quaking aspen, previously

Gumball the Kitten – the amigurumi pattern

Posted on: November 3, 2007

ETA: This pattern really works best with the crazy polarspun yarn. If you’d like to make one in worsted, I recommend the revised worsted version, found here.

Intro
So. Last week I crocheted a Gumball the Kitten. I got so many kind comments here and on my flickr photos about it. Gumball’s creator, Secret Agent Josephine, liked it so much she even did a very kind blog post about it. I was (and still am) honored and thrilled.

I can’t really fully explain my obsession with Gumball. Way back when I first saw it, I was primarily amused by the idea of such an adorable (and worried) -looking kitten taking over the world. Now… well, now I just can’t get enough.

Photos
Anyhow, I had requests (okay, mostly one – hi Bethany!) for the pattern. “Amigurumi” as I understand it is a Japanese word for soft toys, crocheted, knit or otherwise, but it usually refers to this form of crochet, mostly single crocheting in the round, of small toys. It’s not that difficult once you get the hang of it, though writing out my first pattern was tricky. Here is how it came out. (This is a really long post… if you want to see just the pattern, it’s at the bottom.)

New additions

I made the pink one first, for my daughter, then my son wanted one too, and for it to be blue! His was the “check and slightly alter the pattern, oops, that was a mistake there, better fix it, okay better now” one. Although they are both past the chewing stage, I figured I would try using safety eyes and noses on theirs. Didn’t like the round nose (really an eye) too much on the pink one, so I ordered some actual noses and used that on the blue.

Stripey

I tried making a tabby version for my daughter. The back stripes are mostly alright, the face not quite so much.

Asterisk

This is a flower brad. The Pandagirl was the one who said, “Mom, what about the star?” (And no, this version of Gumball is gimpy streamlined, with no back legs.

A Note on Materials
Someone commented on SAJ’s post, linked above, wondering if it was really crochet; they said it looked like bathrobe material. (Now that you mention it, I replied, I have a bathrobe just that color… that I almost never use… hmm…. See the addiction? Beware!) It does look rather completely different than regular worsted yarn amigurumis, as you can see above. It’s all in the yarn, apparently.

I swear, this stuff, the Lion Brand Polarspun that I used to make the original Gumball G., mats up as you knit or crochet it. You could practically cut it and use it as cloth. I have a baby hat of it that really didn’t work out, and a hooded scarf thing I made my daughter that I know won’t fit her right now, and I’d like to frog them (i.e. unravel) and start again or something, but my heart quails at the thought of it. It sticks to itself so badly that it literally takes me two or three times as long to carefully unravel the stitches (hopefully without breaking it) as it did to make them to begin with. (This time ratio is the opposite of a normal yarn, by the way.) In fact, the original Gumball G’s head is stuffed, not with fiberfill, but with the scraps of yarn that I broke or couldn’t unravel at all while making him.

But it sure is soft and plushy.

It would be interesting to try this with other fuzzy-ish yarns, see how it comes out. (You could get a really crazy puffball with fun fur; terry yarns or the like might be really interesting, and not as incredibly frustrating as the Polarspun. Bernat used to make a yarn called Lulu that was similar in texture to it, but not as sticky (owing to it being made of nylon, rather than polyester like Polarspun? perhaps). Regardless, Polarspun yarn has been discontinued — BUT if you want try it out and don’t mind dealing with the headache, they have quite a bit on eBay, search for polarspun. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you! (And yet, even after all my whining here, I’m seriously considering coming up with some other designs, making them from this crazy yarn, and selling them on Etsy. Because I do love the look.)

Disclaimer and Notes on the Pattern
So — the pattern below is more or less how I made the original, but since I wrote it down while making it with worsted weight yarn, it is probably a little different. I’m not entirely happy with the look of the worsted yarn face, and may end up reworking it some more for that type of yarn.

Also on how I wrote the pattern. At the beginning of each row where there are increases or decreases I wrote + or – that number, that’s really just about all you need. But if you’re like me and you like to be told how many stitches to put between each increase/decrease, that’s what the second part in the parentheses is for. (I think I even figured out a mathematical formula for it… but nobody wants to hear about that.) Then the final number in parentheses tells you how many stitches should be in the round when you’re finished.
So “+6 / (2 sc + inc) around (24)” means in this round you increase 6 stitches total, to do so evenly you should do 2 single crochets and one increase (2 single crochets in one stitch) all the way around, and there’ll be 24 stitches total in the round when you’re finished.
Try not to put all your increases or decreases in the same place in each round. All rounds are unjoined, worked in a spiral.

