PlanetJune Craft Blog

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Amigurumi Platypus crochet pattern

Here’s my second design commissioned using my new Commissions process: a Platypus! Thank you to everyone who commissioned this design from me – I hope you like the end result…

Platypus amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

You probably already know that the platypus is a highly unusual-looking animal. When it was first discovered, the specimen was thought to be a hoax (like a jackalope) assembled from a beaver and a duck!

Platypus Fun Facts

  • Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) are only found in eastern Australia.
  • They are monotremes (egg-laying mammals).
  • Platypus are semi-aquatic. They live in burrows and hunt for their food (insects and shellfish) along river bottoms.
  • It’s almost impossible to breed platypus in captivity, which is why very few people have seen one in real life – you won’t see them in many zoos.
  • The plural of platypus is sometimes written as platypus, platypuses, platypi, or platypodes!

I thought I had a pretty good idea what a platypus should look like, based on toys, cartoons, and the description of ‘beaver + duck’, but when I started my research I found I was wrong; a google image search shows a huge confusing variety, so I had to learn a lot more about them before I could truly understand what I was looking at. I watched the platypus section of David Attenborough’s wonderful The Life of Mammals over and over to see what they look like in motion, and spent a long time researching platypus features so I could make my design accurate. Here’s what I found:

  • Although all 4 platypus feet are webbed, the front feet are hugely oversized and used for paddling. The back feet are smaller and used only for steering while swimming.
  • A platypus uses its tail to store fat reserves, so a healthy platypus does not have a flat tail like a beaver’s tail.
  • Platypus eyes are located just back from the beak. It keeps its eyes closed while swimming and uses electrolocation to detect food with receptors on its sensitive bill.
  • It’s very easy to understand why people thought the platypus was a hoax: the base of the bill has a really interesting shape which makes the bill look like it’s been stuck onto the front of the face and doesn’t belong there.

So I took all these facts and built them into my design to make it more realistic. My design uses a couple of neat tricks for shaping the beak and feet/legs, but it’s still easy to crochet – I always try to find that balance for my patterns.

Platypus amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Platypus amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

It turned out to be more of a design challenge than I’d anticipated, but, several beak and foot prototypes later, I’m very happy with the result – the final shaping techniques are simple and elegant, and I think he looks really sweet. As a fun extra touch, his webbed feet are also slightly poseable – you can move them around to make him ‘swim’ ๐Ÿ™‚

Platypus amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

I wonder which design will be commissioned next… (By the way, I have many more designs I’m also working on, so don’t worry if nothing else from the list is fully pledged for a while – there are other PlanetJune designs in the works!)

Platypus amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

If you pledged towards the commission, you should have already received your copy of the pattern. Otherwise, if you’d like to make a platypus of your own, you can now pick up the Platypus crochet pattern from the PlanetJune shop! I hope you like it ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’re not quite ready to buy though, how about queuing Platypus on ravelry so you don’t forget about it?

6 Comments »

  1. Gillian McMullen said

    What a wonderful platypus, June, and I enjoyed reading about your research and discoveries. How nice that Richard Attenborough was a help – he’s one of my all-time heroes! Once again, you’ve created an amazingly realistic animal – I think your amigurumis should be in a museum one of these days.

  2. Etha said

    Oh he came out wonderful!!
    I’ve been collecting platypus for several decades now and this one is so realistic looking! I hope I will have some time soon to try out the pattern!

  3. Judy Carlson said

    Squee! Can’t wait to check my email and get my pattern. Thanks for the interesting Platypus facts! Love this beast!

  4. Else T said

    Spectacular design, June!

  5. Kathy said

    I must be one of the lucky few has seen a platypus that wasn’t in captivity! A few times actually; they aren’t TOO rare in Tasmania. They are breath-taking to see in real life. Sleek and quick and fluid and beautiful. I think you have done a good job recreating it, particularly the head and bill.

  6. Ruth Lister said

    Wow! I loved your story and your research June. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort into ensuring that your platypus looks so realistic. I too like to make my crocheted animals look as realistic as possible. Most importantly, thank you so much for making your patterns available to us. It is much appreciated.

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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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