My name is Sonja van der Wijk and I am a Dutch crochet animal pattern designer and illustrator. I love what I do. Here at my blog you can find crochet patterns to make lively crochet animals and so much more.
Now look what I’ve made this time, a new and improved crochet squirrel pattern! This is Floof, a cheeky little grey squirrel.
Some of you might be thinking, ‘A squirrel amigurumi? I thought you were making a fox?’ And erm, yes, I did write that I was working on a fox. But I just couldn’t resist using the new skills I learned when I made the rabbit pattern for a more realistic squirrel pattern. Because in short, that is how designing works sometimes. You learn something from making one animal and a process starts in your head where that new skill is enhanced for another animal. When I was working on the fox, an idea began evolving around a squirrel. ‘What if I made the rabbit’s body more curved with smaller feet and a bigger belly patch, wouldn’t that be perfect for a crochet squirrel if I combined it with a tail similar to the look of the hedgehog spines?’ I asked myself. And when something so exciting like that starts to take shape in my mind, I can barely wait to start making it!
It sounded easier than it was. Creating the characteristic curved back of a squirrel was rather difficult to design, especially when there also had to be a white belly patch. I couldn’t just decrease a few stitches here and there at the back and increase them on the front, because that made the belly look way too wide. So I had to find the right balance between a curved back and a good looking belly. The squirrel turned out a little bit less bent forward than I had imagined, but I like this better. Because Floof is standing up a bit, he looks much more cheeky, like real grey squirrels look after they’ve come into your garden and stolen the bird food. I’m very satisfied with this look – and the tail … the tail is magnificent! The loop stitches take a bit more time to make, but after they are cut and brushed a bit, they absolutely make a very realistic, fluffy squirrel tail. For this grey squirrel amigurumi, I’ve used two contrasting colours of a thinner yarn to create a double coloured effect, but you can of course choose one colour as well. I think I’m totally in love with this fellow. And because I like red squirrels even more, I think I’ll have to make another squirrel very soon! Here are some more pictures of this scrumptious looking crochet squirrel, and below them you can find info about and links to buy the pattern.
Info about & links to buy the pattern
Floof is made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness, and the tail is made with two strands of Lopi Einband held together. If you use the recommended yarn, your squirrel will be 5.5 inch / 14 cm standing.
The pattern is written in US terms and contains a clear and colour-coded description of how to crochet and assemble the crochet squirrel and acorn, 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 fluffy squirrel. 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 20th of June.
With a lot of excitement I present to you this little gift pattern. Meet all kinds of bumblebees!
Last week I had a Spring holiday and suddenly got this 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 an classic looking image with the bees on a white background and their species name written next to them. The short version, I had a lot of fun with this sweet little pattern and hope you will too!
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.
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.
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)
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.
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!
Just writing this short post to let you know I’m going to try something new. It might sound like a big thing, but not to worry, my style will never change. What I am going to do is trying a new type of body. For a long time I’ve been thinking about making more flexible crochet animals. The idea is that these dolls can lie on their bellies, but can also sit upwards. To make them more soft and flexible I’m thinking of using a different, thinner yarn, called Drops Alpaca.
I have no idea if this will work, and maybe I’m able to get the right result with Lett Lopi, but I need some time to work it out.
I also hope to create a type of body that needs less assembling in the end. Sno & Snoosle and Poochey & Fudge already are a start of that, but I want to take it a few steps further, where you create holes from where you later can crochet ahead for the arms and legs. I’m very curious myself how that will work out.
I’m very excited about this for a while now and finally decided to give it a go. I’m starting with a playful little fox. I can’t promise there will be a pattern soon, but I’ll try my best to create the fox pattern I have in mind.
How did this happen? I wasn’t going to create new standing rabbits?! I wanted to redesign my lop rabbit pattern. But oh my, they are so fabulously funny and cute, how could I stop making them! I very proudly present to you, Poochey and Fudge, a new crochet bunny and lop rabbit amigurumi!
It all started with pears. When designing the crochet rabbit’s head, I realised a rabbit head is pear shaped. Basically, when you draw a pear, then draw a little circle at the bottom of it with a nose and mouth in it, ears at the top and eyes over the sides in the middle, you have a perfect bunny head. Knowing that I didn’t immediately knew how to translate that into crochet, but it helped a lot and made me discover the not so obvious head shape I now so love. Yes, my rabbits have pear shaped heads too.
At this point, I still was working on a realistic lop rabbit, but having fun designing, I decided to also try a different coloured head with the ears up. And that made all the difference, not only did I love this version, so did many of you when I showed a little preview on Instagram. When looking at this funny looking character (yes, just a head but I saw the rest of him), I knew an on all fours body would not work with this design. I imagined a silly, chubby looking standing rabbit.