At Last, the Pattern Itself
Feel free to make many Gumballs for yourself, your friends and your family with this pattern. However, please do not sell them, nor the pattern. Thanks.

Materials:

  • worsted weight yarn (I used Caron Simply Soft Bright, Watermelon and Blue Mint colors; of the Polarspun I used hot pink)
  • size E/3.5mm crochet hook (with the polarspun I used an F hook, it’s a chunkier yarn)
  • locking stitch markers such as these (optional, but OHMYGOSH I can’t believe how much easier they make it, I totally recommend them, especially the kind I linked to, they’re a bit pricey, but lovely and smooth, don’t catch on the yarn like the other, split kind I had…)
  • yarn needle
  • white felt and fabric scissors
  • eyes and nose (as I mentioned before, on the original I used black brads, two regular sized, one mini round, and one mini square, clipped off to make a triangle. On the ones pictured here I used two 9 mm black eyes, a 6mm black eye for the mouth, and a 10 mm triangle nose.)
  • polyfill for stuffing (polypellets and a nylon as well, if you want a more beanbag-ish effect)

Gauge: Gauge is not vitally important, mostly you should just be sure that the stitching is tight so that the stuffing doesn’t show. Use a hook a couple sizes down from the normal size for the yarn you’re using. If you want to be more exact, make a joined-round gauge circle. Mine was a five round circle, using worsted weight yarn, 2 inches in diameter.

Abbreviations:

sc = single crochet
st = stitch
sl st = slip stitch
inc = increase
invdec = invisible decrease, decreasing over 2 stitches (this stitch is FREAKING AWESOME – I’ve never tried it before, and it’s totally cool. I’m trying to find a link online showing it, with no luck. ETA: Link to my tutorial for this stitch. It really is wonderfully invisible. If you want a book that shows this I know the amazing Elisabeth Doherty‘s new book that I’ve mentioned before has it; that’s where I learned it, along with many other wonderful tips. Don’t bother with the invisible decrease if you’re using the polarspun though; just use a regular decrease instead (pulling up a loop in two stitches and crocheting them together as one single crochet). You can also use a regular decrease on the worsted yarn, if you want.)

Here is a link for how to make a magic ring – fabulous technique (though perhaps not possible with the difficult Polarspun yarn; I’ll have to try it again….)

Pattern:

Head

  1. 6 sc in magic ring, pull tight closed
  2. +6 / inc every st around (12)
  3. +6 / (1 sc + inc) around (18)
  4. +6 / (2 sc + inc) around (24)
  5. +3 / (7 sc + inc) around (27)
  6. +3 / (8 sc + inc) around (30)
  7. sc in each sc around (30)
  8. sc in each sc around (30)
  9. -12 / invdec + 6 sc evenly (18)
  10. -3 / (4 sc + invdec) around (15)

Fasten off with sl st, leaving a tail for sewing.

Body

  1. 6 sc in magic ring, pull tight closed
  2. +6 / inc every st around (12)
  3. +6 / (1 sc + inc) around (18)
  4. +6 / (2 sc + inc) around (24)
  5. +6 / (3 sc + inc) around (30)
  6. +3 / (9 sc + inc) around (33)
  7. +3 / (10 sc + inc) around (36)
  8. +3 / (11 sc + inc) around (39)
  9. sc in each sc around
  10. sc in each sc around
  11. -3 / (18 sc + invdec) around (36)
  12. -6 / (4 sc + invdec) around (30)
  13. -6 / (3 sc + invdec) around (24)
  14. -6 / (2 sc + invdec) around (18)
  15. -3 / (4 sc + invdec) around (15)

Fasten off with sl st, leaving a tail for sewing.

Legs (make 2)

  1. 4 sc in magic ring, pull tight closed
  2. +4 / inc every st (8)
  3. +4 / (1 sc + inc) around (12)
  4. sc in each sc around
  5. sc in each sc around
  6. -3 / (9)
  7. -2 / (7)
  8. sc in each sc around

Fasten off with sl st, leaving a tail for sewing.

Tail

  1. 6 sc in magic ring, pull tight closed
  2. sc around (6)
  3. sc around, inc 2 st (8)
  4. sc around
  5. repeat row 4, approximately 9 times (total rows appr. 13)

Fasten off with sl st, leaving a tail (ha ha, of yarn) for sewing.

