Moji-Moji Design | Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns
I’m Janine Holmes, the owner and designer behind Moji-Moji Design.
I specialize in amigurumi crochet. I love the organic way of designing in this media with just a hook, a ball of yarn and my imagination.
As Promised in my previous post #AmiguruMay – Part One, here is the second installment of pictures and musings from the latter half of the merry month of May.
This challenge was set by Ilaria of Airali Design and the idea was to post a photo inspired by pre-determined prompts for every day in May. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed making them!
Day 16 – Stash
This is my wall of yarn where I keep all the stuff I use the most. As I’m currently in the middle of designing multiple new patterns a few gaps have opened up in my stash. The baby monkeys have made themselves quite at home in the extra spaces They’d better make the most of it while they can as I’ll be going yarn shopping soon to plug the gaps
Day 17 – Textures
I love adding a bit of loop stitch into my patterns when fluffyness is required. Pandora the Poodle and her friends just love their bouffant hair-dos
Day 18 – The Cutest
This is Hamish the Hamster. He’s so darn cute he gets away with regularly raiding the strawberry patch even though he’s rather greedy and usually makes off with the whole crop. As well as grabbing a good armful of these juicy treats he’s always sure to stuff his cheeks as well!
(This photo is different to the one I used on Instagram as it was too few pixels for my blog).
Day 19 – Creative Goals
My creative goals at the moment are to finish off ALL my WIPs (it’s a nice dream anyway) and then start on some brand new patterns with a clean slate. Oh, and to get my desk all tidy again would be a bonus!
Day 20 – Favorite Book
One of my favorite pattern books is Amigurumi Monsters by @amigurumipatterns . I love designing monsters and letting my imagination run wild. My Jeepers and Creepers are featured in this one and I would love to make all the other monsters in this book if I ever get the time. Another thing to add to the wish list!
Day 21 – Mark Your Rounds
I mark my rounds with a good quality plastic stich marker – colour coordinated to the project in hand where possible
Day 22 – Photography
I take all my own photos and it’s been a real learning curve over the years. I now have a dedicated photography area in the corner of my studio with a great lights set up so I can take my product shots day or night. Trouble is the warm lamps attract all my cats like moths to a flame so they’re often photobombing my attempts at getting the perfect pic! Basking in the limelight here is Minnie, who sadly passed away last year . Lovely memories of her though
Day 23 – Dreaming Of…
With all this lovely sunshine around I’ve been dreaming of a trip to the beach. I could really do with a holiday and I might even meet a mermaid or two
Day 24 – Ami Friends
Papa Penguin and Baby Pierre have made some great friends at the local toddler group. What a mess those babies make with all their toys though!
Day 26 – Sewing Pieces Together
Sewing pieces together is my least favorite part of the amigurumi process. In the hook versus needle showdown the hook comes out top every time! Still, it has to be done and it is rather satisfying to see your ami creations come to life, bit by bit. I like to use mattress stitch for sewing on the arms, legs, heads, tails etc. and for flat patches my favorite method is backstitch.
I took part in my first Instagram challenge last month. Set up with such fabulous attention to detail by Ilaria of Airali Design fame, the idea was to post a photo every day from May 1st – 31st on the very cleverly titled hashtag of AmiguruMAY. Ilaria even made us all printable sheets to help organize our thoughts and plan a full months worth of posts, which really did come in handy for someone as scatterbrained as me!
I’m usually horribly unorganized when it comes to social media and though I love making posts and connecting with people, thanks to the everyday demands of creating new patterns, finishing deadlines, decluttering workspaces, replying to emails and answering queries to name a few of my daily distractions (as well as all the unspeakably horrid housework and other mundanities of life), remembering to post regularly sometimes falls behind. So this time I vowed to keep up, and apart from the odd slip (bank holiday excesses, Hen Weekend, tooth abscess, poorly cat to vets, among other excuses!) I think I kept up rather well.
So, especially for those of you who don’t have an Instagram account (you should get one – it’s great fun!) and for anyone who already follows me but doesn’t mind a recap of last months prompts and pretty pictures, here is Part One Days 1-15 of #amigurumay, complete with the accompanying witterings that fell out of my head as I went along. (Part 2 – Days 16-31 to follow shortly).
