Updated: May 13
Yesterday I was so restless, and every WIP I tried to work on I just could not get through even a single row. I was ready to give up on crocheting for the day, when all of a sudden I was like - I need to do something brand new!
I have about 6 different projects in the works lol and usually only do one at a time but I have been really scattered here lately lol. I really did not need to start a new one but I just felt like I was supposed to. I had this strong urge to crochet a Giraffe and I just could not explain it.
So I followed my guts, sat down and whipped up a giraffe applique and posted a progress photo in the Orchid and Bee's VIP group. I asked them what we should name it. One of my VIP's commented that we should name it "April" as there was breaking news that she had just passed away.
I quickly googled "April the giraffe" ( #aprilthegiraffe ) and there it was, articles from all over the world that had just been released from CNN, USA Today, NBC, etc within 1 minute of me posting the picture in my group.
I know it seems strange but I am passionate about people, animals, and nature. I have always had a really strong connection to living things.
The night that one of our huskies passed away in 2011, (who was only 3 years old and was named Blessing), I had a dream that she had gone to Heaven. When I woke up she had passed away (from an underdeveloped kidney that caused her body to fail) and travelled over what people in the U.S. call the rainbow bridge.
If you do not know who April the Giraffe is then you probably did not have a TV, Computer, or Smartphone in 2017. In the last few weeks of April's pregnancy in 2017, 1.2 million people tuned in on the world wide web to watch her and wait on the arrival of her new baby.
Thanks to the live stream capabilities of YouTube the whole world celebrated April's new baby boy that was named Tajiri. In 2019 April gave birth once more to Tajiri's brother who was named Azizi.
It is only fitting that I do something special in honor of her contribution of love to people around the world. Because of her, there was a significant amount of awareness brought to Giraffe conservation and I desire this special pattern to be a part of that.
Since this is a pattern that I literally just finished typing up moments before I wrote this blog post and it has not even been 24hours since her passing (and of me designing the pattern) I have not had a chance to have it fully tested, therefore as soon as it is finished being tested I will send out an update via Ravelry ASAP.
Unfortunately, Etsy does not have a way to send out updates so I will upload it to Etsy immediately after it is finished being proofread and edited!
That means I will not have it available for Etsy users until the end of this coming week but fear not, I will have an alternative option for you in this post until then!
I have just given the pattern to my testers and they should be finished testing it within the week. As soon as they have finished proofreading and crocheting it I will send out the update on Ravelry and get it uploaded to Etsy.
For my non-Etsy and Ravelry users, I have included a version of this pattern below and if you find any errors you can comment on this blog post directly or comment on THIS post in the Orchid and Bee's VIP group on Facebook and I will update the pattern.
This pattern is approximately 12 x 12 inches depending on how you assemble it. You can adjust her eyes to look in different directions and you can also choose between giving her nostrils or a smile.
You can also change the position of the Acacia Branches and flowers to obtain different looks. If you do not want to use the branches and the flowers you can always put the bottom edge of the neck at the edge of a blanket, or pillow like she is peaking her head out from around the back.
This is a fun applique to change her facial features on to get different types of expressions. This is what she looks like looking to the left with a smile.
And this is what she looks like with nostrils instead of a smile.
If you center her eyes it looks like she is looking at you with all her precious love! You could also put them at the top right like she is looking up to the tallest of trees for a yummy treat! .
This applique would look great on a pillow, tote bag, blanket, or sign. Really there are endless ways to use this applique! If you do not have time to make a pillow or blanket you can always grab a blank item from Amazon like in the linked images below and dress it up with this applique!
If you have a shop where you sell your items you could do some really cute customization and personalization with this pattern! You could also use the alphabet pattern to add her name to items. You can find the pattern for the alphabet here.
Ok so here are the instructions for how to crochet this precious applique.
Yarn - worsted weight 4
Purple or choice of color
Pink or choice of color
Hook - G 4mm & 3.0 mm hook
Hot Glue/Fabric Glue - if gluing together
Safety Eyes - optional
Ch(s) - chain(s)
Sp(s) - space(s)
Sl st - slip stitch
Sc - single crochet
Dc - double crochet
Hdc - half double crochet
Tr - triple crochet
* * - repeat *to* around
( ) - do all in the same stitch/space
#st - complete # of sts in same space
St # - complete stitch in next number of spaces
Skill Level / Language - Beginner/Intermediate. If you are unsure of any stitches Youtube will be your best friend! There are great tutorials on the different stitches and on crocheting in rounds. American Standard Terms are used.
*beginning chains do not count as st
*leave long tails if sewing together, otherwise weave in ends if assembling with hot glue.
