Free Pattern: Spring Chick

Is it getting a bit warmer, and a bit greener, where you live? There's still plenty of snow where I am, but the temperature is above freezing today, and the snow banks are shrinking! I'm thinking about the seeds I need to start for my gardens, and how long it will be until the local parks are dry enough to enjoy. To me, it feels like the perfect time to share this free pattern from my old blog.



The pattern is based on the chicken from the Fuzzy Farm pattern, but with the shaping adjusted to make it look more like a chick. The weight of yarn isn't specified, so just use whatever nice yellow yarn you have on hand (see notes below). If you have no yellow, knit a sparrow from brown, or a robin from grey with some red felt stitched to its breast.


There are m1 increases on the purl side, which are not too hard: just lift the yarn between stitches with your left hand needle (inserting the needle from the back) and purl into the front of the loop. The chicks are small, so you can make a few to practice! Happy knitting!


Materials

approx. 15-20 m (or yards) of yellow yarn, small amount of black yarn, 3" x 3" piece of orange felt, orange thread, stuffing, pair of straight knitting needles, tapestry needle, hand-sewing needle


Notes

Whatever weight of yarn you use, select knitting needles that are 1-2 sizes smaller than recommended for the yarn. This way the knitted fabric will be dense enough that the stuffing will not show through. The finished size of the chick will depend on the yarn you use. I used DK weight yarn on 3.25 mm needles, and mine turned out 8 cm (3") long.

Use a long-tail, or similar, cast on. Leaving a 25 cm (10”) yarn end when casting on will give you a convenient length of yarn for seaming.

Use mattress stitch to sew seams. To secure yarn ends on the toy pieces, weave the yarn ends through the body 2-3 times, then trim off any excess yarn.


Instructions

Cast on 21 sts.

Row 1: Purl.

Row 2: k1, m1, k7, k2tog, k1, ssk, k7, m1, k1. (21 sts)

Row 3: Purl.

Row 4-5: Repeat rows 2-3 once more.

Row 6-11: Work 6 rows in st st.

Row 12: k9, m1, k3, m1, k9. (23 sts)

Row 13: Purl.

Row 14: k10, m1, k3, m1, k10. (25 sts)

Row 15: p11, m1, p3, m1, p11. (27 sts)

Row 16: [k1, ssk] x 3, k3, m1, k3, m1, k3, [k2tog, k1] x 3. (23 sts)

Row 17: p10, m1, p3, m1, p10. (25 sts)

Row 18: [k1, ssk] x 3, k7, [k2tog, k1] x 3. (19 sts)

Row 19: Bind off 3 sts, p to end. (16 sts)

Row 20: Bind off 3 sts, k to end. (13 sts)

Row 21-22: Work 2 rows in st st.

Row 23: p1, [p2tog] x 6. (7 sts)

Break off yarn leaving a long end. Thread end through remaining sts and pull tight to gather.


Cut felt for feet and beak

Finishing

Use end of yellow yarn to sew up the seam, starting from the head, working along the belly, and ending at the base of the tail. Stuff firmly before closing the seam. Secure yarn ends. Embroider eyes by making a french-knot for each eye with the black yarn, then secure yarn ends. Cut out a beak and two feet from the orange felt and sew in place with a whip stitch. The open beak is a diamond shape, folded across the middle, with the fold stitched onto the face of the chick. The closed beak is a half-circle, rolled into a cone, with the flat sides stitched together. Place the open end of the cone on chick's face, with the seam facing down, and sew on.



Abbreviations


[ ] x N = repeat sequence in brackets N times ("to end" means to repeat until the end of the row)

k = knit

k2tog = decrease 1 stitch by knitting 2 stitches together

m1 (knit-side) = increase 1 by picking up loop between stitch just worked and next stitch, with your left needle, from front to back, and knit into the back of this loop

m1 (purl-side) = increase 1 by picking up loop between stitch just worked and next stitch, with your left needle, from back to front, and purl into the front of this loop

p = purl

ssk = decrease 1 by slipping 2 stitches purl-wise from left to right-hand needle, slip both stitches back to left-hand needle, then knit slipped stitches together

st or sts = stitch or stitches

st st = stockinette stitch