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Keyring Buddy (R3)

blank keyring buddy doll

The keyring buddy pattern is a blank for a small doll that can be attached to a keyring by the little loops on it's arms/legs. This base pattern can be worked with three different body types for variety. Change the colours and add embroidery to make it look like recognizable characters.

A printable version of this pattern is available.

You will need:

  • scraps of dk yarn
  • toy stuffing
  • split ring
  • 4 x double ended needles (3mm)
  • tapestry needle
  • scissors

Pattern:

(A list of abbreviations is available.)

Arms and Legs

Cast on 2 sts and i-cord 8 rows.

Start the next i-cord row by knitting the first stitch as usual. Pick up and knit 2 stitches from the cast-on end of the i-cord to form it into a loop. Pass the first picked up stitch over the second. Knit the final stitch in the row. (3)

I-cord 9 more rows. Thread yarn through remaining stitches and pull tight.

Make four.

COLOUR CHANGES

This pattern begins at the hand/foot end of the limb, so pick a suitable colour for your hand/foot to start.

The hand/foot section ends immediately after the pick up row. At this point change colour for the lower leg/arm (or not if your little buddy is wearing long gloves or boots).

The knee/elbow colour change happens after the third row of the final nine i-cords. For a short sleeve or short shorts you would swap after the sixth of final nine i-cord rows.

Head

Cast on 6 sts and join into the round.

  1. Round 1: kfb x 6 (12)
  2. Round 2: [kfb, k1] x 6 (18)
  3. Rounds 3 to 7: k –
  4. Round 8: [k2tog, k1] x 6 (12)
  5. Round 9: k2tog x 6 (6)
  6. Round 10: k –

Thread yarn through remaining stitches and pull tight.

COLOUR CHANGES

Anything other than horizontal colour changes are tricky. Knit the head in one piece and embroider details/hair on later (see Making Up/ Notes).

Bodies

BODY TYPE 1

rectangular body

Cast on 18sts using the magic cast-on method.

Knit 18 rounds straight.

Stuff body lightly and bind the opening together using Kitchener stitch.

BODY TYPE 2

trapezoid body

Cast on 18sts using the magic cast-on method.

  1. Round 1: k –
  2. Round 2: [k4, kfb, k1] x 2
  3. Rounds 3-5: k –
  4. Round 6: [kfb, k6] x 2
  5. Rounds 7-9: k –
  6. Round 10: [k6, kfb, k1] x 2
  7. Rounds 11-13: k –
  8. Round 14: [kfb, k8] x 2
  9. Rounds 15-18: k –

Stuff body lightly and bind the opening together using Kitchener stitch.

BODY TYPE 3

in and out body

Cast on 18sts using the magic cast-on method.

  1. Rounds 1-6: k –
  2. Round 7: [k1, k2tog, k4, k2tog] x 2
  3. Rounds 8-11: k –
  4. Round 12: [kfb, k4, kfb, k1] x 2
  5. Rounds 13-18: k –

Stuff body lightly and bind the opening together using Kitchener stitch.

COLOUR CHANGES

All bodies are knitted from the bottom up so plan colour changes accordingly. Low slung trousers end at approximately round 3, but high rise waists will be marked at round 9.

Making Up:

Embroider details onto each of the pieces separately. For the facial features stick to the bear minimum, usually just the eyes.

I've gone through my hair design process in detail in the notes section below. Extra accessories I've knitted for various characters are also listed in the notes, and links can be found on the webpage.

Once each piece is embroidered sew them together firmly and lose any remaining loose ends.

Diagram showing how the pieces of the doll are arranged.

Notes:

Hair

I found it much harder to add hair to my keyring buddies than any other step. Traditional methods of adding hair to dolls tended to leave me either with unattractive bald spots or truly excessive amounts of hair that constantly got in the way.

My step by step process for hair design begins with sketching out the hairline with large loose stitches. In general I've been using a squarer outline for masculine faces and more sweeping lines for feminine ones. If the hair is going to be long sketch in where the parting will go in the same way.

Diagram showing different hairlines.

Fill in the entire hair area with a dense stitch such as moss stitch (short curly hair), short/overlapping satin stitches (short straight hair) or duplicate stitch (very short hair). For long hair I still do this step, but with a full length satin stitch that reaches from hairline to parting. Short hair is finished at this point, long hair requires one further step.

For long hair knot half a dozen lengths of yarn along the parting. First use a needle to thread a longer-than-needed length of yarn under the parting line, then tie a firm knot in the centre. Repeat for each length of yarn and only trim as a final step.

Diagram showing hair knotted into place.

Accessories

When knitting clothing accessories for keyring buddies I tend to go down a yarn size to 4ply. This allows the clothing to hang better. So far I've only written up the pattern for a cape, but I hope to add more soon!

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!