Cheerio my dears! Today is a red-letter day because not only do I have a wonderful picture book and pattern for you, I can also reveal that today’s book – Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke – is a Top Book of 2016 Pick! The perfect choice for little (and large!) dungeon-crawlers everywhere, this gorgeous picture book turns RPG adventuring on its head and presents events from the point of view of the supposed villain.
After having seen the tome on Netgalley and writhing in agony because it was offered by First Second Books, who don’t accept review requests from outside the U.S., we spotted it in PanMacmillan Australia’s catalogue and were THRILLED to be lucky enough to receive a copy. Honestly, you should have seen Bruce leaping and twirling when the book turned up on the shelf! I won’t keep you in any more suspense however – here’s the blurb from Goodreads:
Goblin, a cheerful little homebody, lives in a cosy, rat-infested dungeon, with his only friend, Skeleton. Every day, Goblin and Skeleton play with the treasure in their dungeon. But one day, a gang of “heroic” adventurers bursts in. These marauders trash the place, steal all the treasure, and make off with Skeleton—leaving Goblin all alone!
It’s up to Goblin to save the day. But first he’s going to have to leave the dungeon and find out how the rest of the world feels about goblins.
I cannot praise this book highly enough. Putting aside the charming and fun illustrations for the moment, the text of this book is incredibly sympathetic to Goblin’s plight, as his home is rudely invaded by adventurous “heroes” and the little introvert must take to the big wide hostile world for the sake of those he values. My favourite part of the tale is when, after rescuing his friends from the hands of the adventurers, Goblin and his stalwart mate Skeleton are pictured quietly sitting together in the mouth of a cave, “awaiting their doom” while angry, pitch-fork wielding townsfolk amass above.
There’s something really touching about Goblin and the bonds of friendship he forms by the end of the tale. For young readers who enjoy the RPG gaming world that encompasses the tropes that are reversed here, this will be a wonderfully affirming story that will provide a link between their reading and screen-based worlds. It has already become a firm favourite amongst the mini-fleshlings in this dwelling, with the youngest (two and three-quarter years old) often calling out for “Nobody don’t like a goblin” as the preferred bedtime story.
We unanimously voted this a Top Book of 2016 pick and we think that Goblin and his friends will fill that special place of all memorable characters from childhood reading experiences. For that reason, my dears, allow me to provide you with a free pattern to make your very own amigurumi crochet Goblin, so you can oppose anti-goblin sentiments while creating a cuddly little friend ! Read on for the pattern.
We are also submitting this book for the Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge hosted by Escape with Dollycas:
You can check out our progress toward that challenge here.
Yours in yarn,
Free Crochet Pattern – Goblin
This pattern is a bit fiddly, so is probably best suited to those with some experience of amigurumi. The pattern is written using US crochet terms.
You will need:
Yarn (I used acrylic) in brown, blue, green, white, black, yellow.
4 mm hook
2.5 mm hook
Using brown yarn and 4mm hook, make a magic ring.
- Sc 6 in the ring.
- 2sc in each sc (12)
- *sc in next sc, 2sc in next sc* x 6 (18)
- * sc in next 2 sc, 2sc in next sc* x 6 (24)
- sc in each sc around (24). Switch to green yarn.
- sc in each sc around (24)
- sc in each sc around (24)
- *sc in next 2 sc, sc2tog* x 6 (18). Begin stuffing head.
- *sc in next sc, sc2tog* x 6 (12)
- *sc in next sc, sc2tog* x 4 (8)
- sc2tog x 4 (4). Sl st in next st, snip yarn and thread yarn tail through last four sc. Pull tight and fasten off.
Using brown yarn and 4mm hook, chain 20. Slip stitch in the first chain to form a ring.
- sc in the next 10 ch, dc in the next 10 ch, sl st to the first sc
- Ch 2, turn, dc in next 10 stitches
- Ch 2, turn, hdc in next 3 stitches, dc in next 4 stitches, hdc in next 3 stitches.
Fasten off, leaving a long tail, and stitch to the bottom rim of the helmet, with the longer section at the back of the head.
