Friday, September 14, 2007

free pattern friday: cris

I am still amazed that other knitters want to make a star-nosed mole! Amazed and delighted. As you know, Cris is short for Condyluria cristata, and if you haven't already read about what those 22 nose tentacles are for, and how Cris is the only semi-aquatic rodent species, then by all means learn more here. Ready to knit him? All you need is a sense of humor and a couple of free evenings - this is a weird knit, but not a difficult one at all. Enjoy!


You will use less than 1 skein of both yarns.
color A: Lamb's Pride worsted, color #M-06, Deep charcoal.
color B: Cascade 220, color #9477
US size 8 DPN's (5 mm)
US size H crochet hook (5 mm)
stitch markers
tapestry needle
two 1/8 in buttons, black or gray
sewing needle & thread to match body yarn

gauge before felting: 4 st and 6 r / inch
felt shrinkage: around 35% length-wise; around 21% width-wise

measurements (before felting): 6.75 in long, 3.6 in wide at widest point
(after felting): 5 in long, 3 in wide at widest point

The mole is more or less tear-drop shaped, with a narrow head and wide rear end.

starting at the nose

Using color B: CO 6, PM, join to K in rnd.
R1: Kfb every st. 12 st rem.
R2 and all even rows: Knit all st.
R3: * Kfb, K1. Rep from * to end. 18 st rem.
R5: * Kfb, K2. Rep from * to end. 24 st rem.

Change to color A.
K 2 rows in color A, then begin increasing again, this time placing a marker before every st to be increased.
Next inc row: *Kfb, K3, PM. Rep from * to end. 30 st rem.
K 2 rows even.
Next in row: Kfb at every M. 36 st rem.

Leave the 6 markers in place. Knit even (without further increases) until body measures 5 in.
Next inc row: Kfb at every M. 42 st rem.
K 1 row.
Next inc row: Kfb at every M. 48 st rem.

Knit even (without further increases) until body measures 6.5 in.
Dec row: * K2tog, K to next M, SSK, Slip M. Rep from * to end (dec 2 st at every M). 36 st rem.
K 1 rnd.
Rep dec row on every other rnd until 12 st rem.
Cut the yarn so that the tail is about 10 in long. Loosely thread that tail through the rem st but do not pull tight.

nose tentacles

Using color B and crochet hook, you will attach 22 tentacles around the perimeter of the pink nose. Because there are 24 st there, you wil be able to space them evenly (more or less) by attaching one tentacle to every st, skipping two.

To make a tentacle:
Insert the crochet hook into an existing nose st, wrap once and pull the yarn through. Then make a 5 st chain from that loop, pulling the yarn through tightly at the end and trimming closely. Repeat 21 times.

front feet

Using color B, CO 15 st and place M to K in the rnd.
K 6 rows
Divide for 5 toes by combining 3 st into an I-cord (use one st from one "side" of the foot and 2 from the other "side"). You will be able to make 5 of these I-cords, distributing the combined st evenly along the foot. Make each I-cord 7 rows long, then cut your yarn length and thread through the stitches & pull tight, Weave in ends.

back feet

Using color B, CO 8 st, K 24 rows, fold over and sew up sides, leaving end open.

To sew on feet, play around with their positioning on the underside of the mole until you like the way they look. Then sew on, attaching them along one side only, leaving the underside open. (Attach along only 8 st from each foot).


You will attach the tail to the opening at the back side of the mole, taking care not to inadvertently sew the stuff-hole closed. Holding colors A & B together, connect the tail across three st of the stuff-hole, and knit a 3-st I-cord. Knit the I-cord until it measures 4 in. K2 tog - 2 st rem. Knit another inch, then trim yarn and pull tightly through rem loops. Weave in end.


Trim or weave in all rem ends, then felt the mole.


Place the mole into a pillowcase and tie it shut. Place in the washer with jeans or something else to add agitation, and run through two ten-minute hot wash cycles, stopping each time before the final spin.

Remove the mole, pull and push into shape. Use the blunt end of a knitting needle to poke the nose out to a pointy shape. Stuff with plastic bags to shape, and then allow to dry.

Once dry, stuff with polyester fiberfill, sew feet and butt closed.

Sew on button eyes.

important notice: This is a free pattern and you are welcome to use it for all the non-commercial purposes you like. However, you may not reproduce this pattern to sell, and you may not sell what you make with it. You may donate what you make with it to charity, and you may use it for charity fundraisers only if 100% of the proceeds are donated to the charity (and by charity I don't mean your kid's college fund). Thanks for understanding!


  1. OMG, my boys will love this guy, he'd be funny peeking out of their Xmas stockings, TY

  2. This is wonderful. I might even like moles a bit better because of it! What's next? A knitted potato bug? Applause!

  3. Next up is a knitted mudpuppy... the Neuse River Water Dog!

  4. yayy thank you!! :D I can't wait for the Neuse River Water Dog too! :D

  5. you know about happy owl glassworks, right?

    i think you might appreciate the diversity of their menagerie.

  6. He's so darn cute, with tons of personality and sass (sounds like my high school crush!)

  7. you are a freak! and i love it!! my hubby would probably try and trap the poor knitty thing! his cousins are making a danger zone of our yard!

  8. dude. you are AMAZING. as soon as i can knit something other than garter or stockinette (i.e. things i can knit while i read), this is on the list. i love him.

  9. I've seen one live mole and this little knitting project has Nailed the look! He's surely something to make for the cats, with some catnip inside. Thank you for the pattern!

  10. So cute! I seen someone talking about them on a PBS show.

    God Bless You and Yours!!!

  11. oh oh he's so CUTE! I could squeeze him till he nearly BURSTS!

  12. Do You happen to have directions for crochet? My husband saw this and fell in love with him. It happens that we were just watching a program on TV about this unusual animal.

  13. Oh my gosh, I really love this little guy, and may have to make one of my own. (But yeah, moles aren't rodents. ;) )

  14. How awesome. I love the knitted Cris! I am planning on sewing a star-nosed mole out of fabric scraps, but if I could knit - I would be all over this. A cunning little fellow.

  15. f. pea are you selling the star nosed mole? i would really like to buy one.

  16. Hi Anonymous. Sorry, I don't sell any knits. Thanks for asking though - I'm glad you like him!

  17. are you suuure? i can't knit. :(

  18. You should know an Etsy seller is attempting to sell this pattern here.

  19. Thank you so much, Anonymous friend!! Etsy has taken down the offending pattern. : )

  20. Such a sweet mole. Thanks again for all that you do for us.


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