Tips & Techniques for Knitting theknittycat's Peeps and Other Toys

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Animated Amigurumi Peeps - Stitch (but no Lilo)

FINALLY!!! A very belated gift for Tony's April birthday (yes, APRIL! I'm so behind!)
  Update: Pattern now available!  See the following post (link to the pdf is on the patterns page):

- Stitch -
the little blue alien from Lilo and Stitch

Oh did this guy give me trouble!!! He's much larger than my usual, and with that huge head, it was like wrestling with a fat blue baby!! :o) Four arms, 16 claws, 8 toenails, 16 big TEETH!! Whew! He took me AGES! I started him in February, and just finished him last week!!! (okay, yes, I did make a lot of other peeps in between, but he was so exhausting for me to work on, I had to keep putting him aside!) But he's finally done and Tony really really loves him! So it was all worth it! Well ... now that it's done, it was worth it!! ;o)

I'll never do it again! I've sworn off making large peeps and I'm sticking to small and tiny ones! :o) Okay, my friends say they've heard that before... but this time I MEAN it! Really! Honest! heh heh

I knit Stitch from the bottom up. His body, arms and head are knitted in one piece with the medium blue yarn, and his legs, ears and nose (and color patches) are grafted on.

here he is with some of my photo references

Aren't those marvelous buttons for his eyes?!
I tried sooo many different things and was not happy at all, then my dear Hubbard came home one day with these beauties! :o)

and here with more photo references

and from the back showing his tattoos(?) Well, his dark blue markings.
I'm not sure what exactly they are.

Did you know that Stitch had a little nub of a tail? I didn't till I started researching photos! :o) I forgot to take pics of the bottoms of his feet, but they have blue circular patches (you can see them a little bit in this pic above) - knitted in, not sewn on, since I could do them in the round while I made the circular bottoms of the feet.

And so you can see his relative size - here he is in my hand and from the side
(see the notch in the top area of his ear?)

    Just for reference... this is the size of
    peep that I like to make!  :o)

Cookie Monster in My Hand
Cookie Monster Peep

Restraining his enthusiasm!

(and another notch, in the bottom area of this ear)

You can kind of see in this picture that he's nice and squishy.
Nice and cuddly, except for his giant button eyes! :o)

With two layers of knitting and curled around at the bottom, even as large as they are, the ears came out surprisingly poseable. :o)


heh heh

Something about his big open mouth seems to fascinate people. :o)
Everyone wants to stick their hands in it! heh heh

including ME!

I told Tony that Stitch is like that wall sculpture in Rome (Boca Della Verita - the Mouth of Truth)...
If you tell a lie while you have your hand stuck in his mouth, he'll BITE it! ;o)

Almost a Pattern
I don’t have an actual pattern for Stitch (and won’t be writing one), but I did discover, just last night, that I made LOTS of notes as I was knitting him, which I had totally forgotten doing. I wrote out nearly everything I did, but not quite - there are missing bits. I did not complete the head decreasing instructions, and did not note how I made the patches for his tummy and back. (Frankly, I didn’t do such a great job on those patches anyway - you could do better, I'm sure.)

I may make my notes available in a pdf later, if folks want them.   
UPDATE:  Pattern now available. See this post for pattern information

Color Patches
As you can see, there are a lot of color patches on Stitch. I'm dreadful at knitting colorwork! I just hate doing it, and it never looks neat to me, so I usually avoid it very carefully! heh heh But since Stitch had all these different shades of blue, I had to work out something. As usually happens, I try various ways of knitting the color in, and wind up chucking that idea, and making separate patches of the colors and grafting them on. :o/

Weeks after knitting Stitch's color patches, I recently was working on Snorlax for Matt (see next post for Snorlax and Jigglypuff) and came up against my nemesis again... colorwork! I made a determined effort to find a good way to do intarsia in the round, since I always work in the round (intarsia worked flat is not such an issue). So I did a bunch of research, and tried a few things out, and was - again - very dissatisfied!! Well, in my opinion, it seems there isn't a "good" way, just work arounds. Gave that idea up and relegated myself to another set of less than satisfactory patches to stitch on. But then I came up with a better way to make the patches! I was very pleased with the outcome on Snorlax and wish I'd discovered the idea while I was making Stitch. But better late than never, I guess. And I'm less disgusted at the thought of making another peep with color patches again! But I'll still avoid it when I can!! ;o)

