Introduction: Gabriola Frog (Gabi)
The other night while watching The Orville, I couldn't help but notice Kermit the Frog leaned up against the desk light on captain Ed Mercer's desk. Kermit always steals the scene! I love frogs, so the next day I was inspired to make a frog to adorn my own space. I'm calling her Gabriola - or Gabi for short. Grown-ups need their toys too; we're all just kids at heart!
With Amigurumi trending on Instagram and Pinterest, I was curious to try my hand at it. It's been over 20 years since I picked up a crochet hook, and I've never created a pattern before, but I'm always up for a challenge!
I ran out to the dollar store to find light and dark green yarn just to practice and got the last skeins! I had leftover scraps of white yarn, fibrefill, beads and embroidery thread in my craft stash so my prototype cost me a whopping $2.50! I intended to buy better yarn for my second one but was happy with the yarn I found at the dollar store (it's a cotton blend).
Some tips before we start:
- Place a marker at the beginning of each row. That way you can keep track of where you are if you get distracted. I just use a bobby pin; no need for a fancy marker!
- Count your stitches! There are stitch counts at the end of each row in this Instructable. Be sure to double check that you have the right amount of stitches before moving on. When I don't heed my own advice, I end up having to rip out a few rows of work because I went wrong somewhere and forgot to check!
Disclaimer: Feel free to use my pattern for non-commercial and non-profit uses only: i.e. you can make your own copy, but you cannot distribute it for sale (as a pattern or crocheted item).
Step 1: Materials and Terminology
You will need:
- 1 ball light green and dark green yarn; mine is a cotton blend from the dollar store (70 g)
- Scraps of white (same weight)
- Two beads for eyes (I used clear glass beads with a black slit through the middle to look like frog eyes.
- Darning needle
- Hairpins (I use them as markers)
- Crochet hook (I used 3.5 mm for everything except the fingers/toes. A small size, 1.0 mm, is needed to pull the eyelashes and crochet the fingers/toes to get into the tight space.
sc = single crochet (double crochet for U.K. / Aus)
dec = decrease
incr = increase (2 sc into next stitch)
ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch
st = stitch
invdec = invisible decrease (pick up 2 front loops on next two stitches and single crochet together)
Step 2: Head:
Rnd 1: With light green yarn, ch 2, work 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook. Mark the beginning of each round (I use a bobby pin).
Rnd 2: *Work 1 inc in each of next 2 sc, 1 sc, rep from * once (10 sts).
Rnd 3: Work 1 sc, 1 inc in each of next 2 sc, 3 sc, 2 inc, 2 sc (14 sts).
Rnd 4: 2 sc, 1 inc in each of next 2 sc, 5 sc, 1 inc in each of next 2 sc, 3 sc (18 sts).
Rnd 5: 1 sc, 1 inc, 4 sc, 1 inc, 3 sc, 1 inc, 4 sc, 1 inc, 2 sc (22 sts).
Rnd 6: 3 sc, 1 inc, 2 sc, 1 inc, 7 sc, 1 inc, 2 sc, 1 inc, 4 sc (26 sts).
Rnd 7: 6 sc, 2 inc, 7 sc, 2 inc, 9 sc (30 sts).
Rnd 8: 6 sc, 1 inc, 15 sc, 1 inc, 7 sc (32 sts).
Rnd 9: 8 sc, 1 inc, *6 sc, 1 inc, rep from * once, 9 sc (35 sts).
Rnd 10: 8 sc, ch 19, skip next 18 sc, 1 sc in next sc, 8 sc (36 sts).
Rnd 11: *2 sc, 1 dec, repeat from * once, 19 sc including sts of chain, 1 dec, 2 sc, 1 dec, 3 sc (32 sts).
Rnd 12: 1 dec, 6 sc, 1 dec, * 5 sc, 1 dec, rep from * once, 6 sc, 1 dec (27 sts).
Rnd 13: 8 sc, 1 dec, 5 sc, 1 dec, 10 sc (25 sts).
Step 3: Neck and Body
Rnd 1: 1 incr, (2 sc, 1 dec) 4 x (20 sts).
Rnd 2: *1 sc, 1 dec, repeat from * 6 x, 2 sc (14 sts).
Rnd 3: 2 sc, 1 dec, 5 sc, 1 dec, 3 sc (12 sts)
Rnd 4-5: Sc around.
