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A few of the Little Muggles family members

I was recently asked by fellow amigurumist DenDennis to participate in the WorldWide Artist Blog Hop!  I am asked to answer 4 questions and then to invite fellow “artists” to continue the chain on their own blogs!  What fun!  I wonder when and where this originated, but I’m game!

 Question 1:  Why do I do what I do?

Well, the obvious reason is that I love it! Creating and sharing my own little characters gives me joy and I find crocheting to be amazingly therapeutic as well as fun.   It is a very calming hobby and I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a little serenity in their lives.  :)

Question 2:  What am I working on now?

I’m actually working on several right now, which makes it hard to get anything done…I started testing out a raccoon to add to my intended “Woodland Creatures collection” and then got sidetracked with trying to come up with a new character for the holidays.  I started to make a polar bear but somehow it morphed into a little baby seal instead.  I’m trying to come up with some cute accessories for it now.

Baby Seal

Baby Seal

I’m also proofreading a design for an upcoming book…I don’t usually follow others’ patterns but it’s been really fun seeing how other designers make their pieces. It’s a learning experience for me!  You probably will not be able to guess what this character is from this picture.  I always like to change up the colors when I’m proofreading. Despite what you might think, I can tell you that it is NOT a chihuahua! (my husband’s guess :) )

Proofreading WIP

Proofreading WIP

Question 3:  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Hmm that’s a tough one.  I guess it’s just my style. I try not to overthink things and just keep everything really simple and cute.  Sometimes I get really inspired when I see someone eles’s character with intricate details and I might experiment a little but but I always seem to go back to keeping things simple.

 Question 4:  How does my creative process work?

Dottie drawing

Dottie drawing

When I feel like crocheting but don’t have any idea what to make,  I usually take my sketch book out and doodle characters.  But honestly speaking, there really isn’t much of a process. If I’m in the crocheting mood, I might just grab my hook and yarn and just start crocheting away.  I’m not always very organized or methodical when inspiration strikes.   I’ve been known to jot down instructions on scraps of paper, backs of envelopes, anything that happens to be close by.  I try really hard not to do that anymore because I’ve  lost instructions in the past and I get very annoyed when I have to try to recreate something that I’ve already done just because I didn’t write it down! (it doesn’t always turn out right the second time around!)

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Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a little more about me!  Now it’s my turn to invite fellow designers to participate in this Blog Hop!

I think I will ask a few of my favorite designers, the super talented gals behind

Little Yarn Friends 

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Patchwork Moose

Theo 3

 

 

 

 

Ohana Craft

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Stanley

Stanley

Wow, I can’t believe the year is ending once again.  The weather is getting cooler and I find myself needing to grab an extra blanket before going to bed!  It’s been quite some time since my last post and I apologize for that!  Ever since school has started for my little ones, it’s been one thing after another and my crochet projects have unfortunately been pushed down my priority list!  But I have finally finished writing up another pattern – meet Stanley the Giraffe!  Yes, he’s a bit out of his usual element here…I couldn’t find a nice patch of African savannah to use as a background, so the trees in my yard will have to do! :)   There are exciting things in store for Stanley!  He’s about to be shipped overseas to join a few of his Little Muggles siblings in Belgium.  hint, hint! Can you figure out what’s happening to him?  If not, you will soon find out..just keep following me on Facebook and there will be an announcement about his adventures soon!  In the meantime, you can find my Stanley pattern in my ETSY and CRAFTSY shops!

Bon voyage, Stanley!

Bon voyage, Stanley!

It was quite fun making Stanley.  I really enjoyed the feedback I got from you guys when I put some work in progress pictures on my Facebook page!    I will try to do more of that from now on.  You guys can help direct the final look of my dolls… :)  If you remember, I was considering making this giraffe with brown ears versus yellow.  Ultimately I chose yellow because I felt that the brown made his head look more like a cow.  I also loved the suggestions to keep one ear brown and one yellow! I would love to see someone send me their finished doll with that look! How whimsical!

Brown or yellow ear? Thin or thick horn?

Like all of my other dolls, Stanley is a pretty simple project that even beginners can try their hand at!   There are no complicated stitches or steps. Everything is fairly basic and there are minimal materials required.   When made with the my go-to yarn (Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice) and my suggested crochet hook size, Stanley is about 10″ tall when seated.  (not including his horns)  Anybody can make their own little Stanley for themselves!

