When you are first learning to knit, you may hear that knitting a scarf is your easiest option. However, this amigurumi owl is a simple rectangle that’s folded and stitched in half, and embellished with button eyes and a felt beak and feet.
If you’ve never knit before, this simple pattern will lead you to a finished project in no time. (Amigurumi is Japanese for a knit, stuffed toy; you don’t need to know anything beyond how to cast on and how to do a basic knit stitch.)
This pattern is from my memory of my first knitting project when I was just learning to knit at my town’s children’s library. All I really remembered was knitting the rectangle, so I added to that memory to create an easy knitting project for beginners.
Select Your Yarn
I remember making my first owl using a worsted weight acrylic yarn (like Red Heart Super Saver) and you really don’t need any more than that. However, for the owl in the photograph, I added an eyelash yarn (I used Lion Brand Yarns Fun Fur).
By holding together the worsted weight yarn and the eyelash yarn, I treated them like a single strand of yarn. The thicker yarn made it easier to work with the eyelash yarn and the eyelash yarn made the plain yarn prettier. Another reason for using the eyelash yarn with the other yarn, the fuzzy eyelash yarn will hide minor mistakes.
If you want to stick with the worsted weight yarn without adding the fuzzier yarn to the mix, I’d suggest using a multicolor yarn, again because the changing colors can help hide some small errors.
You won’t use full skeins of yarn, so if you know someone who knits, ask if you can use some of their yarn.
You’ll need a worsted weight acrylic yarn in a solid or multicolor.
You’ll also need an eyelash yarn in a color that matches or looks nice with the other yarn.
Size 10-1/2 knitting needles. You could use size 10 or 11. For a first knitting project, I’d avoid small needles because it takes so much longer to finish the project when you are making small stitches. Also, with this size needle, you’ll clearly see the stitches on the needle.
2 one-inch buttons in the color of your choice
Scraps of felt
Thinner needle and thread for the button eyes
Knit an Owl
Cast on 15 stitches
Knit all of the stitches to the end of each row. Continue knitting until you have a rectangle that is approximately 11″ long. Ten-inches will give you a shorter owl, while 12″ will make your owl taller and thinner looking.
Finish Your Knit Owl
Cut a 12″ piece of the worsted weight yarn and thread the yarn needle.
Fold the rectangle in half so the shape you have is half as tall as the rectangle.
Sew along one side, the bottom, and halfway up the other side. Fill the owl with fiberfill (avoid putting in too much or you’ll stretch the stitches and you’ll see the fiberfill between the stitches) and then finishes stitching up the final side.
Cut two 6-or-7″ of yarn. You will now make ear tufts for the owl. Wrap one piece of yarn around one of the upper corners to form an ear tuft. Knot the yarn. Bring the yarn to the opposite side and knot it again. Repeat, bringing the yarn back to the front to knot. Double knot and push any excess yarn into the owl’s body. Repeat to form a second ear.
Cut a triangle and glue it on as a beak.
For the feet, I kept it simple and cut out two triangle and glued them to the bottom of the owl. If you want to make different shaped talons, you can.
Your owl is now complete! You can keep him for yourself or give him as a gift (but don’t give the owl to a child who puts things in their mouth and could chew off the felt or buttons.
Photos and pattern by Susan Caplan McCarthy