Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hand Sanitizer Holders...Huh?

Whew!!!! All my holiday craft shows are finished, so I have a chance to slow down a bit. I was able to spend a few hours in my neglected garden today. It was beautiful today after the few days of rain, so the soil was soft and the weather cool. Perfect for pulling the 4 huge bags of weeds.

I still have a few special orders to complete before the end of the year and one of them was for some hand sanitizer holders. I've been making them to hold small, refillable bottles of Purell hand sanitizer. They are convenient for strapping onto your purse, backpack, stroller, sports bag, etc. I made the buttons out of Asian fabrics and crocheted the holders out of different colors of cotton yarn. The holders also have a keychain hook in the back in case you want to attach some keys.

Okay, time for an ice cream break...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cupcake Ornaments

This weekend I decided to make some ornaments for the holidays, but what to make? Last year I made little kokeshi doll ornaments, but I wanted to try something different.

Have you seen those adorable amigurumi baked goods? Cute crocheted cakes, cookies and cupcakes. Well, they're cute, but what do you do with them? Hmmm, maybe perfect as an ornament????

I used a free pattern from Red Heart yarn here and embellished them with beads and sequins. Don't they look yummy?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Catnip Fishies

Okay, time for a free pattern!
These are easy and fun to make, and your cat will appreciate them too. They are little fishies filled with catnip, an herb they go nuts over. I like to make them with 2 colors of Lily Sugar and Cream cotton yarn. I crochet both colors at the same time. It's a great way to use up scraps of yarn.

Lily Sugar and Cream cotton yarn in two colors or your choice. Scraps work great!
"J" crochet hook
a little bit of polyfiber stuffing or cotton balls will work
yarn needle

Crochet 2 strands of yarn at the same time.

Make magic ring*, ch 1
Round 1: 4 sc in magic ring (4 st)
Round 2: (1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next st) 2 times (6 st)
Round 3: (1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next st) 3 times (9 st)
Round 4: sc around (9)
Round 5: sc around (9)
Round 6: (sc2tog, sc 1 into next sc) 3 times (6 sc)
Start forming tail
Round 7: sc 2 around (12 sc)
Round 8: (sc 1 into next sc, then sc 2 into next) 6 times (18 sc)
Join with sl st to next st. Fasten off, leaving long end of yarn.
Stuff lightly with poly fiberfill. Put a pinch of catnip inside the fiberfill.Sew the tail together with end of yarn and yarn needle.

* How to make a magic ring http://www.ehow.com/how_4750999_crochet-adjustable-magic-ring.html

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's a new litter of kittens!

For those of you who think I'm not really working...think again! I've got a new litter of kitties. As usual with alley cats, you end up with a mixed litter. There are black ones, gray ones, orange ones and even pink ones! They are all different from the tips of their ears to the pads of their paws.

These little kitties are crocheted with acrylic yarn and they stand about 3 1/2 inches tall. They have cute little cat eyes, a yarn nose and yarn whiskers. I've been making these kitties for a few years now and they are from my own pattern. If you would like to make one, check out my pattern shop at


Now it's time to work on the mutts...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Boshi Boys - 2 Adorable Cats!

Meet Oscar, (in the baseball cap) and Felix, (in the top hat). They are the "Boshi Boys". Boshi means "hat" in Japanese and they are 2 very talented cats that belong to my friend Susan. She asked me to make these amigurumi version of her cats. Unfortunately, Felix passed away recently and to make things worse, someone stole amigurumi Oscar. Is that not just horrible????? So I made her another one, but the one in the photo is the one that was stolen. People can be so disgusting sometimes.

Susan is very talented herself. She has created some really cute cards and stationary featuring her cats who love to dress up and pose for her. Here is her website so you can check out the "real" Felix and Oscar.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Asagohan Fabric Line

I can't express how much I freaken love this fabric design called "Asagohan" by Hokkoh fabrics. I mean seriously, my heart starts beating faster when I look at it. I am obsessed to the point that I am buying up every scrap of it I can find. I am HOARDING this fabric!

Asagohan means "breakfast" in Japanese, and as you can see, the fabric has a bold, contemporary design of traditional Japanese cuisine elements. There are Japanese veggies and eating and cooking utensils. The colors of black, green and red speak to me. In fact, it is the green that really drew me to this design. I am a green freak. I got my first shipment of 7 yards and the cotton is so, so, so, soft with a hefty weight, and the scent of clean raw cotton. Oh my. I went back online to SuperBuzzy and bought out what was left in stock. The photo is a picture of the second shipment I received today.

What am I going to do with it? Well, it fits my home decor style to a "T" so I intend to make some cute placemats and maybe even frame some of it as wall hangings. But for now, I am just savoring them...

