Thursday, January 13, 2011

Te-wit te-woo! Free knitted owl tutorial!

I was searching for some easy peasy knitting projects suitable for my children's craft classes which - yikes! - start on Monday, and after trawling the internet for a while I realised that I could easily make up my own. So I did. Meet Wolly the Owl (well he needed a name, didn't he? And I used to call owls 'wols' when I was little. So there).

You could adapt this very easily to make it smaller (fewer rows of knitting for very new knitters), and you could adjust yarn thickness and needle size to make it bigger or smaller. And who know what you could do with different yarns, stripes or whatever?

First, knit a rectangle. I cast on 20 stitches using 8-ply pure wool on 6mm needles. I knitted 18 rows in garter stitch, then 24 rows in stocking stitch and another 18 rows in garter stitch and then cast off knitwise.

The legs were a hoot (sorry): using a pair of 6mm double-ended needles I cast on 7 stitches in a contrasting colour and knitted 2 rows in garter stitch. I then cast off one stitch at the beginning of each of the next 4 rows to leave 3 stitches on the needle. I then knitted about 3"/7.5cm of i-cord which is very easy: simply knit the three stitches but don't turn the knitting around... just move the right hand needle to your left hand and, bringing the wool around the back, knit three stitches again, trying to pull the wool a bit tighter on the first stitch. Keep doing this and you make a really nifty cord! I've used it many times for ties, cords or knitted string and it's quick and easy.

I cut out small pieces of scrap felt for the eyes and beak and wings, pinning the wings on so that I would sew them in with the seam. Ditto with the legs. I sewed the eyes on using blanket stitch and just put a few stitches across the middle of the beak before I sewed up the side seams and the bottom seam.

The only 'complication' with sewing Wolly up was that although I turned him inside out to sew up most of the side seams, I went from bottom to top and for the last 1"/2cm I turned him back the right way in and sewed up his ears from the outside - this simply meant that the seam allowance sticks out rather than being turned in, which makes his ears stick out too.

I stuffed him with some polyester stuffing I had left over from another project but he could easily have been stuffed with fleece.

I really like his wonky character... and the fact that he took less than 2 hours to make - and I'm not a speedy knitter!


  1. Love the owl.

    Not for your craftshop, but maybe for Ella's sewing ... this is a great project: and I have lots more. You can also look at the holiday craft ideas that Melissa has on her blog: - she's doing 2 weeks of Hip Hip Hooray for the Holidays activities.
    I've got loads more ideas somewhere.

  2. i made my wally aka jerry a cape by the way i like the photo of all our owls near the printing press