Hildegard, The Life-Sized Crochet Chicken ~ Free Pattern!

It’s finally here!

I first posted about Hildegard, the Ultimate Crochet Chicken, at the end of January “>(click here to see the post)… Wow, it has been a while! I did promise that I would give you the pattern, but I must say it has been a good deal of work, partially because I hand-wrote the pattern and I lost the notebook, but when I finally found it, I couldn’t really tell what I’d written. After much deciphering, at last I have written it out for you.

EDIT 6/7/15: I’m sorry, all my pictures vanished, including the chart for the wings! I searched and searched but I can’t find the chart anywhere. I’m very sorry for the inconvenience this causes. But I’m not going to leave you without a pattern — I looked at the finished hen’s wing and made out the pattern as best I could. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter exactly how many stitches are in each row, so I think this will be close enough. Again, I’m really sorry for the problem and delay in fixing it! Please let me know if there’s anything else you need. 😉
This is also why the close-up pics vanished, but if you just Google ‘pictures of chickens’, you should get some good reference guides.
I think that’s everything…sorry about that!

EDIT 6/29/15: I drew the chart again and fixed a mistake in the wing pattern. I also added a diagram for the last part of the body. Hope that helps! 

You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them. Please refer back to them if you have trouble with placement.

Hildegard, the Life-Sized Crochet Chicken

Materials

  • G (4.00 MM) crochet hook. (I have to confess I didn’t write down what hook size I used, but I’m almost positive it was a G, because that’s what I use for pretty much all amigurumi.)
  • 1 skein of worsted-weight yarn in desired hen color, I used I Love This Yarn in white for a Plymouth White Rock. My skein had something like 350 yards, but I did start with a partial skein and had enough. I would think that 1 skein of Red Heart Super Saver would be plenty, provided you don’t crochet too loosely. At $3.19 when I last went to Joann’s, you won’t be spending too much that way.
  • Small amount of red worsted-weight yarn for facial details (comb, wattles, etc.)
  • Yellow worsted-weight yarn for the feet & legs.
  • I used less than a yard of black yarn to embroider on the beak, this is entirely up to you.
  • Plentiful stuffing (I used fiberfill). You could put poly-pellets in the legs if you wanted to weight your hen a bit. Also, you could put pipe cleaners in the legs to make them poseable, but Hildegard is unable to stand up on her own because she’s so top-heavy. I left the legs un-stuffed so she would be more child-friendly and snuggly.
  • Safety eyes (sorry, I don’t know what millimeter size I used, but they were pretty small.) You could use buttons, but I found that safety eyes made for a more realistic face.
  • Scissors, yarn needle, stitch marker (yarn scraps work well), row counter (or another way to keep track of your rows ~ click here for an online row counter)
  • 1-2 sheets of craft felt if you choose to line the wings. I used 1 sheet, but it didn’t have quite enough for both wings. I had no choice though, since that was all the white craft felt I had! It was just a few centimeters too short on either side. So if you want to be thrifty, you could probably eke it out, but felt isn’t too expensive anyway. 🙂
  • Sewing needle & thread if you choose to line the wings (to attach the felt mentioned above.)

I would definitely rate this an INTERMEDIATE project. There’s a lot of shaping, and you’ll have to work from a chart to make the wings, since I can’t type it out at this time. I am more than happy to help you on the road to crocheting a life-size chicken, but unless you have thoroughly learned the basics of crochet and made an amigurumi before this, it’s likely that you’ll have more trouble.

Suggested Main Colors

I mentioned that white was my main color, but you could really do any kind of hen. Here are some that I suggest.

Plymouth White Rock – White (this is what I used)
Barred Rock – Variegated Black & White*
Rhode Island Red – Darkish Red
Partridge Rock – Medium-Brown
Buff Orpington – Tan
Black Australorp – Black (sparkly would look fabulous)
*you could hold 2 strands together, 1 black + 1 white, of a lighter weight yarn if you can’t find variegated.

-~-

Notes

If the pattern says to *sc 1, inc* 6x, that means to repeat the sequence between the *s six times.

If the pattern says to “sc 12”, that means to do 1 sc in each of the next 12 stitches. (I abbreviated it to save space.)

