror the initial semi circle of colour. I’m tempted to bin it. Bin the idea and move on. So. Much. Frustration!

hand-made-wooden-handle-bag

Anyway, this is more like it. An actual finished item. Woot! I loved making this. It was so quick and easy. I didn’t follow a pattern, I made it up and was surprised at how speedy the process was. If I were to have another go, I’d make the fabric pieces wider. I think there’s room for expansion. I took a load of photographs as I made it;  I’m tempted to write up a tutorial. I might also buy a new pair of handles and have a second attempt.

first-go-at-tunisian-crochet

New skill alert! I’ve tried Tunisian Crochet this week. A little bit addictive actually. I’m slow and not sure what goes on if I drop stitches but I did order a set of bamboo Tunisian crochet hooks so I can get properly stuck in. This hook is one I got from my Nanna. I keep meaning to ask her if she ever used it. Anyway, it’s slightly too small. And the freebie I got from a magazine is slightly too big.

bad-colour-changes-for-tunisian-crochet

Yesterday I struggled with colour changes. I really want to make pictures in crochet. It isn’t as easy as I thought it’d be. It’s mucked up the tension, making it skewed. Poo. I think I’ll benefit from some practise but I also think that Tapesty crochet might the way to go instead. Any advice?

ami-balls

This is part of my Brightoween ColourSwapCraftPop on Instagram. I’ve done a bit more on this project than this picture suggests but I’m still not quite finished.

new-ideas

Whilst messing about with the Brightoween and Tunisian projects yesterday another idea popped into existence. I had to try it immediately.

new-idea-progress

I’ll try and get this finished for next week although I’m well aware that I say that sort of thing quite often. I’ve got a crochet pattern/tutorial in handwritten scribbles that I’d said I’d publish this week. That’s really not going to happen. Not yet anyway.

linen-stitch-in-the-round

This idea is a lot more simple than the other not-yet-ready pattern. I think it’ll be a fun one so stick around for a future blog post.

another-wip

Then there’s this, which is related to the c2c geometric square cushion I made recently. I really hope this one looks like my imagination tells me it will look.

And now I need to go and make dinner before collecting Eldest from Judo. I really hope that some of these WIPs will actually be finished at some point soon. Today is not the day.

 

Amigurumi Easter Egg! Free Crochet Pattern.

Amigurumi Easter eggs. Easy crochet pattern.

I’m fairly sure Easter only exists still because of chocolate. And since Easter has my favourite sort of chocolate, I am here to celebrate it with a little bit of crochet. Mini eggs and creme eggs are both very good reasons to look forward to Easter but neither truly beat a large Cadbury’s Dairy Milk (or other Cadbury) egg that has been put in the fridge for at least two hours. When I was little I used to drink milk out of half a chocolate egg. The other half used to get cracked into a mug and ruined with hot water to make some kind of bad hot chocolate. I don’t waste it like that now, I shovel it in my face whilst hiding behind the fridge door. Mostly I hide because the chocolate doesn’t belong to me. When I’ve finished mine I’m then stealing from the children. Anyway, I shall move on…

Pretty amigurumi Easter eggs. Free crochet pattern.I came up with the pattern for these at Christmas. I was trying to design a Father Christmas head/hat combo but whatever shape I tried looked like an egg. I binned the FC idea but out of it came these so I can’t complain. I think they’re cute but I’m not really an Easter celebrator (chocolate aside) so dunno where they’ll go.

Easter egg displayThey did look quite nice sitting up by themselves. The children like throwing them around and I know the cat would too if she could get her mitts on them.

Cute crochet Easter eggs. Free pattern.It’s rather telling that I don’t have any egg cups and I had to use shot glasses.

Happy Easter! Cute amigurumi Easter eggs. Free crochet pattern.Here is the pattern. As with most amigurumi patterns, it is written in US terms. I used Stylecraft Special DK and a 3mm hook. I even found a use for Duck Egg, a colour I reeeally don’t like. Which makes me ask myself why I bought it in the first place. Huh.

Amigurumi Easter Egg.

Round 1: 6sc into a Magic Ring.

Round 2: 1 Inc in each stitch around. [12].

Round 3: 1 sc in next stitch, 1 inc in next. Repeat around [18].

Round 4: Sc around. [18]

Round 5: 1sc in next 2 st, 1 inc in next. Repeat around. [24].

Round 6-7: Sc around [24]

Round 8: 1 sc in next 3 st, 1 inc in next. Repeat around [30].

Round 9-15: Sc around. [30]

Round 16: 1 sc in next 3 st, 1 dec. Repeat around. [24].

Round 17: 1 sc in next 2 st, 1 dec. Repeat around. [18].

Round 18: 1sc in next st, 1 dec. Repeat around [12].

Fasten off leaving a long tale. Stuff firmly. Using a darning needle thread through the front loops only. Pull tight to close the hole. Stitch in and out a few times to fully secure and then snip the end neatly.

