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Home-Mades and Handicrafts

Updated on April 21, 2016
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Lemming13 has been crocheting for years, and over the last five has also been creating her own designs and patterns.

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Not just for Grandma!

Once upon a time I was the odd one out in my social circles, because I love needlecrafts like crochet, embroidery and knitting. People thought of traditional crafts as old-fashioned and dull, and a bit pointless; I was often asked why I bothered hand-crafting knitwear for my children when it was so cheap and easily available in the shops. But they could never point to anything in the shops as lovely, hard-wearing and perfectly fitted as my home-mades, so I kept on crafting. Now these hobbies are becoming more and more popular, and it's not that surprising; they are not only relaxing and fun, they are very practical too. You can produce wonderful, beautiful things for your own use or for gifts, and in these times of recession you can reuse and revamp old things to save money. Many people are even making a living from their work.

In this hub you will find many of my own patterns which are free for you to use (all in UK notation). In fact, this lens has lately become so overcrowded I have set up separate ones for my childrenswear, toys and accessories; so if you don't find a pattern you like, try my Lemming's Crochet Cuties (or Crochet Accessory Patterns, or Crochet Patterns for Childrenswear) and check out the overspill! Some of the things are very traditional, but others have a more modern feel, and as I'm something of a Goth crafter you will find the odd cuddly Cthulhu in among the rest. You will also find some useful website links, book recommendations and the occasional photo gallery of my work. I know it's a bit naughty to brag, but if you're a crafter you'll soon find there's a special kind of pleasure to be had from showing other people what you have made. So take a wander around, and I hope you have fun - let me know in the guestbook what you thought.

What's In Store

For those browsing for a particular type of pattern, here's a list of what's featured in this hub page.

1: Hello Cthulhu (a variation on the famous Hello Kitty, crossbred with the equally famous Cthulhu).

2: Tsathoggi (another mutation - this is a cross between the Cthulu Mythos deity Tsathoggua and Hello Kitty's friend Keroppi the frog)

3: Gothic Lolita Hello Kitty (a tiny cotton Hello Kitty with a different kind of style)

4: Hello Kitty Victorian Wedding ( Hello Kitty dressed for a traditional marriage, with Dear Daniel as her bridegroom)

5: Bride of Frankenstein (a wee doll inspired by Universal Pictures black and white monster movies)

6: Frankenstein's Monster (the bridegroom to my little Bride)

7: Cesare the Somnabulist (this one comes from the silent horror movie 'The Cabinet of Dr Caligari')

8: The Mummy (and back to Universal Pictures for the traditional bandage-wrapped stalker)

9: Berk (for those who loved the tv series 'The Trap Door', the loveable blue hero)

10: Boney (Berk's constantly complaining companion)

11: Cotton Kitty (a tiny cat crocheted with fine thread)

12: Momojiro the Bat (an amigurumi inspired by a Japanese bat species)

13: Snuffles the Piggyphant (stuck between making a pig and an elephant I let my daughter choose - and the Piggyphant was born!)

Hello Cthulhu

I just finished this prototype and I was so pleased I just had to share. Hope you like it too; please, if you use the pattern, don't sell these, just make them for fun or charities.

Requires approximately 50g green dk (I used Big Wucht), 25g black dk (I used Robin) yarn, toy stuffing, two suitable eyes (or in my case flat black noses) and a 3.5 mm hook.

HEAD: Using green, make 11 chain. Round 1; miss first chain, 1 dc into next 9 ch, 3 dc in next ch. Working into back of chain, work 1 dc into next 8 ch, 2 dc into next chain. (22 stitches) Round 2: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 8 dc, 2 dc into next 2 dc*. Repeat from * to * (28) Round 3: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 9 dc, 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next dc, 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next stitch*. Repeat from * to *. (34) Round 4: *2 dc into next stitch, 1 dc into next 10 stitches, 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 2 stitches, 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 2 stitches*, repeat from * to *. (40) Round 5: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 11 stitches, 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 3 stitches, 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 3 stitches*, repeat from * to *. (46) Round 6: * 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 12 stitches, 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 4 stitches, 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 4 stitches*, repeat from * to *. (52) Round 7: *2 dc into next stitch, 1 dc into next 13 stitches, 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 5 dc, 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 5 stitches*, repeat from * to *. (58) Round 8: *2dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 14 dc, 2 dc into next stitch, 1 dc into next 6 dc, 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 6 stitches*, repeat from * to *. (64) Rounds 9 - 15. Dc into every stitch (64) Round 16: *Decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 14 stitches, decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 6 stitches, decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 6 stitches*, repeat from * to *. (58) Round 17: Dc into every stitch (58) Round 18: Decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 5 dc. Into next dc, work 1 dc, ^make 6 chain. Miss first 3 chain, 3 dc into next 3 chain^ (one tentacle). Into same dc, work another tentacle. Work 2 tentacles into each of next 2 dc. 1 dc into each of next 5 dc, decrease over next 2 stitches, 1 dc into next 5 dc, decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 5 stitches, decrease over next 2 dc. I dc into next 13 stitches, decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 5 stitches, decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 5 dc. (55) Round 19: 1 dc into each stitch to tentacles. Work 1 dc into back of each pair of tentacles, making sure you push the tentacles to the outer side, dc to end. (52) Round 20: *Decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 12 stitches, decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 4 dc, decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 4 dc*, repeat from * to *. (46) Round 21: *Decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 11 dc, decrease over next 2 stitches, 1 dc in next 3 dc, decrease over 2 dc, 1 dc into next 3 dc*, repeat from * to *. (40) Round 22: *Decrease over next 2 stitches, 1 dc into next 10 dc, decrease over next 2 stitches, 1 dc into next 2 dc, decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 2 stitches*, repeat from * to * (34) Round 23: *Decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 9 stitches, decrease over next 2 stitches, 1 dc, decrease over next 2 stitches, 1 dc*, repeat from * to *. (28) Round 24: *Decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 8 stitches, decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 2 stitches*, repeat from * to *. Slip stitch to first stitch and fasten off, leaving long tail. (24) If using toy eyes, set them in position before stuffing the head. Place eyes a couple of rows above the tentacles, leaving a gap of about two stitches at each side of the tentacles cluster.

BODY: Using black, make 2 chain. Round 1: into second ch from hook, work 6 dc. (I advise you to mark the beginning of each round from this point; I used a ring marker, but a bit of contrasting yarn works as well) Round 2: 2 dc into each dc. (12) Round 3: *2 dc into next stitch, 1 dc into next dc*, repeat to end. (18) Round 4: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 2 stitches*, repeat to end. (24) Round 5: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 3 stitches*, repeat. (30) Round 6: *2 dc into next stitch, 1 dc into next 4 stitches*, repeat. (36) Round 7: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 5 stitches*, repeat. (42) Round 8: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 6 stitches*, repeat. (48) Rounds 9 - 12: dc into every stitch. (48) Round 13: *Decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 6 stitches*, repeat. (42) Rounds 14 - 16: dc into each stitch (42). (I recommend you part-stuff the body at this point, as the opening narrows). Round 17: *decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 5 stitches*, repeat. (36) Round 18: dc to end. Round 19: *Decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 4 dc*, repeat. (30) Round 20: dc to end Round 21: *Decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 3 stitches*, repeat. (24) Round 22: dc to end. Fasten off. Finish stuffing the body (you may find it helps to take a small amount of stuffing at a time and push it into the opening with the blunt end of your hook). Attach head to body using long tail left on head, and couching stitch.

ARMS: (2) Using green, make 2 chain. Round 1: 6 dc into second chain from hook. Round 2: 2 dc into each stitch (12). Mark start of round. Round 3: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next stitch*, repeat. (18) Round 4: dc to end Round 5: *decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 4 dc*, repeat. (15) Rounds 6 - 9: dc Round 10: *decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 3 stitches*, repeat. (12) Rounds 11 - 12: dc Round 13: *decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 2 stitches*, repeat. (9) Round 14: *decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc*, repeat. Fasten off leaving long tail to sew on to body. (6) Stuff arms and attach to body.

FEET: (2) Using green, make 9 chain. Round 1: 1 dc into next 7 ch, 3 dc into end chain. Working down back of chain, 1 dc into next 6 ch, 2 dc into next ch. (18) Round 2: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 6 stitches, 2 dc into next 2 dc*, repeat. (24) Round 3: *2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next 7 stitches, 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next stitch, 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next stitch*, repeat. (30) Round 4: 1 dc into next 9 dc, decrease over next 2 stitches, 1 dc in next dc, decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc in next stitch, decrease over next 2 dc, 1 dc into next 13 dc, fasten off. (27). Stuff feet and stitch to body.

WINGS: (2) Using green, make 4 chain. Row 1: miss 1 ch, 1 dc into next 3 ch, ch 1, turn. Row 2: 1 dc into next 3 dc, ch 4, turn. Row 3: Miss 1 ch, 3 dc into next 3 ch, 3 half trebles into next 3 dc, ch 1, turn. Row 4: One dc into 3 half trebles, 5 ch, turn. Row 5: Miss first ch, 1 dc into next 4 ch, 1 half treble into next 3 stitches, ch 1, turn. Row 6: 1 dc into next 4 stitches , 6 ch, turn. Row 7: 5 dc into next 5 ch, 4 half trebles into next 4 stitches. Ch 3. Work 8 dc evenly along top edge of wing (opposite the points). Ss into first ch, fasten off leaving long tail. Stitch to body.

BOW: Part 1: using black, make 10 chain. Work 9 dc into next 9 chain, 1 ch, turn. Work 5 more dc rows, fasten off. Part 2: using black, make 13 chain. Work 1 dc into each of 12 chain, 1 ch, turn. Work 1 more row, fasten off. Attach part two to centre of part one and stitch firmly to it at the narrow end, then wrap free end around centre of part one until you have a bow shape. Stitch together, then attach to head on right at top.

Cute Old Ones 2: Tsathoggi

For those who don't know, Tsathoggua is a deity of the Cthulhu Mythos, created by H P Lovecraft's friend Clark Ashton Smith and adopted by many writers of Mythos tales. It is a furry toadlike thing with bat's ears and sleepy eyes. Keroppi, on the other hand, is a cute froggy friend of Hello Kitty. Combine the two and you get - Tsathoggi!

REQUIRES

Yarn - 25g Wendy Chic green DK; about 30 g green DK; small amount of black and white DK

Hook / Needles - 3 mm

Sundries - pink felt, toy stuffing

INSTRUCTIONS

BODY

Using Wendy Chic, make 6 ch. Rd 1; into 2nd ch from hook work 1 dc, dc 3, work 3 dc into next chain, dc 3, 2 dc in next chain. 12. Rd 2; inc, dc 3, inc in next 3, dc 3, inc in next 2. 18. Rd 3; (dc 3, inc, dc 3, inc 2), repeat to end. 24. Rd 4; (dc 8, inc 4), repeat. 32. Rd 5 - 8; dc. Rd 9; (dc 4, dec, dc 4, dec, dc 2, dec), repeat. 26. Rd 10; dc. Rd 11; (dc 3, dec, dc 2, dec, dc 2, dec), repeat. 20. Rd 12; dc. Rd 13; (dc 3, dec), repeat to end. Rd 14; dc. Fasten off. Stuff and pull through as much of the fur strands through to the outside as you can.

