FREE PATTERN: Thrifty Critter with Long Striped Scarf

wrapped in scarf

Time: 4 hrs

Cost: $0

Skills: Knitting in the rnd on dpns, single crochet.

Level: advanced beginner

You could easily change the size just by adjusting the yarn weight & needle size. He’s all scraps, so he’s free, hurrah!

I didn’t weigh the yarn, so I don’t have exact quantities, but I’ll just make a very generous guess. Use leftovers & scraps (I wrote the brand used when I knew what it was, but anything similar from your scrap bag will work). The head & torso work on 8st increments for increases & decreases. The bottom uses 6st (because of the change in st after the arms).

For additional accessory/decoration options see: Thrifty Critter Wizard Hat & Scarf pattern.


  • body: 25g dark red worsted wool yarn (used a Lamb’s Pride type 1-ply)
  • scarf: 15g self-striping sock yarn (used Lion Brand Magic Stripes in 202 Sea Blue)
  • hair: 6″ super bulky soft twist (used Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky 1007 Gray Wolf)
  • eyeballs: 2 yd off white or white DK yarn (used Blue Sky Alpacas Sportweight in 000 Natural White)
  • 1yd bright blue DK wool yarn
  • 1yd bright green DK wool yarn
  • 1′ black DK wool yarn


  • set/5 US5 dpns
  • US3 needles
  • small crochet hook
  • yarn needle


  • clusterstuff, scrap yarn, strips of rag or pantyhose for filling
  • beans to fill the bottom half (tie them up in a bit of cloth, net, or pantyhose so they don’t spill out while you knit the bottom)


With US5 dpns & red yarn, CO 8. Divide between 3 needles (you’ll save the extra needle to use later) & join & PM, being careful not to twist stitches. I used k into f&b of each stitch for my increases, but M1 would be tidier.


Rnd 1: *K fbl, repeat across rnd–16 st

Rnd 2 (and all even rnds): Knit.

Rnd 3: *K1, K fbl, repeat across rnd–24 st

Rnd 5: *K2, K fbl, repeat across rnd–32 st

Rnd 7: *K3, K fbl, repeat across rnd–40 st

Rnd 9: *K4, K fbl, repeat across rnd–48 st

Knit 9 rnds.


Note: Pay attention to tension–it’s easy to make these rapid decreases baggy.

Rnd 1: *K4, ssk, repeat across rnd–40 st

Rnd 2: *K3, ssk, repeat across rnd–32 st

Rnd 3: *K2, ssk, repeat across rnd–24 st

Rnd 4: *K1, ssk, repeat across rnd–16 st

Knit 8 rnds.


Rnd 1: *K1 K fbl, repeat across rnd–24 st

Rnd 2 (and all even rnds): Knit

Rnd 3: **K2, K fbl, repeat across rnd–32 st (errata change: previously erroneously included a duplicate of Row 1 for Row 3; this has been omitted and row numbering adjusted)

Rnd 5: *K3, K fbl, repeat across rnd–40 st

Knit 4 rnds.


Using just the next 4 stitches, work 18 rows I-cord.

Using the first 2 st of your I-cord, work 6 rows I-cord & BO

Break yarn, leaving 2′ tail.

Using yarn needle, thread tail back down to base of finger.

Using tail as your working yarn, knit 6 rows I-cord with the 2 remaining live st at the end of your I-cord yarn.

Weave end back down through arm.

Rejoin yarn. K20

Using next 4 st, work 9 rows of I-cord for the 2nd arm.

Using first 2 st, repeat finger as before.

Using next st, K fbl to make 2 st, then work another finger.

Repeat with remaining 1 live st at end of I-cord arm.

Break yarn and weave back down through arm.

Rejoin yarn and K to end of rnd.


When you reach armpits, PU 2 st into bottom of each arm–36 st

Next rnd: K tbl of 4 st under each armpit (2 PU st + 1 on either side) to make things tight and tidy.

Using stuffing of choice, stuff the head and neck.

worked to arms

Lower Body

K 7 rnds.

P rnd.

Stuff upper body with more stuffing to desired firmness, and lower body with beans bundled in a scrap of fabric pantyhose, produce net, etc. Leave the tied-off end facing down so you can untie and remove excess beans if necessary.


