Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Max of the Wild Rumpus

Max, from Maurice Sendak's beloved Where the Wild Things Are is an archetypal rule-breaker. His circular journey is a microcosm of tantrum and resolution typical of little boys his age, but the way he tackles his frustration is quite mature. Max experiments with adulthood and leadership among the wild things of his own making, at once setting the rules and then trying his hand at breaking them. That Max channels his anger into a fantasy where the entire world is on his terms as he luxuriates and rumpuses, but also draws pragmatic conclusions shows a maturity I for one still aspire to.
He craves authority but rebels against it, choosing in the end to return to parental authority. And he does it all wearing a wolf suit!
This duality makes the character a perfect fit for an Adult Toy.
What makes this Amigurumi pattern adult? It's tiny size and loving detail, as well as its spiky claws. This isn't one to give the kids, although a sized up version, using worsted weight would make a very cuddly friend. Amigurumi Max comes in his famous pj's, a removable crown and wired royal scepter. If you embark on this project, I recommend that you dig out your copy of Where The Wild Things Are to refer to, and that you keep your desired shape and look in mind at all times.
Will your Max go to see the Movie on the 16th?

Add him to your Ravelry queue now!


1.9mm hook (used for almost everything)
3.5mm hook (crown)
5.5mm hook (tail)
Lucy Neatby's Celestial Merino Dream (Face)
Paton's Kroy (Body)
Paton's Grace (Crown Brim)
Paton's Brilliance (Crown)
Cascade 220 (Hair)
DMC Embroidery floss in
Pads colour
Fishing Line
Wire for Claws
Wire Cutters
Seed Beads
Long Sewing/Embroidery Needles

Mise en Place.

Abbreviations & Terms:
st= stitch
ch= chain stitch
sc= single crochet
sc 2= 1 single crochet in each of the next two stitches (2 is used as an example)
dc= double crochet
sl st= slip stitch
inc= work 2 single crochets into one stitch
dec= 2sctog

Magic Loop: technique link
Hairpin Lace Hair: tutorial to follow here at http://pomoboho.blogspot.com

All sc rounds are worked continuously unless written otherwise.
Stuffing is tightly packed.


With Fleshy colour,
Magic loop 6
inc in each stitch
*inc, 1 sc*
*inc, 2sc*
sc in each stitch
work 6 more rows plain
*dec, 2sc*
Stuff head
*dec, 2sc*
Weave tail through to pull closed, and finish.
This finish will be hidden.

Sculpt Max's features (and big nose) by inserting a threaded needle either side of his nose and pulling very tightly. Take a small stitch pushing the needle to the back of the head. Keeping stitch taut, come back out the base of his nose and aim diagonally tying off at the back of Max's head.

Sculpting Max's Nose

Pinch his nose here.

Hood & Neck:
With Body Colour,
Magic Loop 6
inc in each stitch
*inc, 1 sc*
*inc, 2 sc*
*inc, 3 sc*
sc in each stitch
*inc, 4 sc*
ch 9, skip 9 sts, sc in each stitch to end
sc in each sc and each ch st, ch 1, turn
1sc in each sc to 3sts before neck, ch 1, turn
Continue working rounds in sc, working 3sts less at the end of each row until 9 stitches remain at the top of the hood.
Slip stitch to neck, ch 1, turn
Slip stitch to neck.

This is the back of the hood, with some of the torso worked.


Working down from neck opening, sc in each stitch around.
Work til body measures 3.5" from neck opening.
*dec, 2 sc*
*dec, 2 sc*, finish
Thread tail back and forth through opening and pull tight to close.
Finish off.

Ears (Make Two):
*sc to last stitch, inc in last st, ch 1 turn*
Repeat twice
sc in each st, ch 1, turn
Make 2

You could wire Max's ears if you like.

Arms (Make Two):
Magic Loop 6
inc in each st
1 sc in each st
sc3tog, 1 sc in each st to end
1 sc in each st
continue working sc in continuous rounds until arm measures 1.5"
Using the magic loop's tail, pull through the centre of the paw and back down again, making the paw flat. Weave in end.
Stuff arm, keeping paw floppy.

Upper Paw Pads (Make Two):
ch 3
Work 8 sc into 2nd chain from hook
Finish and weave in ends.

Pads are optional, but look really great!

Feet & Legs (Make Two):
With Body Colour,
Magic Loop 5
inc in each st
*inc, 1 sc* rep to end
16 sc, ch 1, turn
5 sc, ch 1, turn
repeat 3 times

The middle row of this rectangular flap will actually form toes when the flap is folded over.

4 sc, sc3tog, 3 sc, 2sctog (one st from toe flap, one st from leg)

1 sc in each st
Repeat working 1 sc in each stitch in continuous rounds until leg measures 2"
The finished foot.

Lower Paw Pads (Make Two):
With Embroidery Floss,
Ch 3
8 sc in 2nd st from hook
sl st closed
4 sc, ch 1 turn
Repeat last row 2 or 3 times, finish.

With Novelty Tail Yarn,
ch 3 with 5.5mm hook
sc 2 in 2nd st from hook
ch1, sc, inc in last st
ch 3, dc in 1st st, skip 1 st, dc
ch 3, dc 2
ch1, dec, ch 1, finish
These instructions are not set in stone; the novelty yarn is very forgiving, and I feel confident in your ability to make up a pattern for a tail that suits your yarn choice!

