WAIT, there's more... Otis is kicking off a HUGE year-long/ongoing series of Amigurumi CALS Hosted by CAL – Crochet A Long!!! All in multiple languages.
Make sure you join their Facebook Group here, then SIGN UP for the EVENT HERE.
Before we may crocheting little Otis, we need gather our supplies, cover a few important notes and go over the schedule. Read all about it below, or watch my introductory video instead...
If you've been with me for a while, you may remember first meeting little Otis Giraffe back in July 2016, when I first crocheted him. Or, you may have seen my April Giraffe, his colourful momma, from earlier this year on my social channels, or the teaser post last week.
My brother named my little yellow-orange guy, Otis and I loved its uniqueness. And, I decided to name his momma April, since it's April for the CAL, and because there's a cool giraffe named April, who's having a calf soon. Wouldn't it be fun if she has a boy and they call him Otis? :D haha...
Anyways, it's been a long journey getting him ready for you, but he is here at last, available in multiple languages (written instructions only) with FULL video tutorials too! How awesome is that?
YES!!! This is my first ever, video crochet along. So, I am super excited to be sharing him with you and I think you are going to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the join-as-you-go technique used to crochet him.
Speaking of videos, let's jump right into the first one now! Or, you can read all the information below if you prefer. It's totally up to you.
And, remember to download the handy info guide (in multiple languages), including the summarized information (supplies, sizing, abbreviations, pattern notes, etc.) on this page for Part 1 of the CAL below too! *Find it after the next picture of ME with Otis and April, following the CAL Schedule.
Queue it, LOVE it, and Add your Otis Giraffe projects to Ravelry here!
All rights reserved, 2017.
How Otis Giraffe is Crocheted:
The first way is the traditional route, where you crochet all the pieces and then sew them all together later. This method is easier to crochet, but will require lots of sewing. This means it may take longer.
The second option is the one I highly recommend AND will show you in the photo and video tutorials. It's called the JOIN-AS-YOU-GO. And, it's just like it sounds. It means, instead of sewing all the pieces together, you'll join them together as you crochet!
It's a slightly more advanced technique, but with the video tutorials, I've created for this series, even a beginner can follow along. Plus, less sewing means you'll complete your giraffes FASTER!!!
In order, for the Join-As-You-Go to work, you have to crochet ALL the smaller pieces first. Which brings us to the order we'll crochet Otis...
Otis Giraffe CAL Schedule:
- Part 1: An Introduction to the Otis Giraffe CAL (you're here)
- Part 2: Otis Giraffe's Spots
- Part 3: Otis Giraffe's Limbs
- Part 4: Otis Giraffe's Body
- Part 5: Otis Giraffe's Facial Features
- Part 6: Otis Giraffe's Head & Finishing Touches
Download the summarized handy guide in your chosen language below. And find ADDITIONAL support on this blog post for Part 1 of the Otis Giraffe CAL.
In Part 2, we'll crochet Otis Giraffe's Spots. There are 2 sizes, big and small. You'll need a set amount for the Join-As-You-Go option. But you can mix them up for the Traditional option if you like.
Normally, one would save the spots for last, but we'll need them ready to be attached for the Join-As-You-Go method. If you'd rather follow the traditional route, you may prefer to crochet them later.
One (1) VIDEO will be available for Part 2.
We'll crochet Otis Giraffe's Limbs (arms, legs & tail) in Part 3. You'll need to have a few spots ready to join to the arms and legs, and you'll need all the limbs crocheted first in order to join them to the body.
Three (3) VIDEOS will be available for Part 3 - one for each of the limbs.
In Part 4, we'll crochet Otis Giraffe's Body. If following the Join-As-You-Go, you'll be joining all the body spots and limbs as you crochet! Otherwise, tips in the written pattern will help you with the limb placements if you're following the traditional route.
One (1) VIDEO will be available for Part 4.
We'll crochet Otis Giraffe's Facial Features (muzzle, ears, eyes-optional & horns) in Part 5. You'll need all of the facial features crocheted first in order to join them to the head.
NOTE: The crochet eyes are optional. You may prefer to use Safety Eyes, or alternate eyes instead.
Four (4) VIDEOS will be available for Part 5 - one for each of the facial features.
Finally, in Part 6, we'll crochet Otis Giraffe's Head and work all the Finishing Touches. If following the Join-As-You-Go, you'll be joining all the head spots and facial features as you crochet! Otherwise, tips in the written pattern will help you with the facial feature placements if you're following the traditional route.
One (1) VIDEO will be available for Part 6.
At the end of the CAL, we'll have a fun contest or giveaway for all CAL members, who share their completed giraffes. Stay tuned for details!
Multiple Languages Available - DOWNLOAD Part 1 NOW!!!
Written pattern for each part is also available in these languages:
- Danish - Dansk
- Dutch - Nederlands
- German - Deutsche
- Hebrew - עִברִית
- Spanish - Español
- Swedish - Svenska
DOWNLOADS BEGIN AUTOMATICALLY: Just Click on Your Favourite Button.
First, you'll need to choose your favourite thread or yarn for amigurumi.
- Use ANY yarn weight - the one you choose will determine the finished size.