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A look at his spots

Since I have to send Stanley off to Belgium soon, I wanted to make another giraffe to have for my own.   I thought it would be fun to make it pink!  I am happy with how she came out, and I liked adding the bow around her neck.

My girly giraffe

My girly giraffe

Speaking of accessories, you have no idea how difficult it was for me to make the tie around Stanley’s neck!! Unlike some gals I know, I never really learned how to tie a necktie properly, and I really wanted this one to look crisp and perfect.  Of course I turned to Google and I was astounded by all the different ways to tie a tie!  After much trial and error (Windsor knot! Half Windsor knot! Prince Albert knot! Simple knot!), I decided to go with the Pratt knot.  I like the little dimple under the knot and it looks clean and neat.  I still haven’t memorized how to tie this particular knot but I bookmarked the site I found and will be sure to try it on my husband one day!

Pratt Knot

Pratt Knot

Stanley's tie

Stanley’s tie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the way, this has been an exciting week for my Facebook page because I’ve reached the goal of getting 5000 likes!!!  I had no idea that my little page would ever become as popular as it has!  Of course I intend to keep up the designs so my new goal is now 10,000! :) Spreading the hobby of amigurumi has been amazingly fun!  Thank you everyone,  for your all of your support!

XOXO

0 XOXO!!

 

 

 

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New Release – Pippin the Penguin!!

Here’s my long awaited release, Pippin the Penguin!  I can’t believe I started this penguin back before my kids’ summer vacation began.  I’ve spent all my time with the kiddos this summer and seriously had zero energy left for crocheting!  Now that they’re back in school, I can get back to my project list!  So after many months, Pippin’s pattern is available on ETSY and CRAFTSY.  Pop over and check it out!

This is actually my second penguin doll, the first one being Pepe Penguin, who is part of a Christmas trio set I made a few years ago.  I love how penguins can be considered to be a Christmasy kind of doll. With a knitted hat or a Santa cap, they fit in perfectly with any winter theme!

 

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My Christmas trio

I actually have a soft spot for penguins.  My 2nd grader did a report on penguins last year and during his research, I learned quite a lot about these fascinating animals!  (In fact, I am learning about all sorts of things from my kids’ school that I never learned when I was young- or maybe I just forgot everything)  I used to think that they all live in icy cold areas like Antarctica, but depending on the species of penguin, they can live in moderate and even tropical climates.   My favorites are the baby emperor chicks…they are absolutely adorable, with their soft gray feathers and cute little faces!  I hope you like my “Muggle-fied” version!

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A penguin pair

 

Since we’re on the subject of cute penguins, I thought I’d include a few images I found.  I know there are a lot of people out there that love all things penguin!!  Hope these cute pics bring a smile to your face!

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Etsy shop – mariapalito

 

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Adorable penguin hat! Etsy shop – kjcreations2

Cute mug!

Cute mug! Find it in the Etsy shop – MyDearDarling

I have to include a couple of inspirational photos of penguins in food! I am always in awe when I see the beautifully arranged bento boxes that some moms make for their kids’ meals.  I tried to do it once and discovered how much time is actually put into making everything look perfect..not to mention that despite the lengthy time, I could never make my food look (or taste!)  as good as in the pictures…I came to the disappointing conclusion that making cute bento boxes was not for me.  My kid even refused to eat what I made once, saying it was too cute!  In any case, I still enjoy looking at the pictures of other people’s creativity and creations! Here are a few photos to inspire you!

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quail eggs in disguise

 

Rice and seaweed penguins!

 

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Adorable! Love the little octopus too!

 

 

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Edible cuteness

I feel it’s fitting to include a picture of my own kids’ plush penguin collection.  Don’t ask me why, but they are always on the lookout for more penguin dolls! On our latest trip to the zoo in Seattle, they picked up 3 new ones, bringing their penguin doll family to close to 20 members!  Here’s a pic of most of their collection.  One or two are missing… probably hiding under the bed someplace.  My boys make up crazy names for each doll and it’s pretty funny to see the kids play make believe with these guys!

Penguins galore!

Penguins galore!

