Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff

Make It! Challenge #12: Unlikely Friends Crochet Parrot and Penguin Patterns

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Unlikely Friends HeaderWelcome to the finale of the Make It! Challenge series! Sheena from Virginia challenged me to make unlikely friends amigurumi, meaning animals that don’t normally hang out together. We talked about a few different examples before we decided that a penguin and a parrot would make an unlikely pair. Where would they meet? A penguin in the Amazon would be a sweaty mess and a parrot in Antarctica would shiver his feathers off. Maybe they should meet on a mild September day in Colorado, like today.

Crochet Unlikely Friend Bird by Squirrel Picnic 12Pondering the theme of unlikely friends as I was brainstorming the construction for this Make It! Challenge led me to origami. The art of using intricate folds to turn a two-dimensional surface into a three-dimensional object seems about as far away from crochet as you can get.

Usually an amigurumi is created by working in the round (crocheting in a spiral to create spheres). I wondered what would happen if I started instead with a flat surface, like a granny square. I decided to start at the corner of a square to create a beak, and then working out from there, I could create a striped pattern that would mimic the bird’s coloration. The tough part was determining how to fold this one square so that it took a form that would stay together and do it in a way that would be easy for others to duplicate. Despite multiple trials, it never quite worked. In the end, sewing a second smaller square on the front and folding the head and wings forward and the tail back was the easiest answer. All in all, I am really pleased with this origami-inspired amigurumi. I hope you enjoy it too. 

Unlikely Friends Parrot and Penguin Amigurumi Patterns

Difficulty rating 3

To complete this pattern, it will help to know how to begin with a magic loop, double crochet, change colors at the end of a row, and assemble a toy using place markers.

Materials

For parrot: Medium-weight yarn in yellow, white, red, green, blue, and black
For penguin: Medium-weight yarn in orange, black, white, and gray
G-6 (4.00 mm) crochet hook
Waste yarn for PM
Open stitch markers or large pins for assembly
Yarn needle or tapestry needle
Polyester stuffing

Instructions

Special Instructions:

There are a few ways to change color at the end (or beginning) of a row. For this pattern, I recommend changing color at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop with the new color and chaining 3 as instructed.

PM: place marker in the next stitch. This will aid in assembly of your bird later in the instructions.

Parrot

Amigurumi+Origami Parrot Crochet Pattern by Squirrel PicnicBack, Wings, and Tail in One Piece (Large Square)

Note: The 3-ch at the beginning of each row counts as a dc.

With yellow, begin with a magic loop.

Row 1: Ch 3, dc, tr, 2 dc into the magic loop. Pull tight to close. Break yarn. Turn. (5)

Row 2: With white, ch 3, dc in next dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next 2 dc. Break yarn. Turn. (9)

Crochet Unlikely Friend Bird by Squirrel Picnic 1Row 3: With red, ch 3, dc in next 3 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next 4 dc. Turn. (13)

Row 4: Ch 3, dc in next 5 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next 6 dc. Turn. (17)

Row 5: Ch 3, dc in next 7 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next 8 dc. Break yarn. Turn. (21)

Row 6: With yellow, ch 3, dc in next 3 dc, PM, dc in next 6 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next 6 dc, PM, dc in next 4 dc. Break yarn. Turn. (25)

Row 7: With green, ch 3, dc in next 11 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next 12 dc. Break yarn. Turn. (29)

Row 8: With blue, ch 3, dc in next 13 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next 14 dc. Turn. (33)

Row 9: Ch 3, dc in next 15 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next 16 dc. Break yarn. Turn. (37)

Row 10: With red, ch 3, dc in next 11 dc, PM, dc in the next 6 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next6 dc, PM, dc in next 12 dc. FO and weave in ends. (41)

You might use this opportunity to close any spaces between stitches (particularly between 3-chs and the next stitches) by sewing them together as you weave in your ends.

Crochet Unlikely Friend Bird by Squirrel Picnic 2Belly (Small Square)

Note: The 3-ch at the beginning of each row counts as a dc.

With red, create a magic loop.

