I have been knitting for over 50 years and love to share this wonderful, relaxing and therapeutic craft with others.
Knitted Dolls Make Great Halloween Crafts
Once I decided I was going to have a go at knit design, it seemed natural to start with toys—they are small, portable, and usually look very cute when they are finished.
I started with some animals. I made a rainbow cat, an owl, a pig, a panda, and even a unicorn. Then I started imagining dolls dressed up in their Halloween finery and ready to go trick or treating, and so my Halloween dolls came to be.
When I started designing knitted dolls, I did not fully understand the design process, so I started with a simple pillow shape for the bodies. The dolls that followed were also designed using simple shapes involving little or no shaping and easy construction techniques.
If you find any part of the pattern challenging slowing down and taking your time can ease the process. You could also post a question here if you get stuck.
Below, I share my design process. Useful videos about knitting techniques and a free pattern for my knitted Mr Pumpkin Head are also included. For more knitting patterns, check out the link in my profile.
I hope you enjoy the pattern below.
- 25g Black double knitting yarn
- 25g Orange double knitting yarnBlack
- Small amount of green double knitting yarn
- Small amount of yellow double knitting yarn
- One pair of 3 mm knitting needles
- Two size 3mm double pointed knitting needles
- Toy Filling
- A Darning Needle
- A small pumpkin charm (Optional)
Useful Info Before You Begin
- Leave long yarn tails on your cast on/off pieces as they are the best/strongest way of sewing up your toys.
- When sewing the eyes & mouth, tie a single knot into the end of the yarn leaving about a 2 cm tail.
- Starting at the back of the head, push the needle through to the front at the point where you want to place the features, pull until the knot & tail disappear & sew as required. If a little of the tail still shows, pull it gently & carefully snip with scissors close to the body.
- Once you are happy with the facial features you secure the yarn in the same way – tie a double knot in the excess yarn about 3 cm from your toy
- Take the yarn through to the back of the head, pull the yarn slightly until the knot disappears and snip close to the body. The knot will help secure the yarn inside the body and prevent unravelling.
- The eyes and mouth are swiss darned/duplicate stitched and I have attached a How To video should you need any help with the technique.
Frequently check your picture of Mr Pumpkin Head to check for placement tips.
Body and Head
Using black yarn and your DPN's (you can opt to knit flat and seam) cast on 40 stitches. Divide your stitches among your DPN's.
Making sure you join your knitting to knit in the round, knit 30 rows. Change to orange yarn.
- Row 1. Knit.
- Row 2. Knit front and back (KFB) in every stitch = 80 stitches.
- Row 3 - 15. Knit 3 purl 1 rib.
- Row 16. Knit two together to the end = 40 stitches.
- Row 17. Knit two together to the end = 20 stitches.
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Cut the yarn leaving a long yarn tail. Thread the yarn tail through the remaining 20 stitches.
Fill the body with toy filling.
Weave a length of black yarn around the last black row of stitches, pull tightly and bind off. This will give your doll a bit of a neck.
Fill the head with toy filling.
Pull the threaded stitches tightly and bind off.
Using black yarn and two DPN's, cast on 8 stitches.
- Row 1. Knit
- Row 2. Knit
- Row 3. KFB every stitch = 16 stitches
- Rows 4 & 5. Knit
- Row 6. KFB every stitch = 32 stitches
- Rows 7 & 8. Knit
- Row 9. KFB every stitch = 64 stitches
Pin the knitted circular base around the bottom of your doll and stitch in place using a bit of extra toy filling where needed. You could place a circular piece of cardboard in place before you stitch in the circular knitting to help your doll stand better. Just draw around the finished knitted cirle for the size.
The Arms (Make Two)
- With colour black, cast on 7 stitches.
- Garter stitch 2 rows.
- Starting with a knit row stocking stitch 20 rows.
- Garter stitch 3 rows.
