1 Dozen Crochet Amigurumi Owls!

Back in May I had a commission to make a DOZEN crocheted Amigurumi Owls. A DOZEN. SO MANY HOOTS!

The amigurumi Owl pattern is my own famous (hopefully? one day?) pattern. These little guys, dubbed “Tea Owls” are mascots to my sister blog, The Oolong Owl. I make so many of these amigurumi owls for myself – I love owls and I just about have the pattern memorized.

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I’m a big Knitpicks fan, and love their Chroma yarn line, a wool/nylon blend, colour-transitioning yarn in worsted and fingering weight. It is a little hard to work with as it is single ply, but looks amazing with small amigurumi. I had to match the wing colours with other yarn, as if I tried to pool the wings that would of been too much precious Chroma yarn wasted. The price for this colorful ombre yarn is competitively priced compared to other yarn sellers.

The yarn and colours used for 1 dozen Crochet Amigurumi Owls:

  • Knitpicks Chroma Worsted in Guppy (The colourway “Guppy” is discontinued at the time I write this. Maybe it is seasonal?)
  • Knitpicks Swish Worsted in Gulfstream
  • Bernat Lana Cream 100% worsted wool from my stash (discontinued)
  • Unknown brand pale yellow worsted yarn (not pictured) That orange yarn pictured wasn’t used, though I was considering it an alternate for wings.

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I do well crocheting in a large assembly-line. So I hammered out a whole bunch of amigurumi owl bodies first. When I was bored, I’d stuff a few, make a wing. Like other commissions and doing a large batch, I like to try and have a couple close to done so the buyer can see what they look like, other than a whole bunch of random crocheted bits and bobbles.

First week, I had this much done:

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After getting more than half the bodies done, I decided to make a few feet, then ended up crocheting all the feet in one sitting as I got my groove on while on a kdrama binge. I had tight feeling fingers after making 24 feet, but got it done! Already, I am really happy how this yarn colourway is looking – all the owls look fantastic with many have a bit of every colour change in the yarn.

Second week I mostly dealt with tails and wings. The wings turned out to be the most boring part of making 1 dozen amigurumi owls. Again, 24 wings were needed, the wings are small and I had to do a tighter gauge to make them size right. Knitpicks Chroma is a thinner worsted weight yarn and I didn’t expect my wing yarn to be a thicker worsted weight! For the tails I used the Chroma yarn – I’d do one or two after completing a body, trying to match the tail that was the same colour as the Amigurumi Owl’s butt.

In between getting spirally eyes crocheting owl wings, I started sewing amigurumi owl parts together.

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The third week I spent making the last tails and wings, along with sewing the rest of the amigurumi owls parts together. The last step was attaching all those tiny orange beaks.

In the end – 1 Dozen Amigurumi Owls Complete! TEA OWL ASSEMBLE!

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Awww, the amigurumi owls are so well behaved and line up in formation!

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A few of the amigurumi owls look identical, with the luck of the draw of the colourway landing the same. I tried to vary a bit with crocheting from the other end of the ball, though I don’t think that made much difference since I got an even amount of amigurumi owls per ball.

There were a few amigurumi owls that had some unique colouring with the light tipped yellow and orange heads.

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I can totally spot a trouble maker amigurumi owl. That orange one in the back is a mischief maker!

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These amigurumi owls don’t seem to make good cheerleaders. They can’t form a pyramid without topping over, creating hooting chaos.

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Oh no! There’s a little amigurumi owl on the bottom getting his face stepped on!

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In the end – feel free to experiment with some of the interesting yarn colours out there for your amigurumi creations. Also, pace yourself when making mass amounts of crocheted items – your hands will thank you later!

If you want to make some Amigurumi Owls of your own, hit up my shop for the pattern!


Cutey White Finch Amigurumi

I got a commission request to do a Amigurumi Critter representation of a white finch. I was sent some photos to help me along.

Here’s the birdie:

whitefinch1

Very tame! Wow! I’ve never seen such a tame finch before!

So, I took most of my Amigurumi Critter pattern for shaping and wings, with the tail and feet taken from Owl Amigurumi pattern. I also used felt to get that lovely tear feather patterning.

