My friend’s baby shower is this week so I decided a month ago to make her new baby girl a sweater, hat, and doll. I didn’t really like any of the free kitten softie/doll patterns I found and, being too cheap to buy some of the nicer knitting pattern books, I decided to make up a pattern on my own.
I hate gauge. Really. It’s a PIA and I’m thrilled when I can find a pattern that doesn’t require it. So, don’t worry about gauge on this project. With that being said, here’s what you’ll need:
- double-pointed needles or circular needles
- less than half a skein of yarn (I used Bernat Cottontots)
- stuffing (I used acrylic because it was cheap and all I could find at 7 pm on a Monday night at Wallie World)
- embroidery thread for noses and eyes
- tapestry needle
DPN = double pointed needle
kfb = knit front and back (increase)
k2og = knit two together (decrease)
For the Body:
On your DPNs, cast on 21 stitches and divide evenly onto needles. Actually, this can be more or less depending on how big you want the resulting softie. Just know that this “opening” will need to be sewn shut after the softie is stuffed and will give the illusion that the softie has feet.
Row 1: Knit all
Row 2, 4, 6: Knit 1, kfb, knit until 2 stitches left on needle, kfb, knit 1 (repeat on each needle; if using a circular needle, repeat pattern 3 times)
Row 3, 5: Knit all
Knit about 2 inches or so until you get the approximate size for the softie.
Start the decrease:
Row 1, 3, 5: Knit 1, k2og, knit until 3 stitches left on needle, k2og, knit 1 (repeat on each needle; if using a circular needle, repeat pattern 3 times)
Row 2, 4: knit all
Rest of rows: knit 1, k2og, knit until 3 stitches left on needle, k20g, knit 1 (on each needle; if using a circular needle, repeat pattern 3 times)
When you have three stitches left on each needle, you can either use your tapestry needle and slide it through the remaining loops to close or you can k20g on each needle and then use your tapestry needle. I used the latter method but it’s up to you.
For the ears:
The ears are stockinette stitch (knit, purl) and knitted flat. I cast on about 7 and knitted until I had a square. A quick way to check to see if your swatch is square is to take the bottom left corner and bring it to the upper right corner. If the edge matches, then you have a square (and are halfway done with the ear part). You’ll need to have two squares, one for each ear. Of course, if you have a rough and tumble tomcat, then you’ll probably only need one. Just sayin’.
Bind off each square. Fold along the diagonal on the wrong side (the one with the bumps) and stitch along the first edge and half way along the second edge. You’ll need to turn the ear inside out at the point through the opening. Use a knitting needle to poke the top of the ear to make it more pointy. You can stuff a bit of stuffing in there it make it a bit fatter, if you want. Stitch up the opening. Do this again for the second ear.
For the tail:
First, figure out how long your kitty’s tail is going to be. My kitty has a tail that is about 3 inches long. Now, cast on 9 stitches and divide evenly across your needles. Knit until you are about the length that you want for the tail. Begin to decrease with k2og. Take the remaining yarn and pull through the opening and tie off. Stuff with some stuffing.
Put it together:
Use your embroidery thread and tapestry needle to sew eyes and nose on your kitty’s face. Turn the body inside out and stitch the seam on the bottom until you have about an inch or so left. Turn it inside out and stuff with stuffing and finish sewing shut.
Then, position the first ear on the head and, if you need to, pin it in place so you can sew it. I laid it forward and flat on the face and then sewed the bottom edge of the triangle onto the head. To make the ear curve a bit, the middle part of the ear should be stitched into place further back on the head than the corners. Do the same thing on the other side.
Add the tail by positioning it in the middle lower quarter of the back of the kitty. Pin it in place if necessary. Lay across the back and sew the bottom to the back of the kitty. When the tail is flipped back down the stitches shouldn’t be too visible.
And that’s it. Play with the pattern. Create bunnies, ducks, lambs, bears, puppies, monsters, robots, etc. from it. Post your creation in the comments so I can see what it looks like.