Stars in His Squishy Owl Eyes (And tips on stuffing your Owl)

I rather love my little Squish Owls. They’re small and fun to make, and, of course, extremely squishable.

I recently knit up this little guy using some cotton yarn from Knit Picks (a combo of “Comfy” and “Shine Worsted,” I think, since I have both in a bunch of colours), and I think he’s very handsome. He’s made to match a baby boy’s room, but the baby boy is taking his time arriving! The little rascal’s due date was yesterday, but as of last night, he seemed to be in no hurry to arrive.

Here are a couple more pics of this owl, followed by some tips on stuffing your own Squish Owl.

How to stuff your Squish Owl:
Think “cylinder.” I know it’s tempting to make them really round and fat, and if you really want to, you can. But I like mine to look tall.

First, I shove bits of stuffing right down to the bottom to make a flat base for him to “stand” on.  His bottom has lots of room in it from all those increases we knit in, so be sure to shove lots of stuffing around in that circular base to fluff him up and give him some support.

I add it in loose, peach-sized amounts at first, building the owl from the bottom, then putting smooth pieces around the outsides, then adding bulk into the middle.  I want to control the shape of the owl.  If one part looks too fat, I remove a little. If it looks too skinny or empty, I add a bit more. But I do that in small increments so as not make him all lumpy.  I also avoid bunching the stuffing up before I put it in, since making it more dense beforehand also makes it more lumpy and takes away my control.  If I keep the stuffing loose, I can control the density after it has been added, therefore avoiding weird lumps.

The goal is to make him nice and cylindrical. Actually, I try to add a little more padding at his sides so he’s more of an oval cylinder.  You want his stitches to look nice and taut, but not overstretched. Keep tweaking the shaping of the stuffing until you are satisfied. You can always shove your fingers in there to rearrange things, or even take stuffing out if it’s misbehaving. His shape isn’t determined until you graft those last stitches together, so be picky.

After the body is the shape I want, I stuff the ear tufts.  I shove a small, loose piece right up into the tips first, poking it with my finger and gradually adding more until the tip is nice and pointy.  Then, I usually have to add a little more stuffing under the tufts and above the body stuffing, just to make sure the tufts will stay puffy.  I poke it around with my finger until the body-to-tuft transition is nice and smooth, adding extra stuffing or taking it away as needed.  Then I fill in the middle of the owl’s head, underneath the spot where I’ll be grafting.

The trickiest part, I think, is that last bit of stuffing before you graft. I’m always inclined to put in too little stuffing at the top because I feel like the stitches are pulled too tight. But if I don’t have enough stuffing, the top of his head will be too empty after grafting (because the grafting basically adds one more row of stitches). So don’t be afraid to add a little extra underneath the grafting spot.

Do you have any tips for us on stuffing your Squish Owl? If so, I’d love to hear them!

And now, I’ll end with just one more photo.  Happy stuffing!

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Categories: Baby, Random Knitted Goodness

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