36 Free Toy Animal Knitting Patterns

So many free toy animal knitting patterns, so little time. This list includes both wild and domestic animals.

This is a long compilation, so I added a Table of Contents. Skip to the sections you are looking for.

Why Compile Toy Animal Knitting Patterns?

Knitted toy animals make great gifts especially for non-knitters than socks, sweaters or scarves. You don’t have to worry about their sizes and their fashion preferences. And all kids love toy animals.

Knitted toys usually feature various types of techniques for shaping such as short rows, increasing and decreasing, and because knitted toys are small projects, they are a great way to pick up these techniques without committing to a large project like a sweater, cardigan and more.

The smaller-sized toy animals are great yarn busters as they often need only 50 yards or less. They are also quicker to finish. Lastly, most toy animals do not require blocking. Yay!

There are quite a lot of free toy animal knitting patterns out there to try. I picked those I think are fairly well thought out, have interesting constructions or offer new techniques.

Toy Animal Knitting Tips

To knit toy animals, you really need to know how to knit in the round. Most animals either have a round body or designers will design a cute round body for it. Limbs are almost always knit in the round. Knitting all the tiny pieces flat and then seaming them up is too tedious to be enjoyable.

Be bold with facial expressions. Decide and practise how you want to do eyes, nose, mouth because the instructions in the pattern are usually not that clear unless they are buttons, plastic eyes or noses or cut-out felt shapes.

For toys meant for young children, choking is a major concern so make sure the items you choose to use are safe for kids. Embroidered faces are the safest.

Toy animals can be either realistic or cute. A good example is the octopus patterns on my list. One is uber realistic while the other is cute and cuddly.

Knitted Birds

Easter Chickens

Easter Chicken
Image source: laughinghens.com

I have a preference for whimsical design and Janice’s chicken fit the bill. They will definitely catch some eyeballs sitting on your shelves. Find the free web-based pattern at laughinghens.com.

Spud and Chloe’s Flamingo

Spud and Chloe's Flamingo
Image source: blueskyfibers.com

This pink flamingo has an added bouncy ball inside so it will bounce when you throw it. Gives the body a nice round shape too. You will need to know how to do a picot binding or at least be willing to learn it. Find the free PDF pattern at Ravelry.com.

Betsy’s Goose

Betsy's Goose
Image source: Ravelry.com

I thought this goose pattern is really realistic. The shaping is really good. Find the free PDF pattern at Ravelry.com.

Spring Robins

Image source: Lovecrafts.com

Robins seem like a sign for Spring in the temperate regions. Our tropical birds are always with us.

This pattern contains instructions for an adult, babies and a nest. The adult is knitted in the round. The wings are knitted separately and sewn onto the body. Dimensions is about 8 inches long, and 2 1/2 inches wide. Find the free downloadable PDF at Lovecrafts.com.

The designer, Sara Elizabeth Kellner, has designed quite a large collection of small animals and accessories.

Knitted Robin

Valley Yarns' Knitted Robin
Image source: yarn.com

This robin pattern will make a 4-inch tall, red-breasted robin. There is also a pattern for a crochet version. The body is knitted in the round as a single piece. The head is formed by changing yarn. The red breast is separately knitted and sewn on.

Find the free PDF pattern at Yarn.com.

Knitted Cats

Jiji The Cat

Jiji the cat
Image source: sincerelylouise.blogspot.sg

Jiji the black cat is the companion of Kiki, the girl who deliver parcels by flying on a broomstick. Both characters are from a Japanese animation movie called “Kiki’s Delivery Service” from Studio Ghibli. This pattern doesn’t have limbs but is still very cat-like. Watch some of Jiji’s sassy moves in the movie.

Find the free web-based pattern at Sincerelylouise.

Share Kitty

Share Kitty
Image source: justjen-knitsandstitches.blogspot.sg

This is a big kitty at 41 cm tall. Legs, body, and head are knitted in 2 pieces: front and back. The arms, ears, and tail are knitted separately and then attached. Find the free web-based pattern at Justjen-knitsandstitches.

Kate The Cat

Kate the Cat
Image source: knitty.com

Kate’s body and arm are knitted in one piece. The head is one colour and the body has 2 colours. This means that you will need to prepare 3 balls of yarn. Legs, arms, and ears are made separately and attached to the body.

Find the free web-based pattern at Knitty.com.

Parlor Cat

Parlour cat
Image source: Ravelry.com

The designer Sara captures a very typical habit of a kitty cat. Sitting with paws and legs under the body and tail curled and wrapped around the body. Just looking at it is relaxing.

Parlour cat is knitted in the round in one piece from head to tail. Minimum sewing and making up. How cute the cat turns out is determined by how well you can make up the face.

Find the free PDF pattern at Ravelry.com.

Knitted Dogs

Nameless Dog

Nameless dog
Image source: Ravelry.com

Nameless is made up of several garter stitch rectangles and squares. It is easy to put it together with a bit of sewing. What a great cuddly toy for a small child it makes. Find the free PDF pattern at Ravelry.com.