Rnd 6: (2 sc in next st, sc in next 3 st) three times. (15 st)
Rnd 7-8: sc in each st around. (15 st)
Rnd 9: (sc in next 2 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 st) three times. (18 st)
Rnd 10: sc in each st around. (18 st)
Rnd 11: Sc around.
Rnd 12 (holes for arms): ch 4, skip 2 sts, sc in 3rd st, 4 sc, ch 4, skip 2 sts, sc in 3rd st, 8 sc (22 sts)
Rnd 13: 1 sc, (* sc into back loop for next 4 sts), 5 sc, repeat from *, 9 sc (22 sts)
Rnd 14: sc 4, 1 incr, sc 4, 1 incr, sc12 in each st around. (24 st)
Rnd 15: (4 sc, 1 incr), repeat 4 x (24 sts)
Rnd 16: (2 sc in next st, sc in next 3 st) six times (30 st).
Rnds 17 - 20: sc for 4 rows (30 sts)
Rnd 21: (invdec, sc in next 3 st) six times. (24 sts)
Rnds 22-23: sc for 2 rows (24 sts)
Rnd 24 (hole for legs): 1 sc, ch4, skip 3 sts, dec next st attaching ch, 2 sc, 1 dec, 2 sc, 1 dec, ch 4, skip 3 st, dec next st attaching ch, 4 sc (21 st)
Rnd 25: 1 sc, (* sc into back loop for next 4 sts), 7 sc, repeat from *, 5 sc (21 sts).
Rnd 26: 8 sc, 1 dec, 8 sc, 1 dec, 1 sc (19 sts).
At this point, I cut off a tail 38" in length so I can come back and finish later. Since I'm only using one ball of light green yarn, I do that so I can finish the iCord for the arms and legs (it's easier to close them off first before stuffing the body as the stuffing will just catch on the hook and make it difficult to crochet).
Step 4: Arms - Picking Up Stitches
Rnds 1-24: Pick up 4 loops on each side of opening. HIde yarn tail inside hole before proceeding to 2nd st (3rd pic). In the last picture, all 4 loops are now on the crochet hook.
Step 5: Arms - ICord
iCord for 24 rows as follows.
a. transfer 3 sts on left onto a double pointed knitting needle.
Pro Tip: To easily transfer all at once (especially when the yarn has many loose strands as the one I'm using does), insert knitting needle through 3 sts, bring crochet hook over top of needle with hook facing down. Move the crochet hook away from the needle (slide to the right) to release the stitches onto the needle. By sliding metal-to-metal, you won't catch the yarn with the crochet hook as you transfer the sts. See 2nd picture.
b. Bring yarn around back and sc into st on crochet hook.
Pro Tip: Be sure to pull yarn tight or you will have gaps in the circular stitches of the formation at the back See last picture.
c. (Slide one st. from knitting needle onto crochet hook. Sc). Repeat from * 2 x.
Rnd 25: Slide all sts onto double pointed needle. 1 sc, (*1 sc next stitch, pull first st on hook over 2nd st (cast-off) ). Repeat until all sts are cast off.
Step 6: Fingers
(Repeat for all 4 fingers on each hand for a total of 8 fingers).
Switch to smaller 1mm crochet hook to get into the small spaces, BUT work loosely to approximate the same tension as the body.
Rnd 1 (fingers): Turn work, (*ch 4, sl st into 1st cast off st), repeat from * 3 x for 4 chains in total.
Rnd 2: Sc around (4 sts).
Rnd 3: Sc around (4 sts).
Rnd 4: 4 incr (8 sts).
Rnd 5: Sc around.
Rnd 6: 4 dec, sl st to finish last st and cut off 6" tail. Using crochet hook, capture tail and pull through centre of finger and out the bottom. Pull snug and cut, hiding end (see 3rd and 4th picture).
Note: For 2-4th finger, attach a new piece of yarn by inserting hook through 2 loops at base of chain and pulling through a slip knot. Capture the knot and tail between the 2 loops to hide them (i.e. only pull the loop of yarn fully through to the other side; see 2nd picture).
Step 7: Legs and Toes
Crochet iCord as explained for arms but do 29 rows in total before casting off.
Toes (5 toes on each foot for a total of 10 toes).
This is exactly the same as the fingers above, but for the 5th toe, ch 4 and slip st into one of the sts on the side of the leg to anchor it.