Our finished amigurumi, which turned out very well:

Amigurumi white finch by AwkwardSoul Designs (1)

Amigurumi white finch by AwkwardSoul Designs (2)

I love the chubby shape, with the bright orange beak and feet contrasting the white bird body. Very cute!

The crocheting and construction went very smooth, however I was reminded how much working with white yarn can take extra time – I’d wash my hands before working on the project, no drinks or food while crocheting and a clean surface when resting the project. White yarn can pick up dirt or get tinted by other yarn colours worked near it, so extra care is needed. I hand lotion often when crocheting and knitting, and I don’t when working with white yarn just in case if makes the yarn pick up dirt!

More pictures!

Amigurumi white finch by AwkwardSoul Designs (3)

Amigurumi white finch by AwkwardSoul Designs (4)

Appreciation photo:

white finch

I’m happy how flexible my Amigurumi Critter pattern is – maybe I should add a few more variations and photos to the pattern?

Currently, I’m working on a couple knitted lace shawls – photos coming soon.


Barn Owl Amigurumi and Friends

I’ve been crocheting up more owls to hang out with me while I drink tea on my tea blog, The Oolong Owl.

These owls are made following my Owl Amigurumi Crochet Pattern.

Barney the Barn Owl

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I’m not very original with my names, poor Barney! All Red Heart Super Saver solids used here. I used a cream for the body, with a light tan for the wings. The felt face was cut as a big heart shape to make him look like a barn owl! Very cute!

I really want to find some good tweed or handpainted yarn that will crochet up nicely to mimic feathers.

Anyways, I’m going to be putting up Barney for adoption at my Etsy Shop. I’m sure there are huge barn owl fans that would love to snuggle him!

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Mintea the Owl

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Little Mintea was made with Aussie Shepherd DK, so he’s a soft little owl. I wanted a mint coloured owl who will like all peppermint teas.

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Teal Owl

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This little owl was made with… I think a Red Heart Soft and a Bernat yarn – it’s a worsted weight, but it on the thin side for worsted. Annoyingly, I don’t have a huge array of colours, so the feet don’t live up to what I was going for. I’ll try again. I’ll probably put this guy up for adoption sometime.

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That’s it for now. I have 4 more owls, but the set isn’t complete! O__O Oh boy!

Anyways, check out My Etsy Shop for amigurumi up for adoption and patterns ♥


Making Amigurumi: Cute Tools of the Trade

Making Amigurumi - Tools of the Trade by Awkward Soul

Welcome to my new tutorial series, Making Amigurumi! This is the first installment!

New to making Amigurumi? You’ll need some tools first.

I will discuss –  1. Must Have purchases, 2. Project dependent items, 3. Optional Tools, and 4. Do not buy

Required Tools:

YARN – If you are new to crocheting I’d start off with a Worsted Weight yarn – it is easy to find at craft or yarn shops.

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What type of yarn? Optimally, acrylic is inexpensive and washes well – thus very good for starting the amigurumi hobby. You may also chose wool based yarn. For a newer crocheters (or one not used to TIGHT gauge) I’d avoid 100% cotton yarns for now as they don’t have much give, thus harder to work with. Blends of acrylic, wool, cotton, bamboo work well. Check out my Yarn Reviews for yarns that work well for amigurumi.

Do not get nubby yarn. Do not get crazy fuzzy yarn. Heck, I’m still not patient enough to use nubby lumpy yarns – the tight gauge makes the stitches hard to see and the yarn snags on the hook too much.
What colours? What do you want to make? (pssst, how about my easy Octopus amigurumi pattern?)
Getting started, I’d purchase a white and some attractive solid (non varigated) colours.

HOOK – Which size of hook you will need will range greatly on how tight you crochet and the yarn used. Sadly, all worsted weight yarn is not created equal – some are thinner than others.

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3.5, 3.75, 4, 4.25mm hooks cover me for all of the variances of worsted weight. If you were looking to not buy a ton of hooks, I’d start with a 3.5mm and 4mm hook for worsted weight, and go from there.