My new creation  is actually a very simple little doll but it took a long time for me to come up with a satisfactory design.  The hardest part was getting colors to line up where I wanted them to.  Working in spirals added to the challenge and at the end of the day, I just had to accept the fact that things just aren’t going to be completely symmetrical.  I’m happy with the overall look though. What I love most is that it’s really easy to change up the look of the penguin by using different colors for the beak and feet.  I would love to make a whole army of rainbow penguins but I have too many other things on my crochet list to do!  I now leave the penguin making to you all and I can’t wait to see your pictures, so don’t forget to send them to littlemuggles@yahoo.com!!

Now, I’m on to my next project!! Keep your eyes out for more creations to come!

XOXO, Amy

 

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A sweet little bow adds a cute touch!

 

 

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Work in progress

 

I’m always on the lookout for my next ami project…what animal should I create next?  A little while back, I posted this question on my Facebook page and was delighted by all the responses I got!  I read through all the suggestions and was inspired to make a little fox!  This is the first animal in my intended upcoming “Woodland Creatures” collection.  I have yet to decide exactly how many animals I will make, or what animals will actually BE in the collection, but I’ve started brainstorming!  :)  I’ve got a raccoon, a squirrel, and a beaver running through my mind…oh who knows what I’ll decide to add to the collection!  It’ll be a surprise for both you and me as to what I come up with!  And speaking of Facebook, I recently asked for help in coming up with a name for this little guy!  There were over a 100 suggestions and there were so many great ones to choose from but the winner is…”Chester” the fox!  A big THANK YOU for all who made suggestions!  The pattern for Chester is now available in my shops at ETSY and CRAFTSY!

 

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It took me quite some time to come up with a good idea of what I wanted to do for a fox.  There are already so many amigurumi foxes out there… I wanted to try and make something different.   The ears were what I focused on first. I wanted to make them black tipped, and I added the light triangular patch for color contrast.  I think this is something unique to my doll. [Continue Reading…]

The weather has been so beautiful lately…the grass is green, the flowers are in bloom, and I was inspired to make my first amigurumi bug.  It was easy to decide which one, since I’ve always had a soft spot for ladybugs.  They are one of the very, very few bugs out there that I will actually allow to crawl on my hand.  I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a bit squeamish around crawly things.  (Maybe it stems from some bad experiences with cockroaches when I was living in New York)  But sweet lil ladybugs? They’re my friends. :)  Anyways, here is my latest pattern, available for purchase now!

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New pattern available! Dottie the Ladybug!

Meet Dottie, a real little cutie!  You might be saying hey waitaminute – where are her other 2 legs? Well, the beauty of making your own amigurumi is that you can pretty much make it however you want!  I decided to stop at 4 arms/legs just because I think it looks cute like this.  I actually did intend to make this ladybug with 6 legs…the extra arms are sitting on my desktop at this very moment, but it was just a matter of personal preference to stop when I did.  Of course, if you decide to make your own little Dottie, you can choose how many arms/legs you want to include! [Continue Reading…]

I’ve been wanting to release a freebie for quite some time now!  I intended to coincide the release of this mouse pattern with my goal of hitting 3000 likes on my Facebook page, but I’m a bit behind schedule!   My baby owl pattern came out to thank you all for my reaching 1500 likes, so I thought it fitting to have another pattern at 3000!  (Hmm I’ll have to start planning for a super special pattern for if I ever reach 5000!  If you’re interested, spread the word!)

I was told that a mouse is the most common crocheted animal out there…I don’t know if this is true or not but I think it subconsciously made me avoid creating a mouse for quite some time.  It was always on my list of animals to make, it just wasn’t at the top!  But I am proud to finally present one to you!

A pair of pastel mice

A pair of pastel mice!

Because I think these little mice are as cute as buttons, I’ve decided to name the pattern BUTTONS the Mouse!  These little squeakers are about 5 inches tall when in their sitting position.  They make adorable little decorations and can be made in any color of your choice!  The skills needed to make it are quite basic so even beginners can have a go at this!  CLICK HERE for the pattern!

She will brighten up your day with her sunny hue!

She will brighten up your day with her sunny hue!

Back to back

Back to back

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Looking right

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Looking left

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy this mouse pattern and I hope you find it easy to follow! Please send along any feedback and as always, THANK YOU all for your love and support!!  Happy crocheting!!!

