Chicken, Out

By Kay Gardiner
June 20, 2017
There's Knitting Animals, and There's Also Knitting For Animals

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  • Your hen is just fabulous. So of course I headed over to take a look at her other toy patterns. And ohmigosh the Dashing Dachshund! Swoon! I can rationalize knitting two of them: my boss has identical twin daughters who want a dog but can’t due to allergies. How cute would matching weiner dogs (with different colorways) be for twin little girls?

    • I love that idea!

    • She has soooo many adorable options! The pig, the little Lucy doll, the duck–too many to list!

  • Now I’m always going to think “chickener” when I graft…

    • Ditto!

    • Yes, but you won’t be too chicken TO graft…

  • So adorable! For more animals (some of them freestanding toys but mostly on scarves and pillows and socks and afghans and things) I like Amy Bahrt’s designs.

  • Don’t forget Susan B. Anderson. Her patterns are amazing.

    • i second that! and hers are usually knit in one piece, so much less of the fiddly bits!

  • I came home with a stack of Sara Elizabeth Kellner after a VKLive. So cute and some cute free ones also. I also can’t stop knitting the Huggable Hedgehog by Debbie Radtke. They’re basically a big stuffed ball that toddlers seem to love. The world seems to be over fun fur though so it’s getting tricky.

    • Another recommendation for Sara Elizabeth Kellner. Her newest pattern, River Otter, is amazing.

      • Oh jeez. That’s adorable.

    • I’ve made several of the hedgehogs! Darling!

  • A lovely bear to knit is Vera-
    The construction is very clever, and it’s knit in one piece, starting at the back of the head. Stuff through the paws and an inch of crotch; so only that one inch to sew. Eye and ear placements are knit in, so no risk of goofy eyes that make the bear look like it’s possessed.
    Look carefully at the abbreviations, they are not the usual but easily followed!

    • Vera is pretty darned cute!

  • That is adorable and a clever use of your stash! I hope your friend loves it.

  • I’m impressed! Your hen turned out beautifully, and the tassels are the perfect finishing touch. Bet your friend will be happy with this addition to her flock 🙂

    • I agree on the tassels. They are the perfect touch. Tail feathers!

  • oh, you must check out Louise Walker ( ). Her knitted animal head wall hangings are a trip. And everyone should own her book “Faux Taxidermy” for the name alone!

  • Poulet cute. Alan Dart’s patterns are charming and very well written. Debbie Birkin’s as well.

    • Debi Birkin

  • The first toys I knitted were from Ysolda, and they have stood the test of time. I’ve made two of the Elijah for different kids.

  • Just. Plain. Adorable. Well done!

  • I have knit two of Julie Williams (of Little Cotton Rabbits blog) Bunny toys as gifts and both turned out flawlessly. Highly recommend! Patterns on Ravelry.

    • YES! I love her Little Cotton Rabbits also. I’ve knit 3 of them and they were a great tutorial on stuffing a toy.

  • The very classy tassel tail feathers are the perfect finishing touch to a perfectly lovely chook (and in case it doesn’t translate for all, chook is Australian slang for a chicken).

  • I love the chick’s tassle tail! Don’t forget the one big giant sheep pillow from Purl Soho:

  • If you want to go smaller, you could look to the “Knit Your Own” books by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne — a whole herd (flock, gaggle, murder, pack, etc.) of critters that would fit on a bookshelf. But, be careful: Olive might get jealous!

  • Now go explore the designs of Susan Claudino. She has perfected no Kitchenering toy design and they’re super cute.

  • OMG! Look at that dachshund! I have a wonderful friend who fosters wiener dogs – she usually has about 25 (yes, 2-5. She has a big yard!) at one time. She also is always giving me random gifts. I think this dachshund is perfect for her. (And I may have to do a chicken for myself!)

  • Your ready for SpinOff’s Estonia Lamb Puppet next! 🙂
    And you can use up more bits and pieces.

  • Nicky Epstein has a couple books on making toys from a knitted square. I am always drawn to them, but never got around to making any yet.

  • I do love that chicken!! I have been eyeing “Three French Hens” by Susan B Anderson since I saw them in Taproot magazine. Very similar. You are going to be a great grandma knitter!!

  • Anything by Susan B Anderson…. especially her Itty-Bitty toys book, which is well-loved in my book collection (along with itty-bitty nursery, itty-bitty hats…. ha).

  • the chicken is a good shape for a tea cozy

  • For the odder ducks out there, there is Jill Watt’s Octopuss:

    I’ve started the legs but haven’t gotten very far but I love the concept SO. MUCH.

  • Kay, I have been trying to think of chicken jokes all day, but I think I exausted them all on IG, when this was still a work in progress.

    I love this chicken, the tassels, the color of the eye, the comb, the placement of the beak “just so”, all contribute to an overall sense of whimsy that just screams “Kay!”.
    Truly, I get “chicken skin” (schmaltz? Oy.) just thinking about it! I admire your knitting, too. The ability to do nice color work like that has always escaped me.

    I know the lucky recipient will treasure it; and, I’ll bet it will be the best chicken in her coop, once it gets home to roost.

    Your knitted chicken is absolutely beautiful!

    I think from now on KFC will have to stand for Kay’s Fantastic Chicken.


    • Chicken joke? How about a chicken riddle?

      **How do you mail a chicken?

      **In a hen-velope.

      That one had the first-graders in stitches when I was putting riddles in the kids’ lunches every day.
      Another one?

      **What do you get when a chicken eats gunpowder?

      **Hand gren-eggs.

  • I think the chicken out pattern would make an adorable purse. See a zipper in where the Kitchener stitching is and add a shoulder strap from the tail to the head

  • I am in love with Sarah Gasson’s patterns – tons of animals with different outfits to mix and match:

    Also, everyone needs at least one knitted monster in their life. Rebecca Danger to the rescue:

    Last, Amanda Berry has darling toys. They are all knitted flat, so I tend to adapt her patterns and knit in the round:

  • I love it!! Will have to add this to my to-knit list.

  • Sara Elizabeth Kellner Designs, also known as Rabbit Hole Knits – she just came out with an otter!

  • This is a really cute monkey, and a great pattern by Annita Wilschut. It’s one piece, with a tiny bit of finishing.

  • We fight over the sample of Ella Austin’s Plum Pudding Pig that lives at Avenue Yarns….so cute and squishy!

  • One of my all-time favorite MDK posts. Never thought I’d knit a rat. Enter Sara Elizabeth Kellner. Now I have yarn for a second one.