Day 1 – Current WIP
My current WIP is a super soft fluffy cat. Having a blast crocheting with this lovely yarn by King Cole. Four more colourways arrived in the post yesterday and more cat’s eyes are on order so there will be kitties everywhere soon – just how I like it!
Day 2 – Inspirations
One of my big inspirations is the natural world and it’s abundance of cute and quirky creatures. While I’m crocheting the amigurumi my mind starts working overtime creating little characters and stories for them and so they then become an inspiration in themselves.
This is Cyril the Squirrel who is Head Gardener at Nutsford Manor. Of all the seasons he loves autumn the best because he can put his bushy tail to work sweeping up the fallen leaves while collecting acorns and conkers for his winter pantry.
Day 3 – Tools
A comfy crochet hook is so important but my favorite Clover ones were all a muddy yellow so I painted them in rainbow colours and added a liberal sprinkling of polka dots.
Also couldn’t live without my stitch markers, and my upcycled pincushion made from an old egg cup keeps all the smaller bits and bobs to hand
Day 4 – The Smallest
So far my tiniest amigurumis are a downsizing of the rabbit and mouse from my ‘Minimals – Little Pet Shop’ pattern.
As these are even smaller than the original minimals they should probably be called micromals instead
I made these with 2 ply crochet cotton and a 1.5 mm hook (while wearing my strongest pair of reading glasses!)
Day 5 – Introduce Yourself & Day 6 – Designer or Maker
Running a bit behind myself after a mega busy bank holiday weekend so doing two days at once here…
My name’s Janine and I love to crochet. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to turn my hobby into my job and now I design crochet patterns under my shop name of Moji-Moji Design. I think that’s covered both topics quite well… short but sweet!
Day 7 – Favorite Yarn
Tricky one this as I just love yarn of all types. I usually favor DK weight acrylics for my amigurumi but am having a bit of a love affair with these tiny 10g balls of cotton yarn by Katia at the moment. The colours are gorgeous and they’re the perfect size for mini crochet projects on the go. As you can see I’ve gone a bit crazy for mushrooms recently!
Day 8 – Animals
I’ve made a lot of animal amigurumi patterns over the years. Here’s a selection of some of my favorites.
Day 9 – How and When I Started
I first got into toy making when my three boys were small. I was also childminding around that time and I loved making toys for all the kiddies in my life – and there were lots of them! I could only knit back then and these aliens were a favorite with us all.
I remember thinking how great it would be to create my own characters but found designing flat pieces for seaming up, or juggling four needles to create a 3D piece, really difficult so I put my ambitions on hold for a while and enjoyed following other people’s patterns instead.
My joy at discovering the almost seamless amigurumi crochet method and the ability to self publish on Etsy about six years ago was immense! Those two things were real game changers for me and I never looked back!
Looking through my sketchbooks and perusing my to-do lists I came to the conclusion it was about time I got organised and wrote up the free toadstool pattern that I’ve been meaning to do for a while now (I see a February date in the notebook and it is May already!). I’ve got way too many scribbled down ideas just waiting to blossom into fully formed patterns so here’s to having one less unfinished project left to worry about!
These Tiny Toadstools (or Mini Mushrooms if you prefer) measure approximately 2″ (5 cm) tall. They use only very small amounts of yarn and take about 30 minutes from start to finish so you can have your very own little crop of fungi in next to no time!
Each toadstool requires approximately 1 gram each of Red and White 4 ply yarn plus 2 grams of polyester toy stuffing.
You’ll also need a 1.75 mm crochet hook, a pair of scissors, a yarn needle, stitch marker and a pair of tweezers (to help stuff the toadstool with).
Pattern notes: This pattern uses US sc (UK dc) throughout.
The invisible decrease (invdec) method is used throughout this pattern apart from on the back loop only crochet in Rnds 10 and 19 where the single crochet decrease (sc2tog) is used instead.
For stitch abbreviation meanings refer to the table at the end of the free pattern page. For those not familiar with invdec and sc2tog I’ve included photos below to show the difference.
Tie off and trim the colour change between the cap and the stalk on the inside of your work.
