Tuesday, March 4, 2008

How to knit a toy bee


Now I know you have *always* wanted to knit a small stripey bee. So here's how you do it (I wasn't going to post instructions but I've put these on Ravelry (here) and someone asked me ...so here they are)

Firstly you go and buy some yellow and black yarn. Or you dig around in your stash for some little bits of leftovers. I splashed out on some Panda Disco which retails here for the outrageous price of $1 a ball. It's acrylic, it's cheap and it's perfect for a little project like this. Don't get me wrong, I have a love affair with wool and all its wonderful properties but sometimes acrylic is the way to go. And this is one of them. Bright , machine washable, doesn't pill and its no biggie if it ends up in the sandpit, out in the garden or being slobbered on. If you get the Disco it comes as 20g balls. I think you might get about half a dozen bees from the 2 balls.

I used 3.25mm needles as the yarn I used is 8ply/dk. You can use whatever yarn you want , just choose needles a few sizes smaller than usual so that your knitting will be dense so that the stuffing won't show through

Begin at the nose, CO5 in yellow
(K1M1) 3 times, K2 =8st
Change to black and do a 2 row st st stripe
Change to yellow and do a 2 row st st stripe
Continue this stripe pattern until you have 4 black stripes (3 yellow stripes+nose).
Change to yellow and knit one row
(P2 P2tog) to end =21st
(K1K2tog)*K3 =15st
(P1P2tog)* =10st
(K2tog)* =5st
P2tog,P1,P2tog = 3st

On these 3 stitches either do 3 or 4 rows of st st or slip them onto a DPN and do 4rows of Icord.
K3tog and BO, leave a long tail
Thread tail down through stinger (ifyou did the st st option you will need to seam the stinger too)and use tail of thread to seam your bee. I used back stitch because the bees were so small and I find it easier to match up stripes. Leave a small opening. Turn right sides out. Stuff with filler then sew up remaining part of seam.
Embroider on some eyes

Wings (make 2)
In black CO5. Work one row seed/moss stitch.
CO1 at the beginning of next row, patt to end.
Rep this row until you have 15st (or until you decide its the right size)
One row patt with no increasing

Sew onto to your bee (I put mine on the 2nd black stripe) and you are all done :)

CO3 in yellow
(K1M1)*K1 =5st
(K1M1)*K1 =9st
Change to black and do a 2 row st st stripe
Change to yellow and do a 2 row st st stripe
Continue this stripe pattern until you have 4 black stripes (3 yellow stripes+nose).
Change to yellow and knit one row
P2togP1P2tog =3st

Make your stinger as for Mama Bee and follow instructions above for sewing up and stuffing. Embroider on eyes.

Wings (make2)
CO 3 in black. Work one row in moss/seed stitch
CO1 at the beginning of next row, patt to end
Repeat this row until 9st (or until you decide its the right size)
Work one row in patt with no increase
BO and sew on.

The Mama Bee is approx 10cm long and about 5cm high&wide. Baby bee is about 8cmx3cmx3cm. They are a nice size for small hands and would make a great mobile or rattle (just buy a small bell/rattle from your haberdashery shop and pop in with your stuffing). You can easily make more bees slightly bigger and smaller by fudging the increases at the nose to get a different number of stitches for the body.


I did double check the numbers but a typo or 2 may have slipped in. Feel free to email me if you find an error.

Would love to see your bee creations so send me a link , or a pic I can post here :)

This pattern is for personal use only. Swaps, gifts and charitable donations are fine. Do not sell this pattern. Do not sell items made from this pattern. Do not copy and paste this pattern elsewhere, you are welcome to link. If in doubt flick me an email.


Michaela said...

Those are so adorable!! Thanks for the pattern!

Anonymous said...

Mega cute! Thanks Gabes, I'm definately gonna have to make these!

chris said...

I love these, how cute. I have made bee socks in the past (yellow and black stripes), I will make these too!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! I just know Lily's going to want to knit these.

Windansea said...

Those are the cutest! Very adorable. Lydia

MotherMe said...

Oh, sheesh, how adorable! My beekeeper inlaws are gonna get some of those for Christmas, I bet! :) Very cute, and thank you for posting the pattern!

Kathy said...



just the bees knees!

elenor said...

thank you for sharing that cute pattern!
best wishes from Austria!

sarahbean said...

Aww too cool, just searched on rav for a bee pattern and who should pop up but you! I feel famous by association now ;)
Def going to give these a go.

Karen said...

It doesn't matter how bizarre your needs are, you can always find what you want on tinternet - i really need a bee pattern and this is perfect!
Thank you for sharing :)

Deena said...

Aren't these cute?! My cat is going to love playing with these. Thank you so much for sharing this pattern.