*everything will use the G4mm hook unless otherwise noted
Begin: Ch 13
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc, hdc 2, dc 4, hdc 2, sc 2, (top rounded section of head made), continue around to the unworked side of ch to begin bottom section of head, hdc 12, ch 1. (24st)
Row 2 & 3: Turn, hdc 12, ch 1. (12st)
Row 4: Turn, 2hdc, hdc 10, 2hdc, ch 1. (14st)
Row 5 - 7: Turn, hdc 14, ch 1. (14st)
Row 8: Turn, (sc, hdc), hdc 12, (hdc, sc), ch 1. (16st)
Row 9: Turn, hdc 16, ch 1. (16st)
Note: switching to a round
Round 10: Turn, to make the edges smooth on the head sc around all sides of the head, sl st to join to first st.
Horns part 1: Yellow - make 2
Begin: Ch 5
Row 1: Hdc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc 3, ch 1. (4st)
Row 2 - 6: Turn, hdc 4, ch 1. (4st) *fasten off after last st of row 6
Horns part 2: Yellow - make 2
Begin: MR, ch 1
Round 1: Hdc 10 in MR, pull tight to close, sl st to join, ch 2. (10st)
Round 2: Turn, 2dc in each st around, sl st to join, fasten off. (20st)
Hairy patch between horns: Brown
Begin: Wrap yarn around 2 fingers 8 to 10 times, slide off fingers, tie a separate piece of yarn around one end of the bundle, cut through the loops of the opposite end and fluff it out slightly. See close up picture below for the final look you are aiming for. You can also use alternative methods that are similar to making mini pom poms found by googling “how to make a small pom pom.” Here is one example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjxJFcm16r0
Outer Ear: Yellow - make 2
Begin: Ch 8
Round 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc, dc, 2tr, dc, hdc, sc, continue around to unworked side of ch, sc, hdc, dc, 2tr, dc, hdc, sc, sl st to join to first st of round, fasten off. (16st)
Inner Ear: Brown - make 2
Begin: Ch 6
Round 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc, dc, hdc, sc, continue around to the unworked side of ch, sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc, sl st to join to the first st of round, fasten off. (10st)
Begin: Ch 13
Round 1: Hdc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc 11, continue around to the unworked side of the ch, hdc 12, sl st to join to first st of round, ch 1. (24st)
Round 2: 2hdc, hdc 10, 2hdc in next 2 sts, hdc 10, 2 hdc, sl st to join, ch 1. (28st)
Round 3: 2hdc, hdc 12, 2hdc in next 2 sts, hdc 12, 2hdc, sl st to join, ch 1. (32st)
Round 4: 2hdc in next 2 sts, hdc 13, 2hdc in next 3 sts, hdc 13, 2hdc, sl st to join, fasten off. (38st)
Nostrils: Black - make 2
Row 1: sc 3 in the magic ring, pull the tail tight to close, sl st to join, fasten off. (3st)
Smile option: Black or Brown - 3mm hook
Begin: Ch 15, fasten off.
Eyebrows: Brown or black - make 2 - 3mm hook
Begin: Ch 5, fasten off.
White of Eyes: White - make 2
Begin: Ch 6
Row 1: Hdc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc 4, ch 1. (5st)
Row 2 & 3: Turn, hdc 5, ch 1. (5st)
Row 4: Turn, sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc, fasten off. (5st)
Inner Eyes: Black - make 2 - or use large safety eyes of choice
Round 1: Sc 5 in MR, pull tight to close, sl st to join, fasten off. (5st)
Begin: Ch 11
Row 1: Hdc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc 9, ch 1. (10st)
Row 2: Turn, hdc 10, ch 2. (10st)
Row 3: Turn, dc 2, hdc 8, ch 1. (10st)
Row 4: Turn, hdc 8, dc 2, ch 2. (10st)
Row 5: Turn, dc 2, hdc 8, ch 1. (10st)
Row 6: Turn, sc 2, hdc 6, dc 2, ch 2. (10st)
Row 7: Turn, dc 4, hdc 4, sc 2, ch 1. (10st)
Row 8: Turn, sc, hdc 4, 2hdc, dc 2, 2dc, dc, ch 1. (12st)
Row 9: Turn, hdc 6, sc 6, ch 1. (12st)
Row 10 - 15: Turn, hdc 12, ch 1. (12st) *fasten off after last st of row 14
Brown Spot 1: Brown - make as many as desired
Begin: MR, ch 1
Round 1: Sc 5 in MR, pull tight to close, sl st to join. (5st)
Round 2: (Sc, dc, ch2, sl st to join into same space), (hdc, dc), (sl st into next st, ch 2, dc, hdc), (sl st into next st, 2hdc), (sl st into last st, hdc), sl st to join, fasten off. (9st) st count is not critical as long as you have a weird looking shape to use as a spot on the giraffe
Brown Spot 2: Brown - make as many as desired
Begin: MR, ch 1
Round 1: *Sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc, into MR*, repeat *to* 2 more times, pull tight to close, sl st to join, fasten off. (15st)
Brown Spot 3: Brown - make as many as desired
Begin: MR, ch 2
Round 1: Dc, ch 2, sl st to join into MR, ch 1, sc, hdc, sc, sl st to join into MR, pull tight to close, sl st to join to base of ch 2, fasten off. (4st)
Acacia Branch Small: Green
Begin: Ch 21
Row 1: Sl st in 2nd ch from hook, ch 11, hdc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc 9, sl st to join in next unworked ch, *sl st into next ch, ch 11, hdc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc 9, sl st to join in next ch*, repeat *to* 4 more times, sl st next 8, continue around to unworked side of ch, sl st next 8, repeat *to* from above 6 times, ch 11, hdc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc 9, sl st to join bottom of first st of first leaf made (or at any point desired to connect leaf to branch).