Jake The Dog

Jake the Dog

Are you a fan of Adventure Time? Then you must try this pattern by Lizzard. Fin is available too. Find the free web-based pattern at Lizzardcrafts.

Polar Pug

Polar pug
Image source: whodunnknit.com

This pug is so cute. But fair warning, there are 9 parts to sew together. But if you love the storybook Pugs of the Frozen North, then you gotta have this pug. Find the free web-based pattern at Jabberworks.

Jack Russell

Jack Russell

This knitting pattern uses techniques including stranded colourwork, increases, decreases and seaming. The stranded colourwork is not too complicated. It is made up of quite a few parts though and requires sewing up. Find the free web pattern at Gathered.com.

Knitted Elephants

Elephant Knitting Pattern

Knitted elephant
Image source: womansday.com

With 2 gleaming white tusks and flared ears, Sarah’s elephant reminds me of Babar The Elephant. Different parts of the body are knitted separately and then assembled. This gives the elephant a more realistic shape. Find the free pattern at Woman’s Day.

Babar the Elephant

Babar elephant
Image source: Ravelry.com

I mentioned that Sarah’s knitted elephant reminded me of Babar. Here is a pattern for an 11-inch Babar. The pattern includes Babar, his green suit, a bowler hat, his King’s cape and crown. Very cool! Find the free PDF pattern at Ravelry.com.

Knitted Mice

Marisol The Knitted Mouse

Marisol the knitted mouse
Image source: Ravelry.com

Marisol has such a sweet round face and a long pink tail. It looks best with grey yarn for the body and head and pink yarn for ears and tail. Too cute. Find the free PDF pattern at Ravelry.com.

She reminds me of Celestine from Ernest and Celestine. A storybook by Gabrielle Vincent that had been turned into an animated film by Benjamin Renner. See the trailer here –

Country Mouse

Country Mouse
Image source: yarnspirations.com

Knit this big, sweet country mouse for a child that loves to cuddle. There are quite a few pieces to knit up but since it is a big toy, hopefully, it isn’t too fiddly to handle. Find the free PDF pattern at Yarnspirations.

Stilton the Mouse

Stilton the Mouse
Image source: loveknitting.com

Who can resist a cuddly toy mouse? You need to know how to knit in the round because all the limbs and body parts are knitted in the round. Find the free PDF pattern at Lovecrafts.

Knitted Octopus

Octopus Opus

Octopus Opus
Image source: knitty.com

The MOST realistic octopus I have ever seen! Cate uses plastic eyes and created eyelids which really add something different to the octopus. If you are knitting this for a small kid, you can substitute the eyes with safety eyes or use black yarn.

It is not for the faint-hearted, but one can learn a lot from this project.

Find the free web-based pattern at Knitty.com.

Knit Octopus

Purl Soho Knit Octopus
Image source: purlsoho.com

Unlike Cate’s ultra-realistic octopus, Purl Soho’s is a cute one in warm white. The tentacles feature an interesting stitch pattern. You must be comfortable knitting in the round using double-pointed needles, magic loop or 2 circular needles because there is quite a bit of that going on. Purl Soho has very clear instructions on how to connect the tentacles to the body so it is a good project to learn how to do the assembly.

Find the free web-based pattern at Purlsoho.com.

Knitted Owls

I am not sure why but there are a lot of free owls knitting patterns. Some are really good, and I think it is a perfect project for someone learning to knit in the round.

Little Black Owl

Little black owl

This cute little owl is basically a knitted ball with felt circles and black buttons as eyes. It is really quite straightforward if you already know how to knit in the round and do increases and decreases.

Find the free web-based pattern at justcraftyenough.com.

Amanda’s Stuffy Owl

Stuffy owl
Image source: loveknitting.com

Knit in one piece. Amanda’s stuffy owl’s eyes and beak are added after knitting using the duplicate stitch. There are no tricky colourwork here although the chart is given if you want to try that. The project is knitted flat, and the pieces are sewn together.

Find the free PDF pattern at Lovecrafts.com.

Purl Soho’s Big Snowy Owl

Big snowy owl
Image source: purlsoho.com

When Purl Soho called this big, they meant it. This is a humongous project, as big as an adult cat. It requires Super Bulky yarn and US size 15 needles.

Big snowy is knitted in the round starting from the bottom up all the way to the ears. The eyes are knitted separately and sewn on. The beak is picked up stitches between the eyes.

Find the free web-based pattern at Purlsoho.com.

Cordell The Owl

Cordell the owl
Image source: ravelry.com

Cordell is a silly looking owl. Knit in the round from bottom to head and is about 11 cm high. I like his big round protruding eyes.

Find the free PDF pattern at Ravelry.com.

Knitted Rabbits

Rabbit and Bear

April Cromwell's Rabbit and Bear
Image source: https://bysmallmeans.wordpress.com

The pattern consists of a rabbit and bear plus 5 clothing items. Find the free pdf pattern at Bysmallmeans.

