The Toadstool or Fly Agaric is one of the most recognisable types of fungi. In this pattern we will knit a red cap and then embroider the white spots as French Knots. Don't worry if you can't sew French Knots – this is the perfect chance to learn. Partly because the toadstool will look more natural if your spots are uneven, and partly because you tie a lot of them to cover the cap!
A printable version of this pattern is available.
You will need:
- red and white double knit
- white paper
- toy stuffing
- 4 x double ended knitting needles (3mm)
- tapestry needle
(A list of abbreviations is available.)
Cast on 32 stitches in red.
Join into the round and work as follows:
- Rounds 1-14: k –
- Round 15: [k6, k2togtbl] x 4 (28)
- Rounds 16-18: k –
- Round 19: [k2, k2togtbl, k3] x 4 (24)
- Round 20: k –
- Round 21: [k2togtbl, k4] x 4 (20)
- Round 22: [k2, k2togtbl, k1] x 4 (16)
- Round 23: [k2togtbl, k2] x 4 (12)
- Round 21: [k1, k2togtbl] x 4 (8)
- Round 25: k –
Thread yarn through remaining sts and pull tight. Tie a knot to hold this stitches closed and then turn the cap inside out. (The wrong-side will be the outside of our toadstool)
Making Up (Cap):
Using a length of the white yarn embroider French Knots all over the red cap. Try to space them a little unevenly and make the spots of varying sizes. If you would rather tie fewer, larger knots use a double thickness of white yarn. Fill the completed cap loosely with toy stuffing.
In white pick up 16 sts along the cast off edge of the cap (every other stitch).
- Round 1: k – (16)
- Round 2: [k2tog, k2] x 4 (12)
Work 3-4 cm straight.
- Final Round: k2tog x 6 (6)
Making Up (Stem):
Cut three strips of paper 30cm x 3 – 4cm (a.k.a. take a piece of A4 paper and cut three lengthwise strips about the same height as your toadstool stem).
Roll the paper tightly to make a cylinder. Insert the cylinder into the knitted stem and allow it to unroll so that it fits tightly. Thread the yarn through the remaining sts and pull tight.
Sew in any remaining loose ends.
Dealing with Wobbly Fungi
The ODDknit fungi are designed to be enjoyed as knitted 3D objects to be picked up and played with, as such they aren't particularly stable when standing. If you need your fungi to remain upright we can recommend the following method.
- Light a white candle.
- Dribble a tiny amount of wax onto the base of the stem.
- Quickly press the base against a cold, flat surface (e.g. a mirror or heat resistant work-surface)
- Allow to cool and then twist to release.
- Remove any excess wax from the edge of the stem.
The wax provides a completely flat surface that will help the fungi remain balanced. We use this method when we need to pose the fungi for photographs.
As with most ODDknit patterns the yarn and needle sizes in the "you will need" section are just a guide. Feel free to improvise with whatever needles and yarn you have lying around - that's half the fun!
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