Enormous Stripey Knitted Snake




About: I love doing practical things about science, but, sadly, it is not quite what you usually learn at school, so for the last 8 years of my life I remained the only crazy kid who has a closet full of metal junk...

This is a fairly easy project that mostly requires knitting in the round with no increases or decreases. 

We made it (or rather him) to live in my little brother's playgroup, so it is rather enormous being around 240cm long, which works well with several kids playing in different places along the snake, but probably it should be scaled down for home use.

The idea came from my brother after I played Rikki-Tikki-Tavi with a rope and lots of kids in there.

The thing has to withhold the wildness 4-6 year-olds, so the yarn has to be as strong as possible.
We used yarn that is 50% cotton and 50% acrylic (Lana Gatto Summer), but acrylic should also work.

We used 50 grams (1 ball) of 2633, 2620, 2635,2629, 2675, 2630,2631 each - yellow, light blue, navy, black, ruby, purple and violet (I don't remember which is which), but any bright colours do. We also used 100 grams (2 balls)of green (2624), and lots of polyester toy stuffing. 


Step 1: Head

Knitting the head is probably the most complicated part of the project, but actually its quite easy...
I will use some common knitting abbreviations, they are easy to find in the internet, or here http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/knitting-glossary(they even have a video of how to do it!) 
CO 8 stitches and distribute them evenly between 4 dpns (double-pointed needles, the ones you knit socks with) and join the knitting to start the round.
Row 1: needle 1 - kfb, k1; needle 2-k1, kfb; needle 3 - kfb, k1; needle 4 - k1, kfb.
Row 2: k all.
Row 3: needle 1 - kfb, k2; needle 2-k2, kfb; needle 3 - kfb, k2; needle 4 - k2, kfb.
Row 4: k all.
Continue until you have 48 sts (12 on each needle).
Knit (k) 12 rows.
Row 1: needle 1 - k1, k2tog, k to end; needle 2 - k to last 3 sts, ssk, k1;
 needle 3 - k1, k2tog, k to end; needle 4 - k to last 3 sts, ssk, k1.
Row 2: k all/
Row 3: as Row 1.
Continue until you have 40sts.
Sew on two buttons for eyes, or embroider them.

Step 2: Knit, Knit, Knit: the Body.

Begin knitting on the round with a different colour, and change colours every few rows to make colourful stripes. It can either be a pattern, or just random colour combination - this is the place to be creative...
In other words: knit, knit, knit... Until you run out of all the colourful yarn and have about a half of a ball of green left for the tail.
Keep stuffing in the process.

Step 3: Tail

From now on the pattern mostly depends on the amount of yarn you have left, so only follow them basically.
Row 1: k1, k2tog, k to end on each needle.
Knit 6 rows without decreases.
Row 8: As Row 1.
Knit another 4 rows.
Row 13: As Row 1.
Knit further 3 rows.
Work until you have almost no yarn and 2 stitches on each needle left.
Thread your 8 stitches on the leftover of the yarn, tighten and hide the end.
Remember to stuff in the process.

Step 4: Enjoy

You (or the kids) can hug it, cuddle it, use it to close the scary gap between the bed and the wall, hunt it, play tug-of-war...



    • Classroom Science Contest

      Classroom Science Contest
    • Party Challenge

      Party Challenge
    • IoT Challenge

      IoT Challenge

    24 Discussions


    Question 8 months ago on Step 1

    What size of needle did you use? Thanks.


    2 years ago

    do you have any tips for stuffing it evenly? mine always come out a bit lumpy?


    2 years ago

    Very clever use of stash yarns too! Just so you know, you can find on you tube ways to knit in the round and not have that jag when you change colors, so the imperfections don't attract the eye. But some of course may like that, but to me I would prefer it to be a seamless change of color. I made a similar one as a draft stopper for my doorways, it works fine. Thanx


    2 years ago

    Does anyone know of a free pattern for something like this for using a round knitting loom? Thanks!


    5 years ago

    Love the pattern I'm going to make one.


    5 years ago

    I'm making one with size 3 needles so it's kinda small and I'm making it baby blue and light pink yarn with blue button eyes :) I love your pattern


    5 years ago

    I love it! Two questions: what size dpns did you use, and at what point did you switch to knitting on 2 dpns ( as in pic)? Thanks!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    my girlfriend (with help from her gran) made me one and I got it as an early Christmas present! I'm 22... but that doesn't stop me sitting with it round my neck as a scarf at my computer desk :)

    Lovely instructable and thanks very much, without it I wouldn't have my very own giant snake!!

    1 reply

    Great idea, but you have to make it about two times smaller than mine, I suppose, and stuff it with something a bit heavier. I once made a tiny snake out of mum's quiting leftovers and filled it with cherry pits, I think a large one could work as a draft excluder or even a door stopper, but would you be able to eat such a lot of cherries?


    Using a bag of dried beans or even (uncooked) rice gives you enough weight for a draft catcher. Awesome instructable, thank you!

    gruffalo childabunda

    Reply 7 years ago on Step 4

    Quite a lot, as Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is a recent hit. I play for the snake, waggling it around and "attacking" him, and he is Rikki, bravely and wildly fighting it. Tomorrow its going to the playgroup for good, so we'll see...