Rnd 1: Ch 3, into the magic loop: 2 dc, tr, * 3 dc, tr, rep from * 2 more times. Pull magic loop closed. Join with slst to the top of the 3-ch. (16)

Rnd 2: Ch 3, dc in next 2 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in next tr, * dc in next 3 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in next tr, rep from * 2 more times. Join with slst to the top of the 3-ch. (32)

Rnd 3: Ch 3, dc in next 4 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in next tr, * dc in next 7 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in next tr, rep from * 2 more times. Dc in the next 2 dc. Join with slst to the top of the 3-ch. (48)

FO, leaving a long tail (at least 36 inches long) for sewing. Weave in other end.

Feet

Hold the Body (small square) with the long tail at the bottom and RS facing up. Join black in the second dc after the tr in the right corner (see photo below). * Ch 4, working back down the chain: slst, sc, hdc. Slst in next dc **, rep from * to ** 2 more times. FO. Sk 1 dc and join black again in next dc. Rep from * to ** 3 times. FO. Weave in ends.

Assembly

For these instructions, the RS is whichever side you like best. (In other words, WS is the side you want to show the least of.)

Lay the large square (head, back, wings) with WS facing up, so that the beak is pointing away from you. Lay the small square (body) with RS facing up on top of the large square. Line up the corners of the small square with the PMs on the large square. The feet should be closest to you. 

Crochet Unlikely Friend Bird by Squirrel Picnic 5

Thread open stitch marker through the stitch marked by the PM and the tr at the corner of the small square. Repeat for the other three corners to hold the small square in place.

Crochet Unlikely Friend Bird by Squirrel Picnic 6

Using the long tail on the small square, sew the small square to the large square.

Crochet Unlikely Friend Bird by Squirrel Picnic 7

Once you’ve gotten about 3/4 of the way around, stuff firmly with polyester stuffing.

Crochet Unlikely Friend Bird by Squirrel Picnic 8

Fold the beak down and, using the tail of yarn, tack this down to the top of the small square (the bird’s chest).

Crochet Unlikely Friend Bird by Squirrel Picnic 9

Fold each wing in and tack each down as well.

Crochet Unlikely Friend Bird by Squirrel Picnic 10

Eyes

Make the eyes for your bird using the Simple Eyes with Felt and French Knots tutorial in the Squirrel Picnic Resource Center.

Crochet Unlikely Friend Bird by Squirrel Picnic 12

Penguin

Note: For additional help, refer to photos in parrot section.

Back, Wings, and Tail in One Piece (Large Square)

Note: The 3-ch at the beginning of each row counts as a dc.

Amigurumi+Origami Penguin Crochet Pattern by Squirrel PicnicWith orange, begin with a magic loop.

Row 1: Ch 3, dc, tr, 2 dc into the magic loop. Pull tight to close. Break yarn. Turn. (5)

Row 2: With black, ch 3, dc in next dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next 2 dc. Turn. (9)

Row 3: Ch 3, dc in next 3 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next 4 dc. Break yarn. Turn. (13)

Row 4: With orange, ch 3, dc in next 5 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next 6 dc. Break yarn. Turn. (17)

Row 5: With white, ch 3, dc in next 7 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next 8 dc. Break yarn. Turn. (21)

Row 6: With gray, ch 3, dc in next 3 dc, PM, dc in next 6 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next 6 dc, PM, dc in next 4 dc. Break yarn. Turn. (25)

Row 7: With black, ch 3, dc in next 11 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next 12 dc. Turn. (29)

Row 8: Ch 3, dc in next 13 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next 14 dc. Turn. (33)

Row 9: Ch 3, dc in next 15 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next 16 dc. Break yarn. Turn. (37)

Row 10: With gray, ch 3, dc in next 11 dc, PM, dc in the next 6 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in tr, dc in next 6 dc, PM, dc in next 12 dc. FO and weave in ends. (41)

You might use this opportunity to close any spaces between stitches (particularly between 3-chs and the next stitches) by sewing them together as you weave in your ends.

Belly (Small Square)

Note: The 3-ch at the beginning of each row counts as a dc.

With white, create a magic loop.