Inc = increase (work 2 of the indicated stitches in the same st: for example, if you were instructed to do *6 hdc, inc*, you would increase using hdc. Stay in the established stitch pattern.)

Dec = decrease = single crochet 2 together (sc2tog)

There’s a lot of complicated shaping in the head, so read the pattern carefully; don’t worry if it’s looking strange, for it will look better after a few more rounds. 🙂

This pattern is mostly worked in a continuous spiral unless otherwise indicated. Do not join rounds; just keep crocheting happily around, using a stitch marker to mark the first stitch so you don’t get lost.

I am all for using a Magic Ring, I truly am. But for the earlobes, comb, wattles, and other parts of the face, I have written to use a slipknot + chain instead. The hole is part of the design, and if you’re using safety eyes, for the red parts around the eyes you need to not use a magic ring, or you won’t be able to insert them later on. But for the parts that do use a Magic Ring, here’s my tutorial on the subject.

-~-

Stitches Used

I use US crochet terms, here’s a list of the abbreviations of the basic stitches, translated from US – UK.

US to UK Terminology

There are some additional stitches used in this pattern. Inc and Dec are described in Notes above this.

Sc2tog: Pull up a loop in the next 2 sts (3 loops). Yo, pull through all 3.

Hdc2tog: Yo, ins hook into next st, yo, pull up a loop. Insert hook into next st, pull up a loop (4 loops on hook.) Yo, pull through all 4 loops. (This is a slightly different way to do the decrease; it reduces bulk.)

Front loop slip stitch is used for the toes. Mrs Micawber has a great tutorial here, she does it with a dishcloth, but the stitch is the same. The tutorial is actually where I learned it in the first place. 🙂

Linked double crochet (ldc) is used to gain height without creating a holey fabric. Here’s how you do it: Insert the hook into the horizontal bar of the previous stitch. Yo, pull up a loop. Pull up a loop in the next stitch. *Yo, pull through 2* 2x. Please refer to this tutorial at Moogly if you need more help. We won’t be doing it in rows, though, just in a spiral, so don’t worry about turning.

Linked triple crochet (ltr) is also used to gain height, on the last round of the body. It’s very similar to the ldc, except with an extra yarn over (with a linked stitch, the yarn over turns into “insert hook into horizontal bar of previous stitch, pull up a loop”, but you get the picture.)

-~-

Earlobes

Ch 2, 3 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sl st in same ch, FO.

-~-

Red Things Around Eyes

Ch 5, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next ch, hdc in next ch, 6 dc in last ch (which will take you around to the other side), working on other side of chain, hdc in next st, sc in next 2 sts, sl st to 1st sc and FO.

-~-

Wattles

Row 1: In a magic ring, ch 2 (counts as a stitch), 3 dc.

Row 2: Ch 1, turn, *hdc2tog* 2x.

Row 3: Ch 1, turn, sc2tog, FO.

-~-

Beak

Rnd 1: 6 sc in a magic ring

Rnds 2-4: sc in each st around

Rnd 5: *sc 1, inc* 3x, FO

I divided some black yarn into 2 plies, and embroidered the line around the beak that you see in the pictures, and I also added nostrils.

-~-

Comb

Row 1: Ch 9, starting in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next 8 chs

Row 2: Turn (do not chain), sk first st, *inc* 6x, sk next st, sl st in last st, FO

-~-

Head

Rnd 1: 6 sc in a magic ring

Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around

Rnd 3: *sc 1, inc* 6x

Rnd 4: *sc 2, inc* 6x

Rnd 5: *sc 3, inc* 6x

Rnd 6: *sc 4, inc* 3x, *sc 3, dec* 3x

Rnd 7: sc in each st around

Rnd 8: *sc 8, inc* 3x, sc 12 — (mark the middle of the 12 scs as the front of the head)

Rnd 9: *sc 4, inc* 4x, sc 12

Rnd 10: sc 24, *sc 1, dec* 4x

Rnd 11: sc 24, *dec* 4x

Rnd 12-15: sc in each st around (28 sts)

Rnd 16: sc 6, *sc 3, inc* 4x, sc 6

Rnd 17: *inc, sc 2* 2x, *sc 4, inc* 4x, *sc 2, inc* 2x

Rnd 18: sc 7, *sc 5, inc* 4x, sc 9

At this point, I did the face. First of all, pin the red things around eyes into place. Also, you can return to the top of the post and click to enlarge the pictures that show a close-up of Hildegard’s face, if you want to see the crochet version.

