Tutorial: How to Embroider a Face for Knot Forgotten Lion

Hey there! Just letting you know this blog post may contain affiliate links (marked with an asterisk*). If you make a purchase through one of these links, a small percentage goes back to me to help run this website (and buy nappies). Full details are in my disclosure. Thank you for supporting my blog!


If you’ve been following me on Instagram recently, you’ll know I’m taking part in the Knot Forgotten drive to provide 500 handmade toys to Syrian refugee children by December 2017.

Chubby Knots Lion made by Jennifer Wang Bears - FREE pattern by Chubby Knots #toysforsyrianrefugeechildren

To a child, a toy is so much more than a toy. Think of your favourite toy when you were little. You cuddled it, took it with you everywhere, held it close at night, and just knew that it could understand you.

No child deserves to have nothing, to be forced out of his or her home and reduced to playing in the garbage or fighting over a cardboard box. Kids need toys. For play, for companionship, for strength or for comfort. Kids need toys!

Earlier this year, Justine (the girl who started it all), partnered with Open Doors Australia and The 4th Musketeer (4M) to deliver over 100 crocheted toys to Syrian & Iraqi children living in refugee camps in Lebanon.

Now, she’s back with a passion, setting a new goal of 500 crocheted toys by December 2017. Her mission is to spread love and hope to these war-torn families, and to remind these children that they are NOT invisible and NOT forgotten.

With a hook in her hand and her heart on her sleeve, Justine has rallied the crochet community on Facebook and Instagram to join her using three patterns she has freely provided:

Chubby Knots Bear made by Jennifer Wang Bears - FREE pattern by Chubby Knots #toysforsyrianrefugeechildren

The first is a bear, designed as a gift for babies. Teddy bears have a long, noble history as comfort toys. They symbolise love, protection and security, making them the perfect cuddle companion for bubs.

Chubby Knots Lion made by Jennifer Wang Bears - FREE pattern by Chubby Knots #toysforsyrianrefugeechildren

The second is a lion, and will be given to boys. Just as lions are revered for being bold and courageous, these lions are made to remind boys that they are strong, capable leaders.

Chubby Knots Unicorn made by Jennifer Wang Bears - FREE pattern by Chubby Knots #toysforsyrianrefugeechildren

The third is a unicorn, and will be given to girls. Unicorns are proud, majestic creatures that are both strong and wise. These unicorns are made to remind girls that they are unique, beautiful and creative.

Justine asks that makers please follow the instructions and material guidelines (DK weight yarn, a 3 or 3.5mm hook, and NO safety eyes or buttons). This is to keep the toys safe and similar in size and appearance, as she witnessed firsthand children arguing over whose toys were bigger and “better”. The last thing she wants is for her gesture of love to cause more trouble!


My Lion

I experimented with my two lions to give them flat faces with an open mouth. I also discovered an easy way to add extra volume to the lion’s mane by crocheting in the front and back loops of R2. Please feel free to use any of my modifications below to make your own uniquely beautiful pride of lions.

PLEASE NOTE: The instructions given below are for my 2nd lion (the lion with the brown mane).


You will need

DK yarn (US light worsted #3) in the following colours:

  • white for the muzzle
  • pink for the cheeks and tongue
  • brown or black for the nose, lips and eyes
  • oddments of yarn for the eyebrows (use the same colour as your mane)
  • OPTIONAL: a thinner weight yarn for the eyelashes (I used 2ply cotton in dark brown)

A tapestry or wool needle, scissors and ball-head pins.


Abbreviations (US)

» ch(s) = chain(s)
» dc = double crochet
» f/o = fasten off
» hdc = half double crochet
» inc = increase (2sc in 1 stitch)
» mc = magic circle
» R(n) = round (number of round)

» sc = single crochet
» sl st = slip stitch
» st(s) = stitch(es)
» tr = treble crochet


Instructions

Chubby Knots Lion made by Jennifer Wang Bears - FREE pattern by Chubby Knots #toysforsyrianrefugeechildren

Mane

After completing R1 of the mane, work the following sequence in the back loops only (NOTE: each bracket = 1 stitch):
{hdc, dc}, {tr, dc}, {hdc, sl st}
Then continue R2 of pattern in the front loops as normal.

Chubby Knots Lion made by Jennifer Wang Bears - FREE pattern by Chubby Knots #toysforsyrianrefugeechildren

Mouth Piece

R1: mc with 6sts [6]
R2: inc around [12]
Sl st and f/o using the invisible join technique. Leave a long tail for sewing.

Tongue

R1: mc with 6sts [6]
Pull circle closed and DO NOT join to first st. F/o and leave a long tail for sewing.

Muzzle Piece (make two)

R1: mc with 6sts [6]
R2: inc around [12]
R3: (inc, 1sc in next st) around [18]
Sl st and f/o using the invisible join technique. Leave a long tail for sewing.

Nose

R1: mc with 6sts [6] – do not pull your mc too tight!
Ch1, then sc in same st where your hook is. Moving from right to left, 1sc in centre hole of mc, then 1sc in the next st to the left.
Cut yarn and f/o, leaving a long tail for sewing.