- Use ANY fiber type with a nice grip. Just AVOID slippery yarns. I LOVE cotton!
- Pick TWO complimentary or contrasting colours:
- About 100m. (110yd.) in the MAIN Colour ~ Otis uses yellow. April uses purple + orange.
- About 80m. (88yd.) in the ALTERNATE Colour ~ Otis uses orange. April uses green.
- Amounts are for thread. DOUBLE amounts if using sport or worsted yarn instead.
Now the crochet hook! Once you have made your yarn selection, pick a hook that produces TIGHT stitches. The last thing you want are BIG holes. A good rule of thumb is to use a hook size that is at least one size SMALLER than the one recommend for your project
- 1.5mm hook is great with size 10 cotton thread (Otis)!
- 3.75mm hook is great with sport or worsted yarn (April)!
- Tapestry or Yarn Needle - for embroidery details on muzzle, sewing the head to the body, and all the other sewing needed if following the traditional option!
- Stitch Markers - to keep track of rounds and stitches. I use safety pins. Use what you have!
- Ruler or Measuring Tape - for measuring the tail hairs.
- LARGER Hook or Tool to help with stuffing.
You'll also need polyester fiberfill or your favourite amigurumi stuffing. Several handfuls for a little Otis-sized giraffe, or about 4-6 times that for an April-sized giraffe.
Finally, there's the eyes... You may crochet them, or use your favourite eyes!
- Crochet Eyes - Scraps of Black + Eye Colour matching the same yarn weight you're using.
- Safety Eyes or Alternate Eyes:
- About 0.5" (1.5cm) in diameter for a little thread giraffe like Otis.
- About 1" (2.5cm) in diameter for a bigger yarn giraffe like April.
Sizing & Gauge:
Worsted (WW / 4 : Medium / 10 ply UK) Yarn makes a 15” (38cm) tall giraffe (3.75mm hook is suggested).
*NOTE: These giraffe sizes are approximates. Your giraffe sizing may differ depending on your chosen yarn, hook size and tension. Adjust these factors to get desired size.
Gauge is not important for this pattern. Again, you only need to use a hook size that produces tight stitches with whichever yarn you choose to use.
TIP: Thread/Yarn weight and hook size are flexible. Use lace or fine weight yarns for a small, hand-sized animal, or use thicker yarn weights, such as Sport, DK or WW, for a larger, huggable animal!
Abbreviations: ~US Terminology Used~
Here are the stitch abbreviations you'll see used throughout the pattern and videos...
*...** - repeat instructions between the two asterisks as directed ~ I always highlight the repeat directions for this in purple so it is easier to see.
(...) - work the stitches between the parentheses into the space as directed
[...] - work stitches between the brackets however many times called for
AC - alternate colour
avail - available
BL(O) - back loop(s only)
ch - chain
cont - continue, continuing
dec - decrease(s) / decreasing
f/o - fasten off
hdc - half double crochet
inc - increase(s) / increasing
MC - main colour
lp(s) - loop(s)
rem - remain / remaining
rep - repeat
rnd(s) - round(s)
RS - right side
sc - single crochet
sc2tog - single crochet 2 stitches together (use the invisible decrease - see important notes below)
sk - skip
sl st - slip stitch
sp(s) - space(s)
st(s) - stitch(es)
tog - together
WS - wrong side
yo - yarn over
- TRADITIONAL means pieces are sewn together later.
- JOIN-AS-YOU-GO means the smaller body parts / spots are joined to the larger body parts as they are crocheted.
- Follow whichever option that best suits your needs / skill level.
You should be familiar with basic crochet stitches (ch, sl st, sc, hdc), working in rows, rounds, magic circles and back loops, and how to do increases and decreases.
When the number comes after the stitch, crochet across the stitches. However, when the number comes first, this is indicative of an increase, so work them into the same stitch or space as directed.
Special techniques used are the invisible decrease (see note *1) and mirror crochet (see note *2):
- *1 Decreases or tog (sc2tog) sts are best worked by using the invisible decrease technique, where you only work into either the front or back loops of the stitches as if they were the 2 loops of one stitch. In this pattern, it will ALWAYS be the BACK LOOPS of the stitches. If you are unfamiliar with this technique, see my video tutorial here… Or, wait to see it in Part 3.
- *2 Mirror crochet is used to give the ears a smoother look and a distinctive RS. Mirror crochet is worked by inserting hook into the stitch from back to front, rather than from front to back like normal stitches are worked. It will be shown in the Ear video tutorial in Part 5.
Side facing you = WS for all body parts with the exception of the eyes (RS faces) and ears (ODD row = RS).
Crochet in continuous rnds and do not turn at the end of them unless directed to do otherwise.
- For the photo tutorials, MC used is yellow and AC used is orange.
- For the video tutorials, MC used is orange (body + head) and purple (arms, legs, tail, muzzle, horns & ears), and AC used is green. *Two main colours are used for the videos, to make it easier for you to see which stitch belongs to the body and which to say its leg.
- Use whichever two colours of the rainbow you prefer. That said, there is no RULE that says you only have to use two colours. Feel free to mix it up and play with colours like I did for April, or make all the spots different colours... some of my testers did this and theirs are AWESOME!
