December 5, 2011

Free Pattern: Cactaur!

All Final Fantasy fans are well familiar with this bouncy, lightening fast, prickly pal!  And now you can knit one of your own.  Except he won’t be so bouncy, fast, or prickly...  But he will be cute and snuggly!  Maybe you can knit this little guy so he can keep you company on your next battle!

Needles*:     US Size 7 (4.5 mm) circular needles or DPNs
Size F crochet hook (optional)
Gauge:          Not super important
Yarn*:           Malabrigo Rios in Lettuce (or any worsted weight yarn you prefer)   Scrap black yarn
Skills:            Basic crochet techniques (optional)
Etc:               Darning needle, Polyfil (or whatever stuffing you prefer)
*You can use whatever yarn weight or needle size that you want to get whatever size cactuar you want.  Mine came out to be roughly 11 inches, but if you wanted a smaller one, you could easily use fingering yarn and size 4 needles, or if you wanted a bigger one, bulky yarn and size 10 or 11.  I just listed the size and weight above because that’s what I used in the cactaur pictured.  :)

Knit the stitch through the front of the stitch, and then knit into the back of the same stitch

You can use whatever method you want, but for mine, I just lifted the bar in between the stitch on the left needle and the stitch on my right needle, and put that stitch on my left needle and knit lifted bar as if it were a stitch.  You only do this stitch early in the round so you won’t really be able to see any difference if you use another method.

Knit one stitch, then knit into the left leg of the stitch of the row below it

Knit into the right leg of the stitch of the row below the next stitch to be knit then knit the next stitch

Slip stitch from left needle to right needle
Knit two stitches together
Purl two stitches together
Slip stitch, knit stitch, then pass slipped stitch over knitted stitch

This pattern is knit in 5 pieces:  the body and the four legs.  I crocheted his eyes and mouth which I’ll include the instructions for, but if you would rather embroider them or cut out some black felt and sew that on, go for it. 


CO 8.  Join in round.
Round 1:      Kfb all
Round 2:      *K1, m1, p1, repeat from*
Round 3:      *K2, p1, repeat from *
Round 4:      *K1, m1, k1, p1, repeat from *
Round 5:      *K3, p1, repeat from *
Round 6:      *K2, LLI, p1, repeat from *
Round 7:      *K4, p1, repeat from *
Round 8:      *RLI, k4, p1, repeat from *
Round 9:      *K5, p1, repeat from *
Round 10:       *K5, lift purl bump directly below purl stitch on left needle and lift onto left needle, p2, repeat from *
Round 11:    *K5, p2, repeat from *

Repeat Round 11 until piece measures 10 inches.
Stuff body with the stuffing of your choosing and kind of roll him in your hands to keep it from getting lumpy.

Now we decrease!

Decrease 1:           *K5, p2tog, repeat from *
Decrease 2:           *K5, p1, repeat from *
Decrease 3:           *Skp, k3, p1, repeat from *
Decrease 4:           *K4, p1, repeat from *
Decrease 5:           *K2, k2tog, p1, repeat from *
Decrease 6:           *K3, p1, repeat from *
Decrease 7:           *K1, k2tog, p1, repeat from *
Decrease 8:           *K2, p1, repeat from *
Decrease 9:           *K2tog, p1, repeat from *
Decrease 10:         *K2tog, repeat from *

Stuff a little more stuffing in through the hole to fill out this end a bit more evenly if needed.
Cut yarn and draw through the remaining stitches.
Tie and weave yarn into the body.

Legs (Make 4):
CO 20.  Join in round.
Knit for 1.5 inches.
We are working the legs as if they were little socks, so this is the point where we are going to divide the stitches in half and work the heal rows.
K10 stitches, place remaining ten on another needle (or let them hang on the cord if you are using circular needles) and let them hang there for a while.
Turn work.
Row 1:             Sl 1, p9
Row 2:             Sl 1, k9
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 three times.
Knit Row 1 again.
Row 1:             K7, skp, turn
Row 2:             Slip 1, p4, p2tog, turn
Row 3:             Slip 1, k4, skp, turn
Row 4:             Slip 1, k4, p2tog
Row 5:             Knit all 6 heel stitches
Now we are going to turn that heel!

