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Purl Critter

fox19

Our new friend is mischievous sort, always getting into our yarn and running off with our measuring tape.  Make him red, brown, black, or white, and he can be a fox, bear, cat, or raccoon.  Give him a smile and he'll be a faithful friend.

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Purl Critter is lovingly knit from top to toe and stands 12 inches tall, just like the Purl Rabbit.  These boon companions compliment each other perfectly: fuzzy yarn and smooth cotton.  Their funny ears and crooked smiles invite a laugh.  We hope they stay out of trouble!

The Materials

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The Pattern

Purl Critter Pattern pdf

Pattern Notes

Knitting on double-pointed needles can be tricky, so I tried to add extra notes and keep track of how the stitches are arranged on the needles.  It's easier than it looks, so don't worry, just knit!

Questions about GAUGE and how to measure it?  Visit our Swatch Tutorial.

This pattern uses two kinds of increases, which are illustrated in our Increase Tutorial.

Other abbreviations and terms can be found in our Knitting Terms.

DOUBLE KNITTING is a technique for knitting in the round with straight, single-point needles. It's easy and quite fun.  This is how it works: Cast on an even number of stitches.  Row 1:  *K1, slip 1 wyif, repeat from * to end of row.  Turn work, and repeat.  With each subsequent row, you are knitting the slipped stitches from the previous row, and slipping the knitted stitches.  It's a tongue twister, so just take our word for it and give it a try!  Knittinghelp.com has a good video demonstration of how to double knit.

THREE-NEEDLE BIND OFF is a neat and tidy method for finishing stitches from two knitted pieces or something knit in the round.

fox15.jpg

By dividing the stitches onto two parallel needles, you can knit together one stitch from the front and one from the back needle; then bind them off normally as you go along.  For a great video demonstration of this technique, we go to Knittinghelp.com's Basic Bind-offs page.

Gauge

6 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch

LEGS

CO 6 stitches with Natural Dark Brown (or the color you have chosen for the paws) on double-pointed needles.

Row 1:  *K1, slip 1 wyif, repeat from * to end of row.  Turn work, and repeat.  With each subsequent row, you are knitting the slipped stitches from the previous row, and slipping the knitted stitches.
Continue double knitting for a total of 6 rows.
Switch to Natural Streaky Brown (or the body color), continue double knitting for a further 6 rows.

SEPARATE THE STITCHES

Holding your active needle with your left hand and two spare needles parallel in your left hand, slip the first stitch onto the back needle.  Slip the second stitch onto the front needle.  Continue like this with the remaining stitches.  You will have three stitches on the front needle and three stitches on the back needle.  Arrange the stitches evenly on three needles. Well done!

Increase Round 1:  K1, Kfb, K2, Kfb, K1.  8 sts.
Knit 6 rounds.
Increase Round 2:  K1, Kfb, K3, Kfb, K2.  10 sts.
Knit until leg measures 5 1/2 inches.  Stuff, set aside and make second leg just the same.

BODY

JOINING ROUND

Knit across 5 stitches of the first leg on the first dpn.  Turn needle and cable cast on 7 stitches.  Turn the needle again and knit across first 5 stitches from the second leg (17 stitches on first dpn).  With the second dpn, knit remaining 5 stitches from the second leg, turn and cable cast on 7 stitches, turn again, then knit across 5 remaining stitches from the first leg (17 stitches on first dpn).

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REDISTRIBUTE STITCHES

Arrange your stitches on four needles:  10 on the front needle, 7 on a side needle, 10 on the back needle, and 7 on a second side needle.  34 stitches total. The yarn is coming from the leftmost stitch on the front needle.

Rounds 2 - 7: Knit, beginning each round at the front needle.

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SHAPE BELLY

Round 8:  K29, place marker, m1, K5.  35 sts.
Round 9:  Knit to two sts before marker, K5, m1, slip marker, K1, m1, K5.
Repeat Round 9 two times more until there are 41 sts total.

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Knit 20 rounds even.

SEPARATE FRONT AND BACK BODY

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Arrange the stitches on 2 needles so that you have 21 stitches on the back needle and 20 stitches on the front needle.  The yarn is coming from the first stitch on the front needle.

