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.
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.