French knots are used to add the dots to the mushroom cap.
With Red yarn make 2 ch. Rnd 1: 6 sc in second chain from hook. (6 sts) Rnd 2: [Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (9 sts) Rnd 3: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (12 sts) Rnd 4: [Sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (15 sts) Rnd 5: [Sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (18 sts) Rnd 6: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (24 sts) Rnds 7-9: Sc in each st around. (3 rounds)
Toadstool Stalk: (See pictures 1-9 below for details on sc2tog and invdec techniques)
Change to White yarn. Rnd 10: Working in back loops only: [Sc in each of next 2 st, sc2tog] 6 times. (18 sts) Rnd 11: [Sc in next st, invdec] 6 times. (12 sts) Rnd 12: [Sc in each of next 2 st, invdec] 3 times. (9 sts) Rnds 13-14: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds) Rnd 15: [Sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 3 times. (12 sts) Rnds 16-17: Sc in each st around. (2 rounds) Rnd 18: [Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts) Rnd 19: Working in back loops only: [Sc in next st, sc2tog] 6 times. (12 sts) Rnd 20: Invdec 6 times. (6 sts)
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail of approximately 27″ (70 cm) for finishing.
Single crochet 2 together (sc2tog) in back loops only (pictures 1-6)
Insert hook into next back loop, yarn over hook (1) and pull up a loop (2 loops on your hook) (2), insert hook into next back loop, yarn over hook (3) and pull up a loop (3 loops on your hook) (4), yarn over hook (5) and pull through all 3 loops on hook to complete the decrease (6).
Invisible decrease (invdec) (pictures 7-9)
Insert hook into front loops only of the next 2 stitches (3 loops on hook), yarn over hook (7), pull yarn through first 2 loops on hook (2 loops left on hook), yarn over hook (8), pull yarn through last 2 loops on hook to complete the decrease (9).
Your toadstool will lack a bit of shape at this point but don’t worry because we’re going to be remedying that in the..
Lots of new things have been happening around here over recent months. Mainly in the form of new amigurumis, patterns and patterns-in-progress but we have had another addition to the clan which isn’t actually crocheted for once! Can you guess? If it’s not crocheted then it must be… a cat! And so I’m really excited to introduce you to our lovely Laddie.
As you’ve probably gathered, he’s got quite a pronounced cleft lip but other than slightly bowed legs and a few oddly formed toes on his front feet – none of which seems to bother him in the slightest – he’s a regular friendly, sweet-natured, slightly scruffy old tabby cat. No one knows exactly what his age is as he was discovered in my mother-in-law’s garden where he appeared from the hedgerow as a flea-bitten, skinny stray about twelve years ago.
The Cats Protection charity estimated he was maybe between 5 and 7 years old back then, so he is probably at least 17 by now. My mother-in-law is obviously considerably older than that (unless you take the old cat years maths equation into account) and due to her advancing years has been finding it difficult to care for him recently. We eventually ended up bringing him home with us and hoped and prayed he would settle in OK – especially as we already have two other cats to think about and Laddie is used to being the star of his one cat show.
They are all keeping their distance from each other for the most part, with just the odd growl and hiss if any of them get too close and even that’s getting better by the day as they all learn about how to share the space with the new dynamic going on. They’re not exactly best friends yet but they seem to be putting up with each other tolerably well.
I think the look on Mojo’s face says it all…
And Laddie’s expression isn’t much better – although the lack of a top lip always makes him look a little on the grumpy side!
Despite by best efforts in encouraging Laddie to take his many and prolonged naps in an actual cat bed he has decided that my crochet corner is his favorite spot in the whole house.
He has definitely made himself at home there. He’s quite a poser too!
He’s as keen on finding out more about my crochet as the other cats are and likes to get in on the act if there’s a camera clicking away.
And if he’s not in my comfy armchair he occasionally prefers to groom and snooze, equally inconveniently, on the chair in front of my computer…
…as well as taking a regular prowl up and down my desk – usually when I’m trying to edit photos or write up patterns there!
As if I didn’t already have enough cat hair to combine with the yarn fluff floating around the place! Oh well, with my excessive love of yarn and cat’s I’ve long ago resigned myself to a daily anti-histamine tablet and sporadic bouts of violent sneezing.