Not all crochet hooks are the same as brands like to sometimes have different handles and head shapes. They also come in various materials such as metal, wood, bamboo and plastic. I HIGHLY recommend metal crochet hooks – if you don’t know your “sweet spot” gauge yet + crocheting tightly = snapped hooks, especially the plastic ones. The plastic hooks look very nice, but don’t buy them! When I was new to crochet, I bought the pretty rainbow pack of crochet hooks and broke all of them. Bamboo and wooden crochet hooks are pretty nice and have a bit of grip to them – I’d go with those if you cannot get a metal one.

Crochet hooks are easy to find at yarn or craft shops, and even at places like Walmart and dollar shops. Another good hotspot for crocheting or knitting tools is thrift shops or garage sales.

STITCH MARKER –  To decrease errors, you’ll want to mark each start of the round. There is lots of stitch markers out there, but I prefer the trusty small gold safety pin. Safety pins are cheap, easy to find, and have multiple uses. The crummy issues with safety pins is accidentally getting stabbed in the finger, and yarn getting caught in the spine of the pin.

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They make these nice plastic stitch markers, however I find them a little too big for the size of amigurumi I make.

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Ditto with these spiral things being too big for amigurumi crocheting.

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You may also use scrap yarn and thread it through the stitch, but I find using a closing pin is much more secure and faster to use.

STUFFING –  You will need to fill your amigurumi with something! Thankfully, polyfill is pretty cheap – cheaper if you buy it in larger bags.

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I prefer this style of fill – it lasts a long time, squishy yet holds form.

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I used use a different stuffing that was “Eco friendly” but found my amigurumi turned out really hard, heavy and not as filled up.

It is easy to get mixed up and buy the wrong fill! I’ve received fill that was actually quilting backing or pillows – not the same stuff!

Finding stuffing can be hit and miss. Craft stores should have it. Yarn shops sometimes have it. Walmart sometimes have it in stock. Dollar stores (especially Asian dollar stores like Daiso) have stuffing, but often in small packages enough for 1-2 amigurumis, thus not cheap if you plan to make more amigurumi than that.

EYES – this will be the trickiest part, but thankfully, I have been noticing safety eyes showing up more at craft stores. See my Amigurumi Eyes FAQ for further information.

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YARN NEEDLE – These yarn needles piss me off as I constantly lose them. Some shops dare to sell the plastic pink ones for like $3 each. You can get a wide, blunt metal one for $0.25 to $4. Find one that has a wide “eye” so you can thread your yarn through.

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I prefer the metal needles as they have weight to them, plus are thinner making it easier to fit inbetween tight stitches.

If you cannot find a wide eye’d needle, you may be able to get away with your crochet hook, though life is much easier with the yarn needle.

SCISSORS – you know, to cut your yarn with. You probably have some on hand.

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Depending on your project, there are a few other tools you might need:

EMBROIDERY FLOSS – You’ll need this stuff if you want to sew on mouths, noses or even eyes. Floss will be your friend if you are making amigurumi for young kids, as safety eyes aren’t recommended for young children.

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Luckily, floss is cheap! $0.25 each cheap, though it can range up to like $2 for high-end silk material. You can find floss at most craft stores, dollar stores, and Walmart. Sometimes they sell them in the toy section in friendship bracelet kits.

Colours? This is project dependent, but 90% of the time I use black embroidery floss. Occasionally I will use white, pink and red.

SEWING NEEDLE – You may need a needle that has a sharp point instead of the yarn needles blunt point. The eyes on these are usually really small, so you couldn’t use as your yarn needle.

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This is needed to sew on the embroidery floss – especially if you want to stab the floss through stitches. You can also use a sewing needle to sew on felt pieces.

FELT – Felt can be used for many things: eyes, face, noses/beaks, pink cheeks, feet, spines, spikes, hands, ears, clothing, tails and more! If you can’t crochet something (like the beak is too tiny) you can glue or sew on a bit of felt to compensate. You can add felt behind the safety eye to change the look of the amigurumi or make the eyes bigger. Luckily, felt is quite cheap and easy to find at craft or dollar stores.

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You can also find felt that is stiff, patterned or covered in sparkles.

