Rufus the hamster


          This is Rufus.  He's a little fist sized hamster that I made last night when I realized that the internet did not contain a good pattern for a hamster.  He would make an adoreable Christmas ornament or cat toy, a small present for a child or rodent lover in your life, or even just to sit on a self somewhere and look cute.  I wrote up the pattern as I made him, just in case there was anybody out there who shared my horror at the lack of knitted hamsters in the world.  This pattern will also be posted on Ravelery, because I noticed that they too, have no free knitted 3d hamster patterns.  I made him on straight needles  (except for his front legs, which are I-cord on dpn, but you could probably make them on straight needles too), in 8 different pieces and sewed him together.  I despise knitting in the round, stitches always get tangled up and I end up pulling the whole thing apart in frustration.  Well, here he is, enjoy him!

Yarn: I used Brown worsting weight yarn as the main coat color, and white worsting weight for his belly, they were both leftovers from previous projects, and their labels are gone, but I suspect that they are both red heart super savers yarn.
you also need a small amount of black yarn or thread for eyes and nose

Needles:  U. S. size 4 straight needles for the body, belly, and ears
                  U.S. size 3 double pointed needles to make his front feet

Gauge: gauge is not at all important on this project

Other things you need: 
tapestry needle (for sewing up the sides, you may also do this with regular needle and thread if it suits you better)
a small amount of fiberfill or any other stuffing

To make side 1:
cast on 11 stitches
row 1: knit
row 2: purl
row 3: k2tog knit to last stitch, k1f&b
row 4: purl
row 5: repeat row 3
row 6: purl
row 7: knit
row 8: purl
row 9: knit
row 10: purl
row 11: k2tog, knit to end
row 12: purl
row 13: k2tog, knit to last two stitches, k2tog
row 14: purl
row 15: k1f&b, knit to last two stitches, k2tog
row 16: purl
row 17: repeat row 15
row 18: purl
row 19: repeat row 15
row 20: purl
row 21: knit to last two stitches k2tog
row 22: purl
row 23: repeat row 21
row 24: purl
row 25: k1f&b, knit to last 3 stitches, k3tog
cast off


to make side two:
cast on 11

row 1: knit
row 2: purl
row 3: k1f&b, knit to last two stitches, k2tog
row 4: purl
row 5: repeat row 3
row 6: purl
row 7: knit
row 8: purl
row 9: knit
row 10: purl
row 11: knit to last two stitches, k2tog
row 12: purl
row 13: k2tog, knit to last two stitches, k2tog
row 14: purl
row 15: k2tog, knit to last stitch, k1f&b
row 16: purl
row 17: repeat row 15
row 18: purl
row 19: repeat row 15
row 20: purl
row 21: k2tog, knit to end
row 22: purl
row 23: repeat row 21
row 24: purl
row 25: k3tog, knit to last stitch, k1f&b
cast off


To make "spine"
cast on 6
knit 24 rows in stockinette stitch, (or knit 1 row,  purl 1 row)
cast off


To make belly
cast on 4
row 1: knit
row 2: purl
row 3: k1f&b, knit 2, k1f&b
row 4: purl
row 5: knit
row 6: purl
row 7: k1f&b, knit 4, k1f&b
row 8: purl
row 9: knit
row 10: purl
row 11: k1f&b, knit 6, k1f&b
row 12: purl
row 13: knit
row 14: purl
cast off

ears (make2)
cast on 3
row 1: knit
row 2: purl
row 3: k2tog, k1
row 4: p2tog
cast off
(be sure to leave a long tail as it will be used to sew it on to the body)

arms (make 2)
cast on 4 (on dpn)
do five rows of I-cord
cast off
(be sure to leave a long tail as it will be used to sew it on to the body)


Piecing the pieces together:
Okay, now here comes the tricky part.  The spine will run in between the side 1 and side two pieces, the skinner part serving as the head while the fatter part will serve as the bottom and feet. 

The white is the belly, the long piece in the middle of the three is the spine, the two pieces on either side are side one and side two, the two small triangles, and the two small remaining pieces are the arms.









stitch the spine and the two sides together, with their increased sides on the sewed to the spine.  The positions of the pieces is shown in the photograph above.  The picture       <---- over here shows one side being put on.

The completed process    --------------------->






    What you have to do next can be somewhat confusing.  The final product is illustrated in the  picture on the left.  Matching up each side of the head, find the point where the decreases are the greatest.  This will be your ending point.  You to the very top of the piece and stitch down from there to the point of the greatest decrease.  Although I am not sure if this makes a difference, I always do this on the inside of the structure (flip it inside out to sew it).  The end result should look like a rodent head.  It should have a slight point, like a rodent nose.  This will be the head. 
    Then you have to put the feet together.  This is easy in and of itself, but rather difficult to explain.  You do not add on any extra pieces, the feet are made from the bottoms of sides one and two.  You can see both feet in the photo on the left.  How to make the feet is very simple, you simply pinch the bottoms of side one and two, and sew them together on the outside.  My feet for my animal were about 1/2 inch, but this may vary depending on what type of yarn you use or how tight your weave is, so this is your own judgment call.


From
here is is pretty simple, the stomach is stitched on to the body in the only place that it would look like it would go.  The skinny part of the white belly goes closest to the head and the wider part should end up on the underside.  Be sure to gauge this as you stitch it together, you don't want to end up with a lot of extra on one side.  Turn both pieces so that the purl side is facing the outside.  Do not stitch the entire belly on while the animal is turned inside out.
Start at the top at the skinniest section, then work your way around until you have stitched over both feet.  (These should be inside the piece, since it is inside out.)  When you have done this, turn it back right side out, and stuff it.  If your stitches are tight enough, you should be able to stuff it as tight as you want and have no problems with it.  When you have stuffed it to your desire, finish stitching up up the side and your done with the body!  =D




Now we attach the small pieces.  First off, we put on the arms.
The arms should overlap onto the stomach, and should be close enough to the head to look like shoulders.  I found that about three stitches off the stomach works pretty well, but that is sort of left to your call.  Be sure that you put them the same distance apart on each side, and stitch them both down entirely.








Finally we put on the ears!  The ears go on the seam where you sewed sides one and two to the spine.  I sat mine about two stitches down from the crown of the head, but again, that's all your call, you might have used a different yarn, or might just want to set them differently.










Okay, now sew on your face.  This is where the black yarn comes in.  I just have eyes and a nose without any real shaping.  Just use your imagination.  After you're finished, take a picture of it and post it as a comment on this site or on Ravelery, whichever you prefer.  Hope this is everything you need, if not post a comment about it and I will try to accommodate!


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