Moyashimon Pattern: A. oryzae

A. oryzae

A・オリゼー(黄麹菌)
This amigurumi pattern creates a 3″ (7.5cm) aspergillus oryzae when crocheted with worsted weight yarn. If you would like a smaller oryzae, simply use a lighter weight yarn and smaller hook.

In order to use this pattern, you should be familiar with the magic ring technique. It is also recommended that you use an “invisible decrease” technique (such as crocheting the front loops of two stitches together) rather than just skipping a stitch (which leaves a hole). Please read the notes regarding changing yarn color as this is especially important in this pattern to create a nice clean rectangular mouth for oryzae. I also recommend using a shade of yellow that is dark enough to contrast well with the white of the mouth.

As long as you are familiar with amigurumi basics this pattern should be fairly straightforward (and quick!). The only tricky part is perhaps the antennae. To create these you will make two consecutive magic rings. I included a photo of how to begin the second magic ring (I’m using a single strand base for the second ring, however you can wrap the tail around twice and use a double strand if you prefer). Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions or are having trouble and I will see what I can do to help.

If you like this pattern, please let me know. If I see that people are enjoying them I will make more available (see more of my Moyashimon amigurumi microbes). かもすぞ~

DOWNLOAD PATTERN:
pattern_oryzae

VARIATIONS:
The pattern for Aspergillus oryzae is essentially the same as several other Moyashimon microbes. For example, you can create Aspergillus sojae by using 4 antennae instead of 5 (omit the top antennae). Or you can create Aspergillus niger by making 5 black antennae and switching to black yarn when crocheting the body (color change at R10).

A. sojae

A. sojae

A. niger

A. niger

Magic Ring Tutorial

The following is a step by step tutorial for the “magic ring” or “magic circle” technique to begin crocheting in the round. This is the method of choice for beginning amigurumi projects. The advantage of this method is that it produces a tight, stable ring to begin crocheting, and unlike the chain/join method there is no hole in the center of the ring.
I have also created a PDF of this tutorial which includes some arrow notations in case you are having problems following the pictures. > Download PDF tutorial

Keep in mind that this is simply the way I find easiest to create the magic ring. When it comes to how to hold/manipulate the yarn, different people may prefer different methods, so do whatever is most comfortable for you.

1. Begin by wrapping the yarn around your fingers as pictured. For this tutorial, I am using a double wrap (we will be crocheting around two strands of yarn). Whether you crochet around a single strand or double strand of yarn is personal preference … I find that the double strand is a little easier to work with (more stable with less twisting).
magic_ring_01

2. Pinch the two yarn loops together at the base (the yarn on the far left is your working yarn).
magic_ring_02

3. Transfer the loops so that you are holding everything in one hand.
magic_ring_03

4. Insert your hook through the center of the ring formed by the two loops of yarn. Wrap the hook around your working yarn, and pull back through the ring.
magic_ring_04

5. At this point, I adjust my fingers within the loop to set myself up for crocheting around the ring: insert your thumb into the ring from the front, and your middle finger into the ring from the back. Apply opposing pressure using these two fingers to stretch the ring out from the center and pull it taut.
magic_ring_05

6. Next, yarn-over with the working yarn and pull up a loop (in other words, pull a loop back through/under the portion of the ring that is laying across your hook). You are now ready to begin crocheting your ring. At this stage (once you have the single loop on your hook) the ring should feel very stable as long as you continue applying pressure from the inside of the ring to keep everything stretched out nice and tight.
magic_ring_06

7. Begin your first single crochet (SC): insert the hook through the center of the ring (going underneath/into the double-strand ring held open by your fingers). Wrap the working yarn around your hook.
magic_ring_07

8. Pull the loop on your hook back through the center of the ring.
magic_ring_08

9. Yarn over and pull through both loops on the hook.
magic_ring_09

10. You have just completed the first single crochet of your ring. Yay.
magic_ring_10

11. Continue with the next single crochet in like fashion (insert your hook through the center of the ring, wrap around the working yarn, and pull loop back through the center of the ring).
magic_ring_11

12. Yarn over and pull through both loops on the hook. This completes the second single crochet.
magic_ring_12

Finishing: You can now continue until you have the specified number of single crochet for your magic ring (typically 6). Once you have completed these stitches, you will close the ring by pulling on the tail end of the yarn. For a double stranded ring like the one in this tutorial, pull on the tail until one of the strands of the ring begins to move. Note which strand moves, and grasp this strand. Pull until tight (this will make the second strand disappear). You can now pull on the tail again to tighten the remaining strand (pull tightly and there will be no hole whatsoever in the center of your ring). Generally at this point I round off the ring by joining to the first single crochet with a slip stitch. You are now ready to continue your project and begin crocheting in the round. Good luck!