Ears

  1. ch 4
  2. sk 1st ch, sc, hdc, trc
  3. ch 1
  4. repeat rows 1 and 2

Fasten off with sl st, leaving a tail for sewing.

Assembly

First put the face on the head. You might need to use a rattail comb to make a spot for the posts to go in between the stitches. I cut a small square of felt, snipped a tiny opening in the middle, put the eye post through it, then trimmed it around to the right size for the eye patches. (Patches? Or whatever those are.) Place the eyes, nose and mouth and attach them (if you’re using brads you can do this after sewing it all together, if you want).

Stuff the head and the body with polyfill, then whipstitch (i.e. sew them together however you can) the openings together. (My original’s head was fairly lightly stuffed — the worsted yarn ones needed firmer stuffing, I think. However, if you don’t stuff the head TOO firmly, you can kind of pose the face a little, which is fun.)

Place and sew the ears.

It’s your call whether you stuff the very end of the tail or the paws — on the pink one I did, the blue one I didn’t. Position and sew on the legs and tail — if you wish to add the asterisk (I used a mini flower brad) then be sure to take that into account with your tail placement; maybe put it on first.

Finally
Finally, take photos of your Gumball and add them to the Flickr pool! Or at least send them to me, I’d love love love to see what people do with this. Any questions, comments, or suggestions are welcome of course.

Three gumballs

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19 Responses to "Gumball the Kitten – the amigurumi pattern"

Thanks for all your hard work in writing this pattern out! I know that’s not easy to do when you’re totally winging it. 🙂 I will definitely let you know when I’ve completed one!

Thanks so much for sharing this! I’m forwarding it to my yarnariffic friend, in the hopes that I can commission a few Gumballs for Christmas. 😀

Okay, I edited it just slightly to describe the invisible decrease better. Hope it’s clearer now. (I described it flat wrong to start out with, so y’know, now it’s right. 🙂 )

[…] So whenever I do start a knitting project again, I have to use that yarn or my stash is just going to grow out of control and take over my place. It’s tempting with projects being posted all over the place like this Gumball Kitty. […]

i love cats so much ! thanks for sharing this great pattern !

Just wanted to say thanks for this cute pattern. I made my own version of Gumball the other day. Here’s a link to the pictures of him that I posted on Crafter. Check it out if you have time.

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=215335.msg2316353#msg2316353

I absolutely love the design.

Cora

Thank you for this pattern, too cute!!

Happy New Year!

thanks a lot for the pattern. i totally get the obsession.

hola again. i was wondering if you could clarify something about your pattern?

what does “-12 / invdec + 6 sc evenly (18)” mean? i can’t for the life of me figure it out and i know it’s probably something simple and i’m just having an incredibly brain fart!!

Thanks for any help you can provide!!

I’m from germany and i don’t understand it too….

I don’t get it!

I wan’t to crochet this litte cats and I NEVER get it.

Try it today for 2 hours.

Please tell me how do you get it….

i thought it just meant:
invdec + 6 sc and repeat but that doesn’t =18

argh. brain fart!

yo. i just posted my pics to your flickr group.

and btw i finally figured out the problem i was having.
thanks again for the pattern!

they are so ugly cuz i m,ade one and it turned out to be a himalion

Hello,
thanks for the pattern, i love it.
You can see 2 picture of my Gumball here:
http://www.crochetville.org/forum/showthread.php?t=77613

[…] 12, 2008 · Filed under Blogroll I have made six Gumballs now, all using the same pattern, same ply yarn and hook (I think) and they have all turned out different. Not sure whats going on […]

[…] as you might know, is something of a Gumball enthusiast. And that’s an understatement. Naturally, I wanted to paint her a Gumball […]

I have read somewhere that electronic cigarettes are the best altenative for smoking and will even help you stop this really bad habit. Now me and my husband we are desperate for a solution on stopping smoking and we have relatives that got cancer from them and I really can’t tell you the horror behind those scenes when someone you care for knows their days are set up in a countdown.
Not sure if this is the best place to ask for this kind of advice but would really love some help from you — especially regarding the electronic cigarettes – like if you have used them how much did they helped you quit or did you even bought them for quitting or just as a replacement for real cigars. Reading though the web I have heard so many different oppinions and just can’t find a thruthfull review reagrding this matter.
Anyway, regardless of the e-cigs, I need any other quick solution that can help me and my husband get over this addiction.
Thank you all.

Tiny little cuties. I definitely love them 3>

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