at a snail’s pace

For the spring season we created this menagerie for our window: little molluscs making their way up yarn stems to fuzzy flower tops

here’s a close-up.

and some more views

This fine specimen (above) was created with the pattern by the genius knitter Hansi Singh who wrote the book Amigurumi Knits.  This book is one of my favorites with glorious examples of all sorts of knit creatures from snails to lobsters to jackalopes. 
The other snails are my own creation.  It’s a simpler, quicker knit snail!  The pattern is here after the jump. 

Craftily yours


Needles: 3.5mm DPN’s

Yarn: Shell- 1 ball worsted Noro Kureyon; Body- 1 skein Cascade 220.

Other materials: darning needle, polyfill stuffing, 2 small beads for eyes, scissors.

Gauge: 22 sts and 30 rows/10cm.

Finished size: head to tail about 12 cm long and 10cm tall.


Leave 30cm tail, before creating slipknot for casting on. The tail will be used later on to sew the shell into shape.

CO: 3sts, onto one DPN.

Kf&b onto one needle, *use another needle and kf&b* repeat once more (6sts total, 2 sts on each of three needles).

Join into round, place marker to indicate beginning of round. Move marker along as shell gets longer.

Round 1 & 3: K

Round 2: *Kf&b, K1* repeat to end of round (9sts)

Round 4: Kf&b, K to end of round.

Round 5, 6, 7: K

Repeat rounds 4-7, till 20sts total. For more comfortable knitting you can redistribute the stitches between your needles once there are too many on one needle.

Repeat rounds 4-5, till 30sts total.

BO, cut yarn leaving 30cm tail, stuff loosely.

Thread the tail from CO onto darning needle. Starting at the tip, roll the shell down a little at a time and secure it using the darning needle and leftover tail. Continue all the way to the bottom of the shell.

Set aside.


Starting at the tail.

CO: 3sts onto one DPN.

Kf&b onto one needle, Pf&b onto second needle, Kf&b onto third needle (6sts total, 2 sts on each of three needles).

Join into round, place marker to indicate beginning of round. Move marker along as body gets longer.

Round 1: K2, P2, K2.

Round 2: (K1, M1)x2, (P1, M1)x2, (K1, M1)x2; (12sts).

Round 3: K3, P6, K3.

Round 4: K3, M1 (P3, M1)x2, K3, M1; (16sts). Redistribute your stitches as follows: needle 1: 4 knit sts, needle 2: 8 purl sts, needle 3: 4 knit sts (end of round).

Round 5: K4, P8, K4.

Repeat round 5 till body is slightly longer then the shell, about 10cm long.

Next:  K4, P8, *K8 W&T, P8, W&T, K8, P8*, Repeat once more.

Redistribute sts between 2 needles, purl sts on one needle and knit sts on second needle. Stuff the body, but don’t overstuff. Over-stuffed snails will not stand up. BO using 3-needle bind off technique. Weave in loose ends.

Attach shell to purl side of the body using darning needle and leftover tail from binding off the shell.

Sew beads in place for eyes. Or create French knots instead of beads if you are giving the creature to a small child.

6 responses to “at a snail’s pace

  1. The window looks terrific – great work!!!

  2. Those escargots made me giggle! I hope I can get down there to see them! The googly eyes on the long stalks are the best! Whipping up a batch of garlic butter.

  3. They are hilrarious!
    Thanks for posting

  4. Thank you for your beautiful patterns. I have made many polar bears and am now going to attempt the snail, from Gilly Sloper, Cornwall UK

  5. Stephanie Phoenix

    Can you make this snail on two straight needles

    • kristinledgett

      Hello Stephanie,
      You may be able to make a snail with two needles by making long flat pieces that could be folded in half and seamed. You could use similar cast on amounts and increases similar increases represented in this pattern. Good luck with it.

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