by Angela Tong

fat robin
» photos: Brandy Fortune

Mao is the name for “cat” in Chinese. My 3 yr old daughter is very much in love with cats right now. Her favorite thing to do is to point out the cats sitting on window sills when we take our afternoon walks around the neighborhood. I designed this toy cat so that it can sit on the window sill or shelf in her bed room.

Now, she has a whole litter of kittens to snuggle with and love. It looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Let's hope that she and the kittens won't get into too much mischief.


Finished Measurements

Approximately 4½ inches tall and 3½ inches wide at the widest point of the cat.


Knit Picks® Swish Worsted [100% Superwash Merino Wool; 110 yards/101 meters per 1.76 ounce/50 gram skein];

#25139 Peapod; 1 skein
#25151 Semolina; 1 skein
#25141 Lotus; 1 skein
#25137 Gulfstream; 1 skein

Recommended needle sizes

US #5/3.75 mm dpns (set of 5) or needles 2-3 sizes smaller than recommended for your yarn


Stitch holders
Polyester stuffing
Tapestry needle
Stitch markers
Embroidery floss for mouth
Scrap yarn for eyes and nose


6 sts and 8 rows = 1 inch in St st
Gauge is not important, just be sure that the stitches are tight enough so that the stuffing won’t show through.

Pattern Notes

Mao is knit in the round, seamlessly from the top down using one color, starting at the ears. It has a flat bottom and the tail is made with I-cord by picking up 4 stitches from the back of the cat.

Skills Required

Knitting on double pointed needles, I-cord, M1.



Cast on 3 sts onto one needle.
Rnd 1: Slide sts to opposite end, k3.
Rnd 2: Slide sts to opposite end, [kfb] 3 times: 6 sts.
Distribute sts onto 3 dpns and join to work in the round, place marker.
Rnd 3: Knit around.
Rnd 4: [Kfb] 6 times: 12 sts.
Rnds 5 and 6: Knit around.

Break yarn leaving a 6-8 inch length of yarn for seaming later. Place these 12 sts onto a st holder.
Repeat Rnds 1-6 above to make another ear. Do not break yarn.

Join Ears Together

K6, and place remaining 6 unworked sts onto one needle to work later. Slip 12 sts from st holder back onto needles, and k12. Knit the remaining 6 sts from your second ear: 24 sts. Distribute sts onto 3 needles evenly and mark beginning with st marker. The rest of the cat will be worked in the round to form the body of the cat.



Rnd 1: Knit around.
Rnd 2: [M1, k2] 12 times: 36 sts.
Rnds 3 and 4: Knit around.
Rnd 5: [M1, k18] 2 times: 38 sts.
Rnd 6: Knit around.
Rnd 7: K2, [m1, k3] 12 times: 50 sts.
Rnd 8: Knit around.
Rnd 9: [M1, k25] 2 times: 52 sts.
Rnds 10-17: Knit around.
Rnd 18: [K2tog, k11] 4 times: 48 sts.
Rnds 19 and 20: Knit around.
Rnd 21: [K2tog, k20, ssk] 2 times: 44 sts.
Rnds 22 and 23: Knit around.
Rnds 24: [K2tog, k9] 4 times: 40 sts.
Rnds 25 and 26: Knit around.
Before continuing, seam up the hole between the ears with the yarn tail. Then stuff the ears and the body of the cat.
Rnd 27: [K2tog, k16, ssk] 2 times: 36 sts.
Rnds 28-30: Knit around.
Rnd 31: Purl around.
Rnd 32: Knit around.
Add more stuffing to the body of the cat. Do not overstuff. The bottom should be flat.
Rnd 33: [K2, k2tog] 9 times: 27 sts.
Rnd 34: [K1, k2tog] 9 times: 18 sts.
Rnd 35: [K2tog] 9 times: 9 sts.
Break yarn and draw tightly through sts with tapestry needle. Secure tightly.


I-Cord Tail

With the back of the cat facing you, beginning 3 sts up from the bottom of the purl round and in the middle, pick up and knit 4 sts. Work I-cord tail for 6 inches. Break yarn and draw tightly through sts with tapestry needle.



Weave in all ends. Using tapestry needle and embroidery floss and scrap yarn, embroider eyes, nose and mouth.

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Angela has never tried a craft she didn’t like. When she is not taking care of her 3 yr old daughter, she knits, crochets, weaves, spins , sews and bakes. Follow her crafty adventures on her blog.


Pattern © 2011 Angela Tong. Contact 

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