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» Excerpted from ITTY-BITTY TOYS by Susan B. Anderson (Artisan Books). Copyright 2009. Liz Banfield photographer.

Lamb

Easy
By Susan B. Anderson

Every knitter loves a knitted lamb. The boucle yarn used for the body and the curly topknot are perfect for creating that wooly look. The legs are cleverly constructed of I-cords stuffed with straws, which allow the lamb to stand on its own. Make one for your favorite child and another for your favorite knitter--they'll both love it.

FINISHED SIZE

6.5 inches tall when standing, 5 inches long, front to back

MATERIALS

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Astrakhan [60% wool, 30% microfiber, 10% cashmere; 77 yards/70 meters per 1.75 ounce/50 gram ball;

#3 Off-White; 1 ball

Blue Sky Organic Cotton [100% organic cotton; 150 yards/137 meters per 3.5 ounce/100 gram skein];

#81 Sand; 1 skein

Recommended needle sizes

US #4/3.5 mm double pointed needles (set of 4) or size needed to obtain gauge

NOTIONS

Yarn needle
Scissors
Measuring tape or ruler
Stitch marker
Black embroidery floss
Polyester fiberfill, 1 small bag
Poly pellets (optional), 32-ounce bag
1 drinking straw

GAUGE

6 sts = 1 inch in St st for the body

PATTERN NOTES

Body is worked first, beginning at the back and working toward the front. Head, legs, feet, tail, ears, and hair are knit separately and attached.


INSTRUCTIONS

BACK END

With Off-White and two double-pointed needles used as straight needles, cast on 4 sts.
Row 1: Kfb, knit across to last st, kfb: 6 sts.
Row 2: Pfb, purl across to last stitch, pfb: 8 sts.
Rows 3 and 4: Repeat Rows 1 and 2: 12 sts.
Work in St st until the back end measures 2 inches from the cast on edge, ending with a purl row.

Decrease Rows
Row 1: Ssk, knit across to last 2 sts, k2tog: 10 sts.
Row 2: P2tog, purl across to last 2 sts, p2tog: 8 sts.
Rows 3 and 4: Repeat Rows 1 and 2: 4 sts.

Body

Continue on from the back end.
Knit the 4 sts on the needle, then on the same needle, pick up 10 sts across end of rows, continuing around back end, on a sts: 14 sts per needle, 42 sts total.
Place a stitch marker on the first st, and begin working in the round.

Increase Rnd: * Kfb, knit to the last st on needle, kfb; repeat from * on each needle: 16 sts per needle, 48 sts total.
Repeat the Increase Rnd one more time: 18 sts per needle, 54 sts total.
Knit every round until the body measures 2 inches above the pickup round.

Decrease Rnds
Rnd 1: * K7, k2tog; repeat from * around: 16 sts per needle, 48 sts total.
Rnds 2-5: Knit around.
Rnd 6: * K6, k2tog; repeat from * around: 14 sts per needle, 42 sts total.
Rnd 7: * K5, k2tog; repeat from * around: 12 sts per needle, 36 sts total.
Rnds 8 and 9: Knit around.
Rnd 10: * K4, k2tog; repeat from * around: 10 sts per needle, 30 sts total.
Rnd 11: * K3, k2tog; repeat from * around: 8 sts per needle, 24 sts total.
Rnd 12: Knit around.
Rnd 13: * K2, k2tog; repeat from * around: 6 sts per needle, 18 sts total.
Holding the body horizontally, pour a layer of poly pellets into the bottom, fill the top with fiberfill, or stuff with fiberfill only.
Rnd 14: * K1, k2tog; repeat from * around: 4 sts per needle, 12 sts total.
Rnd 15: K2tog around: 2 sts per needle, 6 sts total.
Finish stuffing. Cut the yarn, leaving a 6 inch long tail, and thread the tail on a yarn needle. Pull the end through the remaining sts, gather up tight to close the hole, and stitch to secure. Weave the end to the inside and trim.

Tail

With Off-White, cast on 12 sts, placing 4 sts on each of three double-pointed needles. Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches. Place a stitch marker on the first stitch.
Knit every round until the tail measures half an inch from the cast on edge.

Decrease Rnds
Rnd 1: * K2, k2tog; repeat from * on each needle: 3 sts per needle, 9 sts total.
Rnd 2: * K1, k2tog; repeat from * on each needle: 2 sts per needle, 6 sts total.
Rnd 3: K2tog on each needle: 1 st per needle, 3 sts total.
Cut the yarn, leaving a 6 inch long tail, and thread on a yarn needle. Pull the end through the remaining sts, gather up tight to close the hole, and stitch to secure. Weave the end to the inside and trim. Thread the tail from the cast on edge on a yarn needle. Whipstitch the tail to the top of the back end. Weave the end to the inside and trim.

Legs (make 4)

With Sand and two double-pointed needles used as straight needles, cast on 4 sts. Work in I-cord until the Leg measures 1 inch from the cast on edge. Bind off. Cut the yarn and pull through the remaining stitch. Cut the drinking straw to fit inside of the I-cord. Push the straw inside of the I-cord and set aside.

