Handmade toys are both fun to play with and make great keepsakes for future generations. Crochet animals are perfect for new babies and older children as well. With a simple stitch and your own design, you can crochet animals that will entertain and delight kids of all ages.
Things You'll Need
- Crochet hook
- Yarn needle
- Fiberfill or other stuffing
- Felt scraps
Plan the animal you intend to crochet before you reach for the yarn. You can crochet a teddy bear, cat, rabbit, dog and any other type of animal. The easiest type of animal to crochet has an upright body, four legs that stick out to the front, and a head on top with ears.
Begin crocheting at the top of the head by making enough chain stitches to form a tight loop--usually about six. Join the ends to form a loop. Working in a spiral pattern without stopping, make single crochet stitches in every yarn loop around the chain stitch. Continue crochet stitching around in a spiral pattern, adding additional single crochets to every row. The first row, for a small size crochet animal, should have 18 single crochet, the second row should have 24, then 36. When you reach the middle of the head's circle, reduce the number of stitches down again to form a ball.
Crochet the body of the stuffed animal in the same way as the head by beginning with a chain stitch loop. The body of the animal, instead of being generally spherical, should be made longer. When you reach the widest part with the greatest number of single crochets per row, continue with that number of stitches for as long as you want the animal body.
Make each arm and leg by starting with a tight circle of chain stitches. Crochet using single crochet stitches in a spiral pattern around that starter loop. Increase the number of stitches for the first five or six rounds to make a flat, disc shape. This is the bottom of each hand or foot on your crochet animal. When this is done, stop increasing the crochet stitches and simply single crochet a tube to make each arm or leg. You can also make a tail using this method.
Use polyester fiberfill or other stuffing material to fill all the pieces of the crochet animal body. The density of the filling is up to you. If you want the animal to sit up, use more. If you want a snuggly toy, use less. Try not to stretch the crochet stitches apart when you stuff the animal. Use a long piece of yarn the same color as the body, head and legs of your crochet animal to attach the pieces together. Be careful to keep the edges neat and tightly connected by making very small stitches around the edge.
Add eyes, nose, mouth and other features by stitching them in with yarn, or cutting felt fabric scraps and stitching on to the animal's body. Using buttons for eyes or accents on the body can be done if the crochet animal is not intended for use by babies or young children who might accidentally choke on the small objects.
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