Peacock Amigurumi Pattern

finished_peacockI originally created this pattern for my penpal who likes peacocks, but I have decided to write it up so others can make it as well. The finished size is about 7.5″ in width, and once fully assembled the peacock will stand up on its own. The pattern is fairly straightforward and should be relatively easy to follow as long as you are familiar with amigurumi basics. In addition to the typical techniques (single crochet in the round, increasing, decreasing, etc), you will also encounter a few HDC (half double crochet) and DC (double crochet) … primarily in the shaping of the head/neck. The PDF pattern also includes photos of assembly on page 2. If you have any problems feel free to contact me (this pattern is also available on www.Ravelry.com).
peacock_ami_pattern_preview

tiny bunnies movement

tiny bunny left at the Seaside library


How it works:
Knit or crochet a tiny bunny. Write a little note saying something to the effect of “Hi, I’m a tiny bunny, made to brighten your day. Please take me home!”. Leave bunny & note someplace frequented by humans … public places, restaurant tables, coffee shops, libraries, appointment/waiting rooms, offices … places like that. When the bunny disappears, know that you’ve brightened someone’s day ^-^

It’s just a little thing, but it’s cute and sweet … two things that the world could use a lot more of. Lately for my tiny bunnies, I have been making a teeny little tag with a bunny graphic on the front, and “Tiny Bunnies Movement,” “Random acts of kindness” on the back. On the inside, I usually hand-write a message that includes a fabulous name for each bunny … Gavroche, Mokona, Kalypso, Parfyon, Wolfgang, Gillatt, Candide, etc. Anyone out there found one of these little guys?

Ginko presides over a small army of tiny bunnies ready to be released into the world

The pattern I’ve been using of late is a knit pattern from Mochimochi Land – Tiny Baby Bunnies Pattern. The only change I like to make is to use the end with the decreases as the butt-end rather than the face. I like to knit them with white yarn and black eyes after Ginko, my real-life tiny bunny (he may only be 2.5 lbs, but next to them he looks like a giant).

crochet tiny bunnies

Sometimes I crochet bunnies instead for a little variety … usually I just make up a pattern as I go along. Unfortunately, I never remember to write down what I did, so even if they turn out well, I probably won’t ever be able to make another just like it. But maybe being one-of-a-kind bunny is not so bad a thing …

Join the movement:
Tiny Bunnies Movement on Ravelry
Tiny Bunnies Movement on Facebook

amigurumi Moyashimon microbes

Moyashimon 『もやしもん』 (or Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture) is a great manga series … and I hear there’s a second season of the anime as well, so I’ll have to check that out.

The story follows college students at an agricultural university, one of which has the ability to see and communicate with microbes. It’s really mostly about the human characters, which include a professor & grad student at the university … but the storylines tend to revolve around microbe relate events (especially fermentation for food/drink and illness-causing microorganisms). For whatever reason, I find that sort of thing interesting, and it’s always nice to learn a thing or two while being entertained.

amigurumi microbes from Moyashimon

One day I was looking at the microbe characters, I thought I’d try crocheting a few of them. They turned out to be fun to make … they’re small & fairly fast to do, and I like the challenge of trying to make them look like the original designs. There are a *lot* more that I could make, and I’m really tempted to keep going since there are all so different and look like fun to make. I think I might have to give dysentery, nattou, candida, parahaemolyticus and alternata a try.

A. oryzae

A. oryzae

Aspergillus oryzae (koji)
A・オリゼー(黄麹菌)
A mold/fungus used in the production of sake, miso, soy sauce and other tasty things … he’s a superstar! Also, he’s more or less the “leader” of the microbes in the series, and spends a lot of time hanging around the main character. かもすぞ~
Pattern now available!
DOWNLOAD PATTERN HERE

P. chrysogenum

P. chrysogenum

Penicillium chrysogenum
P・クリソゲヌム
A common blue-green mold used to produce antibiotics including penicillin. I love this one ^-^ His head is all crocheted as one piece, though it was a bit tricky to get the bar thingies (conidia?) arranged right …

C. trichoides

C. trichoides

Cladosporium trichoides (aka Cladophialophora bantiana)
C・トリコイデス
This pigmented/dark fungi is linked to brain abscesses and skin lesions). I like how his bobble dealies turned out … it’s all crocheted as one piece (made pretty much the same way as P. chrysogenum, but with shorter bars & a twist in between).

