A list of free toy animal knitting patterns that I compiled while surfing the Internet. I tried to cover a number of animals including domestic and wild animals.
Why Knit Toy Animals
Knitted toy animals make great gifts especially for non knitters than socks, sweaters or scarves. You don’t have to worry about their sizes and their fashion preferences. And all kids love toy animals.
The smaller-sized toy animals are great yarn busters as they often need only 50 yards or less. They are also quicker to finish.
Knitted toys usually feature various types of techniques for shaping such as short rows, increasing and decreasing, and because knitted toys are small projects, they are a great way to pick up these techniques without committing to a large project like a sweater, cardigan and more.
Oh, most toy animals do not require blocking. Yay!
Toy Animal Knitting Tips
To knit toy animals, you really need to know how to knit in the round. Most animals either have a round body or designers will design a cute round body for it. Limbs are almost always knit in the round. Knitting all the tiny pieces flat and then seaming them up is too tedious to be enjoyable.
Be bold with facial expressions. Decide and practise how you want to do eyes, nose, mouth because the instructions in the pattern are usually not that clear unless they are buttons, plastic eyes or noses or cut-out felt shapes. For toys meant for young children, choking is a major concern so make sure the items you choose to use are safe for kids. Embroidered faces are the safest. You get also get kids-safe plastic eyes and noses. Here is a blog post by Simply Notables on creating eyes and noses using needle felting and embroidery.
Toy animals can be either realistic or cute. A good example is the 2 octopus patterns in my list. One is uber realistic while the other is cute and cuddly.
Marie’s Nameless Dog
Nameless is made up of several garter stitch rectangles and squares. It is easy to make up with a bit of sewing but it would make a great cuddly toy for a small child.
Lizzard’s Jake The Dog
Are you a fan of Adventure Time? Then you must try this pattern by Lizzard. Fin is available too.
Sarah’s McIntyre’s Polar Pug
This pug is so cute. But fair warning, there are 9 parts to sew together. But if you have the book Pugs of the Frozen North, you gotta have this pug.
Sarah Keen’s Sheep Dog
This pattern is excerpted from Knitted Farm Animals by Sarah Keen and is made from by Lion Brand Yarn. It looks like a proper dog but still cute nonetheless.
Louise’s Jiji The Cat
Jiji The black cat is the companion of Kiki, the Delivery Girl on a broomstick, an animation movie from Studio Ghibli. This pattern doesn’t have limbs but is still very cat- like.
Jenny’s Share Kitty
This is a big kitty at 41 cm tall. Legs, body and head are knitted in 2 pieces: front and back. The arms, ears and tail are knitted separately and then attached.
Jess’ Kate The Cat
Kate’s body and arm are knitted in one piece. The head is one colour and the body has 2 colours. This means that you will need to prepare 3 balls of yarn. Legs, arms and ears are made separately and attached to the body. This is a tail-less cat. 🙂
Sara’s Parlor Cat
Sara captures a very typical habit of a kitty cat. Sitting with paws and legs under the body and tail curled and wrapped around the body. Just looking at it is relaxing. And it is knitted in the round in one piece from head to tail. Minimum sewing and making up. How cut the cat turns out is determined by how well you can make up the face. 😛
MOUSE OR RAT
Rachel’s Marisol The Knitted Mouse
Marisol has such a sweet round face and a long pink tail. It looks best with grey yarn for the body and head and pink yarn for ears and tail. Too cute. She reminds me of Celestine from Ernest and Celestine. A storybook by Gabrielle Vincent that had been turned into an animated film by Benjamin Renner. See the trailer here –
Kate’s Squeek The Mouse
This is a very small toy mouse. Although small, I think it takes some dexterity with knitting and sewing to make this mouse in the right shape. If you are itching for a challenge, I think this could be it.
Paton’s Country Mouse
Knit this big sweet mouse for a child that loves to cuddle. There are quite a few pieces to knit up but since it is a big toy, hopefully it isn’t too fiddly to handle.