Of course colour selection is project dependent, but for me the most commonly used colours are white, black, orange, and pink.

FABRIC GLUE – If you choose not to sew on felt pieces, simply fabric glue them on. Good fabric glue can be flexible enough so the form can move, but also hold up to spot clean up.

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You will also want a glue that is clear and does minimal discolouration when dried.

NOSES – Maybe your amigurumi needs a nose? You can purchase plastic noses, similar to safety eyes. I touch on this briefly on my Amigurumi Eyes FAQ.

Optional Tools:

PLASTIC PELLETS – If you want to add weight to your amigurumi, say to keep it sitting upright, you’ll want plastic pellets. Plastic pellets work amazing for amigurumi with feet to keep the toy standing! I put plastic pellets into “very optional” category as I feel I can live without them. You can somewhat make do with rolling and packing stuff tightly on the bottom and some amigurumi can sit on their own with a well made pattern or feet/tail balancing. (Of course not applying to an amigurumi that’s all big head + no body)

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In my experience, plastic pellets are not that cheap and pricey to ship due to weight. A few times I’ve see a good deal on them, but it is for like a giant bucket of them. If you are truly desperate and cannot find the pellets, cannibalize a beanie baby or stuff toy for them. Plastic pellets are also a choking hazard for young children.

To use, I just simply sprinkle then pack them into the feet or bottom of the amigurumi. From there, stuff the rest of the form. You may also sew the pellets inside scrap fabric.

How about beans or rice?  Those can attract pests or have issues if you amigurumi get wet. I had a nice frog a cousin made me for Christmas, stuffed with beans. His legs got wet and he swelled up and started to stink – it was awful.

PINK OR RED FABRIC PAINT / BLUSH – Want blushing cheeks on your amigurumi? You’ll want fabric paint , though cosmetic blush does the job too. By the way, you’ll want something to apply the paint or blush with, such as a brush or q-tip/cotton bud. I prefer to glue on pink felt as cheeks.

STITCH COUNTER – these doo hickies are little counters you can use to keep track of what row/round you are on.

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Stitch counters are mostly found with knitting supplies as you can attach them to your knitting needle. They work just as good not attached to anything. They are fairly cheap, running around a couple dollars a piece.

Do you need one? Maybe. I use them, especially if I’m crocheting away from home. Can you live with out it? Most likely. You can keep track of what round you are on by simply printing out the pattern and marking rows completed or use  scrap paper or text document on your computer to keep count. If you are crocheting on the bus, using a stitch counter is easier than pulling out paper and a pen to mark your rounds.

Don’t bother to buy:

Stuffing stuffer tools – I had one come free with my package of stuffing, but you can also buy them from craft stores and amigurumi crafting sellers. Don’t bother to buy! First off – your fingers can stuff your amigurumi easily enough. If you need to insert stuffing in really small spots, like long narrow legs, you can simply use the back end of a crochet hook, knitting needle, pen, chop stick or yarn needle.

The stuffer I got for free with my giant bag of stuffing is pretty much 1 wooden chop stick. Other models look like a plastic yarn needles with the “eye” chopped, giving you a 2 pronged device, which you can make yourself, though using the end of your crochet hook works just as well!

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I hope this post helps you inspiring amigurumi makers out there! I plan to do a few more related tutorials in the future!


Owl Amigurumi Crochet Pattern – Tea Mug Owls?

It’s done! This pattern is the answer to my teaser photo I recently posted here.

owl amigurumi pattern by awkward soul - PDF

OWL AMIGURUMI!

Phew, finally!

I’m a huge owl fan – right up there for my love of octopi! My other blog, The Oolong Owl, is my owl-themed tea blog. Lots of Owl and Tea!

Alright. This took around 12 attempts to get the pattern just right. I had an owl graveyard of crocheted owl parts that didn’t make the cut. I really wanted to limit the amount of parts I had to sew onto these guys.

After 9 attempts I had a better idea how to pull off the best shape. Annoyingly, it took 3 tries to get the neck right – all times scrapping most of the body.

What I love about my Owl creation is that they are ridiculously photogenic! I took LOTS of pictures, so this is a photo-heavy post!