I also realised the leg/ feet shape of the sea otter would work perfect for a flexible crochet rabbit body. Very cute, playful and soft! These little bunnies have become so very whimsical. I adore their silly curly ears and surprised expressions. With crochet rabbits like these, there is no need to try and make them look perfect. It’s their wonkiness that makes them so utterly adorable.
You might be wondering about the differences between Poochey and Fudge. There aren’t much more than the eyes can see. They are practically the same with different colouring, except Fudge’s head is a bit narrower at the top and the lop ears are longer and shaped a bit different, that’s all.
Here are some more pictures of these funny looking crochet rabbits and below them you can find info about and links to buy the pattern.
Info about & links to buy the pattern
Poochey & Fudge are made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. If you use the recommended yarn, Poochey will be 7 inch / 17 cm high and Fudge 6 inch / 15 cm. If you are making a Poochey, 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 rabbits, 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 utterly cute duo. 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 3rd of April.
Maybe this is the most special and adorable pattern I’ve ever made. I proudly present to you a mother and her pup, Sno & Snoosle the crochet sea otter pattern.
Look at them together! They almost look as heartwarming together as real sea otters. Some animals melt me when I look at them. I have to admit, I’m easily melted by animal beauty. Seeing mice, blackbirds or foxes doesn’t really matter, to me they all are gorgeous. But when I was looking online at pictures of sea otters, I even got a bit emotional by some of them. The love a sea otter has for its pup is so overwhelming. The way she holds her baby, tends and dries it and the way the baby sleeps on top of her, feeling completely safe, it’s absolutely heartwarming and shows the intelligence and consciousness of them. Of course the utter cuteness of the sea otter and especially the pup helps. Baby sea otters look like living plushies. Their thick and warm coat makes them look incredibly cute and that was a huge challenge for me in the design process. How could I ever match the cuteness of a real baby sea otter?
Well, I did the best I could, my first prototype pup looked more like a sloth than a sea otter, but at least I knew how not to make it. Actually, I started with the head of the adult. Most adult sea otters have a white face that looks flat, but if you take a better look, you notice they do have quite a snouty face. So, I had to find a way to make the face look flat, but with a muzzle. After several attempts I found the solution. The body of course was not easy to design either, because I wanted the otter to look upwards a bit. That meant I had to make a curved neck. Also, I wasn’t sure about how to attach the legs and tail to the body to make it look natural. When I got stuck on the adult, I started on the pup. A teeny tiny thing it is! In order to achieve making a tiny little otter, I decided to crochet the body as one piece, so you connect the tail and legs and from that point you work your way upwards. That of course was also the solution to create a realistic looking body for the adult otter. How splended that worked out.
Because I like this text to be as short as possible, I’m not going to tell more about the process. But I do want to add that I am ever so delighted with the result. I absolutely love my sea otter amigurumis. Here are some more pictures and below them you can find info about and links to buy the pattern. And yes, the baby is part of this crochet sea otter pattern!
Info about & links to buy the pattern
Sno and Snoosle are made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. If you use the recommended yarn, your adult otter will be 8 inch / 20 cm and the baby 5.5 inch / 12 cm long.
The pattern is written in US terms and contains a clear and colour-coded description of how to crochet and assemble the animals, 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 adorable sea otter duo. 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 Friday the 22nd of Februari.
What a number of names this silly animal can be called by! I proudly present to you Monty II! In Europe we call them marmots, and I believe in the US people also know what animal you mean if you are talking about marmots, but they are also called groundhogs, woodchucks, or whistle pigs there. Yes, whistle pig is my favourite name from now on! Look at this new Monty, isn’t he a marvellous, cranky-looking crochet marmot? Perfectly suitable for Groundhog Day, I would say!
Many years ago I designed a marmot amigurumi pattern after a holiday in the Alps. During our hikes, we often heard a strange high whistle, and after longing to find out what made the noise, we finally saw the culprit. It was the first time we saw Alpine marmots, and I absolutely loved them. Such funny-looking fluffy beasts. After seeing the marmots, of course I had to make a pattern for them. I later realised that the silly animal in the much-loved movie “Groundhog Day” is a marmot, too, how perfect!
Last year I updated many of my older patterns. Some crochet animals got a little makeover, and others stayed the same but got an updated pattern with more pictures and a better layout. There were a few patterns I skipped, and Monty was one of them. I realised that I had learned so much in the past few years that I would make him quite different if I redesigned him. I decided to temporarily put his pattern on hold till I found the right moment to design a new one. And because at the beginning of the new year it always is a bit difficult for me to start something new, this seemed the perfect moment to make Monty II.
