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Toadstool (R2)

knitted toadstool

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 (original version here).

You will need:

  • red and white dk yarn
  • white paper (optional)
  • toy stuffing
  • 4 x double ended knitting needles (3mm)
  • tapestry needle
  • scissors

Pattern (Closed Cap):

(A list of abbreviations is available.)

Cast on 32 stitches in red.

Join into the round and work as follows:

  1. Rounds 1-14: p –
  2. Round 15: [p6, p2tog] x 4 (28)
  3. Rounds 16-18: p –
  4. Round 19: [p2, p2tog, p3] x 4 (24)
  5. Round 20: p –
  6. Round 21: [p2tog, p4] x 4 (20)
  7. Round 22: [p2, p2tog, p1] x 4 (16)
  8. Round 23: [p2tog, p2] x 4 (12)
  9. Round 21: [p1, p2tog] x 4 (8)
  10. Round 25: p –

Thread yarn through remaining sts and pull tight.

Pattern (Open Cap):

Cast on 76 stitches in red.

Join into the round and work as follows:

  1. Round 1: p –
  2. Round 2: [p2tog, p17] x 4 (72)
  3. Round 3: [p4, p2tog, p12] x 4 (68)
  4. Round 4: [p8, p2tog, p7] x 4 (64)
  5. Round 5: [p12, p2tog, p2] x 4 (60)
  6. Round 6: [p1, p2tog, p12] x 4 (56)
  7. Round 7: [p3, p2tog, p9] x 4 (52)
  8. Round 8: [p6, p2tog, p5] x 4 (48)
  9. Round 9: [p9, p2tog, p1] x 4 (44)
  10. Round 10: [p2tog, p9] x 4 (40)
  11. Round 11: [p2, p2tog, p6] x 4 (36)
  12. Round 12: [p4, p2tog, p3] x 4 (32)
  13. Round 13: [p6, p2tog] x 4 (28)
  14. Round 14: [p1, p2tog, p4] x 4 (24)
  15. Round 15: [p3, p2tog, p1] x 4 (20)
  16. Round 16: [p2tog, p3] x 4 (16)
  17. Round 17: [p2, p2tog] x 4 (12)
  18. Round 18: [p2tog, p1] x 4 (8)
  19. Round 19: p –

Thread yarn through remaining sts and pull tight.

Making Up (Caps):

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.

Pattern (Closed Cap Stem):

Fill the red cap loosely with toy stuffing.

In white yarn pick up and knit 16 sts along the cast on edge.

  1. Round 1: k – (16)
  2. Round 2: [k2tog, k2] x 4 (12)

Work 4 cm straight, then cast off.

Pattern (Open Cap Stem):

In white yarn pick up and knit 76 sts along the cast on edge.

  1. Round 1: p – (76)
  2. Rounds 2 to 7: [p1, k1] x 19
  3. Round 8: [k2tog, p1, k1] x 19 (57)
  4. Rounds 9 to 11: [k1, p1, k1] x 19
  5. Round 12: [k1, k2tog] x 19 (38)
  6. Round 13: [k2tog, k17] x 2 (36)
  7. Round 14: [k3, k2tog, k4] x 4 (32)
  8. Round 15: [k6, k2tog] x 4 (28)
  9. Round 16: [k1, k2tog, k4] x 4 (24)
  10. Round 17: [k3, k2tog, k1] x 4 (20)
  11. Round 18: [k2tog, k3] x 4 (16)
  12. Round 19: [k2, k2tog] x 4 (12)

Do not cut the yarn.

The open cap can either be left unstuffed (in this case it folds back on itself to form a slight dome) or lightly filled (the top is held relatively flat). Both are stages in the toadstool growth pattern.

Work 5 cm straight, then cast off.

Hold the toadstool so that the stem is pointing upwards. Around 2/3 of the way down the stem reattach the yarn and pick up a new round of 12 stitches.

  1. Round 1: k –
  2. Round 2: [kfb, k2] x 4 (16)
  3. Round 3: k –
  4. Round 4: [k2, kfb, k1] x 4 (20)
  5. Round 5 and 6: k –

Cast off.

Making Up (Stems):

If making the toadstool as an object to be played with, run a handful of loose stitches back and forth across the top end of the stem very loosely to create a sort of net. Stuff the stem loosely, then close the opening by drawing the cast off stitches together. Lose any remaining loose ends.

Alternatively, if you want the toadstool to be free-standing, see 'Notes' for a method of adding structure to the stem and provide a flat standing base. This method may not be entirely successful as knitted mushrooms tend to be top heavy.

Notes:

Standing Wobbly Fungi

The ODDknit fungi are designed to be enjoyed as knitted 3D objects to be picked up and played with but the following method might help if you want them to be free standing on a flat surface.

Diagram showing the making of the stem interior.
  1. Cut three strips of paper 30cm x 4-5cm (a.k.a. take a piece of A4 paper and cut a lengthwise strip about the same height as your stem).
  2. Roll the papers together tightly to make a cylinder. Insert the cylinder into the knitted stem and allow it to unroll so that it fits tightly.
  3. Sew the stitches at the base of the stem together across the opening.

For added stability:

  1. Light a white candle.
  2. Dribble a tiny amount of wax onto the base of the stem.
  3. Quickly press the base against a cold, flat surface (e.g. a mirror or heat resistant work-surface)
  4. Allow to cool and then twist to release.
  5. Remove any excess wax from the edge of the stem.
Diagram showing where to drip the wax.

The wax provides a completely flat surface that will help the fungi remain balanced.

Needle/Yarn Size

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!