Making Up the Arms
- With wrong side facing (purl side) – fold the cast on edge towards the cast-off edge, stopping 2 rows under the final 3 garter stitch rows. So, one side of the arm will be a bit longer than the other.
- Using your tail ends - Over sew neatly along both side seams.
- Lightly fill with toy filling. Using the picture on the front of your pattern as a guide, position arms and sew in place. The shorter side of the arm should face forwards. The longer side of the arm should sit to the back as the longer tab helps the arms to sit more snug to the body. I use the garter stitch rows on the front and back of the arms to sew along as your stitches will be barely noticeable.
The Pumpkin Stalk I-Cord
Using the green colour yarn and two of your DPN's, cast on 6 stitches.
Starting with a knit row, stocking stitch 4 rows.
- Row 5. Knit 1, slip 1, pass slip stitch over, Knit two together = 2 stitches.
- Row 6. Purl.
- Row 7. Knit. Do not turn your work but push the stitches to the other end of your DPN.
- Row 8. Pulling the yarn firmly, knit 2 stitches. Push the stitches to the other end of your DPN.
Continue working row 8 for a further 8 rows.
Cast off, remembering to leave a long tail.
Making Up the Stalk
Thread your needle with one of the tail ends and run through the centre of the I-Cord backwards and forwards several times, pulling gently on the last pass through to scrunch the stalk up a little.
Place the flat bit of the stalk (The four stocking stitch rows) on the top of the pumpkin head covering any gap left from the sewing up and sew in place. Use the photo at the top of the page as a placement guide.
Using black yarn, cast on 14 stitches, change to yellow yarn.
- Starting with a knit row, stocking stitch 6 rows. Change to black yarn.
- Garter stitch 3 rows.
- Purl 1 row.
- Knit two together to the end = 7 stitches.
- Puri 1 row.
Cut the yarn leaving a long tail end.
Making Up the Lantern
Thread your needle and pull through the 7 stitches and bind off.
With right sides together, sew along the row ends, changing colour where necessary. Turn right side out and fill with toy filling.
The Lantern Base
- Using black yarn, cast on 14 stitches.
- Knit 1 row.
- Purl two together to the end = 7 stitches.
Bring the row ends together to form a circle and sew.
Pin the base around the bottom of the lantern and sew in place adding more toy filling if required.
You can make a hanging loop with one of the spare black tail ends by threading your needle, sew a couple of small stitches one side of the top of the lantern. Carry you thread across to the opposite side leaving a loop big enough to fit the dolls arm and secure with a couple more stitches.
The Trick Or Treat Bag
Make two panels
- Using the orange yarn, cast on 7 stitches.
- Row 1. Slip one purlwise, knit to end
- Row 2. Slip one knitwise, purl to end
- Repeat rows 1 & 2 twice more.
- Row 7. Slip one purlwise, knit to end
Cast off knitwise.
Handle: Make a 1 stitch, 12 row I-Cord.
Making Up the Bag
With right sides together, sew around three sides of the bag panels. Turn right side out.
Sew the I-Cord handle in place either side of the top of the bag.
Sew to Mr Pumpkin heads hand.
The Face for Mr Pumpkin Head is swiss darning/duplicate stitch.
I have inserted a How To video above should your require any help with this technique.
Using Black Yarn
The mouth is 7 stitches wide and 3 rows in length.
The eyes are 2 stitches wide and 3 rows in length.
Using Orange Yarn
The teeth are placed as follows:
Top - 3 stitches in from the top left side of the mouth - make one swiss darn stitch.
Bottom - 2 stitches in from the bottom right side of the mouth - make one swiss darn stitch.
If you struggle with swiss darning/duplicate stitch you could make a couple of straight stitches instead.
The Pumpkin Charm
I used a pumpkin charm to decorate the dolls front to break up all the black knitting.
Charms are readily available on sites like Etsy and eBay if you want to purchase any or you could decorate the front of your doll with more swiss darning/duplicate stitch.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Sue Creftor