FEET (make 2)

Using green DK make 5 chain. Rd 1; dc into 2nd chain from hook, dc 2, 3 dc into next chain, dc 2, 2 dc into next chain. 10. Rd 2; dc 4, into next stitch work 2 dc + 1 ss, dc into next stitch, into next stitch work 1 ss + 2 dc, dc 3 (for right foot work 3 dc at start of round and 4 at end). Do not count the ss on this round or any following rounds as a stitch. 12. Rd 3; dc 4, 2 dc in next stitch, dc + ss into next stitch, dc, ss + dc into next stitch, 2 dc in next stitch, dc 3 (right foot begin with 3 dc and end with 4). 14. Rd 4; working around back posts of Rd 3 now, so you are more or less at right angles to the pad of the foot. Dc 7. Now work 3 dc round back posts of Rd 2 stitches. Finally 7 dc round back posts of Rd 3. 17. Rd 5; dc 7, dec 2, dc 6 (on right foot work dc 6, dec 2, dc 7). 15. Rd 6; dec, dc 4, dec over 3 dc, dc 4, dec. 11. Rd 7; dc. Fasten off. Stuff and stitch to body.

HEAD

Using green DK make 6 chain. Rd 1; dc into 2nd chain, dc in next 3 chain, 3 dc in next chain, dc 3, 2 dc in next chain. 12. Rd 2; inc, dc 3, inc 3, dc 3, inc 2. 18. Rd 3; inc, dc 5, inc 4, dc 5, inc 3. 26. Rd 4; inc, dc 9, inc 4, dc 9, inc 3. 34. Rd 5 - 9; dc. Rd 10; dec, dc 14, dec 2, dc 14, dec. 30. Rd 11; dc. Rd 12; dec, dc 11, dec 2, dc 11, dec. 26. Rd 13; dec, dc 9, dec 2, dc 9, dec. 22. Rd 14; dc. Rd 15; dec, dc 7, dec 2, dc 7, dec. 18. Rd 16; dec, dc 5, dec 2, dc 5, dec. 14. Stuff now. Rd 17; dc, (dec, dc) to last stitch, dc, ending with ss to first stitch. 10. Fasten off leaving long tail. Top up stuffing if needed, then use long tail to draw up and pull tight. Fasten off securely. Cut small circles of pink felt for cheeks (I used a 5p coin as template) and glue in place. Stitch mouth in V shape with two straight stitches of black DK.

EYES (make 2)

Using white DK make magic ring. Work 6dc into it. Now change to green DK. Rd 2; inc to end. 12. Rd 3; (dc 1, inc) to end. 18. Rd 4; dc. Rd 5; (dc 1, dec) to end. 12. Stuff now. Rd 6; dec to end. 6. Top off stuffing if needed, draw up and pull tight, fasten off securely. Embroider pupil on white area with black DK. Attach to top of head.

EARS (make 2)

Using Wendy Chic, make 6 chain. Dc into 2nd chain from hook, dc to end. 5. Work 8 rows dc. Next row; dec, dc 1, dec. 3. Fasten off and stitch to head at back.

ARMS (make 2)

Using green DK make magic ring. Rd 1l 5 dc into ring. Rd 2; inc to end. 10. Rd 3 - 5; dc. Rd 6; (dec, dc 3), repeat. 8. Rd 7 - 8; dc. Fasten off, stuff and attach to body.

Crafter's Gallery 1 - Here are some photos of some of my other crafted items, not all from my own patterns. Hope you like them.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Autumn Afghan: a soft, warm blanket I crocheted using a variety of yarns including funky fur.A collection of thread bears I made from the pattern on the lens How To Make a Thread Bear.A navajo-style blanket coat I crocheted.This black and white bag is my own design, you'll find the pattern on my lens Crochet Accessory Patterns.I used a blank ceramic coaster and acrylic pens to create my Cthulhu coffee companion.I cross stitched these Egyptian heads from a kit, then made plain oatmeal linen cushions to mount them on.These are crochet lace gloves I made for my daughter, embellished with fabric roses.I made this boy's jerkin based on a knitted pattern, but I converted it to crochet.I have become very fond of making my own tawashi - Japanese dish scrubbers.  This one uses bamboo yarn.This was a tapestry piece I finished for an elderly friend of my mum's, who had begun it but couldn't manage it.This baby layette I made for my great-niece; the pattern is on my Crochet Patterns for Childrenswear lens.Another of my afghans made with funky fur yarns; I call this one Siberian Tiger.This bag is on my Accessory patterns lens too - I was inspired by an outbreak of patriotic bunting across the UK.The Cattypillow - a crochet bolster cover made with funky fur yarns.The Cattypillow again, a side view showing his tail and legs.I embellished this crochet lace choker with fabric roses and beads.I am working on a set of 'chibi' Great British Detectives; here's Poirot, Holmes and Father Brown.This afghan was a housewarming gift for my nephew and his partner - I call it Stained Glass Mosaic.In progress is an afghan for my son made of game-related motifs.  This is from Halo.
Autumn Afghan: a soft, warm blanket I crocheted using a variety of yarns including funky fur.
Autumn Afghan: a soft, warm blanket I crocheted using a variety of yarns including funky fur.
A collection of thread bears I made from the pattern on the lens How To Make a Thread Bear.
A collection of thread bears I made from the pattern on the lens How To Make a Thread Bear.
A navajo-style blanket coat I crocheted.
A navajo-style blanket coat I crocheted.
This black and white bag is my own design, you'll find the pattern on my lens Crochet Accessory Patterns.
This black and white bag is my own design, you'll find the pattern on my lens Crochet Accessory Patterns.
I used a blank ceramic coaster and acrylic pens to create my Cthulhu coffee companion.
I used a blank ceramic coaster and acrylic pens to create my Cthulhu coffee companion.
I cross stitched these Egyptian heads from a kit, then made plain oatmeal linen cushions to mount them on.
I cross stitched these Egyptian heads from a kit, then made plain oatmeal linen cushions to mount them on.
These are crochet lace gloves I made for my daughter, embellished with fabric roses.
These are crochet lace gloves I made for my daughter, embellished with fabric roses.
I made this boy's jerkin based on a knitted pattern, but I converted it to crochet.
I made this boy's jerkin based on a knitted pattern, but I converted it to crochet.
I have become very fond of making my own tawashi - Japanese dish scrubbers.  This one uses bamboo yarn.
I have become very fond of making my own tawashi - Japanese dish scrubbers. This one uses bamboo yarn.
This was a tapestry piece I finished for an elderly friend of my mum's, who had begun it but couldn't manage it.
This was a tapestry piece I finished for an elderly friend of my mum's, who had begun it but couldn't manage it.
This baby layette I made for my great-niece; the pattern is on my Crochet Patterns for Childrenswear lens.
This baby layette I made for my great-niece; the pattern is on my Crochet Patterns for Childrenswear lens.
Another of my afghans made with funky fur yarns; I call this one Siberian Tiger.
Another of my afghans made with funky fur yarns; I call this one Siberian Tiger.
This bag is on my Accessory patterns lens too - I was inspired by an outbreak of patriotic bunting across the UK.
This bag is on my Accessory patterns lens too - I was inspired by an outbreak of patriotic bunting across the UK.
The Cattypillow - a crochet bolster cover made with funky fur yarns.
The Cattypillow - a crochet bolster cover made with funky fur yarns.
The Cattypillow again, a side view showing his tail and legs.
The Cattypillow again, a side view showing his tail and legs.
I embellished this crochet lace choker with fabric roses and beads.
I embellished this crochet lace choker with fabric roses and beads.
I am working on a set of 'chibi' Great British Detectives; here's Poirot, Holmes and Father Brown.
I am working on a set of 'chibi' Great British Detectives; here's Poirot, Holmes and Father Brown.
This afghan was a housewarming gift for my nephew and his partner - I call it Stained Glass Mosaic.
This afghan was a housewarming gift for my nephew and his partner - I call it Stained Glass Mosaic.
In progress is an afghan for my son made of game-related motifs.  This is from Halo.
In progress is an afghan for my son made of game-related motifs. This is from Halo.

Gothic Lolita Hello Kitty

I love Hello Kitty, and I love GothLollies, and I love making tiny thread amigurumis - so I combined all three for this pattern. The finished toy is about 8.5 centimetres, or three and a half inches. Hope you like it.

REQUIRES

Yarn - 25 g Anchor Cotton no 8 white, 25g black

Hook / Needles - 1.25

Sundries - small amount black, yellow and silver embroidery silk, toy stuffing.

INSTRUCTIONS

HEAD

Using white cotton, make 6 chain. Rd 1: Dc into second chain from hook, dc 3, work 4 dc into last chain. Now work along back of chain - 3 dc, then work 3 dc into last stitch. Do not join. 14. Rd 2: inc in 1st dc, dc 5, inc in next 2 stitches, dc 5, inc in last stitch. 18. Rd 3; inc, dc 7, inc in next 2, dc 7, inc. 22. Rd 4 - 8; dc. Rd 9; dec, dc 9, dec, dc to end. 20. Rd 10; dec, dc 8, dec, dc to end. 18. Rd 11; (dc 1, dec) to end. 12. Fasten off and stuff.

EARS (Make 2)

Using white make magic ring, work 4 dc into it. Rd 1; inc in every dc. 8. Rd 2; inc, dc 3, inc, dc to end. 10. Rd 3; inc, dc 4, inc, dc to end. 12. Fasten off. Stuff lightly and attach to head.

Once ears are in place you can mark positions for eyes, nose and whiskers. Embroider eyes and whiskers with black embroidery silk, and nose with yellow.

LARGE BOW

Using black, make 6 chain. Dc into second chain from hook, dc to end. 5. Work 3 rows of dc till you have a small rectangle. Fasten off leaving a long tail. Use a needle to run tail to centre of rectangle and then wrap it tightly round middle of rectangle so ends form bow shape. Secure by putting a stitch through the centre of the wrapping, then use the tail to secure to head next to ear.

BODY

Using black, make magic ring and work 6 dc into it. Rd 1; inc in every stitch. 12. Rd 2; (dc 1, inc) to end. 18. Rd 3; (dc 2, inc) to end. 24. Rd 4; (dc 3, inc) to end. 30. Rd 5 - 6; dc. Rd 7; (dc 3, dec) to end. 24. Rd 8; dc. Rd 9; (dc 2, dec) to end. 18. Rd 10; dc. Rd 11; (dc 1, dec) to end. 12. Rd 12; dc. Fasten off and stuff. Sew head and body openings together. (Note; this kitty has no tail, as it would not sit properly with the skirt flounces).

FEET (Make 2)

Using black, make magic ring and work 6 dc into it. Rd 1; inc in each dc. 12. Rd 2; inc in first 2 dc, dc 8, inc in next 2 dc. 16. Rd 3; dc. Rd 4; dec 2, dc 8, dec 2. 12. Rd 5; dc. Rd 6; dec 1, dc 8, dec 1. 10. Change to white. Rd 7 - 10; dc. Fasten off and stuff.