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My Owl pattern features:

3 head shapes – Round, Easy Ears and Large Ears.

2 face construction options – Felt or Colour chart

Simple chest feather detail

I made five owls (whoa!) as demos for this pattern. Three of them are the more of the bright and fun colour variety. Two of them are more realistic type of owl.

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The first Owl, the prototype, is this green owl. His name is Laoshan. He likes tea, especially green tea. Any tea nerds in the house?

Owl Amigurumi Crochet pattern by awkward soul designs (4)

Owl Amigurumi Crochet pattern by awkward soul designs (5)Owl matcha? I dunno….

My second favorite owl is my purple owl – she has no name yet. She was made last of the 5, so she’s the youngest. So far, I’ve just been calling her Attractive Purple Owl. I love the yarn I used here – the colour is great and was soft to work with (Craftsmart brand). Oddly, I stuffed her a bit too much, so she’s a little bigger than the other owls. Oh well.Owl Amigurumi Crochet pattern by awkward soul designs (12)

The second owl I created was the Big Blue Ear Owl. I was experimenting here with the chest feather detail and the colour chart. He’s got the tall “ears/feathers” on his head. I think he looks like a lot of fun.

The third owl I made is a more realistic type. I haven’t named him yet as I was planning on putting him up for adoption. I did an “x” felt detail on his face, and chest feathers to his chest.

Owl Amigurumi Crochet pattern by awkward soul designs (3)

Owl Amigurumi Crochet pattern by awkward soul designs (10) Owl Amigurumi Crochet pattern by awkward soul designs (11)

If you haven’t noticed, these Owls had a fun photo shoot with my teaware, LOL! I wanted to say they are “tea cup” owls, but they can barely squeeze into my tea cups! They fit into a matcha bowl fine, the rest of the teaware was a tight squish!

They sized up for me 5″ high, 3.5″ wide, up to 3″ long with worsted weight yarn and 4mm hook. Size will greatly depend on your gauge and yarn. Tea mug it is!  I’m sure if you made these owls with DK or sport yarn they’ll fit into a tea cup (and steal your tea).

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The fourth Owl I made.. well, he’s all mischief. I wanted to make a Snowy Owl, as that appears to be a popular type of owl. I prefer the Northern White face Owl myself (TRANSFORM!). Anyways, my Snowy Owl is very cute – my husband likes him the best!

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He looks like a well mannered Owl? Pfffft.

Owl Amigurumi crochet pattern by awkward soul designs

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Which Owl do you like more? Did I get your creative juices flowing? What colours or owls would you like to see or make youself?

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You can purchase my Owl Amigurumi Pattern at My Etsy Shop

or

purchase directly via Ravelry by clicking this  button. You do not need a Ravelry account to purchase.

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P.S. I will be listing 3 of the Owls for adoption on my My Etsy Shop. You may also check out my commission page if you’d like a custom made owl.


New Pattern Coming + Facebook page!

Hey my crafty friends!

It has been long overdue, but I finally created a facebook page for my blog and pattern store!

Please visit! Like! Stay up to date with new posts and see my random posts!
Awkward Soul Designs Facebook Page!

In addition, I got a new amigurumi pattern coming out soon. If you’ve been following my blog there is a pattern that I’ve been working on for awhile that has been through like 9 or 12 revisions. I kinda lost count on how many times I’ve redone this pattern.

When will the pattern be out? The written pattern is complete. I need to check one row (that I forgot to count for the colour chart, doh). I also need to do some more photos and maybe crochet a few more of this creature for the pictures. Actually, I made 3 of these guys already, but they are pretty simple to make and easy to customize so I just want to keep making more! Good chance that I will be selling a couple of the demos as well.

TEASER PIC

Preview pic March 2013

Hopefully the picture doesn’t give too much away. Actually, I’m not sure what this is just by looking at the picture. It’s got big eyes and blue. You can guess, but I’m not telling until the pattern is up!


Cute Cute Crab Amigurumi Pattern!

Another pattern already? That was fast!