Then insert the safety eyes through the hole at the bottom of the end dc’s, attach the eyes, then use the long tail to sew the red things around eyes onto the face.

Sew the beak on next. Then that will help you place the wattles. They do face kind of sideways, so don’t just sew them on flat. You’ll end up mostly just sewing the top, not the sides, so they stick out.

Next, attach the earlobes, next to and slightly below the eyes, again, please refer to the lovely Clementine for placement.

My sister helped me place the comb, I was putting it too far back on the head. It nearly touches the beak.

You can leave the ends dangling on the inside as long as they’re securely knotted/tied off. Then we can proceed with the last bit of the head:

Rnd 19: *sc 1, inc* 3x, sc 7, *sc 2, inc* 5x, sc 9, *sc 1, inc* 2x, sc 2

Rnd 20-24: sc in each st around

Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

-~-

Tail

Rnd 1: 6 sc in a magic ring

Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around

Rnd 3: *sc 3, inc* 3x

Rnd 4: *sc 4, inc* 3x

Rnd 5: *sc 5, inc* 3x

Rnd 6: *sc 6, inc* 3x

Rnd 7: *sc 7, inc* 3x

Rnd 8: *sc 8, inc* 3x

Rnd 9: sc in each st around

Rnd 10: *sc 9, inc* 3x

Rnd 11: sc in each st around

Rnd 12: *sc 10, inc* 3x

Rnd 13: sc in each st around

You can probably tell the pattern now, it’s one round of increases and one round of plain sc, alternating until round 23.

Rnd 14: *sc 11, inc* 3x

Rnd 15: sc in each st around

Rnd 16: *sc 12, inc* 3x

Rnd 17: sc in each st around

Rnd 18: *sc 13, inc* 3x

Rnd 19: sc in each st around

Rnd 20: *sc 14, inc* 3x

Rnd 21: sc in each st around

Rnd 22: *sc 15, inc* 3x

Rnd 23: sc in each st around

sl st in next st, FO, leaving a long tail for sewing.

-~-

Feet

Each foot is made up of 2 short toes and 1 long toe in the middle. Then you crochet them together and make the rest of the foot, all at once. Finally, you add the leg.

-~-

Short Toe (make 4)

(the short toe has 7 rows)

Row 1: ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in rest of the chains (4 sl st)

Rows 2-7: ch 1, turn, sl st in front loops only in each st across (4 sl st)

At end of last row, fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing. Roll the toe into a tube so the sides of the rows match and whipstitch it together, then weave in all the ends.

-~-

Long Toe (make 2) 

(the long toe has 8 rows)

Row 1: ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in rest of the chains (4 sl st)

Rows 2-8: ch 1, turn, sl st in front loops only in each st across (4 sl st)

At end of last row, fasten off and leave a long tail for sewing. Roll the toe into a tube so the sides of the rows match and whipstitch it together, then weave in all the ends.

-~-

Joining & Rest of Foot

Rnd 1: sc 2 on a short toe, sc 2 on a long toe, sc 2 on a short toe.

Turn it around so you can go across the other side.

sc 2 on the previous short toe, sc 2 on the middle (long) toe, sc 2 on the last toe.

Rnds 2-4: sc in each st around (12 sts)

Rnd 5: *sc 1, dec* 4x

Rnds 6-7: sc in each st around

Rnd 8: *dec* 4x, FO.

-~-

Leg

Rnd 1: 6 sc in a magic ring

Rnd 2: *sc 1, inc* 3x (9 sts)

Rnd 3-10: sc in each st around

sl st in next st, FO, leaving a long tail for sewing, sew the last round of the leg onto the foot.

-~-

Pantaloons

(it’s the feathery part that goes over the leg.)

Crochet 12 stitches on the 2nd row of the leg, picking them up so you don’t have to sew it on later.