Amigurumi Easter Eggs. Free crochet pattern.Decorating is relatively quick and easy. I went in through the bottom of each egg and then made french knots for the flower centres and a few chain stitches for petals and leaves.  With a poke and a prod from the darning needle, the snipped ends can be hidden inside. Hey presto!

EDIT: For 2017 I’ve added a video tutorial on YouTube, which also includes how to decorate with pretty embroidery. Please go here! Cheers.

This is a pattern I’ve designed myself and belongs to me. It can be used to make decorations for yourself or for gifts for friends and family but not pinched or mass produced. Thanks very much. Feel free to say hello and you can even follow my blog to get more patterns and, dare I say, inspiration. Cheers!

In an egg cupHappy Easter!!

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The things I made in December

pieces of zebra

Better late than never, here is the Christmas stuff I made. Not all of it, I didn’t take pictures of it all. These are the things I thought I should record as they’re all firsts.

Making an amigurumi zebra

This fella was finished on Christmas Eve. I spent a long time on him, mostly in little bursts because like an old lady, I couldn’t work with the black yarn in the dark. And it was always dark in December.

hand made crochet zebra

Many hours later…. I think I did an acceptable job.

Cute amigurumi zebra

Little toddler fingers had smudged the camera lense and I didn’t notice until much later.

christmas zebra

I followed Elisabeth Doherty’s pattern from her Amigurumi book. The pattern is for a fawn which is surrounded by other ami patterns (although I don’t fancy making a crochet burger really). However, I know that the fawn pattern can be bought on its own on Etsy and maybe Ravelry as a pdf. I’m sure it was last time I looked.

An amigurumi zebra

The back legs twisted too much so that the knees are wrongly placed, I didn’t say anything and I don’t think the recipient will notice. She’s only two.

Kids crochet cardigan

I made a little crochet cardi. Super speedy it was. The pattern is from Simply Crochet Magazine, issue 32. I was very good and bought the recommended wool, Drops Nepal. I chose slightly different colours but mostly I stuck to the recipe.

little crochet cardi

I had pink leftover so instead of a ribbon tie, I made a crochet one. It might be a bit bulky though, which is probably the reason why the pattern goes for ribbon.

Cardigan yoke

Not sure what to do with the leftovers, only a small amount of the yoke colours are needed. Ohh, pompoms?!

blocking the round doily.

Nanna and Grandad got a doily for Christmas. I used DMC Natura Just Cotton in Dk. The pattern is from Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts: Lacy Crochet. I didn’t do a particularly neat job of blocking it as I ran out of ironing board. My Nanna was pleased as she said it can replace the doily her mother had made her (it is falling apart). I don’t know how old that one is but she told me that her mother died in 1976.

Coraline doll

And here is Coraline.Quite a big doll. Whilst not perfect, I am proud of her as I made her up totally from my head. All of it. Including the pattern for the coat, which only bloody well fit first time! Dead pleased. But not completely over the moon. I want to make her again to sort all the tweaks that are required. Her head and neck shape is wrong, which in turn has ballsed up her face. And I was afraid to press her clothes incase the felt melted. Neatness has been sacrificed.

An emergency ear fix

She also needed an emergency operation on her ears because they were dreadful. I so know what I’d do to make them better but I ran out of fabric and time.

Coraline's face

They are supposed to poke through her hair and that, they do

Home made Coraline

It is a huge relief to have ticked these things off my list. I have a perkier list for January, which pretty much includes making stuff solely for me!

Hallowe’en.

Halloween pumpkin offerings.

Since Halloween fell on a Saturday night I thought I’d invite some friends over to celebrate Samhain. It wasn’t exactly a party, it would have been a bit stressful to invite everyone I knew. I tested the water by inviting a few families to revel in some witchy goings-on. I also didn’t know how many people would fit inside our house as it is quite small. Next time I think a real party might be in order because we could have easily squeezed in a few more people.

A Pinterest Halloween board exploded in the living room. I had lots of fabulous help from friends who did their bit to turn my house into a Halloweeny hovel.

Halloween altar

This was a witch’s table. Complete with a collection of potions and poisons.

Halloween amigurumi collection

My amigurumi Halloween creations came out. My friend and I gathered some good looking twigs from the woods. This twig got stuck in a plant pot. (Thank you too to Sultanabun whose October blog post prompted me to have a go at making a collage).

witchy shelf

A witch’s shelf. Me and another friend had scoured junk shops to find cheap bottles, jugs and vases to turn into something suitable for a witches house.  I sprayed some with black spray paint and left others clear, which I had planned to fill with coloured water. I didn’t get round to that but they still looked good with their spooky labels.

Halloween party decorations

I planned on some fancy wreaths but didn’t quite manage it. I also bought a lifetime supply of black card, which I did manage to cut up to make lots of different silhouettes.

witches desk

My friend also made spooky spell books. This modern witch uses them whilst cross referencing wikipedia.