SMALL BOWS (make 2)

Using white make 5 chain. Dc into 2nd chain from hook, dc to end. 4. Work 2 rows of dc on these stitches and fasten off leaving a long tail. Finish as for large bow, wrapping tail round centre of rectangle and anchoring with a stitch. Attach one bow to each shoe where the colours change, at centre of shaping. Sew feet to body when bow is attached.

SKIRT

First Flounce; using white and holding kitty so feet are uppermost, attach white cotton to back of body about two rows up from base. Make a row of dc evenly round body, working through black stitches of body so your flounce comes off at an angle. The number of stitches depends on how well stuffed your kitty is and how frilly you want the flounces - the more stitches, the more frills. SS last dc to first. Make 3 chain. Work 4 trebles into same stitch as chain, then 5 trebles into every dc all round, joining last treble to top of 3 chain with ss. Fasten off.

Second flounce. Again with white, attach cotton as before; skip a couple of rows and work into a row closer to Kitty's head. Work as for first flounce, with a row of dc into which you work clusters of 5 trebles.

Main Skirt. Using black, attach cotton as before a couple of rows higher up the torso than 2nd flounce. Work a row of dc around body. Rd 2; work ONE treble into every dc all round. Rd 3; work 3 trebles into each treble of previous row, joining with a ss to top of first stitch and fastening off.

ARMS (Make 2)

Using white make magic ring, work 6 dc into it. Rd 1; inc in every stitch. 12. Rd 2; dc. Rd 3; (dc 1, dec) to end. 8. Rd 4 - 5; dc. Rd 6; (dc 2, dec) to end. 6. Rd 7 - 10; dc. Stuff. Now dec till opening closed, fasten off and sew to body.

You can now add decoration to your kitty if you like; I embroidered a little cross with metallic silver embroidery thread, and gave her wristlets made by a simple chain using two strands of black cotton, through which I ran another thread of metallic silver. But you could add more bows, beads, or sequins; or leave her just as she is.

Hello Kitty Victorian Wedding

In response to numerous requests here's my Hello Kitty bride and groom pattern. I stress that I do not own copyright on these characters and no-one should reproduce these for sale. I also apologise for any errors, I didn't make notes as I went and may have not remembered correctly. If you do find errors, please let me know.

Requires: approx 300 g white, 100g light grey, 50g lilac DK yarn. Small scrap black yarn. Toy eyes and noses, unless you prefer to embroider them (in which case, more black yarn and small amount yellow). 3.5 hook. Toy stuffing. The pieces up to the point where I mark off for Bride and Groom are common to both toys, so make 2 heads, 4 ears etc.

HEAD

Using white, make 8 chain. Work first round on both sides of chain. Rd 1; dc into next 7 chain, 3 dc into next chain. Dc into next 6 stitches, 2 dc into next. 18. From now until rd 8, join all rds. Rd 2; inc 2, (dc 6, inc 2) to end. 24. Rd 3; (inc, dc 8, inc, dc, inc, dc) to end. 30. Rd 4; (inc, dc 9, inc, dc 2, inc, dc 2) to end. 36. Rd 5; (inc, dc 10, inc, dc 3, inc, dc 3) to end. 42. Rd 6; (inc, dc 11, inc, dc 4, inc, dc 4) to end. 48. Rd 7; (inc, dc 12, inc, dc 5, inc, dc 5) to end. 54. Rd 8 - 13; dc all round, do not join. Rd 14; (dec, dc 12, dec, dc 5, dec, dc 5) to end, join. 48. Rd 15; dc all round, do not join. Rd 16; (dec, dc 11, dec, dc 4, dec, dc 4) to end, join. 42. Rd 17; dc all round, do not join. Rd 18; (dec, dc 10, dec, dc 3, dec, dc 3) to end, join. 36. Rd 19; (dec, dc 9, dec, dc 2, dec, dc 2) to end, join. 30. Rd 20; (dec, dc 8, dec, dc, dec, dc) to end, join. 24. Rd 21; (dec, dc 4) to end, join. 20. Fasten off. If using toy eyes insert now. Position eyes on about 7 rows up and 7 stitches in from side - should be about 9 stitches between. Position nose between eyes about 5 rows up. Stuff head. Stitch 3 whiskers each side using black starting just above eye.

EARS (make 2)

Using white make magic ring. Rd 1; work 6 dc into ring, do not join. Rd 2; (inc, dc) to end. From now on join all rows. 9. Rd 3; (inc, dc 2) to end. 12. Rd 4; (inc, dc 3) to end. 15. Rd 5; (inc, dc 4) to end. 18. Rd 6; (inc, dc 5) to end. 21. Fasten off, stuff and stitch to head.

HANDS (make 2)

Using white make magic ring. Rd 1; 6 dc into ring, do not join. Rd 2; inc to end. Join. 12. Rd 3; (inc, dc) to end. Join. 18. Rd 4; dc to end. Rd 5; (dec, dc 4) to end, join. 15. Rd 6; dc to end. Rd 7; (dec, dc 3) to end, join. 12. Rd 8 - 11; dc to end. Rd 12; (dec, dc 2) to end, join. 9. Rd 13; (dec, dc) to end, join. 6. Fasten off. Stuff and stitch to body when completed.

TAIL

Using white make magic ring. Rd 1; 6 dc into ring, do not join. Rd 2; inc to end, join. 12. Rd 3 - 4; dc to end. Fasten off. Stuff and stitch to body when complete.

BOW TIES

Using lilac, make 8 chain (+ 1). Turn. Work 4 rows dc. Fasten off. Now make 4 chain (+ 1). Work 2 rows dc. Fasten off. Wrap smaller strip around centre of larger one, pulling tight to create bow effect, stitch base to secure..

SMALL FLOWERS

Make in white for Kitty's neck bow and in lilac for Daniel's buttonhole. Make 9 chain. Work 2 half trebles into second chain, ss into next 2 ch, 2 htr into next, repeat to end and fasten off leaving tail. Now roll up this strip so it forms the flower, stitching into place tightly using the tail.

BRIDE PIECES

BODY

Using white, make magic ring. Rd 1; 6 dc into ring. Join all increase and decrease rounds from now on. Rd 2; inc o end. 12. Rd 3; (inc, dc) to end. 18. Rd 4; (inc, dc 2) to end. 24. Rd 5; (inc, dc 3) to end. 30. Rd 6; (inc, dc 4) to end. 36. Rd 7; (inc, dc 5) to end. 42. Rd 8; (inc, dc 6) to end. 48. Rd 9 - 11; dc to end. Rd12; (dec, dc 6) to end. 42. Rd 13; dc to end. Rd 14; (dec, dc 5) to end. 36. Rd 15; dc to end. Rd 16; (dec, dc 4) to end. 30. Rd 17; dc to end. Rd 18; (dec, dc 4) to end. 25. Rd 19; dc to end. Rd 20; (dec, dc 3) to end. 20. Rd 21; dc to end. Fasten off. Rejoin yarn to row 14 and work through stitches of that row. Rd 1; dc to end. 36. Rd 2; (inc, dc 5) to end. 42. Rd 3; (inc, dc 6) to end. 48. Rd 4; (inc, dc 7) to end. 54. Rd 5; (inc, dc 8) to end. 60. Rd 6; (inc, dc 9) to end. 66. Rd 7; dc. Rd 8; (inc, dc 10) to end. 72. Rd 9; dc. Rd 10; (inc, dc 11) to end. 78. Rd 11; dc. Rd 12; (inc, dc 12) to end. 84. Change to lilac. Rd 13 - 15; dc. Change back to white. Rd 16; dc. Rd 17; (inc, dc 3) to end. 105. Rd 18; dc. Rd 19; (inc, dc 4) to end. 126. Rd 20; (dc, work 1 htr and 1 treble into next stitch, 2 dtr into next, 1 tr + 1 htr into next, dc, ss into next) repeat to end. 21 repeats, 189 stitches. Fasten off. Stitch head, hands and legs to body when completed.

FEET (Make 2)

Using white make 6 chain. Work around both sides of chain. Rd 1; dc into next 4 chain, 3 dc into next chain, dc 3, 2 dc into next chain. 12. Rd 2; (inc, dc 3, inc) to end, join. 18. Rd 3 - 11; dc. Fasten off. Stuff and stitch to body.

MEDIUM FLOWERS

Use for bouquet and flower on Kitty's head bow. Using lilac make 11 chain (+ 1). Work ( 2 htr into next chain, ss into next, 2) to end. Fasten off leaving tail. Roll around as for small flowers and secure.

LARGE FLOWERS (make 3)

For Kitty's dress. Using lilac make 15 ch (+ 1). Work as for medium flowers, but work 2 ss between htrs. Roll up and secure as before, stitch to front of dress above lilac band.

BOUQUET BASE

For the frill around the bouquet. Using white, make magic ring. Rd 1; work 6 dc into ring. Rd 2; inc to end, join. 12. Rd 3; (ss into next stitch, ch 4) to end. Fasten off. Now stitch 3 lilac medium flowers into centre of bouquet and sew bouquet to hands.

NECK FRILL

Using white make 22 chain (+ 1). Row 1; dc to end. 22. Row 2; ch 3, tr2 into next stitch, (3 tr in next). Repeat ()to end. 66. Row 3; ch 3, tr in next stitch, (2 tr in next stitch) to end. 132. Fasten off. Stitch in place around neck. Sew neck bow in place on front, having secured flower to centre strip on bow first.

HEAD BOW

Using lilac make 12 chain (+ 1). Work 6 rows dc onto these chain, fasten off. Now using lilac make 9 chain (+ 1). Dc into each to end. Fasten off. Wind narrow strip round centre of wider on to form bow and secure. Stitch white medium flower to this strip. Sew bow to head next to left ear. Your bride is now complete.

GROOM PIECES

FEET (Make 2)

Using white make 6 chain + 1. Work around both sides of chain. Rd 1; dc 5, 3 dc in next stitch, dc 4, 2 dc in next st. 14. Rd 2; (inc, dc 4, inc 2) to end, join. 20. Rd 3; (inc, dc 5, inc, dc, inc, dc) to end, join. 26. Rd 4; (dec, dc 2, dec) to end, join. 20. Rd 5; (dec, dc 8) to end. 18. Rd 6 - 7; dc to end. Change to grey. Rd 8 - 15; dc to end. Fasten off. Stuff feet and join together at top with 2 stitches; your legs should be open tubes linked at the 'groin'.

BODY.

Rejoin grey to legs and work 36 dc all round top of both legs to form first row of body. Rd 1 - 7; dc. Change to white. Rd 8; (dec, dc 7) to end, join. 32. Rd 9; dc. Rd 10; (dec, dc 6) to end, join. 26. Rd 11; dc to end. Rd 12; (dec, dc 5) to end, join. 20. Rd 13; dc to end. Fasten off. Attach head, tail, bowtie and arms to body.

VEST (Make 2)

Using lilac make 2 chain + 1. Row 1; dc in next 2 chain, ch1, turn. 2. Rd 2; inc, dc 1, ch 1, turn. 3. Continue increase at beginning of each row till you have 9 stitches. Work 3 rows dc. Next row; dec, dc 1, dec, turn. 3. Next row; dec, dc 1, turn. 2. Last row; dec. Fasten off. Stitch in place on front of body so one piece slightly overlaps the other. Work 'buttons' by stitching with white yarn.