Freaky, I know.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Penguin Pillow Plushies

No, I haven't lost my crochet hook! I'm still making amigurumi, but I wanted to use some of my fleece stash so I started making these penguin plushes. I made a prototype and found it really comes in handy when I'm reading in bed. Its just the right size to sit in my lap and prop my Kindle or Nintendo DS up on so they are at just the right height.

I made the penguins in different colors and designs of fleece. I especially like the pink one in the front. They are stuffed with polyfiber and have plastic safety eyes. Oh, and they have my "Ami Friends Studio" tag on them too.

They are a cute plush animal toy to cuddle or a cool travel pillow. And, I had a lot of fun making them.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Neck Cooling Ties!

Okay, I'm pretty positive that today is the hottest day of the summer here in Los Angeles. I know it's nothing compared to the heat in other areas, like the desert, but seriously, we are feeling it today. I was in the garden for 10 minutes in my flip flops and sunburned my feeties. So, this seems like the perfect time to introduce my newest project....NECK COOLING TIES!

What are neck cooling ties? Well, they are like bandanas that have a special water absorbing polymer sewn inside. When you soak them in water for a few minutes, they puff up and will hold the water for days. You wear these around your neck and it helps to keep you cool by water evaporation. The outside of the fabric will become dry to the touch, but the moisture stays inside the bandana. These are great for hiking, sports, gardening, and even those in the military. You can put them in the refrigerator before you wear them if you want them really cold. Keep a few extra in the cooler when you go out to the beach and switch them out to stay extra cool.

I've been wearing these at home while I'm crafting to keep cool, and if I need an extra boost, I'll dip them in cool water and put them back on. You can keep them clean by washing them with some shampoo.

The reason I decided to make these is because I found some super cute fabrics and needed something to make with them. I know other people are making neck coolers, but I just love the fabrics that mine are made with.

If you see me at a craft fair in the next coming months, don't forget to check out my neck cooling ties.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How many is too many cats?

I just finished making this big litter of cat heads in different colors. They are cute hanging on your keychain, backpack zipper pulls, cell phones or can even be made into pins or magnets. Or, you can use them for juggling.

Here's a free pattern for them:

Juggling Cats

You need:
Lily Sugar and Cream in colors of your choice.
“G” crochet hook
Polyfiber stuffing
Optional craft eyes (6 mm)
Yarn needle

Using white yarn color for face:
Make magic ring*, ch 1
Round 1: sc 6 into a magic ring, pull tight.
Round 2: sc 2 into each sc around (12 sc)

Change to yarn color for body:
Round 3: (sc 1 into next sc, then sc 2 into next), around (18 sc)
Round 4: (sc 1 into next 2 sc, then sc 2 into next) around (24 sc)
Rounds 5 to 9: sc around (24 sc)

If you are using plastic safety eyes, place them now.
Round 10: (sc 1 into next 2 sc, sc2tog) around (18)
Round 11 (sc 1 into next sc, sc2tog) around (12 sc)
Stuff with polyfiber.

Round 12: (sc2tog) around (6 sc)
Join with sl st to next st. Fasten off, pull tight to close and hide yarn end.

Ear - (make 2):
Make magic ring, ch 1
Round 1: 4 sc in magic ring (4 st)
Round 2: (sc 1 into next sc, sc 2 into next sc) twice (6 st)
Round 3: (sc 1 into next sc, sc 2 into next sc) three times (9 st)
Join with sl st to next st. Fasten off, leaving long end of yarn.

Ch 12
2 Sc into 2nd ch from hook, 2 sc into each ch until end
Fasten off, leaving long end of yarn.


Sew ears on top of face. Sew tail on back of body. Embroider some whiskers…and play!

* Don't know how to make a magic ring? Do a search on YouTube to see a demo...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sanrio Piano Time

Okay, the sun is up so I took my Sanrio family out to the piano. I actually use this room as my studio so it's got balls of yarn around everywhere. As you can see, Charmmy Kitty is huge! She's about 12 inches tall and the biggest amigurumi project I've ever made. She took me 3 days to make. In case you don't know, Charmmy Kitty is Hello Kitty's pet. (It seems a little weird to me for a cat to have a pet cat, but okay.) The rabbit with the pink hoodie is My Melody and the colorful rabbit with the stick like body is Usahana. Of course, there's Hello Kitty herself and I made a black Hello Kitty with a pink strawberry body.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hello Kitty Strawberry!

