Knitted farm animals

Cast on these cute farmyard friends by Louise Smith and use them as keyrings and bag charms – or just little toys to cuddle!

Knitted farm animals, cows sheep pigs

These little loves are easy to knit, all smiles and ready to cheer up your day. You’ll have a hard time choosing which of the knitted farm animals to cast on first, as they’re all absolutely adorable. Perhaps you’re a die-hard sheep fan, or a Highland cattle fanatic, or maybe you’ve fallen head over heels for the cute piggies – we certainly have!

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Each pattern has a parent version and a baby version, so you can choose to knit one or make the pair. We’ve attached our farm animal knits to keyrings but they’d also make fun desk mascots, or toys for a little farmyard fan (just swap the safety eyes for embroidered ones if you’re making them for a young child).

Louise Smith’s designs originally came with a knit kit from Simply Knitting magazine issue 171, but you can make them using any oddments of DK-weight yarn from your stash.

We have six adorable knitted farm animals for you! Which one will you make first?

To make these knitted farm animals you will need:

Tension

Yarn used knits as DK to this tension: 26 sts and 36 rows to measure 10x10cm (4x4in) over st st using 3mm needles

Measurements

Parent keyrings approx 8 x 7cm (3¼ x 2¾in)

Baby keyrings approx 6 x 5cm (2½ x 2in)

Abbreviations

P5tog Purl 5 sts together

For a full list see our knitting abbreviations.

Knitted farm animals sheep
These knitted farm animals are great stashbusters, using up scraps of yarn from other projects.

Knitted farm animals: Sheep and lamb

Sheep knitting pattern

Body

Cast on 17 sts using Yarn A.

Row 1 (RS) Purl.

Row 2 (WS) *(K1, P1, K1) in same st, p3tog; rep from * to last st, (K1, P1, K1) in same st. [19 sts]

Row 3 Purl.

Row 4 *P3tog, (K1, P1, K1) in same st; rep from * to last 3 sts, p3tog. [17 sts]

Rep Rows 1-4, 10 more times.

Cast off.

Head

Cast on 18 sts using Yarn B.

Row 1 P5tog, P8, p5tog. [10 sts]

Row 2 Knit.

Work 8 rows in st st, beg with a P row.

Row 11 Ssp, P to last 2 sts, p2tog. [2 sts dec’d]

Row 12 Knit.

Rep Rows 11 and 12 once more. [6 sts]

Rep Row 11 once more. [4 sts]

Break off yarn and thread yarn through rem sts, pulling tightly to secure.

Insert 4mm safety eyes between sts 3 and 4, and 7 and 8 of Row 6.

Legs (Make 2)

Cast on 8 sts using Yarn B.

Work 4 rows in stocking stitch, beg with a K row.

Break off yarn and thread through rem sts, pulling tightly to secure.

Sew up side seams using cast-off tail.

Stuff rem yarn ends into leg.

Tail

Cast on 7 sts using Yarn A.

Row 1 Knit.

Row 2 Purl.

Cast off.

Keyring cord

Cast on 5 sts using Yarn A.

Cast off.

Make up the knitted sheep

Using a length of Yarn A sew up one side seam of Body, catching corner sts inside work to round off shape. Sew up the bottom of the Body, catching the Legs evenly spaced within the seam.

Stuff Body. Sew up second side seam.

Position Head in centre of Body (slightly up from middle) and sew in place using Yarn B.

For the nose use black embroidery thread to sew a running stitch across bottom of Head, using image as a guide. Bring the needle up through the centre of the running stitch and back down vertically directly under Head to complete the nose.

Using yarn tail sew Tail to centre-back of Body, with purl side up.

Using yarn tail sew Keyring Cord to top of Body. Using second yarn tail attach Keyring Cord to pull ring on keyring.

Weave in ends.

Knitted farm animals sheep back
The sheep in our farm animals collection is worked in bramble stitch and the lamb in moss stitch.

Lamb knitting pattern

Body

Cast on 11 sts using Yarn A.

Row 1 K1, (P1, K1) to end.

Rep Row 1, 25 more times.

Cast off.

Head

Cast on 12 sts using Yarn B.

Row 1 P4tog, P4, p4tog. [6 sts]

Row 2 Knit.

Work 4 rows in st st, beg with a P row.

Row 7 Ssp, P to last 2 sts, p2tog. [2 sts dec’d]

Row 8 Knit.

Rep Row 7 once more. [2 sts]

Break off yarn and thread yarn through rem sts, pulling tightly to secure.