Feet (make 4)

With Sand, cast on 9 sts, placing 3 sts on each of three double-pointed needles. Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches. Place a stitch marker on the first stitch.
Rnd 1: Knit around.
Rnd 2: * K1, m1, k1, m1, k1; repeat from * on each needle: 5 sts per needle, 15 sts total.
Rnds 3-7: Knit around.
Rnd 8: * K3, k2tog; repeat from * on each needle: 4 sts per needle, 12 sts total.
Thread the tail from the cast on stitches on a yarn needle. Stitch through all of the stitches in the cast on row and gather up, pulling tight to close the hole. Stitch to secure. Fill the foot with poly pellets or stuff with fiberfill. The foot is supposed to be flat, not rounded.
Rnd 9: * K2, k2tog; repeat from * on each needle: 3 sts per needle, 9 sts total.
Rnd 10: * K1, k2tog; repeat from * on each needle: 2 sts per needle, 6 sts total.
Cut the yarn, leaving a 6 inch long tail, and thread on a yarn needle. Pull through the remaining stitches, gather up tight to close the hole, and stitch to secure. Weave the end to the inside and trim.
With the cast on tail from the legs threaded on a yarn needle, whipstitch the feet to the back top of the legs using the photograph as a guide. Whipstitch the leg to the bottom of the body, using the bound-off tail threaded on a yarn needle.

Head

With Sand, cast on 9 sts, placing 3 sts on each of three double-pointed needles. Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches. Place a stitch marker on the first stitch.
Rnd 1: Knit around.
Rnd 2: * K1, m1, k1, m1, k1; repeat from * on each needle: 5 sts per needle, 15 sts total.
Rnds 3 and 4: Knit around.
Rnd 5: * K1, [k1, m1] 4 times; repeat from * on each needle: 9 sts per needle, 27 sts total.
Rnds 6-15: Knit around.
Rnd 16: * Ssk, k5, k2tog; repeat from * on each needle: 7 sts per needle, 21 sts total.
Rnds 17 and 18: Knit around.
Rnd 19: * Ssk, k3, k2tog; repeat from * on each needle: 5 sts per needle, 15 sts total.
Rnd 20: Knit around.
Rnd 21: * K3, k2tog; repeat from * on each needle: 4 sts per needle, 12 sts total.
Thread the tail from the cast on stitches on a yarn needle. Stitch through all of the cast on stitches, pull up tight to close the hole, and stitch to secure. Begin to stuff the head with fiberfill.
Rnd 22: * K2, k2tog; repeat from * on each needle: 3 sts per needle, 9 sts total.
Finish stuffing. Cut the yarn, leaving a 6 inch long tail, and thread the end on a yarn needle. Pull the end through the remaining stitches, gather up tight to close the hole, and stitch to secure. This is the nose end of the head.
Pull the tail through to the bottom side of the head and whipstitch to the front top of the body, using the photograph as a guide.

Ears (make 2)

With Sand, cast on 6 sts, placing 2 sts on each of three double-pointed needles. Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches. Place a stitch marker on the first stitch.
Rnds 1-4: Knit around.
Rnd 5: * K1, m1, k1; repeat from * on each needle: 3 sts per needle, 9 sts total.
Rnds 6-9: Knit around.
Rnd 10: * K1, k2tog; repeat from * on each needle: 2 sts per needle, 6 sts total.
Rnd 11: Knit around.
Cut the yarn, leaving a 6 inch long tail, and thread the end on a yarn needle. Pull the end through the remaining stitches, pull tight to close the hole, and stitch to secure. Weave the end to the inside and trim. Thread the tail from the cast on stitches on a yarn needle. Whipstitch the ears to the head, using the photograph as a guide.

Hair

With Off-White and two double-pointed needles used as straight needles, cast on 4 sts and begin to work in twisted loop stitch.
Row 1: Complete a twisted loop stitch in every stitch, as follows: knit the stitch and leave it on the left needle.
Pull the loop that is on the right needle out about 2–3 inches (depending on how long the twist should be). Transfer the loop onto your right index finger. Twist the loop in one direction until it folds back on itself.
Place the loop back on the left needle. Knit the 2 sts together.
Row 2: Purl across.
Row 3: Repeat Row 1.
Row 4: P2tog twice: 2 sts.
Bind off. Cut the yarn and pull through the last stitch, leaving a 6 inch long tail. Thread the tail on a yarn needle and whipstitch the hair to the top of the head between the ears. Weave the end to the inside and trim.

Face and Toes

With black embroidery floss and a yarn needle, create the eyes with 2 small straight stitches each. Create the nose with straight stitches. On each foot, make a stitch at the center front of the foot, stitching over and under the foot, using the photograph as a guide.

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Jenny Snedeker

Susan B. Anderson is the author of Itty-Bitty Hats and Itty-Bitty Nursery. Her knitting blog gets more than 50,000 hits a month. Her popular series of ten knitting tutorials appears on YouTube. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband and four children.

Excerpted from ITTY-BITTY TOYS by Susan B. Anderson (Artisan Books). Copyright 2009. Liz Banfield photographer. Contact