Monday, November 15, 2010

knit your own jizo figure (I'll help you)

It's getting on to Holiday Giveaway season out in blog-land. I haven't decided yet whether I have the crafting wherewithal to participate this year (given my current craftload) but, I want to show some sort of good will. So, here's a free pattern that I whipped up.

mommicked’s Mizuko Jizo knitting pattern

This pattern was inspired by Angie’s Jizo paintings. In the pattern I’ve used abbreviations and notations typically used at knitty. This is the first pattern I’ve ever created (and, true to my lazy blogger ways, I only spent an hour or so writing it up). If you find something you don’t understand in here (and I won’t be surprised if you do) or you need a clarification on the directions, just leave a comment and I’ll reply in the comments section.

Finished Size –
Height – 4-5 inches
Use smaller needles and lighter gauge yarn to size down.

Materials –
MC – Plymouth Encore Worsted (white)
CC1 – Loops and Threads Impeccable Worsted (Heather)
CC2 – Lion’s Brand “Vanna’s Choice” Worsted (Cranberry)

Note – I think you can use whatever worsted weight white, pink/tan/brown, and red yarn you happen to have or can acquire at your LYS or craft store.

10 yards MC
10 yards CC1
2-3 yards CC2
Extra of MC and CC1 for stuffing or you could use fiberfill
A small amount of grey or brown sock yarn or embroidery floss
Size 6 dpns (or whatever size gives you a fairly tight fabric—you want to knit this tightly so that the filling doesn’t show through)
Darning needle
Crochet Hook

Instructions –

Body and Head
Using MC, CO 9
Place 3 st each on needles 1, 2, & 3
Row 1 – kfb every stitch to end (18)
Row 2 – *k1, kfb* (27)
Row 3 – purl
Row 4 – *k8, kfb* (30)
Row 5-15 – knit
Row 16 - *k2, k2tog* (24)
Row 17 – knit
Row 18 - *k2, k2tog* (18)
Row 19 – knit
Row 20 – switch to CC1, knit
Row 21 - *k1, kfb* (24)
Row 22 - *k1, kfb* (36)
Row 23-28 – knit
Row 29 - *k4, k2tog* (27)
Row 30 - *k3, k2tog* (21)
Row 31 - *k2, k2tog* (16)
Row 32 - *k1, k2tog* (11)

Filling - Now is a good time to stuff the body and head with the filling of your choice. I like to use white yarn for the body and the skin-colored yarn for the head). If you want the Jizo to stand up easily, you could stuff something heavy like a bean bag down into the body. Make it as soft or as firm as you desire.

Note - When I make these, I typically take a few minutes to write a message to or about the baby I’m remembering on some slips of paper that are 1/8 in. wide by 2 in. long and I add them in with the filling. For my own daughter I asked for her to be protected and to have help finding her family and friends. I can’t write directions for this part. You just have to do what feels right.

Row 33 - *k2tog* (6)
Row 34 - *k2tog* 3 stitches left. Break yarn, leaving an 8-10 inch tail and run end through all 4 remaining stitches.

Using darning needle, push yarn tail into top of head and out through the figure’s neck. Weave the end around the neck of the figure in a running stitch and tighten slightly to differentiate head from body. Tie off and tuck end inside head.

With CC2, CO 5. Leave a 14-16 inch tail when you CO.
Row 1 – knit
Row 2 – purl
Row 3 – k1, kfb, k1, kfb, k1 (7)
Row 4 – purl
Row 5 – *k1, kfb* (10)
Row 6 – purl
Row 7 – k2, k2tog, k2, k2tog, k2 (8)
Row 8 – BO

Time to make a string for the bib. Take your crochet hook and make a 3 inch chain using the long end from your CO. Attach the loose end of the chain to the other side of the bib and put it over the figure’s head.

Sleeves – (make 2)
With MC, CO3
Row 1 – knit
Row 2 – purl
Row 3 – k1, kfb, k1 (4)
Row 4 – purl
Row 5 – knit
Row 6 – purl
Row 7 – k1, kfb, k to end (5)
Row 8 – purl
Row 9 – knit
Row 10 – purl
Row 11 – knit
Row 12 – k1, kfb to end
Row 13 – BO
Don’t weave in ends. Use ends to attach sleeves to body. You want to position the shoulders so that the wide ends of the sleeves where the hands will be end up about ½ in apart in front of the bib. Leave the ‘hand ends’ of the sleeves open.

With darning needle and CC1, make 5-6 loops attaching the upper front corner of the sleeves to each other. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You just want to give the suggestion of fingers laced together. I like to tuck the bib down behind the hands to hold it in place.

I keep it simple here, mostly because I can’t come up with a mouth that I like. I just loop the sock yarn around 2 stitches to make some closed eyelids. You can bring the yarn or embroidery floss up from the back of the head. Keep in mind that eyes are generally located about halfway down the head when you’re deciding where to put the stitches. You could probably draw some eyes and a mouth too if you’d prefer.


  1. wow! wow! wow!

    Ok....gonna give it a go....

    I've never knit anything 3 dimensional before so this shall be a first. Thank you for sharing the pattern and to Angie for the inspiration.


  2. How did I miss this one? I love this piece, and my little knitted jizo in honor of Lucy last year. If I knitted, I would give it a go, but as it is, I just like watching people knit. I am still in awe that you can create a pattern by yourself. Amazing.