L. yogruti

L. yogurti

Lactobacillus yogurti
L・ヨグルティ
A lactic acid bacteria used to make Japanese yogurt. I love this little guy … he has the cutest expression and it makes me happy just looking at him. I love how the character talks too … so very formal ^-^

Hiochi

Hiochi

Hiochi 火落菌 (Lactobacillus fructivorans/homohiochi) … a type of lactic acid bacteria that spoils sake (T_T) I had a really hard time getting the face to look right :\ The tiny little ball thingies are attached to tatted thread, so they stick out without flopping around too much.

S. cerevisiae

S. cerevisiae

Saccharomyces cerevisiae S・セレビシエ , also known as brewers or bakers yeast. This budding yeast has been used in baking and fermenting alcoholic beverages for thousands of years. Neat. I need to make a few more of these, each with the bump in a different spot. かもす~

E. coli

E. coli

Escherichia coli serotype O-157:H7 E・コリO157(the strain of E. coli responsible for food poisoning). This guy is kinda ugly, but maybe that’s appropriate. For the flagella I tatted #10 black thread … which makes them somewhat poseable.

amigurumi microbes from Moyashimon

kumahachi amigurumi

kumahachi from Kyou Kara Maou ノギス~

Something about this little guy made me want to crochet him …

I really wanted to capture certain things (like the turned up nose & butt, and the shape/position of the arms & legs). Unfortunately the shapes turned out to be deceptively simple, and I had to rip everything out and start over soooo many times. I’m not sure what kept me at it, but I guess it was a good exercise in shaping, and by having an existing character that I was trying to replicate, it kept me from just saying, “eh, not what I was going for, but that works too …”

my amigurumi kumahachi

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how he turned out. He’s about 10″ tall (measuring to the tips of his ears), and, oddly enough, he turned out to be balanced enough to stand up on his own … cool bonus.

The head probably gave me the most trouble … I finally figured out that it worked better to start with an oval shape, rather than a standard circular magic ring. However, I didn’t like how beginning with a chain (because it’s a single strand of yarn) made it thinner at the top of the head. No matter how tight the chain, it still pulled apart slightly, leaving holes … and I didn’t want my kumahachi to have pattern baldness.

oval ring begun with double strand of yarn


What I ended up doing was to chain using a double strand (using both the tail and working yarn). The first stitch is a bit tricky, but once you’ve chained a few (I think I did 7 or so), then you just drop the tail and crochet all the way around the chain to form an oval. It worked great! I think I will be using this method a lot more ^-^

With the exception of the ears & tail (which were pretty straightforward), every other body part required some tedious shaping and a lot of trial and error. It was also tricky to get the right and left arms, legs & wings to match, since I couldn’t just use the same pattern for both sides … and the slight height difference on one side of the round (since it’s actually spiral) complicated matters. I’m not sure my efforts were worth it, but at the time I was determined to try and get things like shoulder/hip shaping, and to lengthen the upper/front part of the arms/legs (so the paw pads would be angled back a little).

It took some searching to find oval shaped eyes … I ended up finding some that were labeled as “noses.” For the antennae I used a single pipe cleaner and poked the two ends out from the inside (so that they wouldn’t be apt to fall out). I crocheted little antennae tips, and then wrapped black and yellow yarn around the outside.

So for those of you who are not hopeless nerds, and are wondering what a kumahachi is … it literally means “bearbee,” and they are from the manga/anime Kyou Kara Maou (also spelled Kyo Kara Maoh). In the story, they are an endangered species of sorts … they hatch out of cocoons, have an annoying habit of saying “nogisu~” and their crap is apparently used to make a high quality artist’s paint (that, not surprisingly, smells like crap). Kumahachi also come in yellow, so I am tempted to make another … everyone needs a buddy.

Gwendal knitting for “mental concentration”

Besides thinking kumahachi had a really cute shape and wanting to capture that, I also wanted to pay homage to Gwendal (a character from the same show) … because any guy who crochets and knits is pretty awesome in my book.

「趣味ではない。精神統一だ! こうしていると、邪念を払って無心になれる」

Anissina teaches young Gwendal how to crochet – 「そこ! 一目多い! 編み目の乱れは心の乱れ」

Gwendal’s amigurumi

Gwendal’s amigurumi