I thought I'd try making some Hello Kittys for a change. I found a cute book of Hello Kitty amigurumi and am giving it a go. The first one I made was Strawberry Hello Kitty. It looked small in the photo, but when I made it, it came out quite large. It measures 10 inches tall. I liked how this Strawberry Hello Kitty came out so I also made a black one with a pink strawberry, a very large Charmmy Kitty, an Usahana and a My Melody. Later, I'll have to take a photo of this group, but they are too big for my photo box, so I need to do it later when the sun comes up. Okay, back to making more Hello Kitty...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cactus Kokeshi Dolls

Is it just me or is cactus really popular right now? I see cactus gardens popping up all over. I saw some really cute cactus plushes and decided what the heck, why not make a cactus kokeshi doll. So I did, and here is the result.

Then people started asking for a pattern, so I wrote one up.

Hmmm...cactus. I really should start my own cactus garden outside too...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Big Max, a dog

I made this pup, and thought long and hard for a name for him. Finally, I settled on Max...well BIG MAX, because someday he's going to grow up to be a big dog. At least that's the way he thinks and feels. He already thinks he's the alpha dog in the pack.

So I wrote up a pattern for him because I bet there are a lot of people who have their own Big Max's at home and want to crochet up a dog just like him.

Check out this little Rottie, who also expects to grow up big...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mei Mei a Chinese Kokeshi Doll

I'm not sure if it's appropriate for me to say Mei Mei is a Chinese Kokeshi doll. There must be a different word in Chinese that's equivalent to the kokeshi doll, but I don't know it, so go with me here.

I just think her hair style with the long strands in the front and the bun in back looks Chinese. At least that's the way I remember them from Bruce Lee movies. No negative connotations here because I am a big martial arts action fan. I love Jet Li.

Getting back to Mei Mei... She was created because I had a request for a Ni Hao Kailan doll. Do you know her? She has her own cartoon. In fact, here is a picture of the finished doll.

Yes, she is wearing headphones. No she doesn't wear them in the cartoon. That's just the way my friend wanted it.

Getting back to Mei Mei. After making Ni Hao Kailan's hair, I decided to try it out on my little kokeshis and it worked out great. So I wrote up a new pattern for it and it's available in my Etsy shop.

Check it out!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Who is Mugsy?

The first time we saw Mugsy, he was a mess. He's a stray black cat that lives in our neighborhood. Part of his ear looks like it was bit off. He was thin and scraggly, so his silhouette looked like a Halloween cat. Still, you can see that he was muscular. He was a scary looking cat. We thought he was terrorising another little stray cat outside, so we gave him the gangster name, "Mugsy".

We'll as time went on, we softened up around Mugsy and he started to grow on us. As it turns out, he is a very gentle guy around us and our other stray, although it seemed like he was getting into cat fights somewhere else in the neighborhood. He'd show up now and then with more battle scars.

So now, wheneever I make a black cat, I think of Mugsy. I even named my new pattern after him. Amigurumi Mugsy is about 5 1/2 inches tall and 4 inches wide. He's also fun to make, and fun to look at.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Little Lion Doll amigurumi pattern

I started to dress my amigurumi kokeshi dolls in animal costumes. I've made frogs, bunnies, cats, dogs, pigs, lambs, etc, but the most popular one is this little lion. So I wrote up a pattern for it. I've made it in many zany colors too. The last one was black with a hot pink mane. They are fun to make and don't take much yarn. The pattern is in my Etsy shop at http://www.mutts.etsy.com/.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

NEW PATTERN - Chibi Amigurumi Kokeshi Doll

I've been making amigurumi kokeshi dolls for a few years now and people have been asking me to write up a crochet pattern for them. So I started out with the most popular one, which is this little girl with the two hair buns. She really looks more like a Chinese girl to me.

The pattern is called "Chibi" Kokeshi Doll. “Chibi” means small in Japanese but this little Chibi Kokeshi doll is not short on being cute. Kokeshi dolls are traditionally made out of wood with simple lines which makes them ideal for making into amigurumi.

It's on sale now at my Etsy shop or in my Ravelry pattern shop. If you are thinking about getting it, get it now before the price goes up in August.


Friday, July 15, 2011


Announcing, the grand opening of Amigurumi Friends Studio Shop on Etsy!  I'll be listing my finished works in this shop.  My old shop will continue to sell amigurumi patterns.
I've also got a new look. 

The girl with the cat is sooooo me and was designed by Christine of doodledesignstudios on Etsy.  The pink blooms clipart was designed by TracyAnnDigitalArt also on Etsy.  I love her work.

I've been spending the last week on the computer leaning CorelDraw X5 and Corel Paint so that I can design and maintain my own logos, business cards and webart.  It's been awhile since I've done any computer graphics, so I'm trying to get up to speed on what's current.

I've still got my labels for my plushies to be made and then work on a new interior design for my craft show booth.  So much to do, and so little time before the holidays.

Back to work...

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Whenever I sell at craft shows, people always used to ask me "Do you have any pigs?". Pigs? Why pigs? I didn't know pigs were so popular. Oh and not just any pig. They wanted pink pigs. So finally I buckled under the pressure and created this piglet. He's round and plumpy. He's got stumpy feet, perky ears and a twirly tail. Okay, I give up, I guess he's cute.

