Matoki Part V: Jokomato

So, I go to school in New Orle20170227_174542ans,  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:20170227_175020

Matoki Pt IV: Totomato

102_8694I 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 des102_86971ign. 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 easy102_8700—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.

Matoki Pt III: Shishimato

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Shishi before I taped his ears to the chair

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.)

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Shishi after I taped his ears to the chair

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.

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Shishi next to Dada (for size comparison)

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.

Voodoo Doll

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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):

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Nailed it

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 contra20161024_121630st
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.

This pattern is available online for free! You can access it here: vixx-voodoo-doll-pattern

 

Matoki Part II: Dadamato

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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.

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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.

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Two down—four to go

Matoki Part 1: Tatsmato

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.

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I mean—look at them. They’re adorable.

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:

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Ta-Dah!

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.