On the crochet front my latest finished creation and addition to the family is a super cuddly version of my Bobbin the Bear pattern using James C. Brett’s Flutterby Chunky yarn. I got the idea from seeing SherrasYarnTails version of my monkeys in the February Ami-Along at amigurumipatterns.net (there’s a lovely photo of her monkey duo in this blog post). As soon as I saw them I was itching to have a go with some chunky chenille yarn myself.
This is probably the easiest and fastest to complete pattern in my collection so it was the perfect choice for a car journey up North to visit relatives. I managed to make several pieces in the car and then finished off the rest of the bits once I got home.
As Laddie is so often sprawled out in my studio armchair I’ve recently taken to crocheting on the sofa in the kitchen. We had a bit of a revamp of the whole room a month ago and now I love it in here so much! It’s bright and airy and the addition of the sofa means I can put my feet up and get really comfortable while I while away the hours with yarn and hook.
Naturally, Mojo and Rubick are just as keen on the new piece of furniture as I am, so there is a bit of a turf war going on here as well as upstairs in my studio with Laddie. I might as well just bin all of the cat beds I’ve bought!
I managed to get my mini versions finished in time to show them off on the forums so now Mavis and Marvin have their hands full with their little monkey twins. Imagine the chaos these two are going to bring… and the love too, of course!
I really enjoyed seeing all the amazingly inventive interpretations of my design. Mavis and Marvin have never looked so good! Here’s a little montage of some of my favorites (if yours is there and you have a social media you’d like me to add, please feel free to let me know).
There are always lots of prizes on offer at the Ami-Alongs and this one was no exception.
Because this was the February event, and ran close to Valentine’s Day, the hosts of the Ami-Along awarded a prize for the most romantic picture which was won by Amigudolls. Two little monkeys with tails entwined in the shape of a love heart. Awww, just too cute!
Love was definitely in the air because HoneyBunnyAmigurumis won the prize as the most voted for by fellow Ami-Alongers with this heart-meltingly sweet bride and groom.
I was given the very difficult task of choosing a personal favourite and after much deliberation eventually plumped for this 1920’s looking Flapper couple by CheerfulChameleon.
I’m really rather envious of that magnificent fringed dress and all of the fancy jewellery. Her very dapper partner looks like a million dollars too. Wherever they’re planning on heading off to, I have a feeling these two are going to have a fabulous time painting the town red, all dressed up to the nines.
NinaLisa made a beautiful pink furry version, with the suitably glamorous name of Malvina.,,
…as well as a more traditional monkey pair to which she added a cute, smiley banana friend (free banana pattern by Barbara Strasser of Esbelotta.com here)
MadMomAli made a couple of monkeys in Hogwarts House colours. Now there is no mistaking where their allegiances lie!
And I am in love with this photo from myrtille95470 of her newly crocheted monkey wasting no time in making a firm friend of her cat.
And isn’t this photo of lucyjay’s three monkeys in the classic ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ poses wonderful!
Secretsparrow made a very inventive superhero trio. I feel sure that world is a much safer place now we have these fighting on the side of all that’s good!
These chunky monkeys by SherrasYarnTails, made with bulky weight Premier Parfait chenille yarn, has got me all excited to have a go at supersizing some of my other amigurumis.
If you want to show your crochet the love here’s a heads up to get ready for a whole lot of merriment because Mavis and Marvin the mischievous monkeys are coming over for a play-date! In fact, as of today, their pattern will be available exclusively for one month over at Amigurumipatterns.net’s Ami-Along. As an extra bonus all Ami-Along participants can get 30% off all my other patterns in my AmigurumiPatterns Moji-Moji Design shop!
Mavis and Marvin are bursting with energy and love making their friends smile with their clever aerobic antics, so be sure to take them to the park where they can burn off all that energy. But be warned! Unless you are an Olympic athlete you may find it a challenge to keep up with them as they jump all over the swings and swing all over the climbing frames. Those curly monkey tails just love to wrap around anything they can find. If Mavis and Marvin should disappear for a while don’t forget to check the tree tops. That’s where they usually like to hide away.
