katsu, the ninja squirrel

 Last week I men­tioned mak­ing a nin­ja squir­rle, Kat­su, for my sis­ter. Final­ly writ­ten up a pat­tern, so you can make your own nin­ja too! :D 

And unlike most squir­rel plush, Kat­su is grey. Because most squir­rels in Toron­to are actu­al­ly grey, char­coal, or black, (and on extreme­ly rare occa­sion, white!) but not brown.

Alright, here’s the pat­tern…

I used: 

Patons Shet­land Chunky — Char­coal

3.75mm hook

Bit of black craft felt — for the satchel

Two 4mm glass beads — for eyes

Star con­fet­ti — for nin­ja stars

Straight pins, tapes­try needle, sewing needle, black thread

Stuff­ing (I used bits of scrap yarn)

A note on yarn and hook: I used Shet­land Chunky because that’s what I have. Oth­er chunky or heavy worsted weight yarn would do. Or one could prob­a­bly sub­sti­tute with a worsted weight yarn, but may have to use a 3.5mm hook instead. I like to have a fair­ly tight gauge when cro­chet­ing plush, so it would keep its shape. 

A note on pat­tern: I like to cro­chet while watch­ing TV and I don’t like to count stitch­es. So what I start­ed to do is repeat­ing the same stitch (or set of stitch­es) around and around until the pieces gets to a cer­tain length. As such, the pat­tern is writ­ten in steps rather than in rows. I find that eas­ier, and I hope it works for you too. But if you need clar­i­fi­ca­tion please feel free to leave a com­ment or con­tact me. I’d be more than hap­py to con­nect with you :D

Kat­su is very small (about 2.5 inch­es tall) so it helps if one is famil­iar with cro­chet­ing in the round on a small scale. The upside is, because he’s so small there are not very many stitch­es involved and so it doesn’t take very long :D

The stitch­es involved are:
chain (ch)
sc (sin­gle cro­chet)
sl st (slip stitch)
2 sc tog (work 2 sin­gle cro­chet stitch­es togeth­er)

Here it goes…


Step 1: ch 3, 5 sc in 3rd ch from hook, sl st in top of begin­ning ch.

Step 2: ch 1, [2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc] for 2 rounds. (So you’d see 3 rows of stitch­es alto­geth­er all around.)

Step 3: sc in each sc until piece mea­sures 1″ from begin­ning.

Step 4: 2 sc tog until there are 5 sc left, sl st in next sc, leav­ing a 6″ tail, fas­ten off.

Stuff head, weave tail in the 5 stitch­es around the open­ing and pull taunt, tie off.

*Head posi­tion: begin­ning of step 1 = nose, tie off = back of head


Leav­ing a 4″ tail, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook, leav­ing a 4″ tail, fas­ten off.

Posi­tion ears on head. Using cro­chet hook, pull tails, one at a time, through the head and out through adja­cent stitch­es at the bot­tom of the head.

Tie tails at the bot­tom of the head.

Repeat for the oth­er ear. 


Cut a small strip of black felt and pin it to head with straight pins to deter­mine posi­tion of eyes. I hap­pen to have straight pins with black bead pin­heads, which make per­fect stand-ins for eyes.

Take mask off head. Note where the pin holes mark the eyes, and cut the holes big­ger with an Exac­to knife.

Trim the mask between the eyes and bot­tom left and right to cre­ate a more mask-like shape.

Sew mask to head, then sew on eyes and embroi­der nose/mouth. Head is com­plete! :D

 Now we move on to the body…

BODY, LEGS & ARMS: (all made in one piece)

Step 1: ch 10, sl st in 1st ch to form a ring. 1 sc in each ch around.

Step 2: sc in 1st sc, con­tin­ue to work 1 sc in each sc for 2 rounds. (So you’d see 3 rows of stitch­es alto­geth­er.)

Step 3: 2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in each of the next 4 sc, 2 sc in  next sc, then 1 sc in each sc until piece mea­sures 1 1/4″.

You’ll get a tube shape. Flat­ten the “tube” for the fol­low­ing steps.

Step 4 (leg): ch 4, sc in 2nd st from hook, 1 sc in each of next 2 ch, sc in the stitch beside where the ch 4 of leg began.

Step 5: Cro­chet­ing through both front and back piece of body, sl st in each of the next 4 sc.

Step 6 (oth­er leg): ch 4, sc in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in each of the next 2 ch, sl st in next clos­est stitch of body.

Step 7: sl st up the side of body until 3rd last round before neck. 

(Begin arm) ch 4, sc in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in each of next 2 ch, sl st in next sc of body.

Step 8: sl st across neck open­ing in front lay­er ONLY

(Begin oth­er arm) ch 4, sc in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in each of next 2 ch, sl st in next sc of body. Sl st down the side of body until begin­ning of leg. Fas­ten off.

Stuff body through neck open­ing. Sew head to body.

Squir­rels can­not stand on their own with­out their big fluffy tails. To make tail:

Wind yarn around 4 fin­gers 7 times.

Cut yarn. Take yarn loops off hand while keep the loops. Thread a needle through one of the yarn tails while keep­ing the oth­er yarn tail free. Wrap yarn tail through the loops, like so…

Bunch the loops togeth­er and wrap yarn tail around the bunch of yarn loops, like so…

Tie the two tails togeth­er. With the needle still thread­ed, pin the tail to the squir­rel :D and secure with a few stitch­es.

Cut all the yarn loops open. Fray the indi­vid­u­al strands of yarn. Then gen­tly roll the tail between palms.

Tail com­plete! :D

To make Satchel, where nin­ja squir­rels keep their nin­ja stars:

I cut from black felt the­se pieces…

Then I sewed 3 sides of the rec­tan­gle to the belt­ed part, leav­ing the top open. Then I just put it on Kat­su and pinned the back togeth­er with a tiny safe­ty pin.

Here’s Kat­su with his satchel…

The pat­tern for the coconut, if you’re inter­est­ed, is part of the pina colada pat­tern. (Won­der what the coconut is doing here? Full sto­ry in last week’s post.)

Aim­ing at tar­get…



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14 thoughts on “katsu, the ninja squirrel

  1. Adorable! You are so cre­ative; it is delight­ful to see your work! 

    P.S. Remem­ber to include a ‘but­ton’ hair­pin for your sis­ter, too ;)

  2. Wooo hoo! this is just awe­some!
    I real­ly love your pat­terns- they’re so orig­i­nal and cute.
    Real­ly appre­ci­ate you shar­ing them with us :)

  3. I’m cre­at­ing a mag­ic yarn ball with squir­rel stitch­es mark­ers and lit­tle acorns. This will def­i­nite­ly be in the cen­ter. Thank you so much!

  4. Holy crap­stick. I just found your blog, and I think I might be in love with you. Or at least your pat­terns. But pos­si­bly you as well.

  5. this is like the most awe­some cro­chet project I have ever seen!!! you seem like such a lov­able per­son :) thanks for shar­ing any­way, I’ve just made my own Kat­su, it looks a bit retard­ed but it’s adorable :D

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