Have fun with the tail.

With Gold Yarn,
ch10 with 3.5mm hook
*slip 5 stitches, sc 4, ch 1, turn ch 4, ch 1, turn ch 4, ch 1, turn ch 4, ch 6, turn* Repeat *to* (4 row repeat) 7 times for 7 points. Slip stitch to 1st row to join.
With brown yarn, working down, sc in each end and side of gold stitches.
Slip stitch to join. Finish.

The crown may seem big, but this is so that Max can go with or without.


With Yellow Embroidery Floss,
Magic loop 8
inc in each st
sc in each st
dec, 1 sc, dec, 1 sc, dec
Change to grey in the last dec, and stuff with back of hook.
1 sc, dec, 1 sc
ch 10, or enough to reach around yellow.
Small but vital.

sl st to join to base

sl st 2, or 25degrees.

The crossed bars sit on top of the yellow globe.

Ch 10, sl st to base, dec, sc, dec
Ch 15, sc in 2nd st from hook.sc in each st back to base, working over a length of wire.
Use the last stitch to close any gaps at the base.
Finish, and trim wire.

Work over the Wire and crochet shut.


Use your copy of Where The Wild Things Are as reference, and keep the shape you want to create in your mind at all times.

With Sewing Thread sew ears in place.
Stuff torso from opening in hood down.
Embroider Max's Face on with Embroidery floss. I used a dark gray.
Make hair for Max from brown worsted weight yarn. A tutorial will be at this blog shortly.
Use the book as a guide to embroider Max's face.

Sew Hair to Max's head and place head inside of hood.
Take a few stitches from the back to secure.
Cut 6 long lengths of fishing wire to be Max's whiskers. Tie knots at one end of each length and draw through the sides of Max's suit. These should stay in place by themselves.
Attach 4 little buttons or beads to the front of Max's torso. These should be evenly spaced, but favoring the bottom rather than his neck.
Apologize to Max as you do this; he is looking like a person now.

With the embroidery floss you used for the paw pads, cut a length for sewing. If you are using a 6 ply like DMC, split to a single strand. Sew the pads to Max's paws, avoiding the toes.
Pin the limbs in place before stitching. The placement of Max's arms and legs really say a lot about him.

With a long needle (you may choose a needle designed for doll making) strand the yarn you used for Max's suit. Tie a biggish knot.
All limbs should be stuffed, not to heavily at the paws, and fairly sparsly at the tops, particularly the tops of Max's legs.
Start your stitch at the top of Max's left arm and stitch straight through him and through the right arm. Tie off firmly. This will make Max's arms pose able.
Repeat the process for the legs, taking into account the pose you want Max to be best at; sitting or standing/walking.
Attach Max's tail loosely, so that it can flop about a bit.
Max's tail could be sleek, fuzzy, or hairy.
Now cut lengths of wire for claws. You could also use beads if your toy will be around kids, or skip the claws altogether.
Stick wire through paws between stitches and bend in half.

Go back over nails with a wire cutter and give Max an even ManiPedi.

I think you are done now! Go start a Wild Rumpus!!!

Some of Max's Adventures.....


andrea said...

SO amazing! I can't wait to see the new film.

Akua Lezli Hope said...

Your language and your pattern are lovely and evocative. I was a big sister reading WTWTA to my long-awaited baby sister and it was one of my favorites. She is now a
fabulous mother of four, and perhaps
this is just the thing to make for her, in homage and remembrance. Thank you for sharing your creation and insights.

Anonymous said...

This is sooo cute. I am hoping to be able to make a larger one for my kiddos! You are so kind to share, I'm sure it was a lot of work!

Gidget said...

i .... love you. and max. and wild things. :)

Amy said...

They look very cute.

Sarah said...

Are you going to the movie?
We are here, then going to the golden rooster!

morgan said...

I don't have anyone to go with :(

edwin sanchez said...

I see Where the Wild Things Are as more of an art film than a children's film.

joshuaaltback said...

Your wild pattern is lovely..

Mary said...

Wonderful! Amazing, actually.

gsbusdriver said...

I absolutely dig it! You really captured Max in crochet. Fabulous...simply fabulous.

Kristy said...

Love this Morgan! So sweet ;)

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

This is so, so fantastic. EXACTLY what I was looking for. Thank you SO much for sharing this!!! I'll be linking.

Paula said...

My sons are adults now but these are going in their Christmas stockings this year!

Thanks so much for the pattern.

Claudia said...

Oh, I don't know what to say - this is just marverllous! thank you sooooo much! My children are already grown but I know they will love this! What a nice gift this is going to be! Many many thanks! Greetings from Germany

Anonymous said...

That is excellent! What a great idea and a great job! I never leave comments on these types of things but your creativeness moved me. Great job!!

Anonymous said...

Easily one of the coolest amigurumi's I've seen on the net! Awesome job!

Anonymous said...

Im having a baby at end of this year, its a boy and we are naming him Max! this is the perfect little thing to make specially for him, to put in his little box of treasures and give him when he is older, of course with a copy of the wonderful book. thank you so much for the lovely pattern !!
leanne xoxo

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