JACKET

Using grey, make 11 chain + 1. Back. Row 1; dc to end. 11. Turn. Row 2 - 4; dc to end. Row 5; inc, dc 9, inc, ch 4, turn. 13 + 4. Row 6; work dc into 2nd chain and next 2 chain, dc to end, ch 4, turn. 16 + 4. Row 7; dc into 2nd chain, dc into next 2 chain and each dc to end. Ch 1, turn. 19. Rows 8 - 15; dc. Fasten off. Right front. Rejoin yarn to beginning of this piece with right side facing and work 3 dc, ch 1, turn. 3. Row 2 - 3; dc 3, ch 1, turn. Row 4; inc, dc 2, ch 1, turn. 4. Row 5; dc 3, inc, ch 1, turn. 5. Row 6; inc, dc 4, ch 1, turn. 6. Row 7; dc to end, ch 1, turn. Row 8; inc 1, dc 4, inc into next stitch, ch 1, turn. 8. Row 9 - 15; dc. SS side seam together from bottom to row 6 of back. Fasten off. Left front. Reattach to beginning of back piece on opposite side to right front and work as given for right front, reversing shapings. Fasten side seam as before. Sleeves (make 2). Using lilac make 21 chain, join. Rd 1; work 21 dc into chain. Change to grey. Rd 2; dc 12, dec 2, dc 3, dec. 18. Rd 3; dc 14, dec 2. 16. Rd 4; dc 14, dec. 15. Rd 5; dc to end. SS into place on main jacket. Lapels. Starting 4 rows up, attach grey to right front and work dc evenly up front, round neck and down left front to 4 rows up on that side. Turn. Work 2 rows dc. Fasten off. Fold out lapels so they lie flat. Reattach lilac to bottom edge of jacket and work dc up front edge, across bottom of lapel and up the side till you are about 4 stitches up from the start of the lapel. Now dc across 3 stitches together so you create a v shape in lapel. Work dc along rest of lapel and round neck till you reach the point opposite your v, and work another decrease over 3 here to match you first. Continue to bottom edge and fasten off. Sew buttonhole to jacket.

TOP HAT

Using grey make magic ring. Rd 1; work 6 dc into ring. Rd 2; inc in each. 12. Rd 3; (inc, dc 1) to end. 18. Rd 4; (inc, dc 2) to end. 24. Rd 5; working into back loops only, dc all round. Rd 6; dc to end. Rd 7; (dec, dc 2). 18. Rd 8; dc. Rd 9; (dec, dc 1) to end. 12. Rd 10; dc to end. Rd 11; dec all round. 6. Rd 12; inc, dc 1, inc 2, dc 1, inc. Join. 10. Rd 13; inc, dc 3, inc 2, dc 3, inc. 14. Join. Rd 14; inc, dc 5, inc 2, dc 5, inc. 19. Join, Fasten off. Stuff tube of hat. Using lilac make 18 ch. Work 1 row dc, fasten off. Stitch band in place round hat and sew in place. Your groom is now finished.

Bride of Frankenstein Amigurumi

Here she is, my version of the legendary Bride - a little chubbier than the lovely Elsa, but I'm still quite proud.

Requirements: approx 20g each of white, black, ivory and mingled (ivory, black and grey) wool, double knitting (worsted weight). Approx 10g white 4 ply. Small length of dark grey wool or tapestry yarn. About 12 - 14cm of 10 mm white rickrack braid. 7.5 x 10 cm piece of plastic canvas. Toy stuffing and small amount of weighted stuffing such as polystyrene beads. White sewing thread. 3.5 mm + 3 mm hooks. Stitch marker.

BODY: Using white DK and 3.5 hook, make magic ring with 6 dc (single crochet in US terms). Make sure when creating the ring you leave a long tail inside your work. Round 1: 2 dc into every stitch to end. 12 stitches. Do not join; place marker at beginning of round. Round 2: 1 dc, increase in next dc, repeat to end. 18 stitches. Round 3: {1 dc into next 2 dc, increase in next stitch}, repeat to end. 24 stitches. Round 4: {1 dc into next 3 dc, increase in next stitch}, repeat to end. 30 stitches. Round 5: {1 dc into next 4 dc, increase in next stitch}, repeat to end. 36 stitches. Round 6: {1 dc into next 5 dc, increase in next stitch}, repeat to end. 42 stitches. Round 7: working into back loop of stitches only, dc in every stitch to end. 42 stitches. Round 8: 1 dc into every stitch to end. 42 stitches. Put a stitch holder into your last loop and remove the hook. Now insert your plastic canvas into the base created (I used 7 mesh clear), cutting it into a rough circle to fit in neatly. It does not need to fit exactly to the edges. Anchor it down using the long tail you left at the beginning, using a darning needle to put a couple of stitches through the canvas and the actual crocheted base, then fasten off on the inside and cut the tail to about an inch. Slip your hook back into the loop and continue to crochet. Round 9: 1 dc into next 2 stitches, decrease over next 2 stitches. {1 dc into next 5 dc, decrease over next 2 stitches}, repeat to last 4 stitches. 1 dc into next 2 stitches, decrease over next 2 stitches. 30 stitches. Round 10 - 12: 1 dc in each stitch to end. 30 stitches. Round 13: 1 dc in next stitch, decrease over next 2 stitches. {1 dc into next 3 stitches, decrease over next 2 stitches}, repeat to last 2 stitches, 1 dc in last 2 stitches. 24 stitches. Rounds 14 - 18: 1 dc in each stitch to end. 24 stitches. Round 19: {1 dc into next 4 stitches, decrease over next 2 stitches}, repeat to end. 20 stitches. Rounds 20 - 24: 1 dc in each stitch to end. 20 stitches. Round 25: {1 dc into next 3 stitches, decrease over next 2 stitches}, repeat to end. 16 stitches. Slipstitch into first stitch of round and fasten off leaving long tail. You should have a truncated rough cone with a base diameter about 8cm, and about 10 cm tall. Insert a liner to hold your weighted stuffing (I used the toe end of an old pop sock, leaving enough of the foot to tie in a knot). Make sure the liner will not show through the white wool easily - use a light colour or white. Hold the top of your liner outside the body and put in enough beads to make a good anchor in the bottom of the doll, then tie off your bag or stitch it shut and push it gently into place inside the base of the doll. Now put in your normal fibre filling in layers to fill the body up to the neck. Put body aside.

HEAD: Using ivory DK and 3.5 hook, make magic ring with 6 dc. Round 1: Increase into every stitch. 12 dc. Place a stitch marker at beginning of round, do not join. Round 2: {1 dc into next stitch, increase in next stitch}, repeat to end. 18 stitches. Round 3: 1 dc into next stitch, increase in next stitch, 1 dc into next 3 stitches. {increase in next stitch, 1 dc into next 2 stitches}, repeat to end. 24 stitches. Rounds 4 - 5: 1 dc into each stitch to end. 24 stitches. Round 6: {decrease over next 2 stitches, 1 dc into next 2 stitches}, repeat to end. 18 stitches. Rounds 7 - 8: 1 dc in each stitch to end. Change to black DK. Round 9: 1 dc into each stitch to end. Remove hook and place stitch holder on last loop. Using a darning needle and a doubled length of dark grey wool, stitch mouth by inserting needle from inside to outside of face just above and to the left of your original magic ring, leaving both ends protruding about an inch (2 cm) inside. Bring needle back through just to right of magic ring level with your original entry point. Draw through but not too tightly, so you have two strands of yarn running across. Catch down the lowest strand at the centre by stitching over it from top to bottom. Do the same for the upper thread but making 2 - 4 stitches close together. Try to separate the strands a little so the mouth is slightly open. Fasten off and leave ends inside face. Now using black, stitch the eyes two rows below the hairline and about 2 stitches away from the mouth on each side. You can vary the position of eyes and mouth to your own liking, of course. You can either swiss darn a couple of little eyes, or make French knots - I darned mine because you can give them a little more expression. This is a good time to stuff the face (of the doll, that is). Reinsert your hook. Round 10: {1 dc into next 2 stitches, increase in next stitch}, repeat to end. 24 stitches. Rounds 11 - 14: 1 dc into each stitch to end. 24 stitches. From this point you should regularly pause and add stuffing, about once every 4 rows. Round 15: {1 dc into next 3 stitches, decrease over next 2 stitches}, repeat to last 4 stitches. 1 dc into last 4 stitches. 20 stitches. Round 16: 1 dc into each stitch to end. 20 stitches Round 17: {1 dc into next 2 stitches, decrease over next 2 stitches}, repeat to end. 15 stitches. Round 18: 1 dc into each stitch to end. 15 stitches. Round 19: {1 dc into next stitch, decrease over next 2 stitches, repeat to end}. 10 stitches. Rounds 20: 1 dc into each stitch to end. 15 stitches. Round 21: decrease in every 2 stitches to end. 5 stitches. Slipstitch to first stitch of round and fasten off leaving a long tail. Finish stuffing, then close gap and fasten off securely using long tail. Holding the head by the face so you cover the ivory section, take a wire brush (I used a hairbrush) and brush the 'do' firmly till it fuzzes up to the degree you require. The head should be about 10 cm long. Now cut two lengths (about 6 cm should be enough) of 10 mm white rickrack braid and stitch one to each side of the hair just behind the eyes, using white thread. I recommend using fray stop or fabric glue to seal the ends. Stitch the head to the open end of the body, positioning it so the hair touches the back of the neck and the face is tilted up at the front, and drawing in slightly to form a rough neck.

ARMS (Make 2): Using mingled DK, make 6 chain and join with slipstitch. Round 1: 1 chain, 1 dc into each ch to end. 6 stitches. Rounds 2 - 9: 1 ch, 1 dc into each dc to end working into back loop only. 6 stitches. At end of round 9, turn. Chain 1, work 1 dc into next dc, turn. Repeat 6 - 10 times to create a trailing end of bandage. Fasten off. Stuff lightly, leaving space at bottom end (where bandage trails) for inserting wrist.

HANDS (Make 2): Using 3 mm hook and ivory, make 5 chain. Row 1: 1 dc into second chain from hook, dc into each chain to end, turn. 4 stitches. Rows 2 - 5: ch 1, 1 dc into each dc to end. 4 stitches. Row 6: ch 3, ss into 3rd chain from hook. 1 dc into each dc to end, turn. 1 thumb + 4 stitches. Row 7: ch 1, 1 dc into each dc to end (ignore thumb), turn. 4 stitches. Row 8: ch 3, ss into 2nd and 3rd ch from hook and into next dc. Ch 4, ss into 2nd ch from hook, ss into each ch and next dc. Ch 3, ss into 2nd and 3rd ch from hook, ss into last dc. Ch 2, ss into both ch. SS into row end (working down side now) and next row end down. Fold wrist in half and ss across both row ends, to start of wrist, thus joining sides together starting just below thumb. Fold each hand the opposite way to the other - that way you get a left and right hand. Fasten off. Push wrist into bottom opening of arm till just the hand protrudes, making sure that the bandage trails down the back of the hand and that the thumb is uppermost. Anchor to arm by stitching through both arm and wrist using mingled wool. Attach arm to body at shoulder.