The arms, legs and horns all start with the AC and switch to the MC on the last sc2tog.
It may be easier to stuff the giraffe pieces little by little as they are worked. Otherwise, stuff the pieces at the end, and remember to stuff them more than you think is needed because the fiberfill will condense over time.
When a long ending tail is suggested, simply fasten off where the wrapped thread reaches the side of your palm, or double this length if using a thicker yarn weight instead. *You can make it a bit longer if you like.
You should be familiar with hand sewing on crochet pieces by means of the whip and running stitches.
Additional notes are included as needed…
Choosing Which Option to Follow:
- The skill level for this option is rated EASY since only basic stitches and techniques are used.
- If you are new to crochet and still figuring out basic stitches, if you like sewing or if you would prefer to work the traditional route, I recommend Option 1. This option is just like all other amigurumi patterns out there.
- For the body and head, you’ll find special TIPS next to the instructions. These are used as a guide for marking the placement of the limbs and facial features to make it easy to sew them into place later. So, if you do go this way, you won't have to fight with placement.
- The skill level for this option is rated INTERMEDIATE due to the joining-pieces technique used.
- If you are very familiar with the basic crochet stitches and would like to avoid sewing all the pieces together later, I encourage you to try Option 2 – you’ll be so glad you did!
- For this option, an additional special technique you should know is how to crochet through two or three layers of stitches. Don't worry, you can learn it as you go!
- When crocheting the respective pieces (spots, limbs, facial features) onto the body or head, ALWAYS insert the hook into the body or head stitch(es) first, AND THEN into the respective pieces you're joining.
- Whenever you see “creating an inc” or “creating a dec” at the end of section of instructions, this means that the increase or decrease was made on the current body part being worked. These phrases are used when the body part’s increase or decrease falls where another body part or spot is being attached or joined.
- In the case of an increase, work into the same body part stitch again, either as it is joined to another body part, or after it has already been joined to a body part or spot.
- In the case of a decrease, work an invisible sc2tog decrease on the body part as it is joined to the spot or another body part. This means that you will put the BL of the next 2 body part stitches onto the hook FIRST.
- For the body and head, you’ll find special TIPS before the start of attachment rounds, where the limbs and facial features will be worked. Please read them as they contain important useful information to help you!
OR, the RECOMMENDED versions if attaching or joining-as-you-go!
Support & Share!
- Hashtag #OtisGiraffeCAL, when sharing across social channels.
- Tag my user @beckastreasures via Instagram or Twitter.
- JOIN one of my Crocheting Treasures groups/communities on Facebook, Ravelry or Google+.
- Upload your progress to Ravelry, and remember to share to my Ravelry Group too!
- JOIN the CAL – Crochet A Long Facebook Group. They're co-hosting this CAL as part of a larger amigurumi crochet along. Make sure you're a member, then JOIN the event here!
- JOIN my Facebook Page Event for Otis the Giraffe too!
- Comment right here on my blog! You can add pictures in the comments. :D
An added benefit of sharing, means you'll make NEW Friends, and get additional support along the way!
If you need support or help at any step, just reach out to me, or post in the same groups above. It is always a pleasure to be of service and I am very nice. :D
If sharing or asking a question in one of the Facebook groups or events, tag me @Rebeckah Kristin Ferger, so I see your question and/or progress.
- Share your progress with a link to the Otis Giraffe CAL or any of the videos for the CAL. Your progress may excite other to participate. More visitors here helps me to grow and continue to bring you great content. Thanks!
- Buy me a cup of tea! I love me a good cuppa... help me relax with my favourite brew by sending me a donation here. Thanks ever so much!
- Sign Up for my EMAIL Newsletter! I send out 2 newsletters a month with blog updates and special freebies, games and discounts. It's a lot of fun! Plus, you can get bi-weekly updates for this Otis Giraffe CAL too right to your inbox. If you sign up below, you'll get added to both lists and may change your subscription at any time.
- Speaking of my newsletter, with your permission, I'd love to feature your progress and later completed giraffes! If you'd like to get featured, just say so. :D
- HEART Otis Giraffe crochet pattern on Ravelry!
- Comment on this blog and on the videos for the CAL.
- Give this crochet pattern a star rating below...
And an additional thank you to the CAL – Crochet A Long Facebook Group of testers and translators for working with me to make Otis Giraffe available in multiple languages!
Here's a little look at their Otis Giraffe tests as inspiration for you joining us today...
If you have any questions, or need pattern help, comment below, send me an inquiry through my website form, OR visit my one of my groups / communities on Facebook, Google+ or Ravelry.
Wishing you an outstanding day! Plus, have fun and get creative with your supply hunting...
We'll meet again on Thursday, April 6th for Part 2.
Or, join me tomorrow (Tuesday, April 4th, 2017) at 2:00 P.M. (UTC-5:00 - That's 3:00 P.M. EST) for FACEBOOK LIVE on my business page, Rebeckah's Treasures.
There, you can ask questions about the Otis Giraffe CAL and share your ideas with us... And feel free to ask me questions about me too as you like!