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NOTE: As you can probably tell, Sorda Panda is one of my older patterns from 2014, and is desperately in need of an update! In addition to giving her a slight tweak, I’m also planning to release an entirely new panda pattern as well.
© 2014 by Jennifer Wang Bears. All rights reserved
Many hours went into designing and creating my patterns, so please do not steal them, sell them, claim them as your own, or repost them in part or in full on your own blog, website or anywhere else.
Sharing is okay as long as you use no more than ONE IMAGE and link back to my website. You can also sell any finished products you make yourself.
Have fun with this pattern! Sorda is very simple to make, and you can really get creative with colours and embellishments. Feel free to post your finished Sorda panda to my Facebook or Ravelry pages – I can’t wait to see your finished amigurumis!
Before you get started…
- Patterns worked using US crochet terminology (I learned how to crochet from Youtuber Mikey’s free Curtzy Crochet program)
- Rows are worked in continuous rounds/spirals. Do not join unless instructed to do so.
- Unless instructed to do otherwise, repeat the sequence given between the asterisks (eg. *1sc in next 3st, then 2sc in next st*) until the required number of stitches in brackets ( ) is reached.
- READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS before attempting this pattern. This will prepare you for the steps ahead, and give you a chance to tweak the design where appropriate.
- Click on each image to view the enlarged version.
US Crochet terms/techniques this pattern assumes you already know:
magic circle (there are many excellent video tutorials online showing how to do this)
st = stitch
ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch
sc = single crochet
2tog = two together decrease = 1sc into 2st, thereby turning two stitches into one
inv dec = invisible decrease (I prefer this method to 2tog, as it leaves a much neater finish)
f/o = fasten off
You will need:
- Yarn in any colours you wish. If you want to follow this pattern exactly: A = white; B = black (I used 8ply 100% acrylic, but you could replace this with whatever you like, provided you match it with the appropriate-sized crochet hook. You want to aim for a fairly tight stitch with no gaps between the stitches.
- Crochet hook (I used 3.5mm)
- 7.5mm safety eyes (you could also use buttons, beads or felt, or simply embroider or needle felt the eyes on)
- Merino wool for needle felting (preferably in white and black), plus any other wool or yarn colour you’d like to use for facial shading
- Needle felting needles and a foam block (this will spare your fingers!)
- Wool needle (handy for weaving yarn tails in)
- Polyfill for stuffing (I used the stuffing from an old cushion, ’cause I’m classy like that)
- Row markers (this could be as simple as a short piece of yarn or string. Place it in the last stitch of each row so you don’t lose your place as you complete the rounds)
- Pins for marking out the eyes and holding pieces in place before hand sewing
- Pocket mirror or digital camera (never trust your eyes when observing your needle felting work! Use a mirror or take pictures to constantly make sure Sorda’s face is symmetrical as you needle felt the muzzle)
Now, on to the pattern! ヽ(*⌒∇⌒*)ﾉ
1. With A, magic circle with 7 st (7)
2. 2sc in 1st around (14)
3. *1sc, then 2sc* around (21)
4. *1sc in next 2st, then 2sc in next st* around (28)
5. *1sc in next 6st, then 2sc in next st* around (32)
6-9. 1sc around for 4 rows (32)
10. *1sc in next 7st, then 2sc in next st* around (36)
11. 1sc around (36)
12. *1sc in next 4st, then 2tog OR inv dec* around (30)
13. *1sc* around (30)
14. *2tog OR inv dec, then 1 sc in next 4st* around (25)
15. *2tog OR inv dec, then 1sc in next 3st* around. Switch to B on last st (20). DO NOT CUT! Continue to body.
16. With B, sl st, then 2sc in next st. *1sc, then 2sc in next st* around (30)
17. *1sc in next 2st, then 2sc in next st* around (40)
18. *2tog OR inv dec, then 1sc in next 6st* around. Switch to A on last st (35)
19. Sl st, 1sc in next 14st (switch to B on last st), sl st, 1sc in next 16 st (switch to A on last st), sl st, then 1sc in next 2st (35)
20. 1sc in next 19st (switch to B on last st), sl st, 1sc in next 11st (switch to B on last st), sl st, 1sc in next 3st (35)
COLOUR CHANGES ARE OVER. Now is a good opportunity to stuff the head firmly with polyfill.
21. 1sc around (35)
22. *1sc in next 6st, then 2sc in next st* around (40)
23-24. 1sc around for 2 rows (40)
25. *1sc in next 6st, 2tog OR inv dec* around (35)
26. *1sc in next 3st, 2tog OR inv dec* around (28)
27. *1sc in next 2st, 2tog OR inv dec* around (21)
If you need to, stuff the head some more. Stuff the body firmly
28. *1sc, then 2tog OR inv dec* around (14)
29. 2tog OR inv dec around (7)
30. 2tog twice and f/o. Weave the opening closed using the remaining yarn tail & pull to tighten. Knot off and hide the yarn tail inside the body.
ARMS & LEGS~ (make 4)
1. With B, magic circle with 6st (6)
2. 2sc in 1st around (12)
3-8. 1sc around for 6 rows (12)
9. *1sc, then 2tog OR inv dec* around (9)
10. f/o and leave a long tail for sewing
Lightly stuff the arms and legs (keep the ends connected to the body stuffing-free). The less stuffing you use, the limper they will hang (this may be a good thing, depending on what you prefer)
EARS~ (make 2)
1. With B, magic circle with 6st (6)
2. 2sc in 1st around (12)
3. 1sc around (12)
4. f/o and weave yarn tail in and out the end row to pinch the opening closed. Leave long tail for sewing.
