So yeah. This is another spur of the moment inspiration that I worked up right after I thought of it. Of course, I was procrastinating really, really hard at the time, but it only took an hour to make and anyway I needed the break.
Anyway, I’m really proud of the way this turned out. I’ve spent the past two days playing around with it in between bouts of essay writing, which I think is the mark of a well-made toy. I’m also excited that now the octopus isn’t the only aquatic animal in my arsenal.
The pattern is here. Use as you will. Send me a picture if you make one. I’d love to see it.
All right. So. One of my friends at college is in a sorority. Alpha Delta Pi (ADPi) specifically. Last week was big/little week which, for the uninitiated (like me) basically means she was assigned a new member of her sorority chapter to, essentially, shower in gifts all week. (I don’t know if that’s 100% accurate, but that’s my understanding of the process.) ADPi’s mascot is a lion. So, she commissioned a tiny lion from me to give to her little. And that is why this pattern exists.
It’s debatable whether I would have ever gotten around to designing a lion in the absence of these very specific circumstances. Literally all the other animals in the tiny animal series were made because I, personally, am a fan of that animal. And while lions are cool, they’re not my favorite animal. But I digress. Point is, I probably would have gotten around to them eventually, but I doubt it would have been this quick if I was left to my own devices.
Of course, I wasn’t left to my own devices, so let’s talk about the design process.
The basic form of the lion was easy. I copy-pasted it out of the bunny pattern. I used the bunny pattern because the body is rounder than the fox or cat, and my original copy-paste out of the cat pattern looked really weird. Note to self: lions do not reduce to cones, they reduce to rotund semi-cylinders.
The ears were also easy. They’re basically classic teddy bear ears—little circles folded in half, rounded and sewn to the head. No big deal.
The mane was a little more complex, but I correctly assumed that it would be easier to just make it into a geometric shape and not try to build one out of short strands of yarn knotted together. I modeled mine off a potato chip scarf, with a little bit of light scalloping. I like how that turned out. I think it gives it dimension without becoming really hard or complicated to make. Although, if you’re looking for a lion with a mane that covers the back of its head, maybe look elsewhere.
The tail gave me some trouble. It went through a few different iterations before I finally decided to reduce it to its basic geometric shapes (a line with a little pointed cylinder on the end). I wound up exaggerating the proportions of the fur tuft at the end of its tail to make it remotely doable, but I think it turned out cute.
So, yeah. Tiny crochet lion. Super cute. Great for ADPis. Apparently. I’ll have it listed on Etsy once I have one that I can take more salable pictures of. Until then, if you’re of a crafting mindset, here’s the pattern. Feel free to give it a shot. Send me pictures if you do. I like seeing my creations out in the world.
Okay, one bunny. Apparently I’m too lazy to make multiple bunnies. Don’t worry, I’m sure it will multiply soon.
This pattern was blissfully easy to make, partly because it’s kind of a Frankenstein’s monster of other patterns I’ve done. I took the head pretty much word for word from the cat pattern, and the ears are a sized down version of what I did with the matoki, sans pipe cleaners. The body is new because I wanted the bunny to be chubbier than the fox and the cat, but it didn’t really give me any trouble for some reason. Maybe I’m just getting better at creating specific shapes. Yay!
The only part that gave me any trouble was the tail. Mainly because I originally thought it should be a lot bigger than it had any right to be, and it took a few attempts to get one that wasn’t enormous. Rabbits have nubs for tails. I’m not sure why that wasn’t obvious.
So…yeah. Quick little January pattern. If you want to make one of these rabbits, by all means, do so. The pattern is here. Go nuts. Go rabbits? I don’t think that works.
If you don’t want to make one, but still want a tiny rabbit (because really who doesn’t), you can buy one here.
Okay, now I know what you’re thinking. What could I possibly have been doing all week that I had to delay my weekly post until Wednesday? Well, three things:
Making a veritable army of tiny octopi. One of my friends ordered a lot of them to be shipped internationally in time for Christmas. I currently have about 10, and I need 20 by the end of the week. Wish me luck.
Making a freaking DINOSAUR!
What? I like dinosaurs. They’re cool. And this one’s adorable. He’s like a foot tall and super chubby and I just want to squeeze him.
So, I did not design this dinosaur. I found the pattern on Ravelry (obligatory link), and it was designed by Bluephone Studios, which is apparently an Etsy shop. The pattern does cost money, but it’s just so freaking cute that it’s super worth it in my opinion.
Anyway, I actually made this dinosaur for the yearly white elephant that’s put on by HYPED (the k-pop dance cover group that I am a part of), which happened yesterday. (And is the real reason I pushed this post back a day. Some of the members read my blog, and I didn’t want to spoil the surprise.)
So that’s the first Christmas item crossed off my list! Now I just need to finish up my Stitching Santa gift and all of the things for family and friends back home.
Okay, it’s official. I have started a series of tiny animals. This one’s a fox. Because foxes are cool. I mean, look at this thing.