DRAPERIES (Make 2): Using 4 ply white and 3 mm hook, make 36 chain. Row 1: I dc into second ch from hook, 1 dc to end. Turn. 35 stitches. Rows 2 - 4: Chain 2 (counted as 1 tr), 1 treble (US double) crochet into every stitch to end (count 1st ch as stitch), turn. 35 stitches. Row 5: ch 2, dec 1, tr into next 14 stitches, dec 1, tr to last 2 stitches, dec, turn. 32 stitches. Row 6: 2 ch, dec, 1 tr into next 11 tr, dec 2, tr to last 2 stitches, dec, turn. 28 stitches. Row 7 - 12: 2 ch, dec, tr to last 2 stitches, dec, turn. On last row should have 16 stitches. Row 13: 2 ch, dec 2, 1 half treble into next stitch (US hdc), 1 dc into next stitch, ss into next 3 stitches, 1 dc, 1 htr, dec 2, fasten off. Attach to shoulders of Bride, placing the treble ends over her shoulders and leaving the neck loose. Loosely catch sides together from 2 rows below arms to second row from end. Fasten off.

Frankenstein's Monster Amigurumi - The companion to the blushing (shrieking and hissing) Bride

Requirements; about 25 g of DK black, and about 10 g each of ivory and dark grey wool. Small amount of plastic canvas. Toy stuffing (including small amount of weighted stuffing). 3.5 mm hook.

HEAD AND TORSO Using black, make magic ring and work 6 dc into it. Round 1: increase in every stitch to end. 12 stitches. Round 2: {1 dc, inc 1}, repeat to end. 18 stitches. Round 3: Working in back loops only, dc to end. 18 stitches. Round 4: 1 dc into next 9 dc, change to ivory but do NOT fasten off black, 1 dc into next 9 dc, turn. 18 stitches. Rounds 5 - 12: work 9 dc ivory, 9 dc black on each round, slipstitching into the first stitch on each round and turning. Round 13: work 7 dc with black, 11 dc ivory, slipstitch into first stitch of round and across next 2 dc, turn. Round 14: work 13 dc ivory, 5 black, ss as before to first stitch and turning at end. Round 15: work 5 black, fasten off black. Work 13 ivory and do not turn; place a stitch marker on the first ivory stitch worked into a black dc. 18 stitches. Round 16: 1 dc into every dc all round. 18 stitches. Round 17: 1 dc into next 5 dc, dec 2, 1 dc into next 2 dc, dec 2, 1 dc into next 2 dc. 13 stitches. This is a good point at which to stuff the head, making sure to keep the top of the head flat. Round 18: 1 dc into next 4 dc, {dec, 1 dc}, repeat to end. 10 stitches. Change to black, fasten off ivory. Round 19: inc in every stitch. 20 stitches. Round 20: 1 dc, inc, repeat to end. 30 stitches. Rounds 21 - 23: dc in every stitch. Round 24: {dc 4, dec}, repeat to end. 25 stitches. Rounds 25 - 29 dc in every stitch. 25 stitches. Round 30: dc into front loops only all round. SS to first stitch and fasten off. Stuff torso. Using black embroider in eyes, using dark grey add mouth and a row of sutures around the top of forehead. For the bolts in the neck work French knots in dark grey, making 3 or 4 loops around the needle.

LEGS (Make 2): Using black, make 12 chain, ss to form a ring. Round 1: 1 dc into each stitch, 12 stitches. Rounds 2 - 12: dc into every stitch. On last round, ss into first stitch and fasten off. Stuff legs.

BOOTS (Make 2): using dark grey, make magic ring and work 6 dc into it, leaving a long tail. Round 1: inc in every stitch. 12 stitches. Round 3: 1 dc, inc, 4 dc, inc, 4 dc, inc. 15 stitches. Round 4: 6 dc, inc 3, 6 dc. 18 stitches. Round 5: working in back loops only, 1 dc into every stitch. Remove hook and insert plastic canvas cut to shape of sole, anchoring it using the long tail at beginning. Round 6: dc into every stitch. Round 7: 6 dc, dec 3, 6 dc. 15 stitches. Round 8: 6 dc, decrease over 3 dc, 6 dc. 13 stitches. Round 9: 4 dc, dec 2, 5 dc. Round 10: dc into every stitch, ss into first stitch, fasten off. Stuff bottom of boot with weighted stuffing in a liner, topping up with fibrefill. Stitch to leg.

ARMS (Make 2): using black make 10 chain, ss into a ring. Round 1: dc into every chain. 10 stitches. Rounds 2 - 7: dc into every stitch. On last round, ss into first stitch and fasten off. Stuff, leaving gap at bottom for insertion of hand.

HANDS (Make 2): Using ivory, make 5 chain. Row 1: 1 dc into second chain, dc to end, turn. 4 stitches. Rows 2 - 7: ch 1, dc to end, turn. 4 stitches. Row 8: ch 3, ss into 3rd chain from hook, dc to end, turn. Row 9: ch 1, dc 3, turn. Row 10: ch 3. Ss into 2nd and 3rd chains from hook, ss into next dc. Ch 4, ss into 2nd, 3rd and 4th chain, ss into next dc. Ch 3, ss into 2nd and 3rd chain, ss into last dc. Ch 2, ss into each chain and into next 2 row ends (now working down side of hand). Fold in 2 making sure to fold each hand the opposite way to the other so you get a left and right hand; ss the row ends together starting just below thumb, to start of piece. Fasten off. Embroider sutures on with dark grey. Insert wrist into sleeve and anchor with black. Stitch arm to body.

JACKET. Back: using black make 16 chain. Work 1 dc into second chain from hook, dc in every chain to end. 15 stitches. Work 13 rows dc. Fasten off. Left Front: using black make 9 chain. Row 1: dc into 2nd chain, dc to end. 8 stitches. Rows 2 - 6: ch 1, dc to end. Row 7: dec, dc to end. 7 stitches. Rows 8 - 11: dec 1 at front edge on each row. 3 stitches should remain. Rows 12 - 13: dc to end, fasten off. Right Front: as left front, reversing shaping (make first decrease at END of row 7). Stitch fronts to back at shoulder. Close side seams from bottom to fourth row from top. Ease over hands and arms and stitch down around top of arms. IT'S ALIVE!

Cesar the Somnambulist Amigurumi - Another of my famous film monsters - the hypnotised sleepwalker from Cabinet of Dr Caligari

Requires approx 10 g white dk wool, small scrap of dark grey, about 20 g black dk, toy stuffing, 3.5 hook.

HEAD, TORSO AND LEGS

Using white, make a magic ring and work 6 dc into it. Rd 1: inc in each stitch to end. 12 stitches. Rd 2; (inc 1, dc 1) to end. 18. Rd 3; (inc 1, dc 2) to end. 24. Rd 4 -6; dc to end. Rd 7: dec 1, dc 9, dec 1, dc to end. 22. Rd 8; dec 1, dc 8, dec 1, dc to end. 20. Rd 9; dec 1, dc 7, dec 1, dc to end. 18. Rd 10; dc to end. Rd 11; dec 1, dc 2, dec 1, dc 2, dec 1, dc 3, dec 1, dec 3. 14. Rd 12 - 13; dc to end, changing to black on last stitch. Stuff head now. Rd 14; (inc 1, dc 2) to last 2 stitches, dc to end. 18. Rd 15; (inc 1, dc 5) to end. 21. Rds 16 - 21; dc to end. Rd 22; (dec 1, dc 5) to end. 18. Rds 23 - 24; dc to end. Stuff body now. LEG 1: Rd 1; dc 5, make 2 chain, miss next 9 dc, dc into last 4 stitches. 11. Rd 2; dc 5, dc into each of 2 chain, dc to end. 11. Rds 3 - 10; dc to end. Ss into first stitch and fasten off. Stuff leg 1. LEG 2: Rd 1; rejoin yarn to first missed stitch, dc to end, dc across 2 chain created for leg 1. Rds 2 -10; dc to end. Join with ss, fasten off and stuff. Embroider eyes and mouth using dark grey (you should have a vague nose shape on one side of head to work around). Using lengths of black, make hair with latch hook method - insert crochet hook in between two stitches of head, push out one row up and catch hold of centre of doubled strand of yarn, pulling through to make loop; then pull two ends of strand through loop made and pull tight. Repeat till head is covered in thick hair.

FEET (Make 2)

Using black, make 6 chain. Work 2 dc into 2nd chain from hook, dc into next 4 chain, 2 dc into last chain. Now turn work round and work into back of starting chain, working 1 dc into next 5 stitches. 13 stitches. Round 2; Inc into next dc, dc 5, inc, dc to end, ss into 1st stitch. 15 stitches. Rd 3; into back loops only, dc all round. Rd 4; dc 5, dec 2, dc to end. 13. Rd 5; dc 3, dec 3, dc to end. 10. Ss into first stitch, fasten off. Stuff, attach to leg.

ARMS (Make 2)

Using black, make magic ring and work 6 dc into it. Rd 1; (inc 1, dc 2) to end. 8. Rd 2; (Inc 1, dc 3) to end. 10. Rd 4; dc to end. Rd 5; (dec 1, dc 3) to end. 8. Rds 6 - 10; dc. Ss to 1st stitch, fasten off leaving a long tail and stuff, leaving space to insert wrist.

HANDS (Make 2)

Using white, make 5 chain. Dc into 2nd chain from hook, dc to end. 4 stitches. Work 4 rows dc, turning at end of rows. Next row (row 6); ch 3, ss into 3rd chain from hook, dc to end. Turn. Row 7; dc to end. Row 8; ch 3, ss into 2nd and 3rd chains, ss into next stitch. Chain 4, ss into 2nd, 3rd and 4th chain and into next dc. Ch 3, ss into 2nd and 3rd chains and next dc. Ch 2, ss into each and into row ends down side of hand till you are just below thumb (row 6). Now fold hand, making sure that you fold the second hand the opposite way to the first so you get left and right. SS row ends together to starting row, fasten off. Insert in sleeve, anchor with long tail of black. Attach arms to body.

The Mummy Amigurumi

This chap was inspired by the classic Universal movie with Boris Karloff, but he would serve just as well for any of your favourite bandaged buddies.

Requires; approx 25 g of mingled oatmeal dk, small amount black and grey, 3.5 hook, toy stuffing.

HEAD

Make a magic ring and work 6 dc into it. Rd 1; inc in each stitch. 12. From now on, work all rounds through back loops only. Rd 2; (dc 1, inc) to end. 18. Rd 3; (dc 2, inc) to end. 24. Rd 4; (dc 3, inc) to end. 30. Rd 5 - 6; dc. Rd 7; (dc 3, dec) to end. 24. Rd 8; dc. Rd 9; (dc 2, dec) to end. 18. Rd 10; (dc 1, dec) to end. 12. Rd 11; dec all round. 6. Draw up and fasten off, stuff. Embroider eyes using black and mouth using dark grey, making sure to pull tight when working first stitch of eyes to create a vague 'nose' in between.

LEGS (Make 2)

Make 6 chain. Work 2 dc into second from hook, dc into next 3 chain, 2 dc into last chain. Turn and work dc down back of chain. 12. Rd 2; inc, dc 5, inc, dc to end, ss to join. 14. Rd 3; dc into back loops. Rd 4; dc 5, dec 2 through back loops, dc to end. 12. Rd 5; dc 3, dec 3 through back loops, dc to end. 9. Do not join with ss. Now stuff foot. Work 9 rows dc through back loops, joining on last row with ss and fastening off. Stuff.

