Okay, so this is not remotely crochet or knitting related. It is, however, the craftiest thing I’ve done all week.
I may have mentioned this before, but I’m in a k-pop dance cover group at my college called HYPED (follow us on Instagram!). One of the dances we’re doing this semester involves fans, which we ordered online. (Don’t get excited about handmade fans. That’s not what this is about.) But, in the interest of not accidentally throwing our fans across the room, we deemed it necessary to fashion safety straps for them. Which is what it is about.
I have made no secret of my lack of enthusiasm for the age-old art of sewing, but, sewing-wise-these were not exactly complicated. And, after a long midterms week, it was nice getting to spend an hour on Friday wandering around Michaels looking for tassels and elastic. And another thirty minutes figuring out how to attach them. And flinging a fan around to make sure it wouldn’t slip off.
I’ve actually spent the past couple days flinging a fan around. It’s kind of fun.
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.
So it’s been, what, two months since I finished Keke? I should probably address this whole pattern nonsense. Yeah….
Okay, so, I know I’ve written a few patterns before, and generally the design process (the part where I figure out how to make the thing) is the hardest part, with the actual writing of the pattern being relatively easy. However, the matoki pattern has two things my previous patterns did not. The first is pattern pieces for the mask and several of the markings. The second is assembly instructions. Let’s address them one at a time.
The pattern pieces were relatively easy to make. I’ve been saving the paper versions of all the pieces, and it was a simple matter of scanning them into the computer and using Gimp (like Photoshop, but free and harder to use) to outline them. This was easy. And boring. So I put it off for a few weeks. But I got it done. Two weeks ago.
Writing assembly instructions, however, proved to be much harder. More specifically, I found it difficult to explain how to assemble any specific matoki without relying heavily on pictures. So I decided to add pictures. The only problem was that, while I was designing the matoki, I neglected to take pictures.
So, long story short, I decided to make a new set of matoki, explicitly for the purpose of taking pictures. I will be finishing one every week starting two weeks ago, and as soon as I finish each matoki, I will be posting their individual pattern to Ravelry. If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that I just implied that two of the individual patterns are already on Ravelry. You would be correct. Here are links to the patterns for Shishi and Tats.
Thank you all for your patience, and for following me through this project. I’ll have one more post on this when all of the patterns are up.
Guys, guys, I did it! I finished Kekemato! I can’t wait to show him to you. Wait…where did he go? Keke?
Darn it, Keke! Come out and sit properly so I can take pictures of you.
Yeah, so Kekemato is the last of the matoki, and he’s a ninja. He’s also bright pink, has really nice eyelashes, and always wears a black full body suit (pictured on the left) because he thinks he’s too pretty to be a warrior. Also, being pastel pink probably isn’t super conducive to being a ninja.
Tragically, I did not make Keke a full body suit because I’m not, you know, insane. I did, however, use actual zippers in his construction, and make a fully functional hood that—when you unzip the mask—reveals Keke’s pretty pink head. Because apparently I’m a masochist.
Naturally, creating what essentially amounted to an entire second head but this time hollow and able to perfectly encompass the first head came with its own set of problems. The biggest challenge I faced when designing Keke’s hood was what to do about his ears. I originally wanted to work some sort of crochet magic to make a special hood that had hollow ears and holes inside the mask for said ears. However, not only would that be horrible to try to engineer, it would mean I would have to wrestle Keke’s ears into the ear holes every single time I wanted to put his hood on. As such, I scrapped the idea as needlessly complicated.
Instead, Keke’s mask is basically a second, slightly larger head, complete with it’s own ears, and it’s own pipe cleaners within those ears. When putting his mask on, I just need to fold Keke’s ears down and shove his head violently through the hole created by the zipper. This model is still hard, but at least it’s actually, you know, possible.
The other major problem I had was with the sheer amount of embroidery involved in his design. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not particularly good at sewing, and unlike with all the other matoki, I couldn’t just make a pattern to either trace or cut out of felt, so I had to eyeball everything. I wound up redoing a bunch of it, but overall I think it turned out really cool.