Tips

Chubby Knots Lion made by Jennifer Wang Bears - FREE pattern by Chubby Knots #toysforsyrianrefugeechildren

1. To keep the edges of your muzzle and nose pieces neat, sew only through the sts of the final round, NOT the loops of the sts themselves (see picture above).

2. Where possible, when sewing your pieces, exit your needle out behind the mane (see picture above). This will help prevent “puckering” on the face, as well as the formation of holes.

3. Don’t trust your eyes. If an even, symmetrical face is what you’re after, always, ALWAYS view your work from different angles before sewing in place. I like to hold my toys upside-down or view them in a mirror to make sure everything looks balanced (although you’ll go mad trying to be perfect, so don’t bother). Counting rows and sts also helps, but it’s not always foolproof. Stitches crocheted in the round tend to lean to the right, which can throw things off.

3. Breathe! There is no right or wrong way to make a face. And, if worst comes to worst, you can always unpick your work and start again (it took me more than three attempts before I was happy with my first lion – it’s ok!).


LET’S BEGIN!

Assembly

1: Pin and sew the mouth piece in place (position the join so it’s near the top). I placed my muzzle about 2 rows up from the bottom of the mane.

2: Pin the tongue just above the mouth piece. I placed mine so the bottom of the tongue rests on the centre of the mouth piece’s magic circle. Sew in place, starting with the top two corners.

Chubby Knots Lion made by Jennifer Wang Bears - FREE pattern by Chubby Knots #toysforsyrianrefugeechildren

2: Pin both muzzle pieces so they slightly overlap the tongue and mouth (align the row ends to face inwards where the nose will be). Before sewing in place, check that the pieces are symmetrical by holding and viewing your work upside down. Don’t be afraid to stretch and/or squash the muzzle with your fingers if you need to.

Chubby Knots Lion made by Jennifer Wang Bears - FREE pattern by Chubby Knots #toysforsyrianrefugeechildren

3: Pin and sew the nose in place, starting with the three corners.

4: Using a long length of brown or black thread, embroider the mouth. Start at the bottom of the nose and make a stitch down to the top of the tongue.

To make the bottom lip, make two sts under the tongue. It helps if you start from the outside corner of the tongue for each stitch, exiting through the centre of the mouth piece’s magic circle.

NOTE: I also attempted to make two more sts on either side of the tongue (like I did with my yellow lion), but it looked strange, so I left it. 

Chubby Knots Lion made by Jennifer Wang Bears - FREE pattern by Chubby Knots #toysforsyrianrefugeechildren

5: Mark the eyes with four pins (my eyes are 4sts in length, but 3sts also works). Cut a long strand of yarn and insert it through the side of the body, behind the mane. Using your pins as a guide, make two straight lines for the eyes. Then pull the eyes down into a “U” shape looping the yarn back around the eye and making a stitch into row below (make two sts for each eye).

Chubby Knots Lion made by Jennifer Wang Bears - FREE pattern by Chubby Knots #toysforsyrianrefugeechildren

6: Using a long length of pink yarn, mark where your cheeks will be (mine are 2sts in length) and thread the yarn back and forth and least 3 times for each cheek (do not pull too tightly). This will give the cheeks a bit of volume, and also prevent them from being pulled out.

NOTE: If you compare my cheeks in the picture below, you’ll notice they aren’t in the same position relative to the eyes (the cheek on the right side is an extra st over). I did this on purpose to help even things out (my muzzle is a bit wonky). Do whatever looks good to you, and double check it by viewing your lion upside-down.

Chubby Knots Lion made by Jennifer Wang Bears - FREE pattern by Chubby Knots #toysforsyrianrefugeechildren

7: Make the eyebrows in the same way, looping the yarn 2 times to anchor it in place. My eyebrows are 3sts in length, starting two rows up from the outside corner of each eye.

Chubby Knots Lion made by Jennifer Wang Bears - FREE pattern by Chubby Knots #toysforsyrianrefugeechildren

8: OPTIONAL: Eyelashes. Using thinner yarn (I used 2ply cotton), make a “V” shape in the corner of each eye.

NOTE: For the yellow lion in the picture below, I also used the 2ply cotton to make the “U” shape, which is why the darker thread is visible on the eyes. 

Chubby Knots Lion made by Jennifer Wang Bears - FREE pattern by Chubby Knots #toysforsyrianrefugeechildren

AND, THAT’S IT!

I hope this tutorial has helped you and given you inspiration to try making a face for your own lion. Leave a comment below if you need any further clarification (or if you find a mistake!). I’m happy to help!

Much love, and happy crocheting!

Jennifer

Leave a Reply

4 Comments on "Tutorial: How to Embroider a Face for Knot Forgotten Lion"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest
Marinda J
Guest

Thank you for sharing these tips! Helps a lot, and beautiful photos too!

Rhonda
Guest

Just adorable!!

wpDiscuz