Thursday, 27 March 2014

Amigurumi Mouse Free Crochet Pattern

Amigurumi Mouse
Free Crochet Pattern
They are so loveable it is difficult to stop at just one!

Last week I wrote about the pros and cons of using the amigurumi magic ring to start a piece of crochet. So, today I thought I would give you a free crochet pattern so you can test it out. It is very simple and is one of the first projects I worked out for myself and wrote down in my trusty crochet notebook, which follows me and my craft bag everywhere.

The pattern is for a sweet little amigurumi mouse and shouldn't take more than an hour or two to complete. An ideal pet, this one won't eat your cheese! If you have a cat you could even add some catnip and maybe a bell to the stuffing.

You will need:
Yarn = An oddment (approx. 7g) of DK yarn in a colour of your choice. In the picture above, I have used Patons Fab DK 100% acrylic yarn.
Hook = 3.5mm
Other materials = Polyester toy stuffing, three black 6mm safety eyes.
Tension = 23 dc stitches to 10cm/4 inches. The tension is not critical. With the stated tension, the finished mouse is approx. 6cm from nose to rear (not including tail).
I use UK stitch names in this pattern. If you are not used to UK notation, the following table will be useful:

Ch (chain) = Ch (chain)
Slst (slip stitch) = Slst (slip stitch)
Sc (single crochet) = Dc (double crochet)
Hdc (half double crochet) = Htr (half treble crochet)
Dc (double crochet) = Tr (treble crochet)
Sc2tog (single crochet decrease) = Dc2tog (double crochet decrease)

This amigurumi pattern is mostly crocheted in double crochet in continuous rounds. You will also need to know how to do a slip stitch and chain stitch. Starting with an amigurumi style magic ring is optional but will give a neater finish. To learn how to make a magic ring, see my YouTube tutorial here 
Start with a magic ring (or make 4 ch and join with a sl st)
Round 1: Ch 1, 6 dc in ring. (6 stitches)
Round 2: [dc in next 2 stitches, 2dc in next stitch] twice. (8 stitches)
Round 3: [dc in next 3 stitches, 2dc in next stitch] twice. (10 stitches)
Round 4: [dc in next 4 stitches, 2dc in next stitch] twice. (12 stitches)
Round 5: [dc in next 3 stitches, 2dc in next stitch] three times. (15 stitches)
Round 6: [dc in next 4 stitches, 2dc in next stitch] three times. (18 stitches)
Round 7: [dc in next 5 stitches, 2dc in next stitch] three times. (21 stitches)
Round 8: [dc in next 6 stitches, 2dc in next stitch] three times. (24 stitches)
Rounds 9 to 14 (6 rows): dc all round (24 stitches)
Insert safety eyes, two for the eyes and one for the nose and make sure the washers are tight. Note – before you push the washer on the back of the nose, make sure the magic ring is pulled tightly closed around the shaft and knotted firmly.
Round 15: [dc2tog, dc in next 2 stitches] six times. (18 stitches)
Round 16: [dc2tog, dc in next stitch] six times. (12 stitches)
Stuff the body section (do not finish off yet)
Round 18: dc2tog six times, slst in the next stitch. (6 stitches)
Tail: 18ch, dc in the second chain from the hook, dc all the way back along the chain.
Fasten off, leaving a long enough end to sew the hole neatly closed.


Make two
Start with a magic ring (or make 4 ch and join with a sl st)
Round 1: Ch 1, 6 dc in ring. (6 stitches)
Round 2: 2 dc in each of the next 5 stitches (i.e. not a complete round). (10 stitches)
Fasten off, leaving a long enough end to sew the ear to the body.


If you have used safety eyes, the face is complete. If you prefer, the eyes and nose can be embroidered on using suitable thread.

If you have any comments or questions or spot any typo's, please feel free to comment below or email me on I would love to see photo's of your finished mice!

©Cogzspot Woolly Things 2014 You may sell items made from this pattern, provided you acknowledge Zoe Coggon / Cogzspot Woolly Things as the pattern designer. It is your responsibility to ensure that any items made for sale comply with relevant local Trading Standards and Toy Safety Regulations.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Amigurumi magic ring vs chains and a slip stitch - which is better?

Amigurumi magic ring. Love it, hate it or baffled by it? When I took up crochet again "seriously" a couple of years ago, it was partly because I discovered amigurumi. I love the way virtually anything can be "sculpted" out of little more than a single crochet stitch. I was amazed by the simplicity of the magic ring (also known as magic loop or magic circle) and how neatly it starts off a piece of work. Strangely, since mastering the magic ring, there are now times when I choose to go back to the more traditional way, with a few chains joined into a loop with a slipstitch.

So, here is a compare-and-contrast of the two ways of starting off when crocheting in rounds:

Chain and slip stitch
This kind of starting loop is quick and easy, especially for beginners. If you run the end under the first round of stitches you don't have to sew the end in. It won't pull open.
However, depending on how many chain stitches you start off with, you either have a gap in the middle or a very tight space to fit the hook into. The hole is not adjustable after it's made. Sometimes you also have a lump where the slip knot is.

This photo shows one of my daisies. The starting loop was four chain stitches joined with a slip stitch. I worked the next round of stiches over the top of the yarn end so I was able to simply snip it off without a darning needle in sight!

Magic ring

The size of the hole is adjustable to fit the number of stitches in the first round. The hole can be pulled completely closed, ideal when making a toy that will be stuffed. It has a very neat finish.
However, the end has to be sewn in. The loop can pull loose over time if not sewn in firmly enough. It can be tricky to master because you have to hold a loop of thread in place with your finger and carry on crocheting at the same time.

This photo (of Levi the Elephant's backside!) shows just how lovely and neat the magic ring can be.

Here is a video from my YouTube channel to you how to crochet a magic ring. It is my first ever YouTube crochet tutorial. I hope you find it helpful.

And in case you were wondering, here is a picture of my marvelous invention for holding my phone while recording the videos. I'm quite proud of my resourcefulness :-)

To see what other people thought my homemade tripod might be, have a look at the comments on my Facebook page here.