Christmas · crochet

Little Owl Ornaments

For a number of years I’ve given my grandchildren Christmas ornaments. Recently I’ve crocheted them and with fifteen grandchildren this is no small undertaking. In previous years I’ve crocheted Icicle Boys and GirlsLittle Christmas Trees, Santas, Snowmen, Little Stockings, and Matryoshka Dolls. I began the little owls in late August. Good thing too because I made numerous changes along the way.

Shortly before I wrapped them in November I took them outside to my neighbor’s yard. She has a beautiful “Christmas” tree in her front yard and I hung all the little owls on it so I could take some photos.

 

I strung number beads and a little jingle bell along with a colored bead below the owl. The bell is a nice little touch with its jingly tingle when it’s moved.

The finished size is about 2 inches square (5 cm), or thereabouts, depending on the yarn used and the hook size. Not too big and not too small. Just about right as a Christmas ornament. Of course that doesn’t count the ear tufts or the number beads and bell hanging below.

I personalized them by adding the year and the name. After all, most of my grandchildren have siblings and with the name and year attached there is no confusion as to whose is whose.

 

 

It took me awhile before I was satisfied with the finished product. I played around with different yarn and hooks and with the number of stitches to begin with. I experimented with different styles of wings and with different colors and sizes of buttons for the eyes. It seemed like every time I gave these owls some thought I was making changes. But finally, I settled on the pattern that I’m sharing below.
Little Owl Ornaments
Finished size approximately 2” tall by 2” wide, not including ear tufts or number beads and jingle bell
Supplies
Worsted Weight yarn (size 4) in 2-3 colors for owl
Worsted Weight yarn in gold for beak
Size E (3.5 mm) hook
Light weight yarn or embroidery floss in black for sewing button eyes onto owl
two 1/2 inch buttons for eyes
Tapestry needle that will fit through holes in buttons
small jingle bells
alphabet and number beads
heavy weight button or nylon thread
sewing needle with small enough eye to fit through beads
fishing line for hanging loop (or embroidery floss or a piece of yarn)
stuffing
Abbreviations
standard American terms
picot = chain 2, sl stitch into first chain
F/O = finish off
Construct the owl in the order below:
1. Make body of owl
2. Sew on eyes and beak
3. Sew on wings
4. Sew ear tufts
 
Body of the Owl
1. Ch 6, sc in second chain from hook, 1 sc in each of next 3 ch, 4 sc in 4th ch. continuing along opposite side of chain (working over yarn tail to end of round), 1 sc in each of the next 4 ch.  12 sc
2. (2 sc in first st, sc in next st) x 6. 18 sc.
3. (2 sc in first st, sc in next 2 st) x 6.  24 sc
4-13. sc around.  24 sc. Change color with last st of row 4 or wherever desired.
14. The piece of yarn marks the end of row 13. Crochet 5 more stitches ending at the side of the owl. The picture below is the back of the owl after completing the 5 stitches of round 14. The color change on the back will be covered by the wings.
Fold the top of the owl closed, and sc front and back together about half way across the opening, stuff the owl and then continue to close the top. F/O, but leave a long tail.
Thread tapestry needle onto tail, insert the needle into the owl directly below where you finished off and come out at the back of the owl at the row below the center top. 
Take a stitch across the top and insert needle into the front of the owl at the row below.
Lightly tug on the yarn pulling the top center down which will accentuate the “ears”. Do this two times. You may need to hang onto the left top where you originally finished off so it doesn’t pull it out of shape.  Hide the tail in the owl.
 
Eyes
A 2 hole button will look like sleepy eyes and a 4 hole button will look more like open eyes.

 

Position holes in button eyes 3 or 4 rows below the top. Leaving a long tail hanging out the back of the owl use black yarn to attach the eyes sewing through the button holes several times. When the button eyes are attached bring both thread tails out the same stitch hole. Tie both tails together, knotting them twice and hide the yarn tails inside the owl.
(If the holes in the buttons are too small for the tapestry needle with light weight yarn you can either use a regular sewing needle and thread or an embroidery needle with embroidery floss.)
Beak
With gold yarn sew a triangle just below the eyes, with 3-4 straight stitches. Bring the yarn out from the back to the front leaving a tail about 3” long. When you’ve completed the beak bring the yarn out the same hole as you started. Leave another 3” tail. Tie the two ends together with a double knot and hide the ends inside the body.
 
Wings
Use a contrast color for the wings.
1. Ch 6, sc in second chain from hook, 1 sc in each of next 3 ch, 4 sc in 4th ch. continuing along opposite side of chain (working over yarn tail to end of round), 1 sc in each of the next 4 ch.  12 sc  (Cut off remaining yarn tail at end of round.)
2. 2 sc in first st, sc in next 3 sc, (sc, picot) two times each in next 2 sts, (sc, picot, sc) in next st, sc in next 5 sts, ss in next st. F/O leaving a long tail to sew wing to body. 

Using the long tail of the wing sew a few stitches on each side along the straight edge. Where the wing “feathers out” towards the bottom make a stitch straight under the wing across to the center, take a tiny stitch in the center of the wing, and then continue along the opposite straight edge of the wing back up to the top, ending where you began. Bring out the long tail at the back.
Attach the second wing as the first and bring out the second long tail through the same stitch as the first wing, tie them into a double knot, hide the tails in the body, and trim the ends. 
Ear Tufts
Cut 3 strands of yarn approximately 7 inches long, any combination of colors. Insert crochet hook (you made need a smaller hook) from the back of the owl to the front in the stitch at each side.

Fold the strands of yarn in half and pull the loops through to the back. Pull the free ends through the loop and tighten the knot. Trim the tufts to desired length. I trimmed mine at approximately 3/4 of an inch.

Name and Year

Cut a piece of heavy weight button thread or nylon thread approximately 24 inches long (60 cm). Thread the bell onto the thread and then bring both ends through the eye of the needle. Put the year beads (2016) onto the thread above the jingle bell, finishing with a colored bead above that. Sew the strand of beads onto the bottom of the owl. Allow a little give so the beads move some and the bell will jingle. Do not cut the thread! Insert the needle to the back of the owl, thread the name beads onto the needle and decide how you want the name to lay. Bring the needle out again and if desired, make little stitches between two or three beads of the name to secure it. Bring the needle out of one of the stitch holes, tie the two ends together several times and hide the tail in the body of the owl.
Hanging Loop
Cut approximately 12 inches of fishing line (if you want the hanging loop to be virtually invisible) or any yarn or thread. Tie a square knot close to the body of the owl and then tie the two ends together at the top making the loop however long want it. I usually make the hanging loop approximately 3 inches long. Cut off excess thread about 1/4 inch above knot.
And there you are…a little owl ornament!
 
I hope these directions are clear! If you see any mistakes or need further clarification please let me know.

Have Fun! 

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2 thoughts on “Little Owl Ornaments

  1. Well thank you Sisson Clan! So good to “see” you here! Jeri, I don't know if you remember the Nativity figure Christmas ornaments you painted and gave to me about a hundred years ago! They still find a place on our tree every single year…

    Like

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