1. With A, magic circle with 6st (6)
2. 2sc in 1st around (12)
3. 1sc around (12)
4. f/o and leave long tail for sewing. Fold the piece in half.
ASSEMBLY & FINISHING TOUCHES~
It’s best to follow the sequence of arms, legs, tail, facial features, ears. This way, you minimise the risk of ending up with a lop-sided Sorda. REMEMBER! The fat-striped side is the front, and the thin-striped side is the back.
- ARMS~ Pin the two arms on either side of the body in the 4-stitch space between the thin side of Sorda’s stripe and the fat side, directly beneath where the head finishes. Whip stitch in place (you’ll notice that the arms hide the awkward amigurumi colour changes at these points, huzzah!).
- LEGS~ You have the option of making Sorda sitting or standing. If you would like her to be sitting, sew the legs in line with the arms, about 4 rows down from where B rows ends. I didn’t like how the legs splayed out to the sides, so I sewed them in place at another point further down the leg to follow the curve of the body.
If you’d like your Sorda to stand, sew the legs in line with the arms lower down the base of the body. You may need to add stuffing to the legs to make them a little more supportive.
- TAIL~ Whip stitch the folded tail between the legs at the back of the body. If you’ve decided to make Sorda sitting, experiment with tail placement to make sure your Sorda can sit on her own without rolling over or leaning back too far.
- FACIAL FEATURES~ Now comes the fun part.
- NEEDLE SCULTPING~ This simply involves making eye indents for the safety eyes or whatever eyes you will be using, thereby also creating a bridge for the nose.
- Use two pins to mark where your eyes will be as evenly between the arms as you can. This will be about 5 rows from where colour B begins, with 3-4 stitches in between.
*I will devour your soul!*
- Using a wool needle, insert a long piece of yarn A at the back of the head through the base of the neck, and pull it out through the left eye pin at the front (leave about 10cm of yarn hanging out the back of the head).
Out from the back to the left eye at the front
- Remove the left pin, and thread the yarn one stitch to the right, pulling out through the right pin. Remove right pin, thread yarn one stitch to the right of the right eye, back through to the left eye. Pull.
- This has created a noticeable eye ‘dent’ on the right side. To make another on the left, thread the yarn one stitch to the left of the left eye, and pull through back to the right eye. Give a little tug until the left eye dent forms, then thread through the right eye to the back of the head at the same point you entered from. Give another tug, knot off and bury the ends in the head.
Don’t be afraid to give a good tug, and work back and forth as many times as you need to
- EYES~ As previously mentioned, I like to add the safety eyes AFTER I stuff and close the head and body. To do this, get two long lengths of yarn A and tie one each to the stem of each safety eye (make sure you double knot it). Insert the eyes (no need for the safety eye backing) into each eye indent on the head. Use a wool needle to thread the yarn tails of both eyes into the eye insertion point and out the base of the neck at the back (make sure you thread both tails out at the SAME point). PULL FIRMLY until the eyes are snug in the socket. Adjust or start again if you are not happy with the position. Tie both yarn tails together at the back and bury the ends in the head.
*Optional* you can also add glue to the back of each safety eye, but I find its not necessary*
Nawww, it’s a peanut!
- NEEDLE FELTING~ My favourite part! This is where Sorda really comes to life.
- Using a foam block as your base, needle felt a chunk of merino wool into a small ball, It should be fairly compact, but nowhere near rock-hard. Needle felt this ball below and between Sorda’s eyes until it becomes firmer and more compacted. This will be Sorda’s muzzle!
Looks gigantic, but the wool will compact as you needle felt, so you need to overcompensate at first
- Similarly, make two smaller balls of the same size and attach them to each side of the muzzle, beginning just under the eyes. These will be the cheeks. Keep needle felting over the muzzle and adding more wool to make sure these three parts blend together seamlessly.
- Once you’re happy with the overall shape you’ve achieved it’s time to disguise the off-white merino wool with the colour of yarn A. Snip up little bits of yarn A and tease them apart by lightly flicking a needle felting needle though them while on the foam mat. Roll the teased ends into a ball and needle felt them evenly over the muzzle. This may take a bit of practise, but be patient and go slowly or else you may stab yourself (ouch!). Check under natural light to make sure you are spreading the colour evenly.
- Needle felt or embroider the nose and mouth, use yarn B to needle felt the eye patches.
The most time-consuming part is perfecting the muzzle and adding the smaller details. Don’t be worried though ~ needle felting is very forgiving, and you can simply rip off the parts you don’t like and start again 😉
- EARS~ This is the final part! Pin both ears on either side of the centre head spiral. You may need to test different positions to make sure you achieve the look you want. Sew the ears in place, and you’re done!
You now have your very own Sorda amigurumi! *(*´∀｀*)☆
I hope this pattern wasn’t difficult to understand. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I would love to get your feedback on my work, and I’m open to suggestions on what to make next~
Don’t forget to post your finished Sorda to my Facebook and/or Ravelry pages! I would love to see which colours you used.
Did you find a mistake in my pattern? Let me know in the comments below