Update: you can see how I made his teeth and claws in the pattern, which is now available.  
See the next post (the link to the pdf is on the patterns page):

In case you're wondering how I made Stitch's teeth (all 16 of them!!) ... since I reeeeaaaallllyyy did NOT want to make sixteen little pieces and sew each of them on (YUCK!) I tried a few different ideas and settled on knitting them from side to side (actually in the round so they'd be 3 dimensional) in a long strip, using short rows for the shaping (details in my notes). That worked fine! :o) They're two strips of teeth, which I later sewed into his mouth. After grafting the teeth in (using kitchener stitch) I still felt there should be some overlap of his blue lip onto his teeth so I went around his mouth, pulling the blue fabric over the teeth and stitching it down. Yes, it was tricky with that big blue head attached to the big blue body hanging off of what I was sewing!! heh heh My hands still hurt!!!

For his claws and toenails I knitted short I-cords and pulled them in between the stitches of his paws and feet. For the toenails I used one I-cord for each foot. For each foot, I pulled the completed cord through every couple of stitches, over and under, horizontally. For his claws I made one I-cord for every two claws (two for each paw, making four claws per paw). I pulled the finished cord into one stitch and out another, a couple of stitches over, and stitched them in place to ensure that they wouldn't pull out. That worked extremely well, and I used the same method for Snorlax's teeny claws (see next post).
One last note:
Today is's last day ... so goodbye to vox ...
and HELLO! to! :o) So far I'm quite happy with how well things work here! Yay!


  1. Wow, your Stitch is amazing! Well worth the effort to make him - I think you've captured his likeness perfectly!

  2. Thanks so much, June! I'm so pleased you like him! :o)

    and congrats on your new book!!!

  3. I'd love to see your notes on Stitch. Maybe I can get my Hubby to crochet one for me. He's good at changing knitting to crochet.

  4. Thanks for commenting, Kimberly and Abby. I've gotten several requests for the notes so I will be putting them into a PDF and posting them here. Check back in a few days. :o) I'd love to see a crocheted version!

  5. "Fantastic meticulous work" , very cute! You are one talented lady, and I am proud to call you my dearest "Friend"! Hugs

  6. Wow! Thanks, Chiwaluv! Such lovely praise from such gifted professionals like you and June are going to turn my head! :o) Hugs right back!

  7. Just wanted to say wooooooooowwwww, awesome :)

  8. Thank you so much, All So Cute! :o) You're very kind. I peeked at your blog and I LOVE your amigurumi!! Adorable stuff!

  9. WoW!
    Is the only word to say!! To the creation and likeness you made. Did anyone happen to turn the pattern into crochet yet?
    Wanting to make it for my son for Xmas we make gifts for each other and i am cutting it close. Just cant get it right.
    Thank you

  10. Thanks so much, Anonymous! :o) How nice of you to say!!

    My knit pattern is in my next post, here:

    But there is a wonderful crochet pattern at this etsy shop (actually more than one, she has 3 sizes from 7" to 20"!!) - and she DOES have Lilo as well!:

    Lovely that you and your son exchange handmade gifts. :o) Best luck and a very Merry Christmas to you both.

  11. I have been coming back to this post since I first saw it in november...I absolutely love this Stitch and my niece, Vanessa, LOVES Lilo and Stitch more than anything else. I have to make it for her, but I know its going to be a challenge.
    Thank you for all your patterns, you are brilliant by the way.

    1. Wow! Thanks for the lovely compliments, Samantha D! *blush* I'm so pleased that you are enjoying Stitch and my patterns! :oD

      I hope you don't find him as much of a challenge as you fear. :o) I think he's more of a challenge in size than technique, but some folks don't mind larger projects. (I used to make BLANKETS!) I like to make smaller things that can be completed in a few days - not weeks (or months - like some of the blankets I made).

      Just take your time and you'll get him done. Following a "pattern" you won't have to keep him all stuffed up the whole time you're working, like I did, so that should help. I do that so I can see the shaping develop as I go and decide what needs to be done next, but if you're not designing, no reason you have to do that. You can knit him like an empty bag, and that will make him more manageable, up until the point where you need to finish up his big head! Heh heh. I also have issues with my hands that made knitting such a large peep very challenging for me. I dearly hope you don't have anything like that to contend with! :o)

      Good Luck! And all the best to you and Vanessa!