There are so many wonderful patterns to make soft toys of all shapes and sizes but many of them tend to be quite complex and/or fiddly. I wanted to create one pattern which could be used to make almost all types of soft toy animal quickly and by beginners too! And since this is so easy, you have plenty of time to make several before Easter.
You may have already seen sneak previews of Thumper and BaaBaa and now here is the pattern. The secret here is not the complexity of the pattern or the close to likeness of the finished toy, but the character. Choose yarn to help bring your chosen animal to life – bobbly for sheep, fluffy for rabbit, boucle for bear, self-striping for cat etc. Play around and have fun with the placing of the facial features – depending on where you put the nose and the size, your BaaBaa may very well turn into a Piglet or even a chunky version of Angelina Ballerina!
You will need total of 100g in total any weight yarn – just don’t mix weight if you are using more than one colour. I used bulky weight yarn needing 6mm needles and the soft toys are around 30cms long.
Appropriate sized knitting needles for your yarn.
A little patience.
To make the arms and legs:
Cast on 8 stitches leaving a long tail.
Knit front and back in each stitch along (16 stitches).
In stocking stitch knit until 8cms long.
With long tail, sew into a long tube. Stuff lightly and sew together the ends.
Repeat 3 more times.
To make the Body
Cast on 38 stitches leaving a long tail.
In stocking stitch knit until 10 cms long ending with a WS row.
Next row: k2, *k2tog, k4*, repeat from * to * 6 more times, k2 (32 stitches)
Next row: P all stitches.
Back of Head
Next row: Put 16 stitches on scrap yarn or stitch holders. In stocking stitch knit 5cms ending with a WS row.
Next row: slip 1 stitch, k8, k2tog, k1, turn.
Next row: slip 1, p3, p2tog, p1, turn.
Next row: slip 1, k4, k2tog, k1, turn.
Next row: slip 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn.
Next row: slip 1, k6, k2tog, k1, turn.
Next row: slip 1, p7, p2tog, p1, turn. (10 stitches).
Put these 10 stitches on a holder and the previous 16 stitches on to the needles.
Row 1: k6, ssk, k2tog, k6 (14 stitches)
Row 2: P all stitches
Row 3: k5, ssk, k2tog, k5 (12 stitches)
Row 4: P all stitches
Row 5: k4, ssk, k2tog, k4 (10 stitches)
Row 6: P all stitches
Row 7: k3, ssk, k2tog, k3 (8 stitches)
Row 8: P all stitches
Row 9: k2, ssk, k2tog, k2 (6 stitches)
Row 10: P all stitches
Row 11: k1, ssk, k2tog, k1 (4 stitches)
Row 12: P all stitches
Row 13: ssk, k2tog (2 stitches)
Row 14: P all stitches
Cut yarn leaving a long tail and pull through remaining 2 stitches.
You will now use the 10 stitches from the back of the head to add the sides of the face.
Set up row: With RS facing, pick up and knit 10 stitches along side of back of head, along 10 stitches from scrap yarn/stitch holder and pick up and knit 10 stitches along other side of back of head. (30 stitches)
Row 1: Purl all stitches
Row 2: k3, ssk, k13, k2tog, ssk, k3, k2tog, k3 (26 stitches)
Row 3: Purl all stitches
Row 4: k3, ssk, k11, k2tog, ssk, k1, k2tog, k3 (22 stitches)
Row 5: Purl all stitches
Row 6: k3, ssk, k9, k2tog, ssk, k1, k2tog, k1 (18 stitches)
Row 7: Purl all stitches
Row 8: k2, ssk, k5, k2tog, ssk, k2tog, k3 (14 stitches)
Row 9: Purl all stitches
Row 10: Knit all stitches
Row 11: Purl all stitches
Row 12: k2, ssk, k3, k2tog, ssk, k2tog, k2 (11 stitches)
Row 13: Purl all stitches
Cut yarn with a long tail and thread through remaining stitches.
Sew Body together and Face to Head. Before closing, stuff lightly. Sew legs and arms on. With contrast yarn, sew nose and eyes. Add ears.
Rabbit/Dog ears – as for Legs.
Sheep/Cat ears – Cast on 2 stitches leaving long tail. Knit front and back in all stitches. Purl all stitches. Knit 1, kfb, kfb, k1. Purl all stitches. K1, kfb, k1, kfb, k1. Knit for 3 cms.
Teddy/Lion ears – as for Legs except only knit for 3 cms.
For all ears, it works better if you sew the ears together length ways for a few stitches at the base before attaching them to the head.
You are welcome to make tails. I didn’t.
Do let me know how you get on and which animal you make!