I joined in the ornament exchange at work this past December. The co-worker’s name I drew likes crochet, but doesn’t do much of it herself. So I knew I wanted to crochet her ornament. After looking at a lot of patterns for more traditional ornaments, I had the idea to make her a Cocker Spaniel, as she is a big fan of the breed and has one of her own. I used the book Amigurume Pets to make it. This is a lot like the book AmiguruMe (and written by the same person) in that it has different head types, body types, legs, etc. that you combine to make a pet that looks the way you want. There is even a table to help you figure out what pieces to use to make various dog or cat breeds. Unfortunately, a Cocker Spaniel is not in that table. I used most of the recommendations for the Beagle, substituting a docked tail for whatever the Beagle tail was.
The other thing I did was used a more fluffy, kinked type of yarn for the ears and legs to hopefully make it look the way Cocker Spaniels look when they have been nicely groomed. Crocheting the fluffy yarn (I used Lion Brand Homespun in Pearls color) with tight amigurumi stitching took away a lot of the fluffyness but I think the effect still mostly looked good. It was super difficult to crochet tight with that yarn though and I will probably try to avoid using it for tight work again.
My co-worker loved it though, so it was all worthwhile.