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Lover of knitting, embroidery, crochet, sewing, afternoon tea, fashion, music and film from the 1920's to the 1940's, vintage crockery and the occasional zombie film.

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Sleepy Owl Cushion (Free Knitting Pattern)

Sleepy Owl cushion, waiting to be knitted and snuggled onto a sofa near you!

Sleepy Owl is a sofa or armchair dwelling companion for the knitter, reader or viewer of television. Sleepy Owl is unsure of his status re: whether he is a cushion or a toy. Sleepy owl is about 25cm by 25cm, excluding ears.

For the owl:
Chunky or bulky yarn and corresponding needles. I used Paton’s Shadow Tweed. One 100g ball made an owl cushion.
6.5mm knitting needles
Fiberfill for the owl stuffing
Yarn needle
Contrast yarn for embroidery of eyes and beak (you could also use embroidery floss or buttons for eyes)

For the embellishments:
4ply yarn in however many colours you would like to use (I used 3 complimentary tweedy colours)
3.5mm crochet hook
Yarn needle

Abbreviations/knitting and crochet techniques:
K2tog – knit two stitches together
Treble crochet in this pattern (for the owl tummy feathers) refers to UK treble crochet, equivalent to US double crochet.
Magic loop cast on for crocheting in the round – the tummy feathers are crocheted in rows but the magic loop is the perfect beginning as it’s for a semi-circle.

Body (make two)
Using 6.5mm needles, cast on 34 stitches.
Knit every row for 50 rows (or more if you would prefer a tall owl!)
Row 51: K2tog, knit to the last two stitches, K2tog (32 stitches)
Row 52: Knit (32 stitches)
Row 53: Knit 2tog, knit to the last two stitches, K2tog (30 stitches)
Row 54: Knit (30 stitches)
Row 55: K2tog, knit to the last two stitches, K2tog (28 stitches)
Row 56: Knit (28 stitches)
Row 57: K2tog, knit to the last two stitches, K2tog (26 stitches)
Row 58: Knit (26 stitches)
Row 59: K2tog, knit to the last two stitches, K2tog (24 stitches)
Row 60: Knit (24 stitches)
Cast off

Ears (make two)
Using 6.5mm needles, cast on 12 stitches
Knit 10 rows or however many rows needed with your gauge to make a square.
Cast off.

The two pieces each of owl body and ear.
Crocheted Owl tummy feathers (make 9, 3 in each colour or all in same colour – what ever you prefer!)
Using the magic ring to begin, make 3 stitches and close the loop
Row 1: Chain 2, 3 treble crochet into the first stitch, 2 treble crochet into the middle stitch, 3 treble crochet into the third stitch, turn
Row 2: Chain 2, 3 treble crochet into the first stitch, 2 treble crochet into each stitch until the final stitch, 3 treble crochet into final stitch.
Cut 20cm tail of yarn from your crocheted semi-circle (feather!) and draw through the loop on the crochet hook to cast off.

Alternatively semi-circles of fabric, ribbon or knitted semi-circles could be used as tummy feathers and of course you can use more than 9 and layer them together.

Stitch the 2 sides of the owl body together with mattress stitch beginning with the sides and bottom of the owl. Leave the top open so you can attach the ears to the slopey side bits of the top of the owl head area.

Before attaching the ears to the owl body, fold them in half and seam down one side of the ear like this to make a triangle:

Seaming one side of the ear to make a triangle.

Attach the ears to the sides of the owl’s head with mattress stitch.

All stitched together ready to be filled with squishy Fiberfill goodness!
Sew up the owl’s head neatly so the seam doesn’t show. I did a kind of mattress stitch however I’m sure kitchener would also work.

Mattress stitch the top after stuffing with Fiberfill.

Attach the tummy feathers by stitching them to the body of the owl with the 20cm tail and weave in the cast-on end.
Embroider the eyes and beak in a contrasting colour.
Settle your owl onto the sofa for a relaxing nap!

Copyright KnittingPony. For personal use only. Please do not sell any Sleepy Owl cushions you make from this pattern, or distribute or sell this pattern. Please contact me for any other information or for any errata submissions.


  1. Oh he is wonderful! Thank you for sharing I'm definitely going to give him a go, the perfect present for friends kiddies this christmas!!

  2. what a super cute pattern, thanks so much for sharing!!

  3. Thank you :) Glad you like him. Every sofa needs an owl.

  4. Can you tell me what colour in the patons shadow tweed wool did you use for the owl, and what colour wool did you use for the feathers, and what make was the wool. I am thinking of knitting the feathers

  5. Hi Lesley. The Patons Shadow Tweed is colourway 6910 (Green/Blue/Taupe - even though it's not that green) and the feathers were Rowan Pure Wool 4ply in various browns and beige. Hope that helps! I think knitted feathers will look lovely.

  6. Thank you so much for replying to me with the wool colours that you used in the sleepy owl cushion, and for the type and colour of wool you used to knit the feathers.
    You have been very helpful
    It is a lovely pattern

  7. I've just made your owl cushion, although my two children seem convinced he's more of a cuddly toy than a cushion and fight over who can take him to bed ;-) Photo here http://www.flickr.com/photos/38243956@N00/6136899727/ I'm ever so pleased with him - lovely pattern, thank you!

  8. Oh Cybele! He is wonderful!! Thanks so much for sharing. I adore the colours you chose, and am pleased your children love him. Perhaps you'll need another one so they can have one each ;)

  9. I knit the owl cushion in a larger size, and i am making the feathers larger too. Would i repeat the two crochet pattern rows 1 and 2 again to make the feathers larger, or can you tell me what the next rows would be after row2 and row 1

  10. Hello Anonymous owl cushion knitter.
    Ooh a large owl cushion will be great! You are right, the next rows would continue as row 2, so:
    Chain 2, 3 treble crochet into the first stitch, 2 treble crochet into each stitch until the the final stitch, 3 treble crochet into the final stitch.
    You could see if one more row would give you the size of feather you'd like, and could always do an additional row and/or use a slightly thicker yarn.

  11. Thank you very much for helping me with the crochet pattern for the feathers. I am very grateful to you for typing this out for me.
    Thank you

  12. Thans, this is just perfect as a gift! I've been searching a suitable pattern and this is it :P

  13. The Village Knitidiot18 January 2012 at 20:23

    Thanks for sharing this pattern, he's so cute, he made a perfect addition to my owl pillows :)

  14. any idea on how to knit the feathers? i am having trouble finding tutorials for how to make a semi circle. i would assume just decrease by one on either end every other row? but not sure. thanks!

    1. How did you go knitting them I need to do that too I'm too unco to crochet!

  15. Hello Unknown! I would knit the feathers in the way you have described, yes. Good luck!

  16. Diane (Oldham)21 May 2013 at 11:20

    This cushion was my daughter's first project after mastering basic stitches she made a great job of it and is very proud thanks for publishing the pattern

  17. Thank you so much! Just finishing my owl cushion it was my first project, it looks amazing and the pattern is so easy to follow, i used blue fluffy wool for the feathers, beads for the eyes and knitted the nose:)

  18. I like this and want to make it but is there any suggestions for a way to knit the feathers as I cant get the hang of crochet

  19. Hi Helen, you could applique some felt semi-circles, embroider some semi-circular shapes on or if you found a knitting pattern with semi-circles in, perhaps these could be adapted? Good luck and thank you for the kind feedback on the owl!

  20. Woah, I love it! Thanks for sharing, I'll look forward to make some, can't get over, its so cute!

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