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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.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Chill Pill (Free Knitting Pattern)

The Chill Pill. Copyright KnittingPony.

This squishy woollen pill with a serene smile fits in the palm of your hand.

  • Two colours of the same weight yarn (I used Rowan 4ply wool)
  • Fiberfill for stuffing
  • A circular needle or double pointed needles in the recommended size for the yarn you are using (the instructions below are for circular needles using the magic loop method OR a pair of straight needles - 2 needle version of the pattern follows the dpn version at the bottom of this post
  • A yarn needle
  • Scissors
  • Eyes: safety eyes/black yarn/embroidery floss/small buttons (I used 6mm safety eyes)
  • Red yarn or embroidery floss for the mouth

  • K: knit
  • P: purl
  • Inc: invisible increase by picking up the yarn between the stitches and knitting it to make an extra stitch.
  • K2tog: Knit 2 stitches together
  • DPN: double pointed needle

Using a circular knitting needle cast on 10 stitches in colour A.
Divide so 5 stitches are on each needle. Proceed using the magic loop method. There are many good videos to explain how to do this online. If using DPNs, divide the stitches evenly on three needles.

Row 1: K all stitches (10)
Row 2: K all stitches (this is an extra row which doesn’t feature at the other end of the pill and is to ensure making increases in the next row is easier as there is more give due to more rows of knitting) (10)
Row 3: Inc between the stitches on the needle. As you have 5 stitches on each needle when using circulars, you will end up with 9 stitches on both needles.(18)
Row 4: K all stitches (18)
Row 5: Inc between the stitches on the needle. As you have 9 stitches on each needle when using circulars, you will end up with 17 stitches on both needles. (34)
Row 6 – 21: K all stitches (34)
Change to colour B and knit 16 rows.
If using safety eyes, add eyes (and mouth if desired) and stuff with Fiberfill. If embroidering the eyes and mouth or sewing on button eyes, this can be done at the end.
Eyes and smile added before the stuffing goes in
Row 37: K2tog until one stitch remains on needle, knit last stitch (repeat on other needle) (18)
Row 38: K all stitches (18)
Row 39: K2tog until one stitch remains on needle, knit last stitch (repeat on other needle) (10)
Row 40: K all stitches (10)

Cut yarn leaving a 20cm tail and thread yarn needle. Thread the tail through the stitches on the needle, once all stitches are threaded on, pull tight and secure yarn by weaving the end into the pill.
Yarn needle threading the tail through the stitches.
Weave in any ends.  If you have a hole where the colours join, take the tail of one of the colours and make a little stitch to disguise it.
Using the tail of the yarn to disguise the hole at join of second colour.
Little hole from colour join has been disguised with a fake stitch!

2 needle version

This version has two fewer rows so that the increases and decreases are worked on knit rows which I believe is easier to do than on the purl rows.

Cast on 10 stitches in colour A
1: K all stitches (10)
2: P all stitches (10)
3: K1, *K1, Inc; repeat from * until last st, K1. (18)
4: P all stitches (18)
5: K1, *K1, Inc; repeat from * until last st, K1. (34)
6: P all stitches (34)
7: K all stitches (34)
8: P all stitches (34)
Repeat rows 7 and 8 (so you are working in stockinette stitch) until row 20 which is a purl row.
Change to colour B and work the other half of the pill as follows:
21: K all stitches (34)
22: P all stitches (34)
Repeat rows 21 and 22 (so you are working in stockinette stitch) until row 36 which is a purl row.
37: K1, *K2tog; repeat from * until last st, K1 (18)
38: P all stitches (18)
39: K1, *K2tog; repeat from * until last st, K1 (10)
40: P all stitches (10)
Cast off and seam the pill along one end and up the middle using mattress stitch.  Make sure you add the eyes (if you are using safety eyes) and stuffing before you’ve done too much seaming!

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


  1. That is so cute. Pills with personality!

  2. How could i knit this flat, I cant knit in a round.. thank you

  3. Hi! I'll post a 2-needle version this weekend so please stay tuned and happy Friday x

  4. Adorable! Can't wait to try it and thanks for sharing!!

  5. This would be great filled with something very squeezable, like those tension realize balls. If I might suggest, putting up a .pdf version makes it so much easier to save a file.

  6. You could leave an opening with a velcro closure and use it for a ziplock baggie with crushed ice for a true "chill pill".


  8. I'm going to make one of these for my 911 dispatch center !

  9. Hello, i am knitting this normally because i don't know how to knit in the round... yet im wondering if it will turn out okay?

  10. Hi Breia! I hope it will turn out OK - I have written up the pattern so that the number of stitches matches the version in the round. You'll have a seam at the back of the pill but it should work fine!

  11. I saw your chill pill at the London Science Museum last year (2011)... I have been sorting out my photo's and only realised that you had your web name under the title of work on display! I LOVE this little pill and plan to knit one this week!

  12. Oh my goodness! Thank you, Anonymous! That has made my day :D So glad you like the pill and am happy you will knit one!!! x

  13. I made this in the green-blue of Symbalta for a friend of mine, I found the perfect shades to match the pill. It came out adorable! Great pattern :)
    I used what I learned here to make a really weird hat. It came out too big, but it's my first hat ever (and my best pompom!). The chill pill was my diving board into learning how to knit in the round :D

  14. Hello Orah. Oh that's such a lovely message, and a great hat. Thank you so much, I'm glad my pattern helped you to learn to knit in the round! :D

  15. Brilliant. As one who takes antidepressants this makes you smile.Thanks