Introducing  Awkward Soul’s CRAB AMIGURUMI

Crab Amigurumi pattner by AwkwardSoul (1)

I have an interesting crab story from my childhood.

I was around 10 years old and was fishing off a dock. I caught something REALLY heavy and hard to pull in, that it took a long time to reel in and I needed help from my older cousins. I got it out of the water and it was a SCARY spidery leggy looking spikey crab! Very angry crab too! I started screaming and my cousin kicked the crab off the dock!

In retrospect, it was probably a good eat, oh well.

Crab Amigurumi pattner by AwkwardSoul (3)Don’t kick me off a dock!

I had the inspiration quickly after making my Turt the Turtle Amigurumi pattern. I noticed other amigurumi crabs had that round shape, and I thought going oval makes for a cuter, more realistic-ish shaped crab.

I was set on doing 8 legs instead of 6, but I couldn’t fit the extra legs without making the crab bigger. I also wanted to make a cute crab, not a scary angry crab from my childhood fishing incident!

Crab Amigurumi pattner by AwkwardSoul (4)

I wish I had a better name for this crab. “Crabby” was taken. “Snippy” didn’t suit him. Oh well. His name is “Crab”.

You can purchase this Crab Amigurumi pattern at my Etsy Store

or
Snag it via Ravelry by clicking  You do not need a ravelry account to purchase!

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Turt the Turtle Amigurumi Crochet Pattern

turt the turtle amigurumi pattern - awkward soul designs

Hey crochet peeps! Finally, I have a new pattern available!

Turt the Turtle!

Annoyingly, the other pattern I’ve been working on, which is on its 8th or 9th attempt, I put on hold to work on a turtle pattern. This turtle design came to me right away –  I also came up with a flipper design.

With that said, my turtle design comes with two leg options:

Flipper leg Turt!

Turt Turtle Amigurumi - AwkwardSoul (5)I like swimming!

Stumpy leg Turt!

Turt Turtle Amigurumi - awkwardsoul (13)I like cruising around at my own pace.

Both turtles are super cute and are enjoyable to make!

The only trouble I had with this pattern was creating the head. I wanted something a little tapered, but not complicated. Of course, I got complicated and it took a few tries to get the head just right. The legs and flippers were easy for me to figure out.

Shaping for the turtles came out very nice. I wanted to do a more realistic oval shell shape than the usual round amigurumi turtles out there.

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These cutie turtles are on the small side, 5″ long and 4″ leg span with worsted yarn, so they are a fast crochet project – leaving you time to make a large nest of turtles!

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Turt the Turtle Amigurumi Crochet PDF Pattern is up for sale at my Etsy Shop!

Alternatively, you may purchase the PDF Turt the Turtle pattern directly through Ravelry, no account required! 


Dolphin version 3 – updated colour work!

Sigh, sorry crochet peeps. I redid the colour work on my Dolphin pattern AGAIN! I dislike updating a pattern like this as I wish I got it right the first time!

PINK!

I was making the dolphin for a commission and was really unhappy with the colour work. Annoyingly with spiral rounds is the rows don’t perfectly stack, especially on decrease rows. With that said, the tummy block would begin to spiral out and bend.

I moved stitches around and improved the colour work A LOT so the tummy is a straight natural shape. Took 2 attempts to get it right!

Left: old tummy work. Right: improved new tummy

I can see why lots of amigurumi patterns don’t do colour switching, they often would just sew on another shape as it is hard to mess with the spiral rounds not stacking plus taking 3D shapes into account. Phew, I did pull it off though resulting in a very cute dolphin. The colour changes are still kinda tedious, so this pattern is not for a new crocheter.

I posted the Dolphin pattern changes on my Pattern Errata page for peeps who already purchased the pattern. All dolphin patterns sold will now have the new tummy colour chart.

You can purchase my Dolphin Amigurumi Pattern at my Etsy Shop or via Ravelry by clicking this  thing! You do not need a Ravelry account to purchase the pattern.

BONUS RABBIT BOMBING AMIGURUMI SHOTS!

Apparently my Dolphin Amigurumi tastes good to rabbits. Benson photobombed the photo session to lick and paw the dolphins. Sigh.