ARMS (make 2)

Make magic ring and work 5 dc into it. Rd 1; inc, dc 1, inc, dc 1, inc. 8. From now on work all stitches through back loops only. Rd 2 - 3; dc. Rd 4; dc 2, ch 3, work dc into second chain from hook and next chain, dc into same stitch as last dc worked. Dc to end. 9. Rd 5; dc 1, dec over 2 dc at base of thumb, dc to end. 8. Rd 6 - 11; dc. Ss to join, fasten off, stuff.

TORSO

Make 20 chain and join with ss into ring. Rd 1; dc into each chain. 20. Rd 2; dc. Rd 3; dc into back loops only. Rd 4 - 7; dc, working every odd-numbered row through back loops. Rd 8; (dc 4, inc). Repeat once, dc to end. 22. Rd 9; working in back loops, (dc 5, inc). Repeat once, dc to end. 24. Rd 10 - 11 dc as before, odd rows through back loops. Rd 12; (dec, dc 2) to end. 18. Rd 13; (dec, dc 1) to end. 12. Rd 14; dec in all stitches. 6. Draw up and fasten off. Stuff.

Pin legs in place in open end of torso and stitch in, making sure to stitch legs together across centre of 'groin'. Sew on arms making sure to position them so the thumbs are uppermost, making a left and right arm. Stitch head to top centre torso, making sure you go around the outside of the last round of torso stitches to give a firm neck.

Trap Door Friends - Berk

I always loved the Trap Door TV series, and my kids love it too, so I thought I'd combine my amigurumi fad with my fondness for the show and make an ami (or maybe two or three) of the characters, starting with the loveable Berk. Sorry the photo isn't clearer but I was in a rush (as always). I do NOT hold copyright on this character, so please don't make this things to sell commercially.

Requirements: 50 g blue dk, about 25 g white, small amount of black, plastic canvas. 3.5 hook.

BODY: using blue make magic ring and work 6 dc into it. Round 1: inc in every dc. 12 stitches. Rd 2: {1 dc, inc}, repeat to end. 18 stitches. Rd 3: {inc, 2 dc} to last 4 dc, dc to end. 24 stitches. Rd 4: dc, inc, {3 dc, inc} to last 2 dc, dc to end. 30 stitches. Rd 5 - 7: dc to end. Rd 8: {4 dc, dec} to end. 25 stitches. Rds 9 - 19: dc to end. Rd 11: 1 dc, dec, {3 dc, dec} to last 2 dc, dc to end. 20 stitches. Rds 12 - 14: dc to end. Rd 15: {dec, dc 2} to end. 15 stitches. Rd 16: {2 dc, dec} to end. 12 stitches. Stuff body to this point. Rd 17: {dc, dec} to end. 8 stitches. Fasten off leaving long tail. Stuff body right to top opening. Using yarn needle and long tail, run yarn through top 8 dc, draw up tightly and fasten off.

FEET (Make 2): using blue, make a magic ring and work 4 dc into it, making sure you leave a long tail. Round 1: inc in every stitch (8). Rd 2: dc 3, inc in next 2 dc, 3 dc. (10). Rd 3: dc 4, inc in next 2 dc, dc 4. (12). Rd 4: working in back loops only, dc all round. Insert plastic canvas cut to size of sole and anchor using the long tail you began with. Rds 5 - 6: dc to end. Rd 7: ss across next 3 dc, dc 1, dec 2, dc 1, ss across last 3 dc. (10). Stuff the foot now. Rd 8: ss across 3 dc, dec 2, ss to end and into first stitch of round. Fasten off and attach to body.

ARMS (Make 2): using blue, make 2 chain. Into second chain from hook work 4 dc. Rd 1: dc into every stitch (4). Rd 2: dc 1, inc, repeat. (6). Rds 3 - 5: dc in every stitch. Stuff upper arm lightly. Rd 6: dc 1, inc 2, dc 2. (9). At this point the left and right hands are formed. LEFT Hand: dc 3, turn. Work 2 rows dc onto these 3 stitches. On last row ss from 3rd to 1st dc. Now work 3 dc down the side of the thumb, joining row ends together. Work 2 rows of straight dc on 6 remaining stitches, turning at each row end. Now dc 2, turn, and work 3 rows of dc on just these two stitches. Turn sideways and work 3 dc down sides, joining row ends to make tube. Slipstitch from the base of this finger to the base of the thumb. Work the 2nd and 3rd fingers as the first, except that the second finger slipstitches from the base of that to the first finger, and the third to the second. Fasten off leaving tail. Stuff hand lightly and close up gap with tail. Attach to left side of body. RIGHT hand: work as for left except that on completion of the thumb, slipstitch across to the opposite side of the thumb, so you begin the first finger alongside the thumb. When you complete the first finger ss not to the thumb but to the unused dc next to it, and from the base of the third finger to the thumb base. Fasten off and stuff as for left, close up and attach to body.

EYES (Make 2). Using white make magic ring and work 6 dc into it. Rd 1: inc in every stitch (12). Rd 2: dec in every stitch (6). Fasten off leaving long tail. Thread through 6 dc and pull up tight and fasten off. Embroider pupil using black. Attach to top of head.

MOUTH: embroider with black.

Trap Door Friends - Bony

Here's the pattern for Berk's friend Bony in all its glory (lol).

Requires about 10 g ivory white DK , oddment dark grey DK, 3.5 mm hook, toy stuffing, tiny piece of plastic canvas and a base weight (marble, small dice, etc)

LOWER JAW: Make a magic ring and work 3 dc into it. Rd 1: increase in every stitch. 6 stitches. Rd 2: Dc into back loops all round. 6 stitches. Cut plastic canvas to fit inside base, insert and anchor. Rd 3: Inc in first 3 dc, dc to end. 9 stitches. Rd 4: dc 3, inc in next 2 dc, dc to end. 11 stitches. Ss to first stitch and fasten off. Insert a weight to hold base (stuffing may or may not be needed to pack around it). Weighted pellets will not be enough as the shape of the figure makes it top heavy and it will not stand up properly. Make sure the weight you use is washable and non-corroding - no metal, clay or similar. I used an old rpg dice (a D12, actually), but you could also use a small marble, glass pebble, small wood ball or even a piece of heavy eraser cut to fit.

SKULL AND UPPER JAW: make a magic circle and work 3 dc into it. Rd 1: inc in every stitch. 6 stitches. Rd 2: Inc in every dc. 12 stitches. Rd 3: Inc 1, dc 1, to end. 18 stitches. Rd 4: Inc 1, dc 6, inc in next 2 dc, dc to last stitch, inc 1. 22 stitches. Rds 5 - 6: dc in every stitch. Rd 7: dec in ever stitch. 11 stitches. Stuff skull now. Rd 8: dec to last 2 stitches, dc to end. 6 stitches. Rds 9 - 11: dc all round. Rd 12: inc in first 3 dc, dc to end. 9 stitches. Rd 13: dc 3, inc in next 2 stitches, dc to end. 11 stitches. Ss to first stitch and fasten off.

Finish stuffing upper section, making sure you stuff the narrow section firmly. Stitch to lower jaw matching the increases for the front teeth. Using dark grey, embroider on the eye sockets and nose cavity, pulling your first two stitches in tight to create a certain depth. Again using grey, backstitch along the join at the front to mark the mouth. Finally, using ivory, backstitch on the upper and lower jaws to make the shape of teeth.

Crafting Tips - Knitting and Crochet

A few things I've picked up in my travels...

As a sufferer from arthritis, I use needlecrafts to keep my fingers more supple. But normal knitting needles and crochet hooks are a bit cold and heavy, and I often find I'm clumsy with them till they warm up. So I switched to bamboo needles for knitting, and to ergonomic hooks with plastic or rubber handles for crochet. They're lighter weight, warmer, and easier to use, and are now much easier to get hold of.

One problem with bamboo is, they can splinter a bit, so I keep a bit of sandpaper in my workbag; a quick rub will smooth down any rough bits and stop your wool catching. With the hooks, I prefer Prym ones, as they are a very comfortable shape and the handles make them much easier to grip. But I do have some Clover ones, as Prym don't have a complete range of sizes (yet). I'm not as fond of the Clover ergonomic shape myself, but they are much lighter and fit better in a hook-case.

I'm currently using Sirdar Boa yarn, Fondant shade, while making a multi-coloured, multi-textured afghan for my daughter's bedroom. It's a lot easier to use than I expected, and I don't find it chafes my fingers like some of the fancy yarns, but I do recommend if you are using Boa to wind it into a ball before you begin. The way it is balled by the manufacturer, it tends to fall apart as you work and get into tangles and knots, so it's worth taking time to just rewind it.

When using novelty yarns like Funky Fur, I've found they can shed quite a bit, and when you're wearing contrasting clothing you can look like you've had a rainbow cat shedding on you. So it helps to either wear an apron, or spread a teatowel over your lap before you start.

When it comes to novelty yarns, Boa and Funky Fur are very easy to use and work up into quite a nice fabric. Sirdar Fizz, on the other hand, is terrible to work with; while it doesn't tangle like Boa, it is very hard to make your stitches, and to differentiate between them. Crochet chain is particularly hard to do with Fizz, and I found it almost impossible to cast on while knitting. It also works up into quite an ugly fabric, so I wouldn't recommend it at all.

If you're making an item from motifs, like a bag or afghan, unless you are working a large design which needs to be laid out before joining them up, fasten motifs together as you complete them. That way you don't face the chore of putting them all together in one go, and your work seems to grow so much faster as you see it expand in size. It also means you can see quickly how much further you have to go, and don't lose stray motifs.

When you're making something in separate pieces, like a garment, it's important to keep it clean. A knitting bag is okay but you will be opening it frequently to get out your wool, needles, etc. I get a ziplock bag large enough to hold the finished item, and place each finished section inside till I'm ready to put it all together. Then if the item is a gift I just pop it back in the same bag and wrap it with pretty paper if appropriate.

Cotton Kitty

Tiny kitty made with fine cotton thread

REQUIRES

Yarn - Anchor Pearl Cotton No 8, approximately 25g.

Hook / Needles - .75 and 1.25 mm hooks.

Sundries - embroidery silk in pink and white, small coloured beads for eyes (or more silk in green or amber), toy stuffing.

INSTRUCTIONS

HEAD

Begin with either a magic ring or 2 chain and 1.25 hook. Work 6 dc into the ring or 2nd chain from hook. Rd 1: inc in every stitch. 12. Rd 2; (dc 1, inc) to end. 18. Rd 3; (dc 2, inc) to end. 24. Rd 4; (dc 3, inc) to end. 30. Rd 5 - 8; dc. Rd 9; (dc 3, dec) to end. 24. Rd 10; (dc 2, dec) to end. 18. Rd 11; (dc 1, dec) to end. 12. Stuff head now. Rd 12; dec till opening closed.