You will probably be able to tempt them back to earth with a handful of roasted peanuts and foam banana sweets. As these are their favorite treats you could even use the promise of them to encourage Mavis and Marvin to sit quietly for a minute (but absolutely no more than that – I can assure you!).
I was asked to come up with a brand new design especially for the Ami-Along in the middle of January and it’s been a great kick start to the new year. As usual I began with a quick sketch in my dog-eared graph paper note book.
And it wasn’t long before a cute crocheted face followed.
There was a bit of tweaking and refining to do but this little monkey pattern went smoothly right from the start. It was fun to play around with the colours for the clothing.
Next thing I knew, I had a boy monkey swinging off my hook and dashing around the studio too.
Marvin sports a smart bow tie at his neck and a straight hem on his sweater. Mavis’s has a scalloped edge and she wears a little bow proudly on her ear, making her the prettiest primate for miles around.
But what they both have in common is a love of stripes, a cheeky smile and the curliest tails you ever did see!
A lot of note taking and a heap of pattern writing later and I’ve got almost enough to make a whole troop.
I’ve even started on a couple of baby monkeys made with 4 ply yarn and a 1.75 mm hook. Oh my goodness! They are turning out so sweet!
I hope to be back to share a little more of the mini monkeys’ progress along with a round up of other news soon. I’m planning on finishing sewing mini Marvin together this afternoon. Well there are certainly worse ways to spend the day!
I’ll also be hopping in and out of the forums, answering questions and sharing tips and tricks (for the next month) so do come on over, share your progress and ask away!
Mavis, Marvin and myself are very much looking forward to meeting you there and seeing what ape-mazing amigurumis you create!
Well here we go again! It’s time for Zoomigurumi 8 already. Yet another fantastic collection of amigurumi toys to delight the young and the young at heart. I’m definitely in the second category these days but that’s a whole lot better than not being in either!
My Pablo the Parrot has made the grade this year and is featured on pages 63-69 where there are lots of photos of him showing off his wonderful plumage as well as some step by step pictures to help with making him.
Pablo likes dancing to Flamenco music. He reckons his frills and ruffs are a match for any of those man-made fancy pants outfits he’s seen the professional dancers wearing on the telly.
This chatty parrot will tell you all about himself and his hobbies if you take the time to ask him. To be honest, he’ll even tell you if you don’t ask him!
Pablo is keeping company with a host of other cute ‘n’ quirky creatures nestled within the pages of Zoomigurumi 8.
There’s the usual wide variety of styles and skill levels, though there’s nothing in there that a dedicated beginner couldn’t handle. That’s the joy of amigurumi… It’s very easy to get the hang of and once your flying with that hook it’s just so much fun honing those skills.
This time around I had the pleasure of testing out Elisa Sartori’s Woody the Beaver pattern. He’s such a sweetie. I adore his goofy teeth and that adorable flippy floppy tail finishes him off a treat.
You can see more of her lovely patterns at her Etsy shop – Elisa’s Crochet. It’s well worth a look if you like your amigurumis bursting with character!
This chap is Woody by name and Woody by nature. He loves to get his teeth stuck into anything made out of trees so, to save my furniture, I have added twigs and pine cones to the list of things to bring back from my river walks and they’re keeping him out of trouble so far!
Designing Pablo was a bit of a challenge as I wanted to work out a simple way to make the many different coloured ruffles without any sewing together.
It took a few attempts but I got there in the end and found a super simple solution. Working out the best maths for the decreases while still allowing for the correct number of stitches to create full rounds of shell stitches was the most difficult part but I landed on a very elegant equation and now I’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to!
Picking out colours for this design was high up on my list of the fun things I got to do.
I have no shortage of yarn in every imaginable colour so I soon also had an alternative to Pablo’s brilliant blues.
As these little birds are so quick to whip up it wasn’t long until Pablo had found himself a buddy. I love a rainbow so, working with that idea, I came up with a simplified colour combo for a ruby macaw. She’s called Scarlett and the pair of them couldn’t be happier together!
Love is, quite literally, in the air. Aww, how tweet!
In fact things are going so well that Pablo has asked Scarlett to marry him.
