Go Gopher


Figure 1: Finished gopher, with image search in the background

Here is my second attempt at a knitted Go gopher. The first one was improvised and then given away. This time I tried to keep track of what I did as I went along. I had a lot more trouble this time and I’m not as happy with the result. Especially the nose. I might have to rework that. Check back for updates.

Gauge hardly matters. I used worsted yarn and 4.5 mm needles.

I used plastic eyes and a plastic nose that clip on. If you don’t have those handy (or if you’re giving the gopher to a baby), you can improvise with black yarn instead.

I save the ends from all of my knitting and use that to stuff toys like this with. If you don’t have a bag of “yarn ends” handy, you can buy polyester fill at a craft store.

The arms, legs, and tail are I-cord. Nothing could be simpler. It’s just like knitting in the round, only on just two needles. You’re still going around in a circle, but with only four or five stitches per round, it’s not worth it to change needles.


I started with Judy’s Magic Cast-On, but you can use any toe-up sock type cast-on. Using 4 DPNs, it divides nicely onto three needles.

Row 1: [k]
Row 2: [kfb] (12 sts)         # 4 sts per needle
Row 3: [kfb] (24 sts)         # 8 sts per needle
Row 4: [k]
Row 5: [kfb, k7] (27 sts)     # 9 sts per needle
Row 6: [kfb, k8] (30 sts)     # 10 sts per needle
Row 7: [kfb, k9] (33 sts)     # 11 sts per needle
Row 8: [kfb, k10] (36 sts)    # 12 sts per needle
Row 9-25: [k]                 # about 7 or 8 cm from CO
Row 26: [k2tog, k10] (33 sts)
Row 27: [k2tog, k9] (30 sts)
Row 28: [k2tog, k8] (27 sts)
Row 29: [k2tog, k7] (24 sts)  # about 10 cm
STOP! Assemble and stuff the gopher before finishing.
Row 30: [k2tog] (12 sts)
Bind off (break yarn and run through remaing loops twice)


Figure 2: Body after increases, but before decreases (row 25?)

Eyes (white)

I adapted the knit a circle instructions here to make the white disks for the eyes. This is a bit fiddly. The first gopher I did had crocheted eyes that my wife made for me. I wanted to make an “all knit” pattern, so I worked this out, but if you know how to crochet (or if you have a crocheter in the house like I do!), consider doing that instead.

CO 1
Row 1: k1, p1, k1 in the same stitch. (3 sts)
Row 2: Turn the needle and purl across the row.
Row 3: Turn the needle again, kfb all stitches. (6 sts)
Row 4: Divide onto three DPNs, join, and knit around.
Row 5: Kfb all stitches. (12 sts)
Row 6: Knit around.
Row 7: [Kfb, K1] around. (18 sts)
Bind off, leaving a long tail.

Place 9 mm black plastic eyes in centers. Position eyes on body and sew in place with the tail from binding off.


Figure 3: Knitted eyes, one with plastic insert.

Nose (tan)

CO 5
Row 1-3: sl1, k4
Break yarn and bind off, leaving a tail to attach with.

Place 12 mm black plastic nose at top. Hot glue a small piece of white felt for teeth at bottom. Sew onto body.


Figure 4: Nose with plastic nose inserted and felt teeth glued on.

Ears (blue)

Pick up 4 sts along head
Row 1-4: [k]
Row 5: [k2tog]
Break yarn and bind off, run yarn back to body and inside.


Figure 5: Gopher with eyes, nose, and ears.

Arms and Legs (tan)

Row 1-4: knit I-cord
Row 5: k2tog, k1, k2tog
BO and run tail down through center of I-cord to the bottom.


Figure 6: You can stuff the gopher after attaching the arms, but then close up before attaching the legs and tail.

Tail (tan)

Row 1-4: knit I-cord
BO and run tail down through center of I-cord to the bottom.


Figure 7: With the body stuffed and closed, attaching the legs and tail is a bit fiddly, but not too bad.

Go Gopher

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