Caterpillar

Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Finished Face View Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas

How to Knit a Caterpillar

What you will need...

Total time - 5 Hours 15 Minutes as Shown

Size 35cm

3.25mm knitting needles (UK 10, US 3)

Double knitting yarn - several desired colours

Buttons (assorted to preference)

Sewing up needle

Scissors

Stuffing / toy filling

Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Finished Rear View Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas

Before You Start...

Abbreviations

K = Knit   P = Purl   St = Stitch   Sts = Stitches

St-st = stocking stitch. Alternating a row of knit stitches (right side), with a row of purl stitches (wrong side).

Inc = Increase - by knitting into the front and the back of the same stitch, to make two stitches out of one.

K2tog = Decrease by knitting two stitches together, making one stitch from two.

Cast On - I use the thumb method

Cast off - P wise. US - bind off.

B&t tightly - Break off yarn and thread yarn through the remaining stitches on needle, pull up tightly and fasten off.

TOP TIP

If sewing isn't your strong point, these little buttons with their choking hazard should obviously be avoided for small children. They're also not the comfiest to cuddle for babies. Leaving the caterpillar plain or using fabric numbers is probably a better bet.

Vary colours to your preference, and vary the length by adding extra segments.

How to Make it...

Made from four knitted pieces - the head piece, two antennae, and a long single body piece made of 5 coloured segments and the rear end. There are 5 finger-knitted pieces which help to form his 10 legs. All pieces are sewn together with added decorative side buttons, a nose button and sewn-on facial features.

Body Piece

Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Body Piece Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas

Make 1 for Each Caterpillar

Time - 3 Hours Each Piece

Size 27 cm

Needles 3.25 mm

Yarn Blue (or as per preference)

Cast on 32sts

*Next row P

Next row K5 (IncKwise,K2) 8times, K3 (40sts)

Beginning with a P row st-st 11 rows

Next row K5, (K2tog, K2) 8 times, K3, break off yarn and join next colour**

Repeat pattern from * to ** 4 further times to make a total of 5 body segments, then continue as follows to form the bottom end of your caterpillar.

In colour required for his bottom P 1 row

Next row K5 (IncKwise,K2) 8times, K3 (40sts)

Beginning with a P row st-st 7rows

Next row K9, K2tog twice, K14, K2tog twice, K9 (36 sts)

For the next and every following alternate row P to continue the st-st pattern until ***

Next row K8, K2tog twice, K12, K2tog twice, K8 (32sts)

Next row (K2, K2tog) to the end (24sts)

Next row (K1, K2tog) to the end (16sts)

Next row K2tog to the end (8sts)***

B&t tightly

Head Piece

Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Face Piece Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas

Make 1 for Each Caterpillar

Time - 30 Minutes Each

Size 9 cm

Needles 3.25 mm

Yarn Pale Brown/Fawn

Cast on 32 sts

P 1 row

Next row K5 (IncKwise,K2) 8times, K3 (40sts)

Next row P

Next row K5 (IncKwise, K3) 8times, K3 (48sts)

Beginning with a P row st-st 11 rows

Next row K11, K2tog twice, K18, K2tog twice, K11 (44sts)

Beginning with a P row st-st 3 rows

Next row K10, K2tog twice, K16, K2tog twice, K10 (40sts)

For the next and every following alternate row P to continue the st-st pattern until ****

Next row K9, K2tog twice, K14, K2tog twice, K9 (36 sts)

Next row K8, K2tog twice, K12, K2tog twice, K8 (32sts)

Next row (K2, K2tog) to the end (24sts)

Next row (K1, K2tog) to the end (16sts)

Next row K2tog to the end (8sts)****

B&t tightly

Antennae

Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Antenna Piece Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas

Make 2 for Each Caterpillar

Time - 10 Minutes Each Piece

Size 4.5 cm

Needles 3.25 mm

Yarn Light Brown/Fawn

Cast on 6 sts

Beginning with a K row st-st 10 rows

Next row incKwise into every st (12sts)

Beginning with a P row st-st 3 further rows

Next row K2tog to end (6sts)

B&t tightly

Legs

Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Legs Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas

Make 5 for Each Caterpillar

(Each piece makes a pair of legs, forming a total of 10 legs)

Time - 5 Minutes Each

Size 13 cm

Needles not needed

For thicker legs, you may with to use chunky wool, but I have used three 90cm triple lengths of yarn.