The pattern for this is loosely based on the one for the Tiny Cats (Note the similar, chess-piece-shaped body), but with the addition of a muzzle and a fluffy tail to make it distinctly fox shaped. And a lot of color work to make it distinctly a fox. The color work did go through a few iterations, resulting in one proto-fox that had very little white on its belly, and was stuck looking forever to the right, but I really like the way it turned out.
Overall, I’m really proud of this pattern. That said, it is a little more intricate than most of my designs (matoki notwithstanding), so it’s available for $1 on my Etsy shop. Here’s a direct link to the listing. This was a hard decision to make since, as a crafter who does not have infinite money, I understand how frustrating it can be when a pattern you like costs money. However, as an artist and as a business owner, I kind of want to be paid for my work, and I think this pattern is worth a dollar.
So seeing as my blood has been almost completely replaced by coffee at this point, I thought it was about time I made a coffee themed pattern. So I made a coffee mug. Of course, the reason my blood has been replaced by coffee is the sheer amount of coursework I’ve been doing. So I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on this. So I made the coffee mug tiny.
I wanted to make it into a little keychain, because I think that would make it even cuter. But then I found out that my keychains are in New Mexico, and I am definitely not, so that’ll have to wait for winter break. Until then, I’ll just have to be content with this tiny crochet mug full of tiny crochet coffee.
If you would like to make your own tiny crochet mug, the pattern is here. Expect more crochet coffee stuff in the future, when I have a little more brainspace to work on it. Or not. I’m not really sure. But either way, this will still exist. So…yeah.
Happy Halloween month everyone! I’ve mentioned before that I adore Halloween. So, in light of the holiday, I’ve decided to start the month off right with something truly terrifying. Muffins!
Okay, so I haven’t had a lot of time to crochet these past few weeks. This made up really quickly.
Crochet food kind of fascinates me, and I’ve honestly been meaning to do something like this for a while. My original plan was to design my own crochet muffin, but after a few failed attempts, I decided it wasn’t going to happen right away, so I had planned to table it until I had a little more free time.
But then Hurricane Nate happened, and while it fortunately didn’t end up hitting New Orleans at all, I found myself making these delicious gluten free apple muffins on Saturday in case something happened that left me with out a ready source of food. And then I found this cute and simple pattern for crochet muffins at NyanPon.com, which I was able to make almost start to finish while the edible muffins were in the oven. And then I gave it a face. Because why not give it a face.
So…yeah. That’s pretty much all I have to say about that. I’ll probably have something a little spookier for next week. Next next week? Two weeks from now. The next post will happen in two weeks. See you then!
Okay, so first some business. If you would like to buy the pattern, you can find it on my Etsy shop by clicking here. If you only want to make one or two of the matoki, the individual patterns are for sale on my Ravelry shop.
If you are not of a crafting way, but still want one of the matoki, they are also for sale on my Etsy shop. To celebrate the release of the pattern, they are half off for a limited time. This sale will run while supplies last, so if you really want one, now’s the time to buy. The direct link is here.
This pattern is a freaking behemoth. It is 43 pages long and contains not only crochet instructions, but also printable pattern pieces for all the sewn-on felt parts and detailed assembly instructions for each individual matoki (because it’s different for each individual matoki). The assembly instructions also contain a lot of pictures, making them as easy as possible to interpret. It may go through a few more tweaks (particularly where Joko’s mask is concerned) but for the most part it is finished.
Which, honestly feels kind of baffling to me. I mean, I’ve been working on this pattern since December of 2015—longer than I’ve been running Entropy Creations. When I first designed this pattern, I had no idea it would be so difficult, and it is incredibly more complex than anything else I have designed. It’s also, in essence, the first pattern I have ever designed. The proto-version of this pattern—the original Kekemato, who had stuffed ears—predates the first pattern I put on this site by a good seven months, and it’s been growing and changing ever since. It feels really weird to just be done.
It also feels really good to just be done. Making the matoki has frustrated me to no end, and I was not thrilled when I realized I had to make another whole set because I’d forgotten to take pictures. That said, making the second set did help me tweak the pattern and fix problems I hadn’t realized existed.
So, as a way to wrap up the series, I wanted to go over each matoki individually and share some final thoughts. (Incidentally, in the following pictures, the new matoki is always on the left.)
Did you know that Bang Yongguk has an identical twin brother? On the left, I’ve included a picture of them with their older sister, for reference. This doesn’t have much to do with the matoki, but it amused me while I was making the second Shishi.
That said, I think the newer Shishi is an improvement on the old. Shishi is forever doomed to be squishier than the other matoki, but the new one has tighter stitching and is a little more firmly stuffed, making it so he’s a little smaller and isn’t quite as inclined to slide down whenever I try to prop him up against something. I also managed to accidentally enlarge the nostrils on his mask, but I like it better, so I kept it in the new pattern.
I don’t really have much to say about Joko. I did get to spend more time on his mask, and I think it looks a lot cleaner and crisper because of it. Ultimately, though, he’s one of the easiest matoki to put together—-if not the easiest—and both times I’ve made him he’s been a welcome change of pace from making the others.