Acacia Branch Large: Green
Begin: Ch 26
Row 1: Sl st in 2nd ch from hook, ch 11, hdc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc 9, sl st to join in next unworked ch, *sl st into next ch, ch 11, hdc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc 9, sl st to join in next ch*, repeat *to* 5 more times, sl st next 11, continue around to unworked side of ch, sl st next 11, repeat *to* from above 7 times, ch 11, hdc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc 9, sl st to join bottom of first st of first leaf made (or at any point desired to connect leaf to branch).
Flowers: 2 colors of choice
Begin: With first color for center of flower (pollen area), MR, ch 1
Round 1: Sc 5 in MR, change colors before finishing last st, pull tight to close, sl st to join. (5st)
Round 2: *Ch 3, tr, ch 3, sl st into same sp as tr, sl st into next st*, repeat 4 more times, fasten off. (5 petals)
Small Leaves: Green - make 5 or as many as desired
Begin: Ch 8
Row 1: Sl st in 2nd ch from hook, sc, hdc, 2dc, hdc, sc, sl st, continue around to unworked side of ch, sl st, sc, hdc, 2dc, hdc, sc, sl st, sl st to join to first st of round, fasten off. (16st)
Note: I assemble my appliques with hot glue, which is a fast and safe method. The glue adheres to the fibers quite well and the applique is very secure. The hot glue packaging that I use says non-toxic so it is safe, in my opinion, as well. In addition, you can machine wash on cold, and lay flat to dry or tumble dry/lowest heat setting. You may also use other fabric-safe glue or use the traditional method of sewing your pieces together.
Note: see photo grid after the last step for visual aid during assembly
How I assembled April the Giraffe:
I lay out all my pieces to get the look I want first. You can use pins to hold it together if you desire, and/or take a picture of your layout with your phone to reference as you are putting it together.
First, I attached the inner ears to the outer ears, and then attached them at the top left and right sides of the head.
Next, I attached the Nostril/Muzzle piece to the bottom of the head. You can either attach the 2 nostrils or the smile to the muzzle.
Next, I attached part 1 and part 2 of the horns and placed them behind the head and ears. Between the horns, I attached the hairy patch.
Then I attached the inner eyes to the outer eyes. Have fun with this. You can place the inner eyes in the center or to one side of the outer eyes to make her look in different directions.
Above the eyes, I attached the eyebrows leaving about ½ inch of space.
After the head was complete, I attached the neck with the curve going down and to the right with the narrow end behind the muzzle.
Then I placed my spots onto the neck in various ways. You can play with this to get the look that you want.
Next, I placed the large acacia branch behind the end of the neck, and the smaller one on top of the neck. You can massage the leaves to get them in the position that you like best.
Lastly, I placed my leaves behind my flowers and positioned them below the neck to the left. You can arrange these in any manner desired.
And you have completed April the Giraffe. I look forward to hearing your stories of how you use your applique. Please feel free to share photos and stories in the comment section of this post or in the VIP Group.
I am sad that April has passed, but feel blessed that I can honor her and share the love to help other giraffes around the world through something as special as crochet. Thanks for your love and support, and for helping to protect wildlife.
Thanks again for stopping by and don't forget to subscribe so you never miss a pattern, announcement or special event. By the way, I originally was going to be starting a Mother's Day CAL today, but because of the passing of April the Giraffe I will be starting it later this week.
Be sure to check back here or in the VIP Group for more details about the Mother's Day CAL! We will be doing a spa set together! I will announce the details very soon! Thanks again for coming by!
Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Easter holiday.
With lots of Love,
Orchid and Bee's