XOXO

Amy L.

 

Spencer the Fishing Kitty

Spencer the Fishing Kitty

Well, Spring is officially here and it’s about time that I made another entry!  I know that there are folks in other parts of the world that are still enduring snow, but here in northern California, it’s been blue skies and warm weather for a little while now!  The buds are blooming, the birds are singing, what’s not to love about this time of year?  I’m ready for some mental Spring Cleaning and I am feeling inspired to create some fresh and new Little Muggles patterns for you all!

For my Facebook followers, you’ve already seen pictures of my  Fishing Kitty project!  The pattern has now been officially written up – meet Spencer, the little cat who just LOVES having fresh fish dinners! (who wouldn’t?) For this creation, I actually found inspiration when I traveled to Asia this past winter.  In the beautiful city of Kenting, Taiwan, I saw some adorable wooden cat dolls in my hotel gift shop and thought that it would be so fun and cute to try and make one out of yarn!  It took me a number of tries before I got the proportions  to my satisfaction, but I’m happy with the end product!

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Hotel fishing cats for sale

Aren’t these wooden cats adorable? I think they sold for about US$50 or $60.  There were a set of small ones too, and they were all in superhero costumes.  I’m so sad that I didn’t take a picture to share because they were pretty darn cute too!  I can always find the funniest and cutest little toys and gadgets in Asia!!

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my sketchbook

Here’s a page out of my sketchbook…I ran through a bunch of different ideas before settling on my final design.  I still think it would be really cute to add a fishing hat of some kind, or maybe a fishing basket to put next to him.  A fishing vest would be adorable as well, with lures or hooks attached to it!

LIttle Fish

LIttle Fish

The cute little fish is actually inspired by an existing pattern that has already been published by a very talented fellow designer.   BUDDYRUMI has an adorable and FREE fish pattern on her website and I tweaked the design a little bit for my kitty. Her fish pattern includes cute little fins so you might want to check it out!  Click www.buddyrumi.com to see her amazing work and check out her freebies page if you’re interested!

Spencer the Fishing Kitty

Spencer the Fishing Kitty

This pattern is now available in my usual ETSY and CRAFTSY shops, as will shortly be added onto AMIGURUMIPATTERNS.NET!  Visit your fave site and pick up a pattern today!

 

 

Happy Lunar New Year!

Happy Lunar New Year!

Another year, another zodiac animal! As you can see, it’s going to be the Year of the Horse!! if you’re a horse, you are turning 0, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84, 96, or 108!  :)  I can’t think of anyone I know that has this sign… “Horse” people are supposedly pleasant, and easy-going.  They’re extroverts and are full of good humor-he or she is usually the life of the party!  They are also supposed to be very frank and direct, almost to the point of tactlessness.  Does this fit the personality traits of any of your “Horse” friends?

Since returning from my holiday overseas trip,   life has quickly gone back to the usual routine.  Getting up, going through the chaotic  morning ritual of packing the kids off to school, running errands, thinking of and preparing dinner… (WHY do people have to eat dinner every night? It would be so much easier if we just ate less often…like once a week!)  I’ve been adding extra crochet time into the mix in preparation for the upcoming Zoomigurumi 3 book!  Amigurumipatterns.net is once again compiling 15 new designs for the new edition and it’s set to be released in the Spring of 2014, which is just around the corner!  Follow  the Amigurumipatterns.net  Facebook page for more updates and other links/news about super cute amigurumi patterns!

The Zoomigurumi books have been wildly popular and are currently on Amazon.com for purchase.   Perhaps they will be available on the shelves here in the US one day.  That would be so awesome!  I feel extremely honored to be included once again!!  I just recently packed off my 2 contributions, Cuddles the Sheep and Clementine Cow.

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Bye bye, animals!

They’re off the Belgium and will be used to promote the book.  I had to find the smallest box to fit Cuddles, which is a pretty huge amigurumi!! I tried warning everybody of her size but I don’t think you can really appreciate how big she really is unless you see her in relation to a person.  So let me add a picture of my son holding this doll.  He’s shy, so you can’t see his face. :)

So huggable!

So huggable!