Insert 3mm safety eyes in sts 2 and 5 of Row 4.

Legs (Make 2)

Cast on 6 sts using Yarn B.

Work 3 rows in st st, beg with a P row.

Cast off.

Tail

Cast on 5 sts using Yarn A.

Row 1 Knit.

Row 2 Purl.

Cast off.

Keyring cord

Cast on 9 sts using Yarn A.

Cast off.

Make up the knitted lamb

Follow Sheep instructions.

Knitted farm animals cows
These knitted farm animals have lots of character – we love the hair on the Highland Cattle!

Knitted farm animals: Cow and calf

Cow knitting pattern

Body

Cast on 17 sts using Yarn A.

Work 44 rows in st st, beg with a K row.

Cast off.

Head

Cast on 10 sts using Yarn B.

Work 10 rows in st st, beg with a P row.

Row 11 Ssp, P to last 2 sts, p2tog. [2 sts dec’d]

Row 12 Knit.

Rep Rows 11 and 12 once more. [6 sts]

Rep Row 11 once more. [4 sts]

Break off yarn and thread yarn through rem sts, pulling tightly to secure.

Insert 4mm safety eyes between sts 3 and 4, and 7 and 8 of Row 6.

Ears (Make 2)

Cast on 3 sts using Yarn B.

Work 4 rows in st st, beg with a K row.

Break off yarn and thread yarn through rem sts, pulling tightly to secure.

Right Horn

Cast on 3 sts using Yarn A.

Work 6 rows in st st, beg with a K row.

Next row Ssk, K1. [2 sts]

Next row Purl.

Break off yarn and thread yarn through rem sts, pulling tightly to secure.

Left horn

Cast on 3 sts using Yarn A.

Work 6 rows in st st, beg with a K row.

Next row K1, k2tog. [2 sts]

Next row Purl.

Break off yarn and thread yarn through rem sts, pulling tightly to secure.

Legs (Make 2)

Cast on 8 sts using Yarn A.

Work 4 rows in st st, beg with a K row.

Break off yarn and thread through rem sts, pulling tightly to secure.

Sew up side seams using cast-off tail.

Stuff rem yarn ends into leg.

Tail

Cast on 7 sts using Yarn A.

Row 1 Knit.

Row 2 Purl.

Cast off.

Keyring cord

Cast on 9 sts using Yarn A.

Cast off.

Make up the knitted cow

Sew and stuff Body and Legs following Sheep instructions.

Sew Head to middle of Body, slightly up from the bottom. Using black embroidery thread, sew a few running sts towards bottom of Head to create Nose. Use the image as a guide for placement.

Sew an Ear either side of Head, just down from the top.

Using Yarn A and a tapestry needle, draw loops of yarn approx 38mm long through the sts below the Ears and above the Head. To do this, come up through a st, hold onto the length of yarn drawn through, go back down through same st – making sure to keep loop held secure. Once you have made enough loops to cover Head and sides of Head, fasten off yarn. Cut through the centre of each loop and pat down hair.

Using Yarn B and a tapestry needle, embroider two running sts on each Leg, using image as guide.

Follow same instructions for Tail and Keyring Cord as for Sheep. Weave in any ends.

Knitted farm animals cows back
Neatly sew up your knitted farm animals with matching yarn for a perfect finish.

Calf knitting pattern

Body

Cast on 10 sts using Yarn A.

Work 26 rows in st st, beg with a K row.

Cast off.

Head

Cast on 6 sts using Yarn B.

Work 6 rows in st st, beg with a P row.

Row 7 Ssp, P to last 2 sts, p2tog. [2 sts dec’d]

Row 8 Knit.

Rep Row 7 once more. [2 sts]

Break off yarn and thread yarn through rem sts, pulling tightly to secure.

Insert 3mm safety eyes in sts 2 and 5 of Row 3.

Ears (Make 2)

Cast on 3 sts using Yarn B.

Work 4 rows in st st, beg with a K row.

Break off yarn and thread yarn through rem sts, pulling tightly to secure.

Legs (Make 2)

Cast on 6 sts using Yarn A.

Work 3 rows in st st, beg with a P row.

Break off yarn and thread through rem sts, pulling tightly to secure.

Sew up side seams using cast-off tail.

Stuff rem yarn ends into leg.

Tail

Cast on 5 sts using Yarn A.

Row 1 Knit.

Row 2 Purl.

Cast off.

Keyring Cord

Cast on 9 sts using Yarn A.

Cast off.

Make up the knitted calf

Sew and stuff Body and Legs following Sheep instructions.