OR -~- (if you don’t feel comfortable with that)

Rnd 1: 6 sc in a magic ring

Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12)

EITHER WAY, round 3 is the same -~-

Rnd 3: *sc 1, inc* around

Rnd 4: sc in each st around

Rnd 5: *sc 5, inc* around

Rnd 6: sc in each st around

Rnd 7: *sc 6, inc* around

Rnd 8-10: sc in each st around

sl st in next st, fo, leave a long tail for sewing on one leg

-~-

Joining The Legs

Sew together 8 stitches from each leg, on the inside. Now you can crochet in the remaining stitches.

Join the yarn to the first stitch on the left leg. Sc in each stitch around. (Sorry for the lack of stitch counts. It’s not critical that you have the same amount of stitches as me. But it’s a lo-o-ong way around, especially later in the body, so I didn’t want to stop and count. Feel free to modify to your heart’s content if you’re having difficulties with stitch counts.)

2: *sc 2, inc* around, to last 2 stitches, *inc* 2x.

3-5: sc around

6: *sc 5, inc* around

7-14: sc around

15: *sc 6, inc* around

16-19: sc around

20: *sc 7, inc* around

21: sc around

22: *sc 8, inc* around

23: sc around

At this point I began to fear that the end would never approach, and I was running out of yarn at a scary pace (I started with a partial ball.) So I switched to a slightly taller stitch. You will also see the linked double crochet make an appearance later in the pattern, to gain height for shaping.

24: hdc around

25: *hdc 4, inc* around

26: *hdc 5, inc* around

27: 20 ldc, hdc to last 10 sts, 10 ldc.

28: *4 ldc, (2ldc) in next st*

29: Ltrc in all of the ldc’s from the previous round. Then make 1 ltrc in the next stitch. Hdc to the end.

30: *hdc 4, hdc2tog* to last 5 stitches, hdc in all 5.

31: *hdc 3, hdc2tog* around.

I would highly suggest stuffing before you do this next round. You can always top it off after. It just makes things a bit easier.

32: SKIP the next 30 stitches and slip stitch in the next stitch. This forms the head and tail holes. Stop right there; do not finish the round, proceed to:

33: Hdc in each of the 30 stitches that you just skipped.

Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing, weaving, and fixing gaping holes.

IMG_4251

(Apologies for my limited artistic abilities!)

-~-

Wings

Instead of taking notes, I drew a chart for the wings, which was much easier for me but probably harder for you, I apologize. It’s easier to get a scheme of where the stitches go, though.

EDIT 6/7/15: I’m sorry, all my pictures vanished, including the chart for the wings! I searched and searched but I can’t find the chart anywhere. I’m very sorry for the inconvenience this causes. But I’m not going to leave you without a pattern — I looked at the finished hen’s wing and made out the pattern as best I could. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter exactly how many stitches are in each row, so I think this will be close enough. Again, I’m really sorry for the problem and delay in fixing it! Please let me know if there’s anything else you need. 😉 

The wing is made up of double crochet V stitches. Basically, you make 2 dc in the same st. Then when you go back across that row, you make the 2 dc in between the 2-dc of the previous row. This makes the wings look lacier, and mimics feathers without having to make a gazillion things to sew on. (V-st = (dc, ch 1, dc) all in same st.)

IMG_4250

Row 1: Ch 23, dc in 3rd ch from hk, ch 1, dc in same ch. *Sk 1 ch, V-st in next ch* across. Sk next ch and dc in last ch. You should have 10 V-sts.

Row 2-10: Ch 2, turn, dc in dc from previous row, *V-st in next V-st* across, dc in last dc.

Row 11: Ch 3, turn, SKIP first dc and V-st, *V-st in next V-st* across, dc in last dc.

Row 12: Ch 2, turn, dc in first dc, *V-st in next V-st* across until you have just one V-st left, dc into that V-st.

Rows 13-19: Repeat Rows 11 and 12.

Row 20: Ch 1, turn, hdc in each st across.

The border will be slightly different for each wing.