Repeat rnds 2-6 as for Fingers above.
Step 8: Eyeball
Slip knot, leaving a 6" chain. Insert bead onto tail and knot loosely to hold in place.
Rnd 1: ch 2, 6 sc into 2nd chain on hook (6 sts).
Rnd 2: 3 incr. In next st, sc and bring tail holding bead across work to other side. Sc into same st (incr) with yarn tail at back of work to hold in place. Pull tight and knot tail close to sc. Incr 2 to end (12 sts). See pictures.
Tail holding bead is pulled tight and knotted at back of work to secure in place.
Rnd 3: Sc around.
Stuff eyeball with fibrefill.
Rnd 4: 6 dec. Weave tail in and out of sts, pull tight, knot and hide end inside eyeball.
Step 9: Eyelid
Slip knot, leaving a 6" chain.
Rnd 1: ch 2, 6 sc into 2nd chain on hook (6 sts).
Rnd 2: 6 incr (12 sts).
Rnd 3-4: Sc around for 2 rows.
Rnd 5: ch into first st and ch 4 more x. Count 4 st and sc into that st, 7 sc (12 sts).
With black embroidery floss, insert small crochet hook though eyelid, then corresponding loop on chain. Pull loop through both sts. Cut approximate length and bring two loose ends through loop. Tighten. Note: it's easier to do this without the eyeball in place so do that before the eyeball is inserted!
Repeat 7 more times to fill out eyelashes (or to preference).
Once all eyelashes are done, trim with scissors.
If using a bead with a black slit like I did for the eyeball, centre horizontally before inserting into eyelid. Stuff into eyelid and invisibly stitch in place using green thread so it can't be pulled out.
Step 10: Mouth Lining
Rnd 1: With dark green yarn, ch 4, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, 1 inc, 3 sc in last st. Continue on opposite side of ch; 1 inc, 2 sc (10 sts).
Rnd 2: Inc every st around (20 sc)
Rnd 3: *3 sc, 2 inc, rep from * 3 times (28 sts).
Rnd 4: Sc around .
Rnd 5: 1 inc, *1 sc, 1 inc, 4 sc, 1 inc, rep from * twice, end 1 sc, 1 inc, 4 sc (36 sts) Join with sl st and fasten off. Note: leave a longer tail than I did; it will be used to crease the fold with a basting stitch.
With light green, sl st around entire section. Join yarn, but leave attached (this will be used to sc to mouth opening when assembled. Fold in half lengthwise and baste fold using the dark green tail thread to establish mouth crease. Now, you're ready to assemble.
Step 11: Assembly
Stuff the upper and lower parts of the head, leaving room for the lining.
Finish the body (Rnd 27): stuff first, then invdec 9 times, 1 sc (10 st).
Rnd 28: invdec 5 times (5 st). Slip knot to end, then cut yarn, leaving a yarn end (approx 12″/30cm). Close hole in bottom by weaving in end. Hide tail inside body using darning needle.
Attach lining to inside of mouth. Hold ridge of upper lip between 2 fingers. I started in the middle; with light green yarn, single crochet around ridge to close the upper and lower lip. Hide tail inside mouth before finishing.
Position eyes on head where you want them and use light green tail from eyelid to stitch in place on head.
Note: crochet stitches should be loose enough on arms and legs that if desired, you could insert wire, turning your frog into an action figure! Be sure to use a needle nose plier to loop each end of the wire before inserting so there are no sharp ends.
Step 12: She's a Real Character!
As you can see, Gabi is a bit of a drama queen and she doesn't close her mouth for a minute. To her credit, she catches more flies that way!
I'm having fun placing her in different places around the house! One day she'll be chillaxing on a chair and the next thing I know she'll be staking her territory on our TV stand. At meal time, she keeps me company in the kitchen. In the last picture, she is feigning hunger; I'm not a fast cook by any means!
Step 13: Please Vote and Subscribe
Of all the places she's been, I think Gabi has found her happy place reclining in our milk painted adirondack chair.
All-in-all, Gabi turned out better than I hoped - especially after being away from crochet for over 20 years! I think I would have done my grandmother proud :) If you enjoyed this Instructable, don't forget to vote for it in the Toy Contest!
I hope to have a printable pattern available on our blog in the next few weeks. If you would like a copy of the printable pattern, subscribe to Birdz of a Feather and you'll be notified when it's available. You can also follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
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