Halloween harvest table

Autumn harvest. I made people eat homemade chutney and piccalilli. People brought cheese (the empty cake stand did eventually display a massively stinky round of Exmoor blue), crackers, grapes and celery to accompany them. I also made blackberry vodka and it tasted just like blackberries. It worked! We picked the blackberries about six weeks ago and filled a kilner jar with them. Chuck in some sugar and a whole load of vodka and you get an amazing drink!

scary pumpkin face

Scary face, as requested by the kids.

Pumpkin pan. A Halloween satyr.

Pan and his pipe. I had trouble designing the image. I drew it out several times before I finally accepted one that would work. And it never turns out exactly the same anyway because cutting up pumpkin with a scalpel is a whole different kettle of fish.

Headless Horseman Halloween Pumpkin

Headless Huntsman. Unfortunately, I didn’t  finish this guy. I gave up after slicing my finger on a very very sharp blade. I also managed to slice through his arm too so I knew my pumpkin powers were waning. Anyway, I already have an idea for next year’s offerings….

Until next year! Happy Halloween!!

E's pumpkin.

 

Getting ready for Hallowe’en, Amigurumi patterns aplenty!

The Amigurumi Halloween collection.

I originally planned to start working on my Halloween ideas in the summer. That didn’t really happen and I’ve left it until late. Not a surprise. I’ve been rush rushing to get my brain babies out and into the open for a few weeks. I was pretty keen to get some patterns up and running by October but have been somewhat disorganised. Having said that… I’ve only gone and done it!

working on halloween project.

A tray of mess is what I have had sat on my lap every nap time for about three weeks. I have made many variations of witches, bats, cats and pumpkins. I started pretty much from scratch but the idea is based on one I had about four years ago. I remember starting to write the witch pattern down (based on some Christmas angels that weren’t very good). I think it is probably a good thing that I lost what I’d written because I found the initial attempts…

working on a witch

Hidden in a bag under the stairs were some sorry looking heads and hats and unidentifiable things.

Yucky old witch head.

Poor, yucky old witch head. Ugh, it belongs to the cat now. It’s been clawed and beaten but it’s robust enough that the stuffing is still there inside her green head. Anyway, I shall move on to how she looks now…

Halloween amigurumi. Little crochet witch.

She’s in need of a haircut but other than that, I am very pleased with what I’ve come up with. Begone manhands!

little purple amigurumi witch.

Here she is, off to a party. She’s got her fancy hat on and she’s carrying her fabulous pumpkin. She’s got some mates too…

Mini crochet bat. Halloween amigurumi.

amigurumi halloween cat

She also thought she’d try growing pumpkins in her veg patch. She was quite pleased with the results.

mini crochet pumpkins for a cute garland. Free pattern!

Anyway, I took a deep breath and decided to be brave. I thought I would try something new, you know, just give it a go. So…. I have added these to a Ravelry shop. Me and Husband worked together to sort out how to actually open a Ravelry shop after Bake Off last night. For peeps that have never done this before, it was quite confusing but I think it’s worked. The pattern has had some ‘likes’ too! It has joined my Owl pattern on Ravelry but unlike the owl pattern I am charging a small fee for this Halloween Collection. A lot of work has gone into, not only designing the patterns themselves, but also making sure it all looks smart and lovely. This is partly down to the help I’ve had, so thank you to my friends who have all done their bit to support me and give me advice. X

Zeens and Roger now has a Ravelry shop. Woot!

And an Etsy shop! Woot Woot!

I think it’ll take time to learn how to use these selling platforms, I have no clue what I’m doing. None at all! But I will get there eventually.

Wait! Hang on a minute! Just because I can, I’m sharing the pumpkin pattern here! Huzzah! If you like it, think about popping over to the shop to purchase the rest of the pattern for the full set. Thanks very much.

Small crochet pumpkins. Free pattern!

Mini Halloween Pumpkin (Measures about 2.5cm across):
Using orange yarn.
Round 1: 6 into a Magic Ring
Round 2: inc around. [12]
Round 3: (sc in next st, inc in next) around. [18]
Round 4-5: sc around. [18]
Round 6: (sc in next st, dec). [12]
Round 7: dec around [6].
Fo and leave an extra long tail (at least 50cm).
Stitch closed by threading needle through the front loops and pulling tight to close hole. Thread the tail through the top centre of the pumpkin keeping the yarn tight. Wrap the yarn over the outside the pumpkin and thread through the bottom centre of the pumpkin. Repeat this 4 or 5 more times for a good pumpkin effect. Keep the yarn nice and tight. Secure yarn and fo. Thread some green yarn through the centre of the pumpkin and then back through, leaving a loop (be careful not to pull it all back through). Knot the ends together tightly and snip tails short.

Cute little crochet pumpkins. Free crochet pattern!

And there we have it. Now that it’s all done I feel a bit weird. I have lots more ideas for the future but my head is going a bit crazy and it’s working faster than my hands can. I wish someone would pay me to play.

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