Organico Rabbit

Organico Rabbit
Image source: yarnplaza.com

Another soft cuddly toy for lots of love and hugs. Find the free PDF pattern at Yarn Plaza.

Henry’s Bunny

Henry's Bunny
Image source: Ravelry

Henry’s bunny is created using short rows to shape the body, head and ears. The ears are tricky which is why designer took pictures and with step-by-step instructions. The model bunny is not very big, the size of a palm but I think it could be made larger by using bulky yarn and bigger needles. Find the free PDF pattern at Ravelry.com.

Henry’s Rabbit

Sara's Henry's Rabbit
Image source: Ravelry.com

Henry bunny and Henry Rabbit are designed by the same designer. But Henry’s rabbit is about 12 inches long and 6 inches tall.

Besides their size differences, their construction cannot be more different too. All the pieces of this knitted rabbit are knitted in the round so there are minimal sewing up. The eyes, nose and whiskers can either be embroidered or sewn in buttons or felt pieces depending on the recipient. Find the free PDF pattern at Ravelry.

Knitted Sheep

Fuzzy mitten lamb

Fuzzy mitten lamb

Designed by Barbara Prime. Softies are good for any age, but Fuzzy Lamb is a nice size for a toddler. According to Barbara, the gauge is not so important. If a heavier weight is used, the toy will be bigger. Parts include a head, a body, a tail, a pair of legs, arms, and ears. All body parts are knitted flat, seamed up and stuffed. Each part is then attached to the body accordingly. Seems like a lot of making up work but I do like the end product.

The type of yarn you use will determine the look. Use yarn with fuzz for the body and non-fuzz for the face will make the facial feature more prominent. The designer is generous, you can make this toy lamb to sell but not for mass production. Skills needed: stockinette and garter stitch, increases, decreases and sewing up seams.

Find the free PDF pattern at Lovecrafts.

Sheepy the Sheep

This sheep has an interesting construction technique. The “skeleton” is made up of pipe cleaners. Stuffing is wrapped around the limbs and head before the knitting even starts.

The fluffy body is made up of a knitted square. The original knit texture is basketweave but the designer encouraged experimentation. I can see knitting this in brioche stitch.

Find the free web-based pattern at theknitguru.com.

Knitted Wild Animals

Gabrielle’s Armadillo

Gabrielle's Armadillo
Image source: Ravelry.com

For Gabrielle’s first attempt, this cute armadillo pattern is actually quite good. There are a couple of pieces but the making up is quite straightforward.

Find the free PDF pattern at Ravelry.

Sara’s Beaver

Image source: Ravelry.com

This knitted beaver is about 16 inches long complete with a big flat tail. Don’t you just love its big fat butt?

Find the free PDF pattern at Ravelry.

Purl Soho’s Knitted Hedgehogs

Knitted Hedgehogs
Image source: purlsoho.com

This hedgehog has a really sweet face and a perfect shape. It doesn’t come with feet so if you think your hedgehog needs some, knit some of your own.

It is knitted as a single piece starting with the face, then the stockinette belly, then the garter stitch back and finally the ears.

Find the free web-based pattern at Purlsoho.com.


Image source: https://www.ravelry.com/people/DanceInRain

The designer, Malissa Ackerman Lightfoot, wanted to knit a hippo without sewing. Hipponymous is the result. It is nearly seamless, blame the ears. The shapely hippo is created using short rows. I envy designers who can create shapes with short rows. I am not there yet.

Find the free PDF pattern at Ravelry. It includes several variations for personal customization. It lacks progress pictures though, so knitters need to read the pattern and visualize the work.

Tortoise Knitting Pattern


Mrs West is designed by Louise Walker. She spots a diamond repeat pattern on her pink shell. There is a little bit of colourwork which I think is manageable for beginners.

Find the free PDF pattern at Ravelry.com.

Sheldon the Turtle

Turtle Sheldon
Image source: Knitty.com

Sheldon is cute but also practical. His shell can be removed to be washed separately. Knit up additional shells in different colours for Sheldon to change into. What great fun Sheldon makes a child.

Find the free web-based pattern at Knitty.com.

Bernat’s Knit Zebra

Knit zebra

These knit zebras are uber cute and cuddly. The narrow stripes are made by changing colours every 2 rows while knitting in the round.

Find the free PDF pattern at Yarnspirations. There is also a video tutorial with some tips and tricks to make your knitting neater and easier.

Zebra Paul

Paul is a slightly more realistic zebra compared to Bernat’s Knit Zebra.

Using the Bravo Animal variegated yarn, creating Zebra Paul’s stripes is a breeze. There are 7 parts: the body and head are a single piece, 4 legs, 4 for ears.

It might be a bit fiddly to sew up, or at least I would feel so. I’m left-handed and do not sew very well.

Find the free PDF pattern at Schachenmayr.com.

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Happy knitting!

toy animal knitting patterns

Let me know what you think

One response to “36 Free Toy Animal Knitting Patterns”

  1. joy Avatar

    I would love to find a pattern to knit a possum bag for holding plastic bags (or whatever). A pattern for a fabric one would do.

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