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Anything Animals
» photos: Rachel Borello Carroll

Anything Animals

Easy
By Rachel Borello Carroll

A few months ago I set out to write a pattern for a stuffed toy that virtually any knitter could make up quickly and easily. I had a few ideas, but couldn't decide on what type of animal it would actually be. A bear? A rabbit? A doll? A cat? They all seemed like good options, so I decided to let the knitter decide, and wrote up the instructions for each one. These are just the beginning, though - with a little imagination, you could turn them into anything! Does your child like lions? Dogs? Just adjust the colors and ears and you're nearly there. I knew I had stumbled onto something wonderful when my 2-year-old son was snatching each one away as I was finished. The Anything Animals are quick, easy, and highly addictive. You can end up with a whole set of Anything Animal friends before you know it!

FINISHED SIZE

5.5 inches tall

MATERIALS

Use small amounts of worsted weight yarn in the desired colors for your project. This project is an excellent way to use up tiny leftover bits in your stash. In the photographed toys, the following yarns were used in very small amounts:

Light Brown Bear

Fur: TLC Essentials [100% acrylic, 312 yards/285 meters per 6 ounce/170 gram skein]; Taupe 2335
Shirt: TLC Essentials [100% acrylic, 312 yards/285 meters per 6 ounce/170 gram skein]; Dark Plum 2533
Vanna's Choice [100% acrylic, 170 yards/156 meters per 3.5 ounce/100 gram skein]; Colonial Blue 860-109

Red-Haired Doll

Hair: Vanna's Choice [100% acrylic, 170 yards/156 meters per 3.5 ounce/100 gram skein]; Terracotta 860-134
Skin: Lily Sugar N Cream Solid [100% cotton, 120 yards/109 meters per 2.50 ounce/71 gram skein]; Soft Ecru 01004
Shirt: Lion Wool Solid [100% wool, 158 yards/144 meters per 3 ounce/85 gram skein]; Dark Teal 820-178

Gray Bunny

Fur: Bernat Berella 4 [100% acrylic, 195 yards/175 meters per 3.5 ounce/100 gram skein]; Dark Oxford 08893
Shirt: TLC Essentials [100% acrylic, 312 yards/285 meters per 6 ounce/170 gram skein]; Dark Plum 2533

Yellow Cat

Fur: Lion Wool Solid [100% wool, 158 yards/144 meters per 3 ounce/85 gram skein]; Goldenrod 820-187
Shirt: TLC Essentials [100% acrylic, 312 yards/285 meters per 6 ounce/170 gram skein]; Dark Plum 2533
Lion Wool Solid [100% wool, 158 yards/144 meters per 3 ounce/85 gram skein]; Dark Teal 820-178

Brown-Haired Doll

Hair: Caron Simply Soft [100% acrylic, 315 yards/287 meters per 6 ounce/170 gram skein]; Chocolate 2722
Skin: Lily Sugar N Cream Solid [100% cotton, 120 yards/110 meters per 2.47 ounce/70 gram skein]; Jute 00082
Shirt: TLC Essentials [100% acrylic, 312 yards/285 meters per 6 ounce/170 gram skein]; Dark Plum 2533 and Linen 2332

Recommended needle sizes

US #7/4.5mm straight needles

NOTIONS

Polyester stuffing
Yarn needle
Embroidery needle
Black embroidery floss
6mm black acrylic safety eyes or small buttons for eyes (optional)
Crochet hook, size E (3.5mm) – for doll hair only

GAUGE

18 sts and 28 rows = 4" inches St st
Gauge is not too important in this pattern, since it is designed to use small scraps of various types of yarn. Be sure that your knitting is tight enough that stuffing will not show or leak out through the stitches.


INSTRUCTIONS

Choose body type from the 4 listed below.

Solid Color Animal Body

With fur color, cast on 20 sts.
Rows 1-26: Beginning with a knit row, work in St st.
Bind off all sts knitwise.

Anything AnimalsStriped Animal Body

With fur color, cast on 20 sts.
Rows 1-12: Beginning with a knit row, work in St st.
Rows 13 and 14: With first shirt color, work 2 rows in St st.
Rows 15 and 16: With second shirt color, work 2 rows in St st.
Rows 17-24: Repeat Rows 13-16 twice.
Row 25: With first shirt color, knit across.
Bind off all sts purlwise.