Rnd 1: Ch 3, into the magic loop: 2 dc, tr, * 3 dc, tr, rep from * 2 more times. Pull magic loop closed. Join with slst to the top of the 3-ch. (16)

Rnd 2: Ch 3, dc in next 2 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in next tr, * dc in next 3 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in next tr, rep from * 2 more times. Join with slst to the top of the 3-ch. (32)

Rnd 3: Ch 3, dc in the next 4 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in next tr, * dc in next 7 dc, (2 dc, tr, 2 dc) in next tr, rep from * 2 more times. Dc in the next 2 dc. Join with slst to the top of the 3-ch. (48)

FO, leaving a long tail (at least 36 inches long) for sewing. Weave in other end.

Feet

Hold the Body (small square) with the long tail at the bottom and RS facing up. Join black in the second dc after the tr in the right corner. * Ch 4, working back down the chain: slst, sc, hdc. Slst in next dc **, rep from * to ** 2 more times. FO. Sk 1 dc and join black again in next dc. Rep from * to ** 3 times. FO. Weave in ends.

Assembly

For these instructions, the RS is whichever side you like best. (In other words, WS is the side you want to show the least of.)

Lay the large square (head, back, wings) with WS facing up, so that the beak is pointing away from you. Lay the small square (body) with RS facing up on top of the large square. Line up the corners of the small square with the PMs on the large square. The feet should be closest to you.

Thread open stitch marker through the stitch marked by the PM and the tr at the corner of the small square. Repeat for the other three corners.

Using the long tail on the small square, sew the small square to the large square. Once you’ve gotten about 3/4 of the way around, stuff firmly with polyester stuffing.

Fold the beak down and, using the tail of yarn, tack this down to the top of the small square (the bird’s chest).

Fold each wing in and tack each down as well.

Eyes

Make the eyes for your bird using the Simple Eyes with Felt and French Knots tutorial in the Squirrel Picnic Resource Center.

Penguin Amigurumi Pattern by Squirrel Picnic

See a mistake or something I overlooked, please let me know in the comments or at squirrelpicnic{at}gmail{dot}com. Thanks!

Click on the Print and PDF button to get your copy of this pattern

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27 thoughts on “Make It! Challenge #12: Unlikely Friends Crochet Parrot and Penguin Patterns

  1. Pingback: The YarnBirds | Not A Punk Rocker

  2. Oh my gosh! These are so cute! You have a talent dear girl 🙂 I think I will be making these for my grandbaby for Christmas. Thank you so very much for sharing these patterns. I hope you have a wonderful day!

  3. These would make great wee coin purses or phone covers. Super pattern.

  4. These are adorable. Just right for little hands to hold and it can be made of cotton so won’t hurt to wash. Thanks.

  5. What a clever idea! And so cute too 😀

  6. Those are so cute! I can’t even make origami out of paper, and you have done it with yarn! Once again, I bow before the creative genius!

    • Thank you, Bill. You are so kind. While you are impressed by my handiwork, I am impressed by your storytelling. Every Thursday, I can’t wait to see what your critters will be up to next.

  7. They are super cute, Jennifer!! I saw them on FB,on Instagram and now here on your blog and they are so inviting!! I have you on my mind because have some more photos to send you, but, please, be patient till tomorrow ❤ ❤ ❤

    • Thanks, Tajana! I got your email, but I haven’t had a proper moment to sit down to the computer until now… and I’ll be running off again in a second. I hope you don’t mind if I wait till tomorrow morning to answer you. I always like to sit down with a cup of tea or coffee and read your letters when I can devote myself to them. 🙂 Lots of hugs to you!

  8. Or you can use it as a washcloth, even though I know that the parrot will not like this idea 🙂 Very nice and creative pattern and funny post. I enjoyed it!!!

  9. Pingback: 40+ Hot New Crochet Patterns This Week (and more link love!) |

  10. I love these! They’re so adorable – a fab pattern 😊

  11. These unlikely pals are positively adorable. Thanks for designing and sharing the patterns. 🙂

  12. Pingback: The YarnBirds | Bloggity Ramblings