Spud and Chloe’s Flamingo
This pink flamingo has an added bouncy ball inside so it will bounce when you throw it. Gives the body a nice round shape too. You will need to know how to do a picot binding or at least be willing to learn it.
Valley Yarns’ Knitted Robin
This pattern will make a 4 inch tall red-breasted robin. There is also a pattern for a crochet version.
Janice’s Easter Chickens
I have a preference for whimsical design and Janice’s chicken fit the bill. 🙂
For Gabrielle’s first attempt, this armadillo pattern is actually quite good. There are a couple of pieces but the making up is quite straightforward.
This knitted beaver is about 16 inch long complete with a big flat tail. Don’t you just like its big fat butt?
Sara’s Henry’s Rabbit
All the pieces of this knitted rabbit is knitted in the round so there are minimal sewing up. The eyes, nose and whiskers can either be embroidered or sewn in buttons or felt pieces depending on the recipient.
The rabbit is about 12 inch long and 6 inch tall.
Sarah’s Knitted Elephant
With 2 gleaming white tusks and flared ears, Sarah’s elephant reminds me of Babar The Elephant. Different parts of the body are knitted separately and then assembled. This gives the elephant a more realistic shape.
Sara’s Babar Elephant
I mentioned that Sarah’s knitted elephant reminded me of Babar. Here is a pattern for a 11 inch Babar. The pattern includes Babar, his green suit, a bowler hat, his King’s cape and crown. Very cool.
I thought this goose pattern is really realistic. The shaping is really good.
Purl Soho’s Knitted Hedgehogs
The face of this hedgehog is so sweet. It doesn’t come with feet so if you think your hedgehog needs some, knit some of your own.
Cate’s Octopus Opus
This is the most realistic octopus I have ever seen. Cate uses plastic eyes and created eyelids which really add something different to the octopus. If you are knitting this for a small kid, you can substitute the eyes with safety eyes or use black yarn.
Purl Soho’s Knit Octopus
Unlike Cate’s ultra realistic octopus, Purl Soho’s is a cute one in warm white. The tentacles feature an interesting stitch pattern. You must be comfortable knitting in the round using double-pointed needles, magic loop or 2 circular needles because there are quite a bit of that going on. Purl Soho has very clear instructions on how to connect the tentacles to the body so it is a good project to learn how to do assembly.
Ruth’s Turtle Sheldon
Sheldon is cute but also practical. His shell can be removed to be washed separately. It also mean you can knit up additional shells in different colours for Sheldon to change into.
I am not sure why but there are a lot of free owl knitting patterns. Some are really good and I think it is a perfect project for someone learning to knit in the round.
Kathy’s Little Black Owl
This cute little owl is basically a knitted ball with felt circles and black buttons as eyes. It is really quite straightforward if you already know how to knit in the round and do increases and decreases.
Amanda’s Stuffy Owl
This is knitted in one piece. The eyes and beak are added after knitting using duplicate stitch. No tricky colourwork here although the chart is given if you want to try that. The project is knitted flat and the pieces sewn together.
Purl Soho’s Big Snowy Owl
When Purl Soho called this big, they meant it. This is a humonguous project, as big as an adult cat. It requires Super Bulky yarn and US size 15 needles. I tried knitting this with a worsted weight yarn. It still works. Here is my owl. I should have used a different yarn to knit the eyes and beak. Or use felt cloth instead. But the body is good.
Knit-a-Zoo’s Cordell The Owl
Cordell is a silly looking owl. It is knitted in the round from bottom to head and is about 11 cm high.
There are really a lot of free toy animal knitting patterns out there to try. I have picked those I think are fairly well thought out, have different constructions or offer new techniques. These are not my patterns. If you know of any that you think I should include, let me know. Finally, send me a comment if you come across any broken links on this page. Thank you!