Using Yarn B and a tapestry needle, embroider one running st on each Leg, using image as guide.

Position Head in centre of Body (slightly up from middle) and sew in place using Yarn B.

Using black embroidery thread, sew a few running sts towards bottom of Head to create Nose. Use the image as a guide for placement.

Using Yarn A and a tapestry needle, draw loops of yarn approx 1cm long through the sts above the Head. To do this, come up through a st, hold onto the length of yarn drawn through, go back down through same st – making sure to keep loop held secure. Once you have made enough loops to cover Head and sides of Head, fasten off yarn. Cut through the centre of each loop, and ruffle the strands to fray them a little.

Follow same instructions for Tail and Keyring Cord as for Lamb.

Weave in any ends.

Knitted farm animals pigs
Use yarn from your stash to create a whole farmyard of brilliant animals!

Knitted farm animals: Pig and piglet

Pig knitting pattern

Body

Rep instructions for Cow Body.

Legs (Make 2)

Cast on 10 sts using Yarn A.

Work 4 rows in st st, beg with a K row.

Break off yarn and thread through rem sts, pulling tightly to secure.

Sew up side seams using cast-off tail.

Stuff rem yarn ends into leg.

Nose

Cast on 10 sts using Yarn A.

Work 2 rows in st st, beg with a K row.

Break off yarn and thread through rem sts.

Ears (Make 2)

Cast on 8 sts using Yarn A.

Work 4 rows in st st, beg with a K row.

Next row Ssk, K to last 2 sts, k2tog. [2 sts dec’d]

Next row Purl.

Repeat previous 2 rows once more. [4 sts]

Break off yarn and thread through rem sts.

Tail

Cast on 15 sts using Yarn B.

Cast off.

Thread yarn tail through sts to curl tail.

Keyring Cord

Cast on 5 sts using Yarn B.

Cast off.

Make up the knitted pig

Fold Body in half and insert 4mm safety eyes in top half of front (the cast-on and cast-off edges will sit at the bottom), using image as a guide.

Sew Nose between eyes, sitting just below them – use image as a guide. Using black embroidery thread, sew two small running stitches lengthways across nose, using image as a guide.

Using black embroidery thread, sew a running st approx 1cm long diagonally under left side of Nose, using image as a guide. Pull running stitch down slightly, catching in place with a small st.

Sew and stuff Body and Legs following Sheep instructions.

Sew Ears either side of top of Body, running slightly down side edges.

Sew Tail to back of Body, in the centre slightly up from the bottom.

Sew the Keyring Cord in place using Yarn B, following instructions given for Sheep.

Swiss darn patches as follows around Body, using Yarn B.

Swiss Darning

For full step-by-step instructions see our Swiss darning guide.

With RS facing, using a tapestry needle threaded with Yarn B, bring the needle from the WS of the fabric out towards you at the bottom of the ‘V’ that the stitch produces. Take the needle down at the top right leg of the ‘V’ and behind the stitch, coming out at the top right leg of the ‘V’. Take the needle back down to where you came up at the bottom of the ‘V’ to produce one Swiss darned stitch. To work the stitch next to it, come up at the base of the next ‘V’ to the left and repeat. Work a few of these, making patches of varying amounts of stitches on the Pig and Piglet’s bodies.

Weave in any ends.

Knitted farm animals pig back
If you wish you can knit a cord to attach your knitted farm animals to keyrings.

Piglet knitting pattern

Body

Rep instructions for Calf Body.

Legs

Cast on 8 sts using Yarn A.

Work 3 rows in st st, beg with a K row.

Break off yarn and thread through rem sts.

Nose

Cast on 8 sts using Yarn A.

Work 2 rows in st st, beg with a K row.

Break off yarn and thread through rem sts.

Ears (Make 2)

Cast on 6 sts using Yarn A.

Work 4 rows in st st, beg with a K row.

Next row Ssk, K to last 2 sts, k2tog. [2 sts dec’d]

Next row Purl.

Repeat previous 2 rows once more. [2 sts]

Break off yarn and thread through rem sts.

Tail

Cast on 10 sts using Yarn B.

Cast off.

Thread yarn tail through sts to curl tail.

Keyring Cord

Cast on 9 sts using Yarn B.

Cast off.

Make up the knitted piglet

Follow the instructions given for how to make up the Pig.

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Download the knitted farm animals pattern

We also have a downloadable version of this free knitting pattern here: Knitted farm animals PDF

More animal knitting patterns

We have lots more cute critters for you to knit! Choose from these fab free knitting patterns:

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