So that’s it. I’m done. I have finished making every single matoki. Yay! But, while Keke is the last of the matoki, in a weird way, he was also the first. See, I first got the idea to make one of these back in December 2015 as a Christmas present for my friend Dani. At the time, I knew that she was a big fan of B.A.P. (the k-pop group), and that the matoki were not only B.A.P.’s mascots, but also possibly the single most plushable thing in k-pop. So, I asked one of our mutual friends who Dani’s favorite member was, with the intention of making his associated matoki. She said her favorite was Daehyun. That’s this one, incidently:
Armed with this knowledge and a naive confidence that surely it couldn’t be that hard, I set about searching for a pattern and found, to my surprise, that there were no crochet patterns for matoki. So, armed with even more naive confidence, I set about to make my own. And was shocked to discover that it was, in fact, really hard. But I did it! Here’s a picture of the two Kekes together:
Yeah…the pattern has evolved a lot over the years. Keke-prime’s mask also goes on his head:
Aren’t they cute?
So, this is the last matoki post, right? I’m done now. Right?
Well, there’s actually going to be one more. See, since I made Keke prime, I wanted to release the pattern on the internet so other people could use it. However, even though the matoki are done, the pattern still needs to be tested (for typos and errors in the instructions) and polished. So there will be one more matoki post when the pattern is ready to be released to the world. See you then!
So, I go to school in New Orleans, and it’s Mardi Gras, and I have spent the past two days hiding in my room because I’m a recluse and don’t really like large crowds of drunk people all that much. And while I was hiding in my room, I made another matoki! His name is Jokomato, and his design fits absurdly well with the theme of the current holiday.
Seriously, if he was purple and green it would have been the perfect tie in.
Honestly, making Joko was a lot easier and less stressful than certain previous matoki (*cough* Toto *cough*). The only somewhat difficult part was making his full-face mask, and that was only really difficult because I originally attempted to cut his eyes out of the white part of the mask, so they would be black because he literally had no eyes. But the results were terrifying and lopsided, so I scrapped that idea and made them out of black felt.
Otherwise, he was relatively easy to put together, and it was a nice change of pace to make a matoki whose basic mask was so fundamentally different from any of the others.
And with that, I will leave you with the obligatory updated family picture:
I finally made the next matoki! His name is Totomato, and he is a robot. And a baby. He is a baby robot. I wish I was making this up.
Toto is a robot created by Shishimato to aid in the Matoki’s conquest of Earth. Additionally, while the rest of the Matoki are over 2000 years old, Toto is only one year old, which apparently means baby, even when you are a robot.
Toto’s backstory might be absurd, but it lends itself to a visually interesting and unique design. It also meant I had to make a lot of changes to my original design. Most notably, Toto’s ears are wider set than those of the other Matoki, to make room for the winding key in the center of his head. As such, I wound up making the winding key first, to use as a guide for where to place the ears. I thought this would be difficult, but it actually wound up being relatively easy once I had designed the winding key.
That said, putting Toto together was a nightmare. In my post about Dadamato, I explained that making Dada’s tire treads was frustrating because there were just so many pieces that had to be accounted for. Comparatively, Toto has very few pieces—the drool marks under his winding key and head, and the horizontal stripes on his arms. However, while everything on his head came together easily, his body—and especially the drool mark on his chest—was another story entirely.
While the drool marks look really good in two dimensional images, they are remarkably hard to transfer to a round, three dimensional pear shaped thing, especially when you have to account for the fact that the top of the drool should be right under his head. I had not considered that I would have to take the shape of Toto’s body into account when making this piece until I actually tried to make the piece. What followed was an incredibly frustrating day and a half in which I went through four sheets of paper trying to figure out how to make it look right. Fortunately, now I have a pattern, so any attempts to replicate it will be easy—as long as he’s sitting down….
Speaking of which, I also wanted Totomato to be in a seated position, because he’s usually sitting down when he appears in promotional images or Matoki Earthventure. (The comic starring the Matoki. Yes, there’s a comic.) Making it so Toto was perpetually seated was not nearly as difficult as making the drool marks, but it did provide a challenge. That said, he is the only Matoki so far who can sit up on his own (without leaning on anything), and I do like the way he turned out.
Hello, and welcome to the third post in the matoki series, this time featuring a healthy dose of coincidence. B.A.P’s newest album—Noir—dropped yesterday, along with the M/V for the title track—Skydive—and I swear I didn’t plan this. This also casts a bittersweet overtone on today’s post, as Bang Young Guk, the member Shishimato represents, will unfortunately not be promoting this album with the rest of the group, as he has been diagnosed with anxiety and is currently being treated. (Get well soon, Yongguk. We love you.)
