Knitting Patterns: Little Critters

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Turns out it’s just as hard to get stuffed animals to look at the camera as children

Now that my son is in Kindergarten at a public charter school, I am firmly in the trenches of fundraising. For the school’s holiday bazaar this year, I offered to knit some little animals.

I used the absolutely fabulous book 50 Yards of Fun: Knitting Toys from Scrap Yarn by Rebecca Danger (affiliate link). The book sets forth 5 basic body types, and then includes instructions for six variations on the body. So for instance, the basic peanut body yields a bee,  a bat, a cactus and so on.

I started out closely following the patterns, making a bee, raccoon, squirrel and owl. Then I started to take some liberties. I’ll include the variations that I made, but you will need to get the book or download the pattern for the bodies and parts (I don’t want to infringe on the author’s hard work and copyright).

Duck

For body, follow instructions for the body of “Snack-sized yak,” using just one strand of yellow rather than holding two strands together.

For nose, follow instructions for “Snack-sized yak,” except rather than picking up stitches in round two, continue to knit in the round for rows 2-6.
Row 7: K2tg all around
Stuff nose and bind off.

For legs, follow “basic stitchy-body leg,” except cast on two rows of 3.  Work 8 rows in the round.
Row 9: Increase K1f&b, K1, K1f&b twice
Follow instructions for the foot, except rather than doing the increase round in round 2, go straight to knitting all stitches for 7 rows, then bind using kitchener stitch. Leave an extra long tail. With the tail, make the toes by bringing the yarn tightly about 1/3 of the way down the foot and out the other side several times. This will make the webbed toe indentation. Repeat once more on the foot to make 3 toes.

For arms, pick up 3  stitches from neck and 3 stitches from the round below. Begin knitting in the round.
Rnd 2: (k1f&b, k1, K1f&b) twice (10 stitches)
Rnd 3-14: knit
Rnd 15: (K3, k2tg) twice (8 stitches)
Rnd 16: knit
Rnd 17: (k, k2tg, k) twice (6 stitches)
Bind off

For tail: Pick up 5 stitches from lower center of back and 5 stitches below.
Rnd 2-4: Knit
Rnd 5: (ssk1, K1, k2tg) twice
Rnd 6: Knit
Bind off

Hedgehog/Porcupine


For body: Follow instructions for “Snack-Sized Yak”
For the opening created for the nose, pick up stitches as indicated. Prepare to work on 3 x 3 of the stitches, leaving remaining 10 stitches on a holder.
Rnd 1-2: work in the round
Rnd 3: k2tg all around
Bind off
Pick up the stitches from the holder. Bind center 2 x 2 stitches together
Repeat Rnds 1-3 for the second ear
Bind off

(Alternatively, I think it would be easier to make the yak without leaving the stitches on the holder for the nose, and then picking up 3 stitches x 3 stitches on either side of the head for the ears.)

Panda Bear

Follow instructions for “Basic Peanut Body.” At round 16-19, change to black.
I forgot to write down where I started the eyes – sorry! – but at around row 27: K3 white, K2 black, K4 white, K2 black, k white to end of row
28-29: K3 white, K3 black, K2 white, K3 black, K white to end
Finish as written. Embroider nose centered between eyes and down a few rows.

For ears: follow directions for “Itty Bitty Bat”

For arms and legs, follow instructions for “Junior Jackalope”

For tail, follow instructions for “Junior Jackolope,” reducing stitches to 3 x 3 rather than 4 x 4.
After rnd 2, you will have 12 stitches
Rnd 3: as written
For rnd 4, (K1f&b, K2) around (18 st)
Rnd 5-7: knit
Rnd 8: (k2tg, k2) around (12 st)
Rnd 9: knit
Rnd 10: k2tg around
Bind off

Moose

Everything is worked as for snack-sized yak except for the antlers, which are from the junior jackalope. Use only one strand of brown instead of two strands for the body.

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Please let me know if you try any of these, and how they ended up working out for you. I’m still new to creating and – even more importantly – writing down patterns, so any feedback is very welcome.

Also check out Rebecca Danger’s website here.

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