Rnd 1 (and all odd rnds until last 2): Knit.

Rnd 2: *K4, ssk, repeat to end of rnd–30 st

Rnd 4: *K3, ssk, repeat to end of rnd–24 st.

Rnd 6: *K2, ssk, repeat to end of rnd–18 st.

Rnd 7: *K1, ssk, repeat to end of rnd–12 st.

Using yarn needle, thread tail through live stitches, pull snug, tack down, and weave in end. If you like, leave a long tail, and push the needle all the way up through the top of the head (you’ll have to really squash him) and then back down to the bottom before weaving in the ends. This lets to flatten the top of his head a bit, if you wish.


Using yarn needle, thread bulky yarn through top, leaving a few inches loose. Feed needle all the way to bottom, trying for a weird angle to lodge inside end into beans. Pull needle through loosely so it slips out of yarn, leaving other yarn end snugly inside critter.

To get the wisp, wet the tip and roll it between your palms.


Big eye: Using white yarn & crochet hook, Ch 3. Working into 1st ch, SC6, then spiral around another rnd & join with a sl st.

Small eye: As above, but only work 1 rnd.

Sew eyes onto head, then embroider irises and pupils. I just did one pupil, which I think gives a nice lazy eye effect to the other eye.


With US 3 needles and self-striping sock yarn, CO 10

Sl 1, K to end.

Work 40″ (finished scarf will be longer than one shown–it’s still in progress. I’ll add some pictures with him wearing the finished length when we get a sunny day). BO.

Fringe ends.

Because I’m a dork, here’s a bunch more pictures:

on heat register

knitting on the porch

front stair

in the lobby

31 Replies to “FREE PATTERN: Thrifty Critter with Long Striped Scarf”

  1. Your critter is so cute and his scarf unbelievable, such a talented artist with wool.

    The little guy told me about the awesome dishcloth pattern, thank you for sharing such fun and the gift of your talent.

    Wooly hugs from Canada

  2. I am so in love with your creature, very inspiring! I don’t have anyone to teach knitting to these days, I may just knit up someone who knits :)

  3. Hey!!! That is the most adorable thing!! As soon as I get some circular needles, I am going to knit them for all my friends!! Thank you so much for posting this pattern!!

  4. He’s so adorable, I have him started already, but is there a typo in the top of his body? It says:
    Row 1-*k1, kfb1, repeat-24st
    Row 2-Knit
    Row 3-*k1, kfb1, repeat-24st
    However, Row 3 is a repeat of row1, and if I kfb1again, then I will end up with 36 st at the end of row 3, not 24, then this will throw off all of the other rows. Is this row a typo, or are the other rows typos? Is the ultimate goal 40st when you start the arms?

    Thanks! I just want to get him right to do him justice1

  5. I have to say, I absolutley LOVE the pictures of your knitter “in the real world”.

    Is there any chance I could get permission from you to post one of them on my myspace? I would gladly create a hyperlink to your blog and give you credit within.

    Thank you!

  6. I am not a very good knitter, “sigh” BUT, your guy, I will definitely try with all my might.Everything else I am struggling with involving yarn and needles, is on hold till this sweetie is done. (Wait…we need Oreo’s)
    He looks like he would be a good listener.
    Perhaps, a little misunderstood. Adorable!
    Also, you are a very good photographer. Your talents are incredible. Thank you for the pattern!
    Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad
    J in Albuquerque

  7. Hi! I just found this and think he’s too cute. I’m making him as a ‘blues buster’ for a swap pal. One question. . on the first arm where you say ‘use first 2 sts to work 6 st I-cord’. . .. do you mean 6 ROWS of a 2 stitch I-cord? Or do you really want to do double increases in each of the 2 stitches to get 6 stitches?


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  9. Hey! Love this little fella and would love to have a go at knitting him but I don’t understand the abbreviations, are they on the site somewhere? Thanks!

  10. awwwww that a nice knitter person… does he have a backround story ? like he was the smartest critter but picked on 4 it. and then a hunter threatend the knitters race but knitter had an idea. rbuild a bigger scary knitter and so they did and thanks to knitters work they were all safe and sound =D

  11. Hey! I relay want to get started on this, but the only part of the pattern I don’t understand is the FBL part, could someone explain please =3

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