Seed Stitch Animal Body

With fur color, cast on 20 sts.
Rows 1-12: Beginning with a knit row, work in St st.
Row 13: With shirt color, knit across.
Row 14: [P1, k1] across.
Row 15: [K1, p1] across.
Rows 16-25: Repeat Rows 14 and 15, 5 times.
Bind off all sts in pattern.

Girl Doll Body

With hair color, cast on 20 sts.
Row 1: Knit across.
Row 2: Purl across.
From here until the beginning of the shirt, you will be working with 2 colors in the same row. You will need to twist the two yarns together at each color change to make sure it doesn't leave a gap in the fabric. Attach skin color yarn.
Row 3: K7 in hair color, k6 in skin color, k7 in hair color.
Row 4: P6 in hair color, p8 in skin color, p6 in hair color.
Row 5: K5 in hair color, k10 in skin color, k5 in hair color.
Row 6: P5 in hair color, p10 in skin color, p5 in hair color.
Rows 7-12: Repeat Rows 5 and 6, 3 times.
Rows 13-26: With shirt color, work in St st.
Bind off all sts knitwise.

LIMBS (make 4)

Anything AnimalsWith skin/fur color, cast on 4 sts.
Rows 1-8: Beginning with a knit row, work in St st.
Cut yarn. Thread end through 4 active stitches and pull tight. Fold limb in half lengthwise and seam long edges together.

Option: You can eliminate the seaming by knitting the limbs as an 8 round 4-stitch I-cord.

EARS (make 2)

For animals, choose ear type from the 3 listed below.

Rabbit Ears

With fur color, cast on 4 sts.
Row 1: [K1, p1] twice.
Row 2: [P1, k1] twice.
Rows 3-12: Repeat Rows 1 and 2, 5 times.
Row 13: K2tog twice.
Cut yarn. Thread end through 2 active stitches and pull tight. Tie off to close.
Fold base of ear in half and sew to head.

Cat Ears

With fur color, cast on 5 sts.
Rows 1 and 2: K1, [p1, k1] twice.
Row 3: P2tog, k1, p2tog: 3 sts.
Row 4: P1, k1, p1.
Row 5: K3tog.
Cut yarn and thread through active stitch and pull tight. Tie off to close.
Weave in loose ends.

Bear Ears

With fur color, cast on 4 sts.
Rows 1-4: Knit across (garter stitch).
Row 5: K2tog twice.
Cut yarn. Thread end through 2 active stitches and pull tight. Tie off to close.

FINISHING

Cat Tail
With fur color, cast on 4 sts.
Rows 1-12: Beginning with a knit row, work in St st.
Cut yarn. Thread end through 4 active stitches and pull tight. Fold limb in half lengthwise and sew.

Option: You can eliminate the seaming by knitting the tail as a 12 round 4-stitch I-cord.

Face
Fold Body in half lengthwise to find the center column of stitches. Embroider the nose on the center st 6-7 rows down from the top edge. Attach one eye 2-3 sts on each side of the nose. To make the animal baby-safe, embroider eyes with black floss rather than attaching plastic safety eyes.

Assembly
Fold the rectangle body piece in half lengthwise with RS together. Seam the back edge. Turn the body right side out. You should now have a tube. Flatten the tube so that the face of the animal is centered on the front. Sew along the bottom edge to close. Stuff body lightly. Sew along the top edge. Sew the ears and limbs onto the animal body.

Doll Pigtails
Cut 8 2-inch strands of hair color yarn. Using a crochet hook, pull the strands of yarn halfway through stitches on the corner of the head. When all 8 pieces are threaded through one side, gather together all 16 half-lengths and tie them with a short length of CC yarn. Trim to desired length and repeat on opposite side of the head.

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Rachel Borello Carroll

Rachel lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where she knits, crochets, sews, cooks, gardens, and tries to retain some composure while raising a toddler. She's been designing toys for the last 4 years and keeps shop at yarnigans.com.

Pattern & images © 2009 Rachel Borello Carroll. Contact