Here’s a little black owl to haunt your trees for Halloween. Too bad he’s much cuter than scary!
This project is a pretty easy one if you can knit in the round on double pointed needles and know how to do basic increases and decreases. The hardest part is the first couple rows that only have a few stitches. If you’ve made my duckling, grumpasaurus or minion you’ll have no problem with it.
Makes an owl that is 5″ tall (including the ears) and 4 1/2″ wide (not including the wingspan if you leave the wings free).
1 ball Chunky weight yarn. I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky
4 double pointed needles size 8US or 5mm
white and gold felt
2 black 1/2 inch buttons. I used plastic hank buttons and cut off the hanks.
super glue (optional)
Gauge: 3 ½ stitches per inch knit in the round
Gauge is not super important here, just keep in mind that is you have more stitches per inch you will have a smaller owl and if you have less stitches per inch you will have a bigger owl. You do want the weave to be tight so that the stuffing doesn’t show through. To get this, I use a needle a couple size smaller than the yarn calls for.
k – knit
kfb – knit front and back
ssk – slip slip knit
k2tog – knit 2 together
You are knitting the body from the top down.
Cast on 6 stitches. Place marker to mark end of round. Join together to knit in the round being careful not to twist the stitches.
Round 1: kfb all stitches. 12 stitches
Round 2: knit
Round 3: kfb, kfb, kfb, kfb, kfb, kfb, k6. 18 stitches
Round 4: knit
Round 5: kfb, k1, kfb, k1, kfb, k2, kfb, k1, kfb, k1, kfb, k6. 24 stitches
Round 6: knit
Round 7: kfb, k2, kfb, k2, kfb, k4, kfb, k2, kfb, k2, kfb, k6. 30 stitches
Round 8: knit
Round 9: kfb, k3, kfb, k3, kfb, k6, kfb, k3, kfb, k3, kfb, k6. 36 stitches
This is a good time to bring your cast on tail inside and weave it in.
Round 10: knit
Round 11: kfb, k4, kfb, k4, kfb, k8, kfb, k4, kfb, k4, kfb, k6. 42 stitches
Round 12: knit
Round 13: kfb, k5, kfb, k5, kfb, k10, kfb, k5, kfb, k5, kfb, k6. 48 stitches
Round 14: knit
Round 15: kfb, k6, kfb, k6, kfb, k12, kfb, k6, kfb, k6, kfb, k6. 54 stitches
Round 16-30: knit
Round 31: ssk, k6, ssk, k6, ssk, k12, k2tog, k6, k2tog, k6, k2tog, k6. 48 stitches
Round 32: knit
Round 33: ssk, k5, ssk, k5, ssk, k10, k2tog, k5, k2tog, k5, k2tog, k6. 42 stitches
Round 34: knit
Round 35: ssk, k4, ssk, k4, ssk, k8, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k6. 36 stitches
Round 36: knit
Round 37: ssk, k3, ssk, k3, ssk, k6, k2tog, k3, k2tog, k3, k2tog, k6. 30 stitches
Round 38: knit
Start stuffing the owl. You want to stuff it fully, but not so much that the stuffing shows through the stitching. Continue to add stuffing as you finish the knitting.
Round 39: ssk, k2, ssk, k2, ssk, k4, k2tog, k2, k2tog, k2, k2tog, k6. 24 stitches
Round 40: knit
Round 41: ssk, k1, ssk, k1, ssk, k2, k2tog, k1, k2tog, k1, k2tog, k6. 18 stitches
Round 42: knit
Round 43: ssk, ssk, ssk, k2tog, k2tog, k2tog, k6. 12 stitches
Round 44: ssk, ssk, ssk, k2tog, k2tog, k2tog, 6 stitches
Cut off about a 12 inch tail. Put the tail on a tapestry needle and weave through the remaining 6 stitches. Take off the knitting needle and pull tight. Now pull the needle and yarn straight through to the other side of the body and pull to create an indent, this will make a base for him to sit on.
While still pulling tight so as not to lose your indent, tie the yarn in a small knot to the top of the owl. Weave in the end.
Ear (make 2)
Pick up 3 stitches on one side of the head.
Row 1 (WS): purl
Row 2: (RS): ssk, put stitch back on left needle, k2tog.
Cut off about a 6 inch tail. Put the tail on a tapestry needle. Weave through remaining stitch and pull tight.
Wing (Make 2)
You can also make these wings by picking up the stitches, but I chose to knit them separate and sew them on.
Cast on 9 stitches leaving a tail of about 12 inches.
Work 7 rows in stockinette ending in a WS row.
Row 1: ssk, k5, k2tog. 7 stitches
Row 2: purl
Row 3: ssk, k3, k2tog. 5 stitches
Row 4: purl
Row 5: ssk, k1, k2tog. 3 stitches
Row 6: purl
Row 7: bind off
Cut two circles from the white felt. I found a large spool of thread was the perfect 1 1/2 inch template. Glue them on with fabric glue. Cut a small triangle with rounded edges for the beak and glue it on between the eyes. Glue with super glue or sew buttons on for the pupils.
Using the cast on tail, sew a wing onto each side of the body. Do this just like you would seam two horizontal stockinette pieces together (there is a nice picture of it here). You can leave the wings to hang free which will look like this.
Or tack them down at the bottom like I did.
copyright 2011 Kathy Lewinski
Do not sell or duplicate this pattern. Do not sell items made with this pattern. Do not teach this pattern without my permission. Thank you.
© 2005 – 2011 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish