Thursday 31 March 2016

Amigurumi Cats - Amicats pattern review

The three little kittens! (but I don't think they have lost their mittens :) )

I love cats so was very quickly drawn to the Ami Cats crochet cats, designed by June at Planet June.

The patterns are not free, you do have to purchase them, so I only bought one - the tabby cat - as I wasn't sure how easy it would be and didn't want to waste money. You can buy one pattern for each of three cats, or all three in one pattern at a discounted priced.

The patterns are really well written with lots of written instructions and also photographic help for both right and left handed crocheters. There are instructions for making the features in a variety of ways too.

I would recommend using stitch markers as it is easy to lose count and a marker will help note of the first stitch of each round. Stitch count is essential, make one mistake and the whole cat will look wrong, so count each round has the right number of stitches to make sure you have got it right, rather than risk finding it doesn't work out at the end. Also, for the tabby there are lots of colour changes for the stripes so it is easy to lose count of those.

It can get quite fiddly to do the stripes and some of the small pieces, such as the ears but all you need is patience, time and concentration.

The instructions tell you to stuff the front legs and then continue to work around them to fasten to the body, but I found it easier to attach them first, then stuff them once the body was finished, but that is a matter of personal choice and what works for you.

I first made a tabby. I've called him Tiger:

As previously said it does have a lot of yarn changes for the stripes and you will have a lot of yarn ends to darn in, but there are tips on how to best use the yarn to avoid having too many. I used 6mm eyes as that was all I had at the time, but they seem a bit too small.

Next I tried one in a grey variegated yarn, leaving out the stripes and just working the whole cat in one shade. I called him Isiah, because when I'd finished I noticed one eyes higher than the other!

I tried 10mm eyes on this one but they seem too big, although it does give that nice wide eyed kitten look and before I sewed on the ears it did look more like a seal.

Having a look through my stash I found some fur yarn in a very light blue, it made me think of a beautiful Persian blue cat, so I thought I would see how that worked out. It was tricky seeing the tiny stitches through the fur but it seemed to come out OK, again it needed time and patience and it was probably a mistake to try and make it while watching War and Peace on TV! After quite a few mistake I decide to leave it to a quieter time when I could fully concentrate. Because of the War and Peace connection I've called him Pierre.

I used 8mm eyes on this one and they seem just right.

 By a strange coincidence while looking through a box for yarns I came across an old book that I'd had from my childhood, it was called The Three Little Kittens!

I remember vividly reading this with my mother and loving the little kittens. I'm sure this is where my love of cats came from.

You can find the pattern for the Ami Cats here:

and thank you June for such a fun time making them.

Whatever you get up to, happy crocheting!



Monday 28 March 2016

Tiny Amigurumi cats using kinder egg middles

These stripey little amigurumi cats were so easy to make and fun to do.

My grandson kindly 'donated' the plastic middle from a Kinder Surprise egg he got at Easter and was thrilled with the result.

You can fill the plastic centre with rice, beads etc. if you want it to rattle (but make sure it is safe before giving to a young child!).

They are very small so the work was quite fiddly but well worth persevering as they are really cute and only took me about an hour to make.

Ideal way to use up small amounts of yarn, you need something around 4ply or thinner and I used a 2.00 hook which was slightly larger than that suggested as I didn't have a 1.75mm one but it all came out ok.

I did change the tail slightly as I was finding such a small circle of 8 stitches very hard to hold for a long length of time and crocheting so instead  I crocheted it across ways 10 stitches in stripes back and forth and then rolled the tail lengthwise and sewed it together.

Big thanks to Kristi Tullus for making the pattern and giving it away for FREE! You can find the pattern here:



Sunday 20 March 2016

Tutorial for quick and simple eyes for soft toys and Amigurumi

If you want eyes for soft toys and Amigurumi but don't want to embroider them on ....... as in my French Knot Tutorial:  .......or you don't want to use plastic safety eyes, then this is another option, made from knotted yarn they are really easy to do.

Begin with a standard start to a knot:

and twist the ends around the loop one or two times, the more you do the bigger the eye will be (make sure you do the same number on each side):

Slowly pull each end, (go slowly so as not to get the yarn in a knot before you are ready):

 as you pull the knot will get smaller and smaller:

Once it is finished you can thread the ends on a needle and sew them to the toy:

For even bigger eyes you could double over the yarn or use much thicker yarn, such as chunky or Aran.

If you would like to see how it is done, you can watch my video here:

Happy toy making!



Friday 4 March 2016

Amigurumi Little Bee - Free pattern and tutorial

I'm buzzzzzzzing with excitement at having made my own little bee!

I searched all over for something that looked like what I wanted but couldn't find anything so decided to have a go.

I find it quite easy to make things, but writing down what I did into an understandable pattern always proves quite tricky but hopefully I've done it - let me know if you find any mistakes though. :)

You can download the free pattern here as a pdf:

and you can find a video tutorial here if you want to CAL - crochet along:

The bee is done in one piece for the body and head and the legs and antenna are really easy to do, made mainly from chain stitches.

The wings are worked by going along both sides of chain stitches.

Happy crocheting if you get 'buzzy' making a bee!