Muzzle: using .75 hook, make magic ring or 2 chain. Work 6 dc into ring or 2nd chain from hook. Rd 1; inc in every stitch. 12. Rd 2; (dc 1, inc) to end. 18. Rd 3 - 4; dc. End last rd by slipstitching to first stitch, fasten off. Embroider nose (and mouth if desired) with pink embroidery silk (2 strands). Stitch to head leaving small gap for stuffing; stuff and close up hole. Sew on or embroider eyes. Make whiskers by running length of white embroidery silk (6 strands) through muzzle, leaving ends protruding at either side. Anchor with a small dab of clear-drying fabric glue on each side where whiskers emerge from muzzle.

EARS (Make 2)

Using 1.25 hook, make 5 chain. Row 1; dc into 2nd chain from hook, dc to end. 4. Turn. Rows 2 - 4; miss first stitch, dc to end (thus decreasing one stitch per row till 1 remains). Fasten off, stitch to head.

BODY

Using 1.25 mm hook, make a magic ring or 2 chain. Work 6 dc into ring or 2nd chain. Rd 1; inc in every stitch. 12. Rd 2; (dc 1, inc) to end. 18. Rd 3; (dc 2, inc) to end. 24. Rd 4 - 5; dc. Rd 6; (dc 4, dec) to end. 20. Rd 7; (dc 3, dec) to end. 16. Rd 8 - 9; dc. Rd 10; (dc 2, dec) to end. 12. Stuff body now. Rd 11; dec till opening is closed. Fasten off, stitch head to body.

LEGS (make 4)

Using 1.25 hook, make magic ring or 2 chain, 6 dc into ring or 2nd chain. Rd 1; inc in every stitch. 12. Rd 2; (dc 2, inc) to end. 16. Rd 3; dc. Rd 4; dec to end. 8. Rd 5 - 10; dc. Stuff. Rd 11; dec till opening is closed, fasten off and attach to body.

TAIL

Using 1.25 hook, make magic ring or 2 chain, work 4 dc into ring or 2nd chain. Work 15 - 20 rows dc on these 4 stitches till tail is as long as you want it. Fasten off. Do not stuff, stitch to body.

Amigurumi Bat

I designed this little fellow to use up some leftover yarn - I call it Momojiro, after a Japanese species of bat. it requires a 3.5mm hook, toy stuffing and eyes, and approximately 25 g each of three (or two if you choose) shades of double knitting wool. I used purple, but you could use any colour you like.

BODY

Using lighter yarn and 3.5 hook, make magic ring and work 6 dc into it. Round 1: inc in every stitch. 12 stitches. Rd2: (inc 1, dc 1) to end, changing to darker colour on last stitch. 18 stitches. Rd 3; (dc 2, inc 1,) to end. 24 stitches. Rds 4 - 5; dc to end. Rd 6: (dec 1, dc 2) to end. 18 stitches. Rd 7: (dc 1, dec 1) to end. 12 stitches. Stuff body now. Rd 8: Dec in each dc to end. 6 stitches. Cut yarn leaving long tail. Using darning needle thread tail through remaining stitches, draw up and fasten off.

HEAD

With lighter yarn, make a magic ring and work 4 dc into it. Round 1: inc in every dc, 8 stitches. Rd 2: dc to end. Rd 3: (dc 1, inc) to end. Change to darker yarn on last stitch. 12 stitches. Rd 4: (Inc, dc 2) to end. 16 stitches. Rd 5: (dc3, inc) to end. 20 stitches. Rd 6: dc 2, inc, (dc 4, inc) to last 2 stitches, dc to end. 24 stitches. Rd 7 - 8; dc to end. If using standard toy eyes, now is the best time to position and attach them. It is also a good time to lightly stuff the paler snout section. Rd 9; dc to end. Rd 10: (dc 4, dec) to end. 20 stitches. Rd 11; (dec, dc 3) to end. 16 stitches. Rd 12; (dc 2, dec) to end. 12 stitches. Stuff head now. Rd 13: (dec, dc 1) to end. 8 stitches. Rd 14; Dec to end. 4 stitches. Fasten off leaving tail. If necessary, top up stuffing in head. Run yarn through last 4 stitches using darning needle, draw up and fasten off.

EARS (make 2)

Using dark yarn, make 5 chain. Row 1; dc into 2nd chain from hook, dc to end. 4 stitches. Turn at end of every row from now on and make 1 chain. Row 2; dc to end. Row 3; miss first dc, dc to end. 3 stitches. Row 4; dc to end. Row 5; miss1st dc, dc to end. 2 stitches. Row 6; miss 1st dc, dc 1. Fasten off.

INNER EAR (make 2)

Using light yarn, make 4 chain. Row 1; dc into 2nd chain from hook, dc to end. 3 stitches. From now on turn at each row end and make 1 ch. Row 2: dc to end. Row 3; Miss 1st dc, dc to end. 2 stitches. Row 4; miss 1st dc, dc 1, fasten off. Stitch to outer ear, then stitch completed ear to head. Once ears are in place stitch head to body.

WINGS (make 2)

Remember when edging the second wing to make sure you work the surface crochet so that this wing mirrors the first, and does not copy it exactly. It is easy to do, simply make sure that the front side of the wing is the one which puts your wingtip furthest from the body.

Using either lighter yarn or third colour, make 2 chain. Row 1: dc into 2nd chain from hook, turn (turn at the end of each row from now on). 1 stitch. Row 2: Inc. 2 stitches. Row 3: dc 1, inc 1. 3 stitches. Row 4: dc 2, inc. 4 stitches. Row 5; dc 3, inc. 5 stitches. Row 6; dc 3, dec. 4 stitches. Row 7: dec, dc 1, inc. 4 stitches. Row 8; dc 3, inc. 5 stitches. Row 9; inc, dc 3, inc. 7 stitches. Row 10; dc 6, inc. 8 stitches. Row 11; dc 7, inc. 9 stitches. Row 12; dc 7, dec. 8 stitches. Row 13; dec, dc 5, inc. 8 stitches. Row 14; dc to end. Row 15; inc, dc 6, inc. 10 stitches. Row 16; dc 9, inc. 11 stitches. Row 17; dec, dc 7, dec. 9 stitches. Row 18; dc to end. Row 19; dec, dc 5, dec. 7 stitches. Row 20; dc 6, inc. 8 stitches. Row 21; inc, dc 5, dec. 8 stitches. Fasten off.

Edging and feet: using darker colour, beginning at narrow tip of wing work dc regularly along top edge of wing to highest point. Make 4 chain, ss into 2nd, 3rd and 4th ch from hook, ss into dc you started from. Now, holding yarn behind wing make line of surface crochet stitches (see separate instructions for surface crochet) down to the longest point of the wing immediately to the side of the centre on the side you have just edged. Make your stitches fairly slack. At bottom of wing ss around edge of wing and now work your way back to your starting point, slipstitching into the contrasting loops of your surface crochet. Repeat the procedure to create another line down to the longest point on the other side of the centre and back up again. Now continue dc along to the last row of wing and down that row to the bottom. Make 5 chain and ss into 2nd and 3rd from hook. Make another 3 chain and ss into 2nd and 3rd again, then another 3 chain and once more ss into 2nd and 3rd. Dc into the 4th and 5th chain of original 5 chain and into dc at bottom of wing, fast off. When sewing in ends make sure you position the feet so they point down from the wing. Stitch wings to back so feet are touching body at bottom.

Working surface crochet. This is easier than it looks. Hold the yarn at the back of your work and put your hook through from the front to the back between two stitches, pull up a loop. Put your hook through again between another pair of stitches along the path you want your line to follow and pull up another loop. Pull this loop through the first you drew from the back. Repeat till you reach the place where you want to be. Be careful not to make the stitches very tight as this will buckle your piece - unless your want a curved effect.

Snuffles the Piggyphant

I had some leftover pink yarn and asked my daughter if I should make a pig, or an elephant. She couldn't decide, so she asked for a piggyphant; and here it is.

Requires approx 25g pink DK, small amount black, toy stuffing, 3.5 mm hook. Trimming optional; I used gingham braid, but you could use ribbon or lace, make a little scarf or leave it plain.

HEAD

Make magic ring, work 6 dc into it. Do not join rounds. Rd 1: Inc in each stitch. 12. Rd 2; (dc1, inc) to end. 18. Rd 3; (dc2, inc), repeat to end. 24. Rd 4; (dc3, inc), repeat to end. 30. Rd 5: (dc4, inc), repeat to end. 36. Rds 6 - 7; dc. Rd 8; (dc 4, dec), repeat to end. 30. Rd 9; dc. Rd 10; (dc 3, dec), repeat to end. 24. Rd 11; dc. Rd 12; (dc2, dec), repeat to end. 18. Rd 13; (dc 1, dec), repeat to end. 12. Stuff head now. Rd 14; dec all round. 6. Fasten off leaving long tail, run through and draw tight.

SNOUT

Make magic ring, work 4 dc into it. Do not join rounds. Rd 1; inc to end. 8. Rd 2; (dc 1, inc), repeat to end. 12. Rd 3; dc into back loops only. Rd 4 - 5; dc. Fasten off. Stuff and stitch to head. Embroider nostrils and eyes with black wool.

EARS (Make 2)

Make 4 chain. Row 1; work 1 dc into second chain from hook, dc to end. Turn at end of each row. 3. Row 2; Inc 1, dc 1, inc 1. 5. Row 3; inc1, dc 3, inc 1. 7. Row 4; inc 1, dc 5, inc 1. 9. Row 5; inc 1, dc 7, inc 1. 11. Rows 6 - 8; dc. Row 9; dec 1, dc 7, dec 1. 9. Row 10; dec 1, dc 5, dec 1. Row 11; miss first dc, ss to last dc, fasten off. Sew to head. When both ears are in place, cut 3 lengths of pink yarn about 3" long and anchor to top of head leaving a long tail at each end. Trim to desired length and brush with wire brush to fuzz up.

BODY

Make magic ring, work 6 dc into it. Do not join rounds. Rd 1; inc in each stitch to end. 12. Rd 2; (dc 1, inc) to end. 18. Rd 3; dc. Rd 4; (dc 2, inc) to end. 24. Rd 5; dc. Rd 6; (dc 3, inc) to end. 30. Rd 7; dc. Rd 8: (dc 3, dec). 24. Rd 9; dc. Rd 10; (dc 2, dec). 18. Rd 11 - 13; dc. Rd 14; (dc 1, dec). 12. Rd 15; dec to end. 6. SS to first stitch and fasten off, stuff and stitch head in place at open end.

LEGS (Make 2)

Make magic ring, work 6 dc into it. Do not join rounds. Rd 1; inc in all. 12. Rd 2; dc into back loops. Rds 3 - 9; dc. SS to first stitch, fasten off. Stuff and stitch in place.

ARMS (Make 2)

Work as for legs to Rd 7. Rd 7; (dc 1, dec) to end. 8. Rds 8 - 9; dc. SS to first stitch and fasten off, stitch in place.

TAIL

Attach yarn to bottom of back in centre. Make 9 chain. Work 3 dc into second chain from hook, 3 dc into each chain to end. SS to body just beside starting point. Fasten off and stitch down with ends.

Handy Information

These links will take you to two sites which offer some very useful information - how to convert crochet patterns from UK to US notation and vice versa, hook sizes and so on.

Chinese Embroidered Shirt

I found this phoenix design in a book of traditional Chinese embroidery patterns and loved it. I traced it with a transfer pencil and put it on a plain shirt I bought for a fiver (ironed it with a travel iron to transfer it), then reversed it by tracing it again with a normal pencil, turning it over and tracing the outline with the transfer pencil and put it on the opposite side so I had two birds facing each other. On the back I put a peony motif.