The transition through the seasons is never a straightforward one here in England. The weather can pretty much do anything at anytime but there is usually an overall trend that can be easier to see in retrospect. True to form, the weather has been unseasonably warm one day and then unseasonably cold the next over the past few weeks.
I have enjoyed a splendid autumn and thanks, in part, to spraining my wrist – which has made amigurumi-ing a bit of a challenge to say the least, I’ve found other crafts and activities that aren’t so taxing to take it’s place for a bit while my ligaments heal and right themselves ready for a new start in the New Year. Heaven forbid I should sustain permanent damage and never be able to make amigurumi again! My heart truly sinks at such a thought.
I’ve started running to fill the gap and have rediscovered my love of the great outdoors.
Sunshine or frost, it’s feels fabulous and energizing to get outside and see what’s going in the big wide world on a much more regular basis.
It’s all too easy to stay tucked up inside but I have to say I feel so much better for making myself get up and go!
I took an expedition to find some conkers and stumbled on a bumper crop thanks to a storm the day before.
A walk or jog around the river is always a tonic and sunny autumn days are my favorite kind.
The colours are so beautiful and I love the crunch of crispy leaves underfoot.
I feel so lucky to have all this practically on my doorstep.
Of course it’s lovely to get tucked up indoors too, and feels even better after a good foray outdoors.
We’ve been carving pumpkins for the hearth…
…and making and displaying my crocheted pumpkin collection too…
These crocheted gourds were not very taxing to make and I spent quite a few cosy October evenings sewing up the flat rib sections to make little three dimensional balls of autumnal loveliness. Check out the free pattern here.
Rubick is very proud of my handiwork and was very happy to lend his innate Halloweeniness to the photos.
I hope you all had a spookylicious time this Halloween! Now some of you might think it’s a little late in the day for a pumpkin pattern – but in my view pumpkins are for all of autumn and not just for carving freaky faces into. So, undaunted by the lateness of the hour, I’ve been busy stirring a potion in my crochet cauldron to bring you a batch of gorgeous gourds.
There are three sizes to choose from, all on the smallish side and all quick and simple to make. Whether you’re into Halloween shenanigans or not these are perfect for adding a touch of autumnal charm, even after the real pumpkins are past their best by dates.
To make each pumpkin you will need around 6-12 grams of DK yarn. Pretty much any yarn will do but I used James C. Brett’s Twinkle range for this because they come in the most lovely colours and are as cheap as they are cheerful. With so many long dark evenings ahead of us it’s lovely to have some sparkle around the house at this time of year to brighten things up a bit.
You’ll also need a 3 mm crochet hook, a pair of scissors and a yarn needle. Lastly, add in some polyester toy stuffing (and maybe a steaming mug of spiced pumpkin latte) and we’re ready to go.
(Scroll to the end of this post to download a printable version). Pattern notes: This pattern uses US sc (UK dc) throughout.
Leave a 4″ yarn tail at the beginning of the foundation chain for tying off the gathered crochet fabric later.
The pumpkins can be made in a single colour or, if you prefer stripes, you can change colours every two rows.
You will need approx 12 g of yarn for the large pumpkin, 8 g for the medium one and 4 g for the small one.
For the pumpkin body make all stitches in the back loops only (see below).
Working rows in the back loops only creates the ribs that give the pumpkin its structure.Large Pumpkin (9 cm diameter) Make all stitches in back loops only.
With Color 1 make 25 ch (foundation chain). Row 1: (Right side) Starting in second ch from hook, sc in each st to end, turn. (24 sts)
(1 ch at beginning of each row are the turning chains and do not count as a stitch). Rows 2-47: 1 ch, sc in each st to end, turn. (46 rows) Row 48: 1 ch, sc in each st to end.
Fasten off, leaving a long yarn tail for sewing.
With right side facing outwards bring the last row up to meet the foundation chain. Align the stitches and whipstitch the seam together, placing stitches through the back loops only of the last round and into the leftover loops of the foundation chain all the way along. Make a knot in the last stitch. Do not cut the yarn.
Use the needle to thread the rest of the yarn end through the very top loops of the ribs only.
When you have threaded the yarn through all of the rib tips pull gently to gather them up together and tie the two yarn ends securely. Stuff firmly with polyester toy stuffing.