See how cuddly and soft she looks?  Too bad I don’t have any daughters.  None of my boys are the least bit interested in playing with my crocheted animals.  I did make a few Angry Birds, which they threw around for a short while, but that fad faded pretty fast for them.

Till next time, XOXO and happy crocheting!

-Amy

 

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Happy Holidays 2013!!

 Well, it’s hard to believe that another year is winding down once again! Why does it seem like each year goes more quickly than the last?  It must be the hourglass effect…maybe I feel this way because I’m getting older and older.  My birthday is later this month and it’s a milestone birthday. I will politely neglect to share exactly which one but it’s a milestone nonetheless. :)   I might joke about not wanting to get older, but I am truly grateful to be here for each new year.  There have been quite a number of very memorable amigurumi moments for me in 2013.   I completed a bunch of new dolls this year, including some freebies for you all!  I can’t believe how popular my little baby owl design has been!  Thank you to everyone for all the amazing pictures of all your baby owls that you’ve sent to me! Here are just a few of the beauties from you!

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Another great 2013 moment was when my Humphrey the Elephant pattern was published in “Zoomigurumi 2!”  Both the first and second books are doing well on Amazon.com and both have been translated into Dutch and is currently being sold in stores in the Netherlands!  Isn’t that fabulous??  AND there definitely is a Zoomigurumi 3 in the works! Expect it to be available sometime in the spring of 2014!  Keep an eye out for some more Little Muggles contributions!  :)

This was also the first year that I entered a couple of my dolls into the County Fair!  What a fun experience that was!  I’ll be sure to enter again next year.  I’ll have to start thinking of what to make starting in January.

Winning Friends!

Winning Friends!

For now, I’m actually getting ready to embark on a transPacific trip with my family of 5, along with my husband’s extended family as well!  We’ll be traveling to Asia and won’t return until 2014!  This will be quite an adventure, especially since there will be 5 kids under the age of 9 to handle!  Wish me luck! I might be returning without my sanity.  This will be the first time that I bring along my crochet supplies on a trip.  I’m going to try to make some things on the plane ride itself (if my hooks don’t get confiscated).  Maybe I’m being over ambitious.  I’ll most likely be sitting between 2 young children.  I’ll be lucky if my yarn doesn’t get thrown up on.  Hmmm not a pleasant image, is it? Maybe I’ll pack my stuff in my suitcase and crochet at my destination instead…haha!

Well, thank you to everyone who has been following me this year!! I do plan to make some new and exciting freebies for you all in the new year!  I’ll try to keep coming up with new characters for all of you to enjoy!  Happy, Happy Holidays to you all and I wish everyone a fantastic New Year!!!

XOXOXOXO!

-Amy

 

2013 LITTLE MUGGLES CREATIONS

 

Dragon, Tiger, Cow

Dragon, Tiger, Cow

 

I finally finished the 3 dolls that my friend commissioned me to make!  Each will be gifted this Christmas to a niece or nephew, and each represents the Asian Zodiac animal for his/her birth year.  What a neat idea, right?  I hope the kiddos like them!  I’ve always wanted to make all the Zodiac animals so this was a good motivator to get me going on this project.  I don’t foresee myself finishing all 12 animals anytime in the near future, but I think I’ve got a pretty good start already.  Let’s see, the 12 animals are the Rat, Cow, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

Chinese_Zodiac

 

My plan is to eventually make new Zodiac versions of each animal.   In the meantime, I can use existing dolls to represent the animals…  ie. Mochi or Wasabi for Year of the Rabbit would work nicely!    I’ve got a long way to go to make all the signs.   No worries though!  As long as I’ve got the animal done for the current year, I’m happy.  Which animal sign are you?  I’m a Cow (ok, that doesn’t sound so nice) and my husband is a Tiger.  According to the horoscope, I am supposedly hard working and persistent.  Hmmm I’m not sure if that’s completely accurate!  My tiger husband is supposedly confidant, courageous, and dynamic. That’s probably true.  But I’m not really one to be superstitious!! :)

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2013 Year of the Snake

 

Year of the Cow (Ox)

Year of the Cow (Ox)

 

Year of the Pig

 

Year of the Horse

Year of the Horse

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Year of the Tiger

Year of the Dragon

Year of the Dragon

Year of the Rabbit

Year of the Rabbit

Year of the Monkey

Year of the Monkey