Chinese Shirt - the Return

And here's the peony from the back. The threads I used were just standard embroidery ones, and the stitches were feather stitch, satin stitch, back stitch, and blended satin stitch. I used an iron-on interfacing on the back to protect it from any unravelling and add firmness.

Crafting Tips - Embroidery

When embroidering on dark Aida or material with a visible hole pattern, spread a light coloured piece of cloth (I find a white glass cloth is best) on your lap so you can see the holes more easily.

Daylight bulbs in your lamps are expensive, but it's worth it if you embroider much - it can save your eyesight.

If you are sewing and you don't need a lot of pins but you do want somewhere to stash just one needle, try a small ball of blu tack (sticky tack). It can be stuck on pretty much any surface, you can jab a needle in to keep it secure and visible at all times, and if the hole gets a bit big you can just massage the thing closed again and start from scratch. Great when doing fast repair jobs on curtains that are hanging up, or when you want to sew on the fly.

If you're working a project with lots of coloured threads, use a highlighter to mark off the completed stitches on the chart and when you've done every stitch in a single colour, take that colour off your thread holder - the fewer colours on there, the easier to find the one you want and the lower the chance of tangles. If you can, leave a gap between threads on the holder.

Advent Calendar - a handicraft project you can make with the kids

I put together this advent calendar with my daughter; it was easy, quite quick, she enjoyed making it and at Christmas she and her teenage brother loved picking the gifts out.

You need some squares of coloured felt, a piece of sturdy material (I used canvas), two identical lengths of dowelling, glitter glue or fabric paint, a length of cord, and optional embellishments such as bells - I used self-adhesive Christmas shapes fro a craft store, but you could make or paint on your own. You'll also need two screw-in rings for attaching the cord. The sizes are not given because the size is up to you.

Decide how big the pockets need to be by deciding what is going in them; I alternated small novelty gifts like badges and special sweets with paper slips on which I'd written larger items that were kept hidden in a goody bag under the stairs. If you use only paper slips your pockets can be quite small. Cut the felt into appropriately sized squares, turning them sideways so they become diamonds. Cut a total of 24 (or more, or less, depending how long you count down to the big day), then lay them out on a flat surface and measure the area they cover. The material you will need must allow room to fit them all with a small gap between, and allow you to fold it over and secure it round the dowelling at top and bottom. When you have your material, I recommend you first secure it round the dowelling rods (which of course need to be long enough to run the length of the material with up to an inch of clearance at each side. You can secure it by sewing it down, or using strong fabric glue, whichever you prefer; but remember, sewing it will take longer but last longer. You can screw in the rings at each end of the top dowel now, or leave it till later; you may need to drill but I found that starting the holes with a bradawl was quite sufficient.

Now use fabric glue to secure your pockets, only glueing the bottom two edges, of course. Let them dry, then come back and using glitter glue or fabric paint, put on a number for each day. (That was my daughter's favourite part). I did it randomly, using a pencilled list and crossing off each one as I did it to avoid missing any out. That way they have the fun of looking for today's number. Once those are dry, add on your embellishments. I stitched the bells on, but the rest were put on with glue or were self-adhesive. The bells work two ways - they're seasonal and pretty, and you will always know if someone is meddling with your calendar and sneaking a peek, as it will jingle! Finally secure the cord (I used a metre long length of red piping cord, but any kind of strong cord will do) and find a place to hang it. You can do as I did and put big chunky beads over the securing rings, or just leave them out, or stick on a pompom or something. The photo was taken while our bottom dowel was out of the calendar, having been attacked by the cat and needing repairs, but you can see how bright and cheerful they can be, and I know we all had fun not only making it, but in filling it and discovering the gifts.

Speak Your Piece - (but keep it clean...)

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    • Robbie Reeder profile image

      Robbie Reeder 3 weeks ago

      Thank you for the hello kitty set.

    • profile image

      marjolein-devries-127 3 years ago

      Thank you so much for all these wonderful patterns! Frankenstein and his bride are great, and the mummy I love! They will be crocheted in a short while.

    • jennabee25 profile image

      Jenn Dixon 4 years ago from PA

      These are some wonderful and detailed patterns! Well done!

    • Scraps2treasures profile image

      Scraps2treasures 4 years ago

      You are so very creative! Thank you for sharing your patterns. I especially love the Hello Kitty Wedding one. Blessed.

    • profile image

      linda-slaybackthompson 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing the hello kitty patterns.hope all is well also.woofunoom

    • profile image

      momsfunny 5 years ago

      You are talented. Same as GrammaLinda, I also love the Hello Kitty Victorian wedding.

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 5 years ago from Missouri

      I love the Hello Kitty Victorian Wedding pattern. These patterns look like they won't take too long to crochet. Thanks for sharing! Blessings!

    • waldenthreenet profile image

      waldenthreenet 5 years ago

      Appreciating your topic. People of different cutlures pick up skills but sometimes too poor to make these types of skills pay any longer. There is program in NC that preserves such "handicraft skills" . I am wonderfing if any other states have thought about presrving handcraft skills and encouraing them in some other ways also ? Congrads on your Squidoo level 59. Thanks.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      Ohh I LOVE it.. you make me want to crochet again. I love the Here Kitty ones.. humm maybe I will make an afghan or something. Great lens.. liked and angel blessed!

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 5 years ago

      That Hello Kitty Victorian Wedding pattern is to die for! Thank you so much for liking, commenting on, and blessing my lens: "My 50 Favorite Art Masterpieces of All Time." I appreciate it very much! :)

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      How cute - I love 'em! :)

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile image

      Sheila 5 years ago from Omaha, NE

      You are one talented lady!!! Oh I loved looking at your creations, I think my favorite is your Hello Kitty couple. Very beautiful lens, blessed.

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 5 years ago

      A great piece on crochet and must have taken you hours to make.

    • cdcraftee profile image

      Christine Larsen 5 years ago from South Australia

      Hallo Lemming - and what a lovely lens - and how generous of you to share so many patterns and ideas. Thank you.So here's one for you - about needles for crooked, aching or antique fingers - I haven't yet tried bamboo, but will - but I never pass by a 'charity' shop without checking their stash of needles - sometimes the odd pair of tortoiseshells will turn up (even a single may find a mate one day - just add it to your collection - and hope!). Otherwise, I find that the older plastic needles were actually 'softer' somehow...certainly easier to use. Check it out!Best wishes and keep those fingers working - knitting & crochet soothe the soul, also.ChristinePS I know that tortoise shell needles are now frowned upon and banned - but some oldies still hang around (bit like me) - and they really were SO kind to hands.

    • Lemming13 profile image
      Author

      Lemming13 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for letting me know - botch up on my copy and paste! Sorted now.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Please let me know the rest of the groom's hat instructions in the Hello Kitty Victorian Wedding pattern. It cuts off in row 13. Thanks.

    • profile image

      MintySea 5 years ago

      The stuff looks amazing

    • JB-III profile image

      JB-III 5 years ago

      I'm not sure what a Cthulhu is but it looks pretty cool!

    • savenlives profile image

      savenlives 5 years ago

      wow, I give this 2 thumbs up!! A lot of work went into this. I absolutely love the Hello Kitty bride and groom, too cute! I wish I could crochet like that, I can only do a single chain...lol! Great work!

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

      Neat ideas! Very cute! Liked.

    • wolfie10 profile image

      wolfie10 5 years ago

      very cute and a lot to remember lol

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      These are really cute and original, and great instructions to make them too, blessed.

    • SaintFrantic profile image

      SaintFrantic 5 years ago

      Thank you.That's amazing

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 5 years ago from Western Mass

      there are some lovely heartfelt gift ideas here.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      its always nice when you can make your own things and you should feel proud about yourself. I also gave you a 'thumbs up'!

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      That takes a lot of skill. We still have 2 teddie bears that my grandmother's sister made my sons almost 30 years ago.

    • Craftyville profile image

      Craftyville 5 years ago

      amazing hello kitty, featuring it on my hello kitty lens

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      A beautiful project to make. This is such a good way to get creative and earn a little income. When you give it to someone they would just feel special. What A great gift for Christmas and Birthdays

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I love the royal wedding bag..beautiful

    • nekoneko profile image

      nekoneko 6 years ago

      cuteeeee

    • howtocurecancer profile image

      howtocurecancer 6 years ago

      I like so much the photos.

    • grandma deal profile image

      grandma deal 6 years ago

      You are a very talented designer. My favorites on this page are Cthulhu and Rainbow Chick. I want to make Rainbow Chick to put on my desk at work. I was given a large bag full of various eyelash, fun fur, etc. yarns and now I know what to do with them. Thanks for sharing.

    • sushilkin lm profile image

      sushilkin lm 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your information here. Nice Lens ! Please PRAY FOR JAPAN by vising my lens.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      Just dropped by to let you know that I finally got around to making a lens to feature the blessed crochet lenses. This lens is featured on Squid Angel Mouse Tracks in Crochet.

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      Sanam 6 years ago

      Hey nice lens but i have problem reading your stuff i would appreciate if you could add white space to make this lens easy to scan. Otherwise it's a cute lens. I love your cutty little creatures. Thumbs up.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Cthulu is very neat! Perfect for Squidoo.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Well done.

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      GetSillyProduct 6 years ago

      ok, so those little creatures are awesome!

    • Lemming13 profile image
      Author

      Lemming13 6 years ago

      @anonymous: It is nice, isn't it? Can't claim credit for that pattern, though; it was in a Donna Kooler pattern book. It was plain pink in that, but I rather fancied doing a two-colour, and once it was done I just designed the rest based on the popcorn stitch to go with it.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Adorable baby set. I especially love the blanket.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Cthulhu is adorable. All your pieces are so beautiful. I can knit; I prefer to crochet, but homemade Handicrafts are DEFINITELY my thing! Lensrolled to my handmade fiber arts and my crocheted baby octopus pattern tutorial pages. Delighted to meet a fellow handmade crafter!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      Wow! This is fabulous! I love Cthulhu! Thank you for sharing the patterns here on Squidoo. Angel Blessed

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great lens and patterns! I love that popcorn baby set! I have yet to try amigurumi but it's definitely on my list of things to try :).

    • ChemKnitsBlog2 profile image

      ChemKnitsBlog2 6 years ago

      Your designs are beautiful. I wish I knew how to crochet (I can make a chain and do simple borders... that's about it!)

    • EmmaCooper LM profile image

      EmmaCooper LM 6 years ago

      Cool lens, thanks for sharing :)

    • SydneyH LM profile image

      SydneyH LM 6 years ago

      You have some good tips and patterns. I especially like your embroidery and the Amigurumi Rainbow Chick looks like a fun little project.

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      Kirsti A. Dyer 6 years ago from Northern California

      Some great pattern ideas.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 6 years ago from Vermont

      Lovely collection of home made craft projects here ... thank you for the patterns, just in time for me to get started on the holiday gifts.

    • Lemming13 profile image
      Author

      Lemming13 7 years ago

      @ilovemusic lm: Thanks very much!

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      ilovemusic lm 7 years ago

      Thank you for your interesting crafting tips. Good luck with your lens!