And look at him! He looks so much more like a marmot than Monty did. When I made the beaver pattern, I realised that proportions similar to that would be very suitable for a marmot. I designed a new head for Monty with little crocheted-in eyebrows and a new body with a much better shaped yellowish belly. The first Monty was a cute little doll but this one has much more of the marmot attitude, don’t you think? Check out these pictures of this cute marmot/ woodchuck/ groundhog/ whistle pig amigurumi; below them you can find info about and links to buy the pattern.
Info about & links to buy the pattern
Monty is made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. I chose to make the ears, hands, feet, and tail a little bit darker than the body and head, but doing them all in one colour works perfectly well, too. Monty is 5.5 inch / 14 cm high when made with this yarn.
The pattern is written in US terms and contains a clear and colour-coded description of how to crochet and assemble the 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 fluffy marmot 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 Monday the 28th of January.
Today I discovered my shop at Crafty is practically gone. I was totally shocked to see Craftsy isn’t called Craftsy anymore but Bluprint and I only sell one pattern in the little bit of my shop that is left. Thankfully they have a live chat option, so I immediately started a chat to ask what was going on. It seems that I have missed an email that was send to me, oh stupid me – I didn’t read it thoroughly because I thought it wasn’t THAT important – in which was explained Crafty is turning into Bluprint and that shops will be reduced untill they have their new platform running again. This is the message I received:
So this means, my Craftsy shop is temporarily unavailable, unless you want to buy Flam’s pattern. I can proudly say my shop is important to them, so it will return! Later in 2019, it will be re-opened as a Bluprint shop with all the patterns that I sell. I have no idea when this will be, and neither does the Bluprint/ Craftsy team. They are currently working on it so we just have to wait and see. I also hope the Bluprint shop will be just as lovely as my Craftsy shop was. I’ve grown quite fond of it, it was my first shop.
A big benefit of Craftsy for indie designers like me was, they do not charge any fees. The price you paid for a pattern, was the price I received. On Ravelry a seller pays a reasonably fair fee, but on Etsy, the fee is quite high for pattern sellers. Also, when you are from Europe or certain states of the US, you pay extra VAT. That is why I’ve never mentioned my Etsy shop here before. I like my patterns to be found by Etsy customers, but if someone finds my patterns here, I preferred directing them to Craftsy or Ravelry.
For now, you can still purchase my patterns at Ravelry and Etsy. Everything is there. I will keep you updated about Bluprints progress and please do not forget about them, they are the most fair platform to us designers. I’m waiting with anticipation for their new platform for sure!
This is not a very fun way to start the new year and means a bit of extra work for me. But I won’t let it spoil the fun of designing new patterns, I have some very interesting ideas for new patterns, so see you soon!
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!
Brace yourselves, horse girls and boys, for I have finally made you a pattern! I present to you Windu the crochet horse!
Now that this amigurumi horse is finished, I almost regret I haven’t made a horse sooner. I think it’s not just horse people who will like this majestic cutie. I cannot deny that I have a preference to make small, furry wild animals. Horses are gorgeous and clever but I’ve never been a horse girl. There is a big heathland in our area that we often visit where sheep and cows and two sweet Shetland ponies graze. When we go there, we always call the ponies and they come running to us and we can pet them. They have a gorgeous wild fur, and it is so amusing to see those two characters between the other grazers. But it was when I met the Exmoor ponies in the wetlands close to my home that I got excited about making a horse pattern. I absolutely fell in love with those gorgeous, fuzzy and wild ponies.
Because Exmoor ponies are quite big, I decide I could make a horse pattern instead of a pony, as they look so similar anyway. And it is basically up to us, isn’t it? I mean, Windu could just a well be a Shetland pony as a horse!
When I started working on this crochet horse pattern, I wasn’t sure what colours to use. I decided to go freestyle and see what would happen. When I had created the perfect shape for the head, I knew I wanted a lighter nose and a white triangle shape on the head. When I designed the legs, my idea was to give this horse white socks. But while testing, I discovered a darker foot sole with white on top looked perfect. The pieces of the puzzle fell together and I found that I had created this beautiful horse. I’m especially proud of the shape of the head and the mane. Because the head has a very realistic horse shape, you can use any colour you like to create your own horse. So go ahead crafters, experiment and create your favourite! Here are some more pictures of Windu, and below them you can find info about the pattern and links to buy it.
This lovely fuzzy horse is made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. He is 6 inch / 15.5 cm when sitting.
The pattern is written in US 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 horse 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 Craftsy and in my shop at Ravelry or order it here.
This pattern has a one dollar release discount till Thursday the 13th of December, so get your copy soon!