I am currently spending my days making up needlework kits for the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show at Olympia so in the evenings I look forward to picking up a crochet hook and some yarn. This cheeky chap was designed by the very talented Claire Garland and can be found in her book ‘Toys to Crochet’
I have to come clean here and admit that I am terrible at following a pattern, even really great patterns, so things often get tweaked as I work. To start with I didn’t have the correct yarn but I did have a very piggy pink in DMC Natura XL and I found some Scheepjes 4ply Catona in a dark grey colour.
Unfortunately, I didn’t actually write any of my pattern tweaks down as I worked but I think the following is a good approximation of what I did when worked in combination with the original pattern. Everything is written in UK crochet terms. The majority of the pig is crocheted using a 6mm hook but I will indicate when another hook is required.
When starting the head, spots and legs I chose to use a magic circle and 6 double crochet (dc) rather than the 2 chain (ch) foundation row and 6dc as originally described.
For the head and body I switched to a 5mm hook for rounds 4 to 18 and I also worked into the back loop only for 18dc in round four to give a slightly raised edge between the nose and snout.
To create a plumper bottom I worked repeats of round 24 until the head and body measured approximately 22cm from the tip of the snout before starting the following increases and decreases:
- *1dc into each of the next 11dc, 2dc into next dc, repeat from * around (39dc)
- 1 dc into each of the 39dc
- *1dc into each of the next 12dc, 2dc into next dc, repeat from * around (42dc)
- 1dc into each of the 42dc
- *1dc into each of the next 13dc, 2dc into next dc, repeat from * around (45dc)
- 1dc into each of the 45dc and repeat this round twice more
- *1dc into each of the next 12dc, double crochet two together (dc2tog) , repeat from * around (42dc)
- 1dc into each of the 42dc
- *1dc into each of the next 11dc, dc2tog, repeat from * around (39dc)
- 1dc into each of the 39dc
- *1dc into each of the next 10dc, dc2tog, repeat from * around (36dc)
- *1dc, dc2tog, repeat from * around until the gap is almost closed, stuff firmly with polyester filling, finish closing the gap, fasten off yarn
For the tail I doubled up on the pink DMC Natura XL and switched to a 10mm hook
- chain 14
- dc twice into the second chain from hook, repeat for next 9dc, 1dc into each of the remaining foundation chain stitches
- Fasten off yarn and sew to the pig’s bottom
For the spots I doubled up on the grey Scheepjes cotton yarn and followed the original pattern using a 4mm hook.
The legs were worked according to the original pattern except I tripled the grey Scheepjes yarn to maintain the correct tension using the 6mm hook and chose to work three rounds of dc in the grey rather than switching to double trebles as described.
For the eyes I raided my stash of beads and stitched a couple on using dressmakers cotton. However, if you plan to let a child play with the pig it is probably better to opt for safety eyes and fit them before stuffing the head or simply embroider some eyes on the finished pig.