Making Shishi provided it’s own unique set of challenges, most stemming from the fact that he’s camouflage instead of black. I found the right yarn to compensate for this easily enough, but it turned out to be slightly thinner than the yarn I use for the other ones, which made the initial prototype significantly smaller than I like them to be. Not to be deterred, I upped the size of my crochet hook, which made him slightly bigger than the other two—and significantly squishier.
I also discovered that a significant factor in getting Dada’s ears to stay up when I put pipe cleaners in them was that they were stiff to begin with, due to the tightness of the stitches. Shishi’s ears, being significantly looser to begin with, refused to stay up with the same trick. I attempted to fix this by reinforcing the pipe cleaners, but when that proved futile I cut my losses and let his ears droop.
The other major challenge in making Shishimato was his mask (it’s a gas mask, in case you couldn’t tell). It turns out, felt doesn’t particularly like being placed at 90 degree angles from other pieces of felt, and won’t stay that way without reinforcement. As such, Shishi’s mask is primarily held together with hot glue. A LOT of hot glue. It kind of turned into a gluey mess, and if I ever get the chance, I’d like to see if I can make a better one, but overall I think it looks alright.
In sum, making Shishi taught me that all yarns are not created equal, and that hot glue dries really, really fast. I do like the way he turned out, and his squishyness makes him the most huggable of the matoki so far, which is a plus in my opinion.
Happy Halloween week everyone! I absolutely love Halloween and the spooky aesthetic that comes with it. This year, I decided to kick off my celebration with a creepy crochet voodoo doll.
This particular voodoo doll is based off the ones used by K-pop group VIXX in the promotions for their song, “Voodoo Doll.” If you’ve never heard of VIXX and/or feel like having nightmares tonight, I’d highly suggest checking out the music video here (WARNING: The video contains blood, gore, and a LOT of gruesome imagery. If any of this is objectionable to you, or you don’t feel like having nightmares tonight, maybe watch this version instead.) My voodoo doll is specifically based on the one in this picture (image credit: weheartit.com):
I made this voodoo doll because I wanted to make something related to K-pop that wasn’t the matoki, and I really like its design. Some parts were tricky to design—it took three tries to figure out that the body would be significantly easier to work in rows rather than rounds—but I really like the way it turned out. I’m especially fond of the way the black and red contrast
with the white.
This is also the first project I’ve really enjoyed embroidering. Normally, I dread sewing designs/embroidery onto a piece, because of the care it takes to make sure it doesn’t look wrong or messed up. However, the stitching on this is SUPPOSED to look messed up and haphazard, so it wasn’t nearly as frustrating.
It took a lot longer than I expected, but I finally finished the second matoki! Dadamato was a challenge for a few reasons. First, I wanted to tighten the stitching, so the stuffing wouldn’t be visible like it is in Tatsmato. However, that made him a little too small to reasonably sew on his pattern (the tire treads that cover his body). After a few false starts, I did manage to rectify this by using the smaller hook and scaling the pattern by a factor of 1.5. This did, however, mean that I wound up rewriting the entire pattern.
The other major problem came with the tire treads. The treads on his face and body were made by cutting and sewing white felt which, as it turns out, takes an entire day on its own. That said, I think it was worth the time, because he looks really cool.
All in all, the extra effort definitely paid off and I think the pattern is significantly better because of it. I know in the first matoki post I promised I’d post the pattern with this one. However, I’ve decided to include pattern pieces and instructions for how to make the masks/markings of each individual matoki. As such, the pattern will not be available until I’ve finished all six, so I can design the individual pieces. I’ve already started the next one, and I can’t wait for all the new challenges he presents.
For everyone who doesn’t know, the matoki are the rabbit-like mascots of South Korean hip-hop group, B.A.P. The matoki are alien warriors who crash-landed on Earth. They are also, in my opinion, the single most plush-able things in k-pop.
I originally decided to crochet one as a Christmas present for one of my friends. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, no patterns exist for such a task, so I decided to make my own. Then, I decided to improve the pattern and make a full set of matoki for myself. Which leads us to Tats.
Tatsmato is my personal favorite matoki—which may or may not be related to the fact that his mask is one of the easiest ones to make. Either way, he seemed like a good place to start, so here he is:
I had originally intended to post the pattern for the matoki here as well. Unfortunately, I’m still tweaking it. Currently, I intend to post the pattern once I’ve finished the second matoki.