Amigurumi · Crochet · K-Pop · Matoki · Patterns · Uncategorized

Matoki Part VII or How NOT to Write a Pattern

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.

Yeah.

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.

Amigurumi · Crochet · K-Pop · Matoki

Matoki Part VI: Kekemato

Guys, guys, I did it! I finished Kekemato! I can’t wait to show him to you. Wait…where did he go? Keke?

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Gah!

Darn it, Keke! Come out and sit properly so I can take pictures of you.

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Thank 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.20170508_200838

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.

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Obligatory family picture is higher up this time. For reasons.

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:

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Image courtesy of allkpop.com

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:

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Ta-dah!

Yeah…the pattern has evolved a lot over the years. Keke-prime’s mask also goes on his head:

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Ta-dah!

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!

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Bye!
Amigurumi · Crochet · K-Pop · Matoki

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

Amigurumi · Crochet · K-Pop · Matoki

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.

Amigurumi · Crochet · K-Pop · Matoki

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.

Amigurumi · Crochet · K-Pop · Matoki

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
Amigurumi · Crochet · K-Pop · Matoki

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.