Horns (make 2)
Using white yarn and a 2.5 mm hook, chain 6.
- Sc in 2nd chain from the hook and in each chain (5)
- Ch 1, turn, sc in each sc (5)
- Ch 1, turn, sc2tog, sc, sc2tog (3)
- Ch 1, turn, sc in each stitch (3)
- Ch 1, turn, sc2tog, sc (2)
- Ch 1, turn, sc in each stitch (2)
- Ch 1, turn, sc2tog, sl st to FO.
Whip stitch the two sides of the triangle together and sew onto either side of the helmet.
Eyes (make 2)
Using white yarn and a 2.5 mm hook, make a magic ring.
- Sc 6 in the ring. Sl st to the first sc to close.
FO, embroider a black pupil in the centre and sew to face, slightly overlapping the rim of the helmet.
Using green yarn and a 2.5mm hook, chain 13.
- sc in second chain from the hook and in each stitch across (12)
- Ch 1, turn, sl st in the next 3 sc, dc in next sc, sc in the next sc, sl st in the next sc, dc in the next sc, sl st in the next 3sc.
Fasten off leaving a long tail. Attach to the bottom of the head, and using brown yarn, embroider along the top of the lip.
Using green yarn and a 2.5mm hook, ch 4.
- sc in 2nd chain from the hook and in each chain (3)
- Ch 1, turn, sc2tog, sc (2)
- Ch 1, turn, sc2tog (1)
Fasten off and whip stitch two sides of the triangle together to form the nose. Attach to face.
Using brown yarn and a 4mm hook, complete pattern for the head up to and including round 4.
1-5. Sc in each sc around (24)
6. Switch to blue yarn. Sc in each sc around (24)
7. Sc in next 12 sc, skip next 12 sc, sl st in the 1st sc (12)
8-10. Sc in next 12 sc (12)
Change to brown yarn.
11. Sc in next 12 sc (12)
12. sc in next 5 sc, 2sc in next 3 sc, sc in next 5sc (20)
13. Sc in the next 8 sts, dc in the next 4 sts, sc in the next 8 sc (20)
Stuff leg and body. FO, Cut yarn and whip stitch bottom of leg closed to form boot.
Attach blue yarn in the first remaining sc on the body and repeat pattern from row 11 to form second leg/boot.
Arms (make 2)
Using blue yarn and a 4mm hook, make a magic ring.
1.Sc 6 in the ring
2-4. Sc in each st (6)
5. Switch to brown yarn. Sc in each st (6)
6-7. Sc in each sc (6)
Stuff the arm, squeeze the opening shut and sl st across the opening. Ch 3 picot 5 times to form fingers. FO and attach to body.
Shoulder guards (make 2)
Using blue yarn and a 4mm hook, chain 7.
- Sc in 2nd chain from the hook and in each ch across (6)
- Ch 2, turn, hdc in each st across (6)
- Ch 1, turn, sc, dc in the next 4 sts, sc (6)
Fasten off and attach to the top of the arm.
Using brown yarn and a 2.5 mm hook, chain 30 and sl st with the first chain to form a ring.
- Ch 1, sc in each chain (30)
- Fur stitch (long) in the next 5 st, sc in the next 5sc, fur stitch in the next 5 st, sc in the next 5 sts, fur stitch in the next 5 sts, sl st to first st. (30)
FO, leaving a long tail. Snip the loops of the fur stitch and sew the belt to the tummy over the join where the blue yarn changes to brown.Make sure the fur stitch sections are at the front and back, not the sides. For the shoulder strap, chain the required length (to fit from belt, over shoulder, to belt at the back), ch 1, sc in each chain, then FO and sew shoulder strap into place.
Using yellow yarn and a 2.5mm hook, chain 30 and sl st into the first chain to form a ring.
- Sc in each chain (30)
- *Ch 5 picot (sl st, ch 5 and sl st in the same stitch), sc in the next 3 sc* repeat to end. Sl st in final st.
FO, weave in end.