I just finished writing up the pattern for this little piggy, so people can make them to their hearts desire. And of course, I will too, in many zany colors and combinations, because you just can't have too many of them...I guess.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Time for a new look!

The production in my studio has come to a standstill. It seems like I'm slacking off. I mean it's summer time and the weather is getting hot and making people lazy.

Actually, I'm busy at my computer. I finally have a chance to rethink my brand. It's time to redo and renew. It's time for a new logo, a new banner, heck, a new Etsy shop. My current shop, mutts.etsy.com will continue to have my amigurumi patterns. My new shop, amigurumifriends.etsy.com will have products from my studio. So for those of you who can't visit me at local craft shows, visit me online at my shop where I'll list my one of a kind amigurumi kokeshis and critters, sock dolls, plushies, and whatever else I start making.

Not yet though...I'm still in the design process. Then construction will begin and then, hopefully I'll have everything up and running before the summer's out...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Harajuku Amigurumi Dolls

I'm starting to experiment with different hairstyles for my amigurumi dolls.  This is challenging since I can't even style my own hair, but hey, you have to start somewhere.  I like the hairstyles of cute anime characters so I took some inspiration from there.  Those gals have some freaky cuts and wild colors, so yes, this is going to be fun.  It's a work in progress, but here are some of the "gals" so far. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Amigurumi Pencil Toppers

What do you do with little crochet animal heads?  Put them on top of pencils, of course!  At a recent craft fair I had an assortment of critters perched on top of pencils.  Some of these I just made up on the fly. However, if you want to make some of your own, I do have a pattern for the bunnies,the cats and the dogs.  They are available in my etsy shop.... http://www.mutts.etsy.com/.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

USC Trojans amigurumi

Someone approached me to make some USC trojans, amigurumi style.  They showed me a picture of a cool trojan in Christen Haden's "Creepy Cute" crochet as an example.  So inspired by the book and using my own kokeshi doll base, I designed another version.

I found the perfect USC colors in Caron One Pound, my favorite yarn for amigurumi.  I made up a helmet and gave it a bright red plume on top.  Then a cape and shield and finally, I made some sword buttons with some polymer clay. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Cat and Her Fish

Cats.  You either love them or...well, not hate them, but avoid them.  I think if you had a negative first impression with a cat, you tend to not like them.  It's just like people.  If they make a bad first impression on you, you just avoid them.

I'm in the LOVE cats category.  Yes, I will just about do anything to make my cats happy, whether they like it or not. 

My second pattern was "A Cat and Her Fish".  It's a stubby looking cat with an attitude and she comes with her own little fish.  I've made all kinds of these...tabbies, bicolor, siamese, and calico.  It's a little tricky to get the colors and stripes just right, but it's doable.

Just like my Mighty Mutts (the pattern), you don't need a lot of yarn.  Just some scraps of worsted weight yarn in cat colors.  You can use Red Heart Super Saver, or my favorite acylic, which is Caron One Pound.  The problem is that it's one pound of yarn!  But I go through a lot of these.  Caron has a smooth texture, a consistent thickness and is soft and easy to work with.  I like to use my Clover "G" hook, a yarn needle, and some poly fiber stuffing.  I also buy the poly fiber in big, big bags and stock up when it goes on sale. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mighty Mutts

What are Mighty Mutts?  They are stubby little doggies with stumpy feet.  They fit in the palm of your hand and they make you smile from ear to ear.  Mighty Mutts was the first amigurumi I designed and wrote a pattern for.  I had a lot of fun experimenting with different yarn and coming up with different mutts.  They all give you the same kind of unconditional love though.

If you want to make some of your own Mighty Mutts, or make one that looks like your dog or a friend's dog, all you need is a little bit of worsted weight yarn, a crochet hook (G), a yarn needle, and some polyfiber stuffing.  Oh, and get the pattern here:  www.mutts.etsy.com.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hello from Amigurumi Friends

Hello!  I'm Susan and I make amigurumi. "Amigurumi" is the Japanese craft of making cute things with yarn.  About 3 years ago, I started designing and writing patterns for amigurumi and opened a shop on Etsy at www.mutts.etsy.com.  Why is it called "Mutts"?  I started out making funny looking animals and was quite proud of my little "mutts".  So this is where it all started...

Just recently, I started selling my little creations at local craft shows.  My shop is called "Amigurumi Friends" and although children really love the little stuffed things, I make them for anyone who loves them.  They are "cute stuff for the young at heart".  If they make you smile and feel happy, then I've done my job!  

I'll have some free patterns to post here so please subscribe and introduce yourself!