For the Right Wing, ch 2, continue crocheting around the wing, working into the SIDES of the rows. 2 dc in each space. Work 5 dc in the corners and continue along the bottom and up the side that’s numbered in the chart above. Then go across the last row, then slip stitch to the first dc.

For the Left Wing, chain 2, TURN, 2dc in each space along the previous row, 5dc in the corner, continue along the numbered side with 2dc in each space. 5dc in the corners, repeat around as for the right wing, ending with sl st in first dc.

If you want to line the wings, trace them on craft felt and cut it out slightly smaller than the wing so it will pull in just a little bit. Then the felt won’t be able to be seen from the outside. Use your sewing needle and thread and sew the felt to the underside of both wings. I highly suggest lining them because it keeps them from stretching out, and makes the wings a bit sturdier.

We will use a yarn tail to sew the wing to the body, it’s more secure than thread, so you might want to fasten off leaving a long tail, to save you some weaving in of ends later. But, if you didn’t, you can join it later so you needn’t worry.

-~-

Assembly

Before we begin with the assembly, take a look and make sure you have all of the necessary parts. It’s easier than you think to leave something out…when writing this pattern I totally forgot to put in the wings, I’m going back to do that right now. You should have the head (make sure you did the face before you start assembling!), body, with legs & pantaloons attached already, 2 wings (lined if desired), and the tail.

Okeydokey, now let’s proceed. I think I will write it in steps so you can follow along more easily. You can use your own technique if you prefer; this is just the method I used for Hildegard.

  1. Weave your long ending tail from the BODY through the head hole and pull to tighten it up a bit. This forms your hen into place a bit better.
  2. Now you can sew the HEAD onto the body. I used whipstitch. The back of the head (the neck, really) should be close to the slip stitch from the end of the body.
  3. Moving onto the TAIL, first up you should cinch up the tail hole if necessary, but I didn’t need to. The tail should angle back a little bit. You’re aiming for the classic chicken silhouette:IMG_1649
  4. Next of all is a good time to position the first wing, making sure the slight-diagonal side is facing down. It’s easy to get them the wrong way up, but just refer to the lovely Harriet above for placement. Another tip: the right side of the border round should be facing out, and the pointy end of the wing should be pointing down, naturally. Hildegard’s wings are nearly touching behind her, if that helps any. I sewed the short, flat end onto the body, and about 1/3 of the way down the top. Then she can move her wings a bit.
  5. Repeat this on the other side, of course reversing the wing, but mirroring the placement of the first one.
  6. Your hen might require a bit of squashing into shape. Hildegard was oddly flat in the crop (for non-chicken-aficiondos, that’s the place where they hold their food, right around their ‘chest’.) So I hand-blocked her into shape. I’m not going to recommend blocking, of course ~ don’t fear! I don’t even know how one would go about blocking an amigurumi. 🙂
  7. Finally, I brushed Hildegard with a hair-slicker brush. The below picture illustrates the brushing of a smaller amigurumi. Click here to go to that pattern for more details. I went especially heavy on the rear-end area because chickens have fluffy butts. XD

IMG_1192
Congratulations! 

You’ve crocheted a life-sized chicken! If you stuck with me all the way through, I am very impressed, and if you send me a picture and would like me to, I will happily post it here for all to marvel at.

I am going to sign off now because this post is really quite long and I am exhausted. (I am rather pleased with myself; it’s over 3200 words.) 🙂 Good luck making your own Hildegard! Don’t forget to name her and show her to your flock, if you have one. Also, if you are ambitious enough to crochet your own (okay, the finished object is really not that useful, but who says all of your crochet items must have a use?) and get stuck along the way, please don’t hesitate to ask for assistance, I will happily help. 😀

Before you leave, though, could you please take a minute to vote in this poll and let me know which kind of patterns you prefer? I would like to bring you more things that you’re interested in. Thanks!

Thank you! I greatly appreciate it. 😀

-~-

With much appreciation and Thank you to Etheldred, the stuffed-animal life-size hen previously mentioned, for her extraordinary patience. Great thanks to my models in the pictures ~ Blanche & Pearl, who appeared in the pictures at the top, Clementine, who demonstrates the placement of the comb, wattles, earlobes, etc., and Harriet, who shows the ideal chicken silhouette.