KNIT FRONT

Row 1:  Slip first stitch, K to end.
Row 2:  Slip first stitch, P to last stitch, K1.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 three times, 8 rows total.
Leave front stitches on a spare needle or a stitch holder.

KNIT BACK

Row 1:  Slip first stitch, K to end.
Row 2:  Slip first stitch, P to last stitch, K1.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 three times, 8 rows total.

fox10.jpg

JOIN SHOULDERS

Turn work so that the back body is facing you.  (The back is the side without any increases.)  The yarn is coming from the needle closest to you.  K2tog and slip it back onto the needle.
Work three-needle bind-off for 5 sts, K to end of the needle closest to you.

Turn work so front body is closer you.  (The front is the side with belly increases.)

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Work three-needle bind-off for 5 sts, K to end on needle closest to you.
You now have 10 sts on each needle.

HEAD

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Arrange the stitches on three needles:  10 on the front needle, 5 each on the two back needles.  The yarn is coming from the last stitch on the front needle.

You will now be knitting in rounds once again.

Round 1:  K2tog, K7, K2tog, K9. 18 sts.
Rounds 2 and 3: Knit.
Round 4:  K12, m1, K1, m1, K1, m1, K4.  21 sts.
Round 5:  Knit.
Round 6:  K1, m1,K7, m1, K6, m1, place marker, K1, m1, k6. 25 sts.

You now have 15 stitches on the front needle and 5 stitches on each of the back needles.

Round 7:  K to 1 st before marker, m1, Kfb, slip marker, K1, Kfb, m1, K6.  29 sts.
Round 8:  Knit to 1 st before marker, Kfb, slip marker, K1, Kfb, K8.  31 sts.
Round 9:  K10 across back needles.  K10 sts from front needle.  K remaining sts onto fourth needle.
Rounds 10 - 12:  Knit.
Round 13:  K19, K2tog, K1, K2tog, K9.  29 sts.
Round 14:  K18, K2tog, K1, K2tog, K8.  27 sts.
Round 15:  K17, K2tog, K1, K2tog, K7.  25 sts.
Rounds 17 - 20:  Knit.
Round 21:  K11, K2tog, *K1, K2tog, repeat from * to end.

Turn work so that the   back is facing youand the yarn is at the first stitch on the far needle.

Three-needle bind-off all remaining stitches.  Weave in ends.
Fill the head with stuffing.

EARS

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Pick up 6 stitches along the crown of the head.
Row 1:  Slip 1, K to end.
Row 2:  Slip 1, P4, K1.
Row 3:  Slip 1, K2tog, K2tog, K1.
Row 4:  P2tog, P2tog.
Row 5:  K2tog.
Pull yarn through last stitch and weave in ends.  Repeat for second ear.

ARMS

fox17.jpg
Pick up 16 sts along the outside of the armhole, 8 from the front and 8 from the back.  Work in stockinette stitch (purl one row, knit one row) for 30 rows, beginning with a purl row.

Change to Natural Dark Brown (or paw color).

Row 31:  K2tog, K12, K2tog.
Row 32:  Purl.

Repeat Rows 31 and 32 one time.
Repeat Row 31 one more time.
Row 33:  Purl.
Row 34:  Knit.
Row 35:  P2tog to end.
Row 36:  K2tog to end.

Bind off remaining stitches.

STUFFING THE BODY

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The legs and head have already been stuffed.  Sew up arm, stuffing it as you go.  Fill the body with stuffing.  Sew up the bottom seam and weave in the ends.

EMBROIDER THE FACE

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Thread the yarn needle with a half-yard of Natural Copper (or whichever yarn you choose) and embroider the ridge of the nose, the eyes, and the inner ears.  Don't forget the wily smile!

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Hey, this kid needs some clothes!  Purl Critter and Purl Rabbit are the same size, so they can share shirts pants, sweaters, and dresses.   The Arctic Fox Vest is the perfect winter accessory.

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3 Responses to Purl Critter


  1. stine says:

    If the bear is made with #2 needles, approx how tall is he?

  2. purl bee says:

    Stine, he is about 12 or 14 inches tall

  3. stine says:

    thank you, I’ve got him finished up to his chest so far. can’t wait til he is finished and I’ve made him some clothes and a sweater (just for me, cause he is cute)

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