Pick up the slipped stitches along the heel rows we just knit (there should be 4) , and also pick up the little bar between the stitches of the heel row and the stitches you are picking up.   (I know this sounds weird, but it helps fill in the little hole that likes to pop up in this area!)

Knit 3 of those stitches through the back loop (when they are twisted like this it makes it look less “holey” once it is stuffed) and knit the last stitch plus the little bar you picked up together.
Then knit the ten we left hanging earlier. (We are now joining it all back into the round, see?)

Now pick up the little bar between the stitch you just knit and the stitches you are about to pick up, then knit it together with the first stitch you pick up.

Pick up the remaining 3 stitches from the other side of the heel rows and knit those through the back loop.

At this point I was using two needles.  I had my 6 heel stitches plus the 8 picked up stitches on one needle (14 stitches total) and the other ten stitches on the second needle, with my round marker just before the 14 stitch needle.

Now we are going to decrease back down to 20 stitches. 
Round 1:         K12, skp, k2tog, k10
Round 2:         K2tog, skp, K18

Now just knit in the round until length from the heel to your needles is 2.5 inches.  Then we decrease:
Decrease 1:     *K3, k2tog, repeat from *
Decrease 2:     *K2, k2tog, repeat from *
Decrease 3:     *K1 k2tog, repeat from *

Cut yarn, draw through remaining stitches, tie off and weave yarn in.
Stuff arms and attach to cactaur at pictured in whatever method you prefer.

Eyes (Make 2):
Using the crochet hook, chain 3 stitches and join in round.
Single crochet 7 times into the circle.
Cut yarn, tie off, and stitch onto the body as pictured using your preferred method.

Using the crochet hook, chain 7.
Single crochet around the chain, doing 3 single crochets into last stitch when turning around the corners.
Cut yarn, tie off, and stitch onto the body as pictured using your preferred method.

Insert the crochet hook into the cactuar’s head. 
Leaving a long tail, pull a loop through the cactaur.
Now hold the working yarn with the tail (essentially holding the yarn double.
Chain 5.  Cut yarn, pull ends through the last loop, tie off and trip ends.
Repeat twice across the cactaur’s heads as pictured!
[Sorry if my crochet instructions aren’t great.  I’m a casual crocheter, but these are pretty simple shapes so I hope my instructions aren’t confusing.]

That’s it!!  Weave in all your ends and enjoy!


  1. THIS is filled with SOOOOO much AWESOME!!!

  2. Hey! When the pattern says "continue until piece measures 10 inches", does it refer to the length of the piece laying flat or the actual height of the Cactuar? Thanks :) I can't wait to make this!

    1. It's the length of the piece laying flat. :)

  3. Soooo so I also don't want to knit-pick (har har) but I didn't see a "and join in round" after the cast-on, so I knit it flat until the increase round was finished... =[

    1. Sorry about that! I updated the pattern. Thanks for bringing that to my attention!

  4. I did what Brittainy did, knit flat until I accidentally kept the pattern going after all the increases. I don't know how to join in the round with so few stitches on my circular needle. I don't feel like I have enough yarn!

  5. Oh, maybe I should say that I'm not a knitter, so I have to look up every single stitch on youtube to figure out how to do this pattern. I have torn it apart and started over about twelve times, but I think if I had a better yarn/needle compatibility this would be a heck of a lot easier. It makes sense, at least, after eleven times! :) Great pattern, it is totally my lack of skill that makes it hard.

  6. is there a version for knitting with two needles as i find knitting in the round very confusing

  7. Love the challenge of this pattern. Have never knitted socks before so the legs are challenging. Can't wait to master it!

  8. How much yarn did you use in the green color? Can you tell me in yardage please?

    1. The reason why I want to know is so I can get all skeins needed for the project in one go instead of continually having to order the color and waiting for it to be shipped.

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