is a non-violent interpretation of a fascinating artifact
from the '30s: the fox stole, complete with beady
eyes and dangling paws. Most of the final impression
comes from the judicious yarn choices. The Merino
Frappe is a very soft yarn which stands in for the
matte downy undercoat, and also gives a stable structure
to the fabric, which would otherwise drape in an unmanageable
way. The Splash fringe provides the dense shiny color
that we associate with foxes, and the Fizz eyelash
adds the longer, sparser dimension of guard hair,
indispensable for true realism. You can substitute
yarns, but make sure that you pick them on grounds
of structure as well as of color!
The pattern is simple to knit in that it's basically
a long rectangle, with a few rows of increases and
decreases thrown in. It's knit in stockinette stitch
so the naturally rounded fabric helps achieve the
desired effect. Since it's hard to see individual
stitches, make sure you keep track of which side you're
working on [the purls curl to the inside]. Most of
the shaping, and the personality, come from the finishing.
Since this is a very fuzzy item, even minimal finishing
skills are sufficient.
1 ball Crystal Palace Splash [100g, 85yd] color
1 ball Crystal Palace Fizz [50g, 120yd] color
1 ball Crystal Palace Merino Frappe [50g, 140yd]
color 044 [cinnamon].
US#10.5/7mm double-pointed or short circular
1 pair of teddy-bear eyes, whatever color you
3/8" shank button, black. I used a vintage one
of faceted glass, which gives just the right
touch of glamour, but whatever you choose is
1 hair clip, tortoise shell. A 2-3" long pincher
type would be closest to original models. I
could only find a rounded ponytail one, but
I like the fang effect it provides. Be sure
it's no wider than 2" or longer than 3", that
it's easily operated with one hand and that
the handles have holes [and the ends, if it's
a long one]. Go to the nearest drugstore and
get creative with what you find there. Ideally,
nobody should be seeing it, as long as it reasonably
matches the color of the yarn.
optional: a bit of batting for stuffing.
st = 4 inches over stockinette.
You will be knitting the entire body holding all 3
yarns together, working on #15/10mm needles.
to shape the tail by co 3 stitches.
Row 1: p 3
Row 2: *k1 inc1* 2 times, p1. [5 st total]
Row 3: *p1 inc1* 4 times, p1. [9 st]
Row 4: *k1 inc1* 8 times, p1. [17 st]
Row 5: p17
Row 6: k1, inc1, k15, inc1, p1
Row 7: p19
Work in st st [purling the last stitch of each row,
slipping the first, so you get a cleaner edge] till
piece measures 12 inches.
Row 1: *k3 tog* 6 times, p1 [7 st total]
Row 2: *p1, inc1* 6 times, p1 [13 st]
Row 3: p13
Row 4: k1, inc1, k11, inc1, p1.
Row 5: p15 Work in st st till piece measures 22 inches
from the butt.
You may consider making this body section a couple
inches shorter or longer, depending on your own overall
Row 1: *k2tog* 7 times, p1. [8 st total]
Row 2: *p1, inc1* 7 times, p1. [15 st]
Break off the brown Fizz guard hair yarn.
Row 1: k15 Work in st st with the remaining yarns
[undercoat merino and copper Splash], till this flap
measures 3 inches.
[This part is slightly tricky.]
Using the undercoat merino only, and the #10.5 needles,
pick up 8 stitches on the underside [purl side] of
the neck, below the ears. You can't go wrong here
- it won't show.
Row 1: *k1 inc1* 7 times, p1.
Row 2: p15
Work another flap in straight stockinette, still using
only the merino.
Note: this stockinette faces the same way as the body
and the ears - the purls must be all on the same side.
When this flap reaches 5 inches, BO.
Use the merino alone with the #10.5 needles, as you
did with the head.
This uses a technique called "idiot cord", so named
CO 4 stitches.
Slide them back to the other side of the needle without
Knit them, tugging gently on the first stitch so as
to take up the slack across the back, forming a tube.
Slide the stitches back to the tip of the needle again,
and so on.
Make 4 paws, each about 5 inches long.
Don't cast off, but leave fairly long tails.
Don't stress, the paws don't have to be either that
length or even exactly the same.
in the paws fairly loosely, catching each of the loose
stitches with body stitches. The attachments should
be about 1" in from the edges: two about 1" up from
the butt and two about 1" below the neck.
To finish and shape the ears, take some of the Splash
copper fringe threaded on the yarn needle. Crunch
down the top earflap in the middle, arrange it artistically,
and sew around it securely several times, perhaps
over 1/2" or so. This should form 2 triangular ears
which somewhat stand up.
For the head, start by finding the middle of the top
edge of the merino flap, and fold down the sides till
they meet in the middle, origami style. Roll the edges
in on both sides, so that the muzzle is narrower than
a straight fold would allow, and so that muzzle is
self-stuffed as well. Stitch along that length, which
will be shorter than the total length of the head
Sew on the eyes. I found that putting them fairly
close together gave it a goofy expression that balances
the overall glamour nicely, but you may feel otherwise.
Just experiment here. Use the merino to secure them
in place, pushing the shanks down to the back first,
and catching the adjacent stitches with them. You
may wish to use small felt pieces on the wrong side
to keep the eyes in place more securely.
Using any combination of yarn that makes sense to
you, sew down the middle belly seam all the way to
the neck, making sure all loose ends are tucked in.
Any stitch will do, overcast or running stitch. This
is not a seam that'll get a lot of stress, and nobody,
not even you, will be able to see anything about the
details when you're done. You could, at this point,
stuff the tail and body with a bit of batting for
more structure. But go very lightly with that, or
you'll get a stiff little sausage quickly; the model
attach the clip to the underside edge of the neck
and finish the face in one tricky step. Take a fairly
long length of merino and stitch one side of the clip
securely to the edge of the neck. Then thread the
needle through the muzzle all the way to the nose.
Catch the end of the nose and thread back through
the muzzle, then stitch the other edge of the clip
to the neck, pulling and adjusting so the chin comes
flush with the edge of the neck. This is what will
give the face the jaw/forehead poof it needs.
working this way back and forth till the whole thing
feels secure. During one of these passes, thread the
nose button on [this may require unthreading the needle
and working the yarn through the shank by whatever
means, then re-threading]. You may use a small bit
of batting [or
yarn ends] to stuff the head very lightly. Then attach
the other side of the clip to the underside of the
Voila! Admire your work. Wear it proudly ;-].
grandmother tried to teach her to knit at an early age
"to shut her up". This didn't work very well,
but Marie-Christine took it up again later with enthusiasm
after being exposed to a wild improvised sweater. She
is sadly lacking in her ability to follow patterns and
consequently rips a fair amount.
A lifetime of geek jobs has left her with a deep appreciation
of textures and colors, but her math instincts have
served her well both in the topological visualization
of projects, and in the urge toward the simplest solutions.
Her output consists mostly of socks and scarves - portable
projects - the weirder the better.
& images © 2002 Marie-Christine
Mahe. Contact Marie-Christine.