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Stars in His Squishy Owl Eyes (And tips on stuffing your Owl)

I rather love my little Squish Owls. They’re small and fun to make, and, of course, extremely squishable.

I recently knit up this little guy using some cotton yarn from Knit Picks (a combo of “Comfy” and “Shine Worsted,” I think, since I have both in a bunch of colours), and I think he’s very handsome. He’s made to match a baby boy’s room, but the baby boy is taking his time arriving! The little rascal’s due date was yesterday, but as of last night, he seemed to be in no hurry to arrive.

Here are a couple more pics of this owl, followed by some tips on stuffing your own Squish Owl.

How to stuff your Squish Owl:
Think “cylinder.” I know it’s tempting to make them really round and fat, and if you really want to, you can. But I like mine to look tall.

First, I shove bits of stuffing right down to the bottom to make a flat base for him to “stand” on.  His bottom has lots of room in it from all those increases we knit in, so be sure to shove lots of stuffing around in that circular base to fluff him up and give him some support.

I add it in loose, peach-sized amounts at first, building the owl from the bottom, then putting smooth pieces around the outsides, then adding bulk into the middle.  I want to control the shape of the owl.  If one part looks too fat, I remove a little. If it looks too skinny or empty, I add a bit more. But I do that in small increments so as not make him all lumpy.  I also avoid bunching the stuffing up before I put it in, since making it more dense beforehand also makes it more lumpy and takes away my control.  If I keep the stuffing loose, I can control the density after it has been added, therefore avoiding weird lumps.

The goal is to make him nice and cylindrical. Actually, I try to add a little more padding at his sides so he’s more of an oval cylinder.  You want his stitches to look nice and taut, but not overstretched. Keep tweaking the shaping of the stuffing until you are satisfied. You can always shove your fingers in there to rearrange things, or even take stuffing out if it’s misbehaving. His shape isn’t determined until you graft those last stitches together, so be picky.

After the body is the shape I want, I stuff the ear tufts.  I shove a small, loose piece right up into the tips first, poking it with my finger and gradually adding more until the tip is nice and pointy.  Then, I usually have to add a little more stuffing under the tufts and above the body stuffing, just to make sure the tufts will stay puffy.  I poke it around with my finger until the body-to-tuft transition is nice and smooth, adding extra stuffing or taking it away as needed.  Then I fill in the middle of the owl’s head, underneath the spot where I’ll be grafting.

The trickiest part, I think, is that last bit of stuffing before you graft. I’m always inclined to put in too little stuffing at the top because I feel like the stitches are pulled too tight. But if I don’t have enough stuffing, the top of his head will be too empty after grafting (because the grafting basically adds one more row of stitches). So don’t be afraid to add a little extra underneath the grafting spot.

Do you have any tips for us on stuffing your Squish Owl? If so, I’d love to hear them!

And now, I’ll end with just one more photo.  Happy stuffing!

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Squish Owls

Barn owls? Screech owls? No… Squish Owls!

On a whim one day, I decided to knit my daughter an owl. Because you see, every day when she wakes up from her nap, she points at the colourful decals of owls on her bedroom wall and yells, “Oww! Oww!” repeatedly. I say, if something is good enough to be yelled about, it is high time to convert it to knitting.

I started with this one:

And I enjoyed knitting it so much that I started dreaming about making more, but with little “sweaters” around their bellies. My sister, ever the source of good ideas, suggested not just a sweater, but an argyle vest. I like to keep things simple, and argyle is not in my “simple” mental category. (Maybe in my “Oh Gosh! I’ll have to try that someday just because it’s there, but I’m not sure I really want to” category.) So, here is The Fake Argyle Sweater Vest Owl:

I’m also a sucker for Fair Isle. What could be more Fair Isle (and more simple) than X’s and O’s?

And since I was knitting for my little girl, I felt the need to try out some hearts. ♥♥♥

My next urge was to knit a Charlie-Brown-esque Owlie with a zig zag stripe, but it was at that point that I realized I was running out of colours. Blurg. The good news is that I included the chart for a zig zag in the pattern, so you can fulfil my longing for me. And I have hope that someday soon, I’ll be able to replenish my basket o’ colours. (I desperately need to after knitting up all those colourful hats for my kiddos.)

I have visions of these little Squish Owls becoming not just squeezy toys, but possibly a mobile of some sort. I can just picture it now: little owls pinned to the ceiling, flying on their stout little wings and enjoying the breeze of naptime dreams.

It will certainly keep them from becoming mauled to death.

The pattern for the Squish Owls includes
~ pictures! Lots of pictures! Instructional pictures!
~ the techniques I used to sew & attach the Owlies’ parts
~ a glossary. Exciting, I know.
~ four charts: Tiny Hearts, Tiny Diamonds (AKA The Fake Argyle Sweater), X’s and O’s, and Zig Zag. I used Tricksy Knitter’s chart-making tool to create them.
Click here for tips on stuffing your Owls.

Did I mention these little Owls are only 4.5 inches tall? And that they can fly? (Kids’ fire power not included.)

This pattern costs $5 CAD.