I realized when I was reading through my old posts that I made both Tats and Dada before Skydive came out. This is somewhat relevant because Skydive was when I really started to pay more attention to B.A.P as a group of musicians, and also people with personalities, and not just as that one k-pop group that had the really cute mascots. It also marks the point where my bias member changed from Himchan to Jongup, and with it my favorite matoki changed from Tats to Dada.
So, yeah, I have no idea how new Tats’ head ended up so flat. It’s a little hard to tell in the picture, but his head is a lot wider and more disc shaped than it should be. I kind of feel bad for Tats, because one of the reasons I actually wanted to go back and make a new set of matoki was to have a version of Tats that used the same base pattern as all the others. I also wanted to have another try at his arm tattoos, which are significantly more complicated than the simple empty explosion I use. Ultimately, however, his tattoos proved more than my modest embroidery skill could handle, so they were left blank.
Once I’ve taken a break and gotten some distance from the matoki, I think I might take another shot at Tats. I want to be able to take my time and get things right. However, I don’t think I’m in the right state of mind for it right now.
Keke has, hands down, my favorite design out of all the matoki, but he is a pain to make. I had assumed that a lot of the frustration that came in making him stemmed from the design process, but it turns out that the design part was comparatively easy, and I actually had to stop working on the project entirely for about a week this summer because Keke proved too much for me to handle.
While I was making Keke III, I realized that a large part of what makes Keke so difficult to, well, make, it that he was designed for a two dimensional medium, and that design just does not translate well when brought into a three dimensional space. This is most noticeable in images like the one on the right, where the part of the hood below the zipper magically disappears when the hood is lifted. This is in stark contrast to my matoki dolls where the bottom part remains in place even when the hood is off, like some sort of fashionable white cowl.
A sane person might have solved this dilemma by simply attaching an unusable hood to the back of his neck or ignoring the fact that Keke is a pink rabbit alien wearing a black suit, but I am nothing if not stubborn and Keke Prime had a usable hood, so this Keke has to have one too.
Griping aside, I do think Keke III turned out better than Keke II. I took a lot more time on the assembly and, with a few exceptions, I think it worked out for the better. I’m especially proud of the addition of a separating zipper for his mask, which makes wrestling him into and out of his hood significantly easier.
I didn’t realize how floppy original Toto was until I put him next to new Toto. For some reason I didn’t stuff his head as much, and firmly stuffing the head really helps the ears to stay up.
Also, new Toto was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay easier to put together than the original. I had expected that to be the case, because many of my problems with the first Toto came from translating his markings into a physical space. Once the pattern pieces were made, however, that problem completely vanished. Which is good, because I had a solid two days to make him if I wanted to finish the matoki before the end of the summer.
When I made the new Dada, I was prepared for it to take a while to sew on all the felt pieces. I was not, however, prepared for new Dada to be slightly bigger than original Dada, thereby rendering my pattern piece for the treads useless. It wasn’t as bad a setback as it could have been, as I just had to lengthen the center tread piece and revise the pattern to accommodate multiple possible sizes, but it was still kind of disheartening. That said, I am happy with the way new Dada turned out, so overall I’d call it a win.
Also, Moon Jongup makes me happy. I mean, just look at that face. How can you not be happy when you’re looking at that face. (For context, Jongup is the member that Dada is based around.)
I keep bringing up B.A.P because, no matter how hard I’ve worked on the matoki, they are still, ultimately, fan art. They were created as a mascot for a k-pop group and it’s impossible to dissociate them from that group. For all my talk about the challenges of formulating the pattern, or the admittedly bare-bones lore surrounding the matoki, I’ve never really mentioned the actual group they were created for. Which, when I think about it, is pretty odd.
I mean, I know why it happened. When I listen to music, I don’t really get swept up in the backstory or lives of the people who make that music. B.A.P was no exception. When I started making the matoki, I didn’t know anything about B.A.P, the k-pop group, other than they had some songs I kind of liked. B.A.P is a hip-hop group, and hip-hop is one of my least favorite genres of music, so while I liked some of their more lyrical album tracks, I was ambivalent to the group as a whole.
However, I was immediately enamored by the matoki. The whole concept of a group of highly trained alien warriors who also happened to be adorable anthropomorphic rabbits is a goofy one, but one that I could get behind. It also helped that B.A.P initially doubled down on the concept by claiming to actually be highly trained alien warriors who were attempting to conquer Earth. And by conquer Earth, I mean collect the elated screams of millions of fangirls to send back to their homeworld, thereby solving said homeworld’s energy crisis. It’s a weird story, but it’s the kind of weird story I really enjoy, and it ultimately lead to me becoming a fan of the group.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best person to tell you all about the members of a boy band and why you should care, and frankly, I’m fine with that. That’s why I run a craft blog instead of a fandom blog. But if you’ve been following these posts, like the matoki, and don’t already listen to B.A.P, I’d strongly suggest checking them out.