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amigurumi Lt Columbo & Dog

Columbo has always been my favourite TV detective. I love how the show turned the detective genre on its head by showing the murder at the start, so you never had to guess whodunnit as you watched (something I never manage with my other favourite detective, Poirot), and how dishevelled, disarming Columbo always got the better of the arrogant, affluent murderers. I have all the box sets on DVD and still think that watching Columbo makes for a perfect cosy Sunday afternoon at home.

When I heard that Peter Falk had passed away I decided to make an amigurumi Columbo as a tribute to all the years of brilliance he brought to his most famous role. And here it is:

amigurumi Columbo by PlanetJune
Please click through to see the larger version!

I used the Boy pattern from my own book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi. If you’ve seen my book, you’ll know that I made my Boy and Girl patterns fairly generic so it’s easy to customize and embellish them (using the techniques I explain throughout the book) to create any character. For ami-Columbo, I shortened the legs and added a belt, shirt collar and tie. I made the arms thinner so that the raincoat would fit over the top, I changed the hair, and I added the cigar. Apart from that, ami-Columbo is worked exactly as the Boy pattern.

“Excuse me, sir?”

amigurumi Lt Columbo by PlanetJune
Reproducing Columbo’s crumpled old raincoat took a long time of trying different hooks and stitch patterns until I found one that would give a flexible fabric without any lacey holes, so it wouldn’t hang too straight and perfect or look too ‘pretty’. I was going to make the raincoat fully removeable, but I decided that, as I wanted him to have jointed, poseable arms, I should work the arms (including raincoat sleeves) separately, and then attach them over the body of the raincoat. This way, the arms of the raincoat can move with his arms, so the fabric doesn’t bunch when I change his arm positions.

“Sorry to bother you, ma’am…”

amigurumi Columbo by PlanetJune
Ami-Columbo’s hair is crocheted from 2 strands of curly eyelash yarn worked together (the black yarn alone was too stark, and the brown too light) with a side parting, and shaping at the back. Even his ever-present cigar is crocheted!

“What did you pay for those shoes?”

amigurumi Columbo by PlanetJune
Of course, Columbo wears his scuffed old brown shoes, and, were you to peek under his trouser cuffs, he’s wearing black socks too.

“Alright, now stay! Don’t go running around. You see? This dog could be a lethal weapon; he’s already partly trained.”

amigurumi Dog from Columbo by PlanetJune
And how could I make Columbo without also crocheting Dog, his pet basset hound and sometime sidekick (talents: eating ice cream and staying in the car). By the way, if you’d like to make your own Dog, look out for my AmiDogs Basset Hound crochet pattern, coming next week…

UPDATE: AmiDogs Basset Hound crochet pattern is now available for purchase!

“Just one more thing…”

I did consider crocheting Columbo’s other great supporting character: his battered old Peugeot car. Then I calculated how large it would need to be, to be in scale with ami-Columbo… Peter Falk was 5’6″ (let’s say 5’8″ including shoes and hair); the Peugeot 403 was 176″ long. Ami-Columbo is 11″ tall, so at that scale, his car would have to be 28.5″ (72cm) long! I definitely don’t have enough time or yarn to make something that size, although it would have made for an amazing crocheted diorama :)

I hope you enjoyed my little tribute to Lt Columbo and to Peter Falk – I hope he would have appreciated it! Please leave me a comment if you liked it…

UPDATE: I’m adding this due to the massive amount of requests I’ve received for Columbo commissions or a Columbo pattern. Thank you so much for your interest, but:

  • Please don’t ask me to make you a Columbo – I’m a busy designer and just don’t have the time to take commissions for finished pieces.
  • If you’d like to make your own amigurumi characters, you can use the Boy (or Girl) pattern from my book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi, together with the customization and embellishment techniques I explain throughout the book, to create any character. That’s how I made my Ami-Columbo, so there is no pattern to replicate Columbo exactly (although, if you’d like to make one too, there are some notes on my customizations in the post above). Use my techniques and your creativity to customize my basic Boy/Girl patterns into any character you choose!

61 Comments »

  1. Marion said

    That is just wonderful. Columbo was my favorite TV detective, too.

  2. Jenny said

    Congratulations! This amigurumi is amazing! Columbo was my favourite detective and I also have all the DVD box sets! It’s good to see I’m not the only Columbo “geek” out there! haha.
    By the way, could you explain me a bit more how to do the raincoat? I’d really appreciate it! Thank you!!!

  3. Kara Carneal Fogle said

    Wow!! These are amazing!! Love the cigar & Dog is adorable! We have a real Basset Hound named “Columbo Dawg” & are obvious Columbo fanatics too!! (Our other Basset is named “Quincy”)
    Would love to buy these if you have any for sale! I actually owned a Peugot car in college but those were my pre-Columbo days so I didn’t appreciate it as much as I would now. I think it would be awesome if you could make the car! Very talented!!

  4. Chris said

    Can I buy this? If so where?

    Thanks,
    Chris

  5. Becky said

    Would you be willing to sell this in a kit, or sell the entire instructions? Your Columbo is just too cute!

  6. Jen B. said

    I love, love, love these pieces! I named my Basset Hound Columbo, so this obviously hits quite a soft spot for me. Kudos on the excellent craftsmanship.

    =)

    Just one more thing . . . I would totally love to have my own set!

  7. Regina said

    Ich bin begeistert über ihren Columbo,diese Gesten einfach zum lächeln ,ich liebe diese Figur und den Schauspieler.Klasse

  8. Lois Szalinski said

    These are just FANTASTIC!! You are sooo talented!
    I love Columbo & wish I had your talent to create these :)

  9. Norma said

    I’m wondering if you can sell me the pattern for Columbo. He’s one of my all time favorite characters and would love to do this. Thank you.

    • June said

      Norma, please see my update at the end of the above post :)

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Please note that I can only answer questions related to PlanetJune patterns and tutorials (see details), and I can only respond to questions or comments written in English. Thank you :) - June

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    June Gilbank
    Hi, I'm June. Welcome to my world of nature-inspired crochet and crafting. I hope you enjoy your visit!
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