You are all wonderful and I greatly appreciate you all! 😀

Advertisements

37 thoughts on “Hildegard, The Life-Sized Crochet Chicken ~ Free Pattern!

  1. Karen says:

    Hi. The images seem to have disappeared can you please send me the chart for the wings?? I am half way through the rest and only just realised it isn’t there anymore. Help ? thanks.

    Like

    • Cogaroo says:

      Yes, the images did disappear and I couldn’t find the chart picture anywhere. So I studied my hen’s wings and wrote the pattern normally. Sorry it took me so long to reply, but I hope the updated pattern works for you! 🙂

      Like

    • Karen says:

      Thanks for the wing instructions. I will post you a picture of my finished hen. Might be a cockerel. Depends what I do with the tail. ?

      Like

  2. Donna Clements says:

    You are a life saver,l missing pictures and all! THANK YOU SO MUCH for this pattern. Truly. Blessings to you, and peace, love, n hugs, too!

    Like

  3. Gina M says:

    Thank you so much for making & re-making this pattern, & for all of the effort you’ve put into keeping it available. Technology can be a real pain in the chicken butt sometimes, can’t it? Your life size chicken is the best looking one I’ve found so far, & I can’t wait to make one. Mine will (I hope) resemble a Golden Lace Wyandotte hen, since they are my favorite breed, & we used to raise them years ago. ~~ Hugs & Blessings, Gina

    Like

    • Claire says:

      Hi Gina! Your comment made my day, thank you for your kind words! I would love to see your finished Golden Lace Wyandotte crochet hen – that’s a beautiful type of chicken, and so cool that you raised them! Technology is definitely a pain in the chicken butt sometimes, hehe. If you run into any problems along the way, let me know and I’d be happy to help…the pattern still isn’t perfect, but I’m so glad you like it. Thank you! Hugs to you too. 🙂

      Like

    • Claire says:

      Hi Linda! I’m terribly sorry, it appears I forgot to write the hook size in the pattern. That was a total oversight on my part. I used a G (4.00 MM) crochet hook. 🙂

      Like

  4. Conni says:

    Hello, I know you are getting a lot of replies due to you pattern being posted in FB. I was reading your pattern and I want to say I love it THANK YOU for sharing it. My question is I think your Picture links are broken. All you see is an X.

    Thank you!

    Like

  5. Charie Melton says:

    Clothing like tops, cardigans, pants. I have yet to find a pattern for fingerless gloves that have the joins for the fingers ( to help keep the gloves in place) but that is made with fingering weight yarn. I don’t need fancy stitches, just something for everyday. I’ve about decided to have a go at it, but haven’t got the time.

    Like

    • Claire says:

      Hello! I’m really sorry for the delay in replying. The body is worked directly onto the legs – no separate directions. So you would crochet around the legs, joining them together, and just continue from there. I hope that makes sense – if you need further clarification just ask, sorry for the confusion! 🙂

      Like

    • Claire says:

      Hi! The body is worked directly onto the legs – no separate directions. So you would crochet around the legs, joining them together, and just continue from there. I hope that makes sense – if you need further clarification just ask! 🙂

      Like

  6. Tammy says:

    On the sections joining the legs. Row 28 says 4 ldc then 2 ldc and repeat around. ………Row 29 says tldcin all the lc from previous round then make 1sc in next stitch and the hdc end……..
    My whole row 29 is ldc how do I finish row 29 w hdc? Following me

    Like

      • Claire says:

        Hi Tammy, sorry for the confusion! I wrote this pattern a while ago and it’s very rough. You’re definitely right in that Row 29 doesn’t make any sense, I’m not sure what I was trying to say. I would probably just do linked dc all the way around and ignore the hdc. I only put the hdc in for shaping purposes, but it isn’t really necessary there. Stick with ldc and see if that works out better. You’re almost done! Again, sorry for the confusion, let me now if there’s anything else strange going on! 🙂

        Like

  7. Tammy says:

    Awesome. I will do that tonight yes almost done but it sure is cute can’t wait to start a second one thank you for the pattern and all your help

    Like

Your comments make me happy :D

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s