Cut three lengths of yarn to around 90cm, placing them together.

Finger-knit from one end to your desired length.

Depending on your tension, 90cm of triple regular yarn will result in finger-knitted lengths of up to around 13cm.

With both ends of your finger knitting fastened off, cut the yarn ends leaving yarn ends approximately 1cm, each hanging freely to form 'toes'.

Piece it Together...

Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Body Piece Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas
Knitted Body Piece

Lettering

You may wish to leave your caterpillar plain, but adding the lettering at this point (before the caterpillar is sewn up) will allow you to fasten off loose ends more easily, hidden within the caterpillar.

I have sewn on buttons positioned a quarter of the way from the edge of the body piece to allow the completed letters to lie directly on the side of the caterpillars body when made up.

Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Side Buttons Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas
Side Lettering
Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Sewing Up Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas
Sewing up Caterpillar Body

Body Piece

Beginning at the caterpillars rear end (brown), oversew row ends down the entire length, with wrong side of stocking-stitch on the outside.

Sew up each segment in the co-ordinating colour by using the broken off yarn ends of each segment.

Turn right-side out and begin stuffing the caterpillar. Stuffing one segment at a time will allow a more even filling.

Leave neck open at this stage.

Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Stuffing with Ellie Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas
Stuffing the Caterpillar
Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Antenna Made Up Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas
Knitted Antenna

Head & Antennae

Beginning at the B&t 'nose' end of the head piece, and with the wrong side of stocking stitch on the outside, oversew row ends down the entire length. Then turn right-side out.

Facial features, including a decorative button for his nose, may be sewn on at this point to allow fastening off of loose ends more discretely. Eyes are sewn and positioned symmetrically, 2 clear knitted rows above where the 'decrease' knitted rows commence.

With facial features in place, then stuff the head firmly to give it a full shape, leaving neck open at this stage.

For the antennae, oversew row ends of the knitted pieces with right side of stocking stitch on the outside, adding stuffing as you go.

Position antennae to top of head symmetrically as shown.

Fasten the cast on stitches of this completed head piece to the cast on stitches of the body piece.

Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Finished Face View Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas
Knitted Caterpillar
Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Sewing on Legs Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas
Sewing on Legs

And Lastly the legs...

Fold the finger knitted legs in half (as seen in photo) to find the centre, and attach this point to the centre of each segment, at the point where row ends are sewn together.

There you have your cheerful chappy!

Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Legs Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas
Sewn on Legs
Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Front Side View Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas
Knitted Caterpillar
Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Finished Plain Side View Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas
Plain Side
Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Side Buttons Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas
Side Lettering

Make it Different...

Choose your own colours and lettering/numbers to make him a little individual. Try different button noses, or even choose your own facial expression!

To make the pattern quicker and simpler, the increase and decrease rows at the start and end of each coloured segment may be done as plain knitted rows. This will just result in a smoother body.

Finger knitted legs were my choice for speed and ease but proper little feet might be worth the extra time. (Perhaps use the pattern from the little monster feet, making the legs slightly longer for a caterpillar.)

Makes a perfect knitted toy for a child to cuddle, a nice decoration, or add extra segments to the body for extra length to make a nice characterful knitted draught excluder!

Handmade Knitted Caterpillar Finished Face View Fitting in Knitting Children Quick Craft Ideas
Knitted Caterpillar

Behind the Scenes!

These patterns are all made up as I go along, learning from mistakes along the way. Every time I create a new pattern, I record it in the Updates part of this site (effectively my blog…)  There is a story behind each creation, and this can help give you some more ideas and encouragement.

All done?

Feel free to share your successes or any other tips or suggestions by emailing me. If it's all gone swimmingly and you're ready for you next challenge, have a look at what to try next!