Panda Toy

August 8th, 2007 | View Comments

Ding ding ding ding ding! It is indeed a toy. Here’s the rest of the picture:

Finished panda toy

Well. That’s not very polite. Hey, panda! Turn around, will ya?

Finished panda toy, front view, sitting

That’s better. Did you think you were looking at a butt closeup this whole time?

Pattern: Panda, from World of Knitted Toys
Yarn: Plymouth Encore, #217, and Pittsburgh, #9143, 1 skein each
Needles: Addi Turbos, US 7 (4.5mm)

This is my first finished object since April. And I haven’t even been afflicted with startitis or anything. Bad knitter. Bad, bad knitter.

I had a love/hate/love affair with this project. I mean, it’s a panda! What’s not to love about a panda? But oh, the pattern gave me grief. Part of it was that I didn’t have faith in the directions. I set it aside for a couple months in hopes that it would metamorphose into the panda I was envisioning rather than the panda I was knitting.

I came very, very close to ripping out the whole thing and panda-fying a Bobbi Bear pattern instead. But I’d already put the eyes and ears on by that point and I swear it made a sad “please don’t rip me!” face at me. So I relented, and just knit the rest of it as fast as I could. But when it was done, it turned out to be cute!

So what, exactly, was my problem with the pattern?

Panda toy as pictured in World of Knitted Toys

First of all, it is not pandatomically correct. Pandas have a distinctive black stripe that extends across the back, arms, and neck. They also have white tails, not black.

Changing the tail color was easy enough but adding the stripe across the back required some not-entirely-successful guesswork.

Second, the panda body knits up into a weird lumpy blob. Most of weird lumps disappeared after a forceful stuffing and seaming. But the panda lacked a neck and I thought it would look better with one. So I bent the head over and sewed it in place to make a neck.

One final modification I made was to reduce the size of the front legs. This was mostly because I didn’t make the back stripe wide enough and thicker arms would have looked weird but also partly because I thought having smaller arms would look better when the panda was sitting up.

Finished panda toy, standing on all fours

I think my mods brought it a bit closer to the panda toy I was envisioning when I started out. I had a hard time letting it go, but it and the Harvard Square Cardigan did eventually find their way to their new, two-month-old owner.

It’s a good thing I don’t exactly have a shortage of panda toys.

My collection of panda toys

Other entries about the panda toy:

CogKnition posted this on August 8th, 2007 @ 10:48pm in Finished Objects, Toys | Permalink to "Panda Toy"


  1. Alex says:

    Gah! So adorable. I’m glad you made it look more like a panda; that book picture makes it look like a strangely colored dog.

  2. Natalie says:

    LOL– I love the shot of the panda toy collection after your description of the panda-pattern angst.
    It’s good to know that, even if you had to frog the sad-faced panda, you wouldn’t have been left completely panda-less.