Tuesday, July 01, 2008

My Maneki Neko crochet pattern

Original Maneki Neko

Here is the pattern for a crocheted maneki neko. A couple years ago I saw a knitted fortune cat on Just Jussi's blog and made a few of them. Then I converted the pattern to crochet and have added my own embellishments and changes over time. Please use the pattern for your own enjoyment but not for sale or to repost on other sites.

I use my own wool handspun and so the cats turn out different sizes depending on the size of the yarn. Just match the size of your yarn to a crochet hook that makes stitches tight enough so that the stuffing doesn't show. I also stuff with wool fleece but polyfil would be fine. Sometimes I make the body striped. Just have fun and use your imagination.

The only coins I could find are probably Chinese but if you are lucky enough to have access to Japanese coins, all the better. It's fun to find different bells and beads to use. These cats are royal so need lots of fancy accessories.

Original Maneki Neko


Make magic ring
Row 1: 7 sc in ring
Row 2: 2 sc in each sc (14 sts)
Row 3: 1 sc, 1 inc (21 sts)
Row 4: 2 sc, 1 inc (28 sts)
Row 5: 3 sc, 1 inc (35 sts)
Row 6: 4 sc, 1 inc (42 sts)
Rows 7-9: Sc even
Row 10: 1 dec, 4 sc (35 sts)
Row 11: 1 dec, 3 sc (28 sts)
Row 12: 1 dec, 2 sc (18 sts)


Make magic ring
Row 1: 7 sc in ring
Row 2: 2 sc in each sc (14 sts)
Row 3: 1 sc, 1 inc (21 sts)
Row 4: 2 sc, 1 inc (28 sts)
Row 5: 3 sc, 1 inc (35 sts)
Row 6: 4 sc, 1 inc (42 sts)
Row 7: 5 sc, 1 inc (49 sts)
Row 8-13: sc even
Row 14: 1 dec, 5sc (42 sts)
Row 15: sc even
Row 16: 1 dec, 4 sc (35 sts)
Row 17: 1 dec, 3 sc (28 sts)
Row 18: sc even
Row 19: 1 dec, 2 sc (21 sts)
Row 20: 1 dec, 5 sc (18 sts) Leave a tail for sewing.

Legs (Make 2)

Make magic ring
Row 1: 6 sc in ring
Row 2: 2 sc in each sc (12 sts)
Row 3-8: sc even. After row 8, do another 6 sts, technically half more of a row. Leave a tail for sewing.

Arms (Make 2)

Make magic ring
Row 1: 6 sc in ring
Row 2: 2 sc in each sc (12sts)
Row 3-12: sc even. After row 12, do another 6 sts extra half around. Leave tail for sewing to body.

Ears (Make 2)

Make magic ring
Row 1: 4 sc in ring
Row 2: 2 sc in each sc (8 sts)
Row 3: 3 sc, 1 inc (10 sts)
Row 4: 4 sc, 1 inc (12 sts). Leave tail for sewing.

Three Crocheted Maneki Neko Cats

Fish (optional)

Make magic ring
Row 1: 4 sc in ring
Row 2: 2 sc in each sc (8 sts)
Row 3: 3 sc, 1 inc (10 sts)
Row 4: 4 sc, 1 inc (12 sts)
Row 5-12: sc even
Row 13: 1 dec, 4 sc (10 sts)
Row 14: 1 dec, 3 sc (8 sts)
Row 15: dec around (4 sts)
Row 16: Tail row- 2 sc in each st (8 sts)


Stuff head and body firmly and sew together opening to opening. Stuff the arms and legs lightly, mostly just the paw and very little in the limb. Sew on legs straight out so the cat will sit. Sew on the beckoning arm either on the right or left. There are various interpretations of what this means. Usually the right arm beckoning is to bring good luck and wealth so I go with that. For the raised arm, the extra 6 sts go towards the bottom of the cat and on the other arm, those extra sts are at the top. Sew on the ears without stuffing. Traditionally these are Japanese bobtail cats so I don’t add a tail but you can if you like.

I embroider the faces with either crewel yarn or embroidery floss. My method for doing this is to knot the end of the yarn and go in an inch or so from the place I want the stitches to start and bring the needle up there, tugging the knot through the crocheting and into the stuffing. This has held up well for me. I end the same way by going out from my embroidery an inch or so, tying and knot and going back into the same spot to bury the knot.

The paws have stitches that go around and through to divide into 4 claws. On the beckoning hand, I fold down that tip of the paw, after it has been divided with claws and sew it down from underneath so those stitches don’t show.
These are royal cats so they need lots of embellishments such as bibs, bells, coins, ribbons and beads... whatever you like. The fish is a Lucky Tai and represents plenty.

Have fun making and enjoying your Maneki Neko! Please send me photos of fortune cats you make.

Green Maneki Neko

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At Tue Jul 01, 06:34:00 PM MDT, Blogger Kim Campbell said...

Yay! Thank you! As I do not knit this is great. :)

At Mon Jul 07, 07:47:00 AM MDT, Blogger BrendaLea, the Prpldy said...

Thanks for sharing, I also do not knit and have wanted to crochet some animals. This will be my first one.

At Thu Jul 10, 04:43:00 PM MDT, Blogger Unknown said...

merci pour ce beau tuto
i will try...

At Mon Sep 08, 08:21:00 AM MDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just thought i'd let you know that i featured your pattern on the daily chum. very nice

At Tue Sep 09, 10:29:00 AM MDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy, these are SO cute! I love them! I just did a feng shui realignment of my home and now I can crochet some good fortune kitties! Thanks you for sharing the pattern!

At Sat Sep 20, 03:43:00 AM MDT, Blogger Justine said...

can I just bow down to the master!

your kitties are amazing, both the crocheted and knitted versions, I am tempted to re-visit mine and do much better this time.

very well done, I'm glad that I was involved in a small way in the generation of these beauties, but you have far surpassed the simple genesis, you brilliant thing!

At Mon Oct 27, 09:52:00 AM MDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you all for the wonderful comments. This is such a fun project, it's nice to think they are going out into the world and there will be lots of new fortune kitties out there.

At Mon Nov 03, 10:44:00 AM MST, Blogger paula said...

How adorable.. I think you should name the cat at the bottom Michael Phelps. It looks like it has it's Olympic Medals on :-}

I am SO JEALOUS of someone who can convert a knitted pattern to a crocheted one.

Keep up the good work!


At Tue Nov 18, 07:37:00 PM MST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wahhh kawaii! ("Cute!" in Japanese).
That kitty is so cute! I think my favorite is the bottom one in the blue. Thansk for sharing your great pics, notes, and pattern. :o) Keep up the great work!

At Thu Nov 27, 04:05:00 PM MST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I don't always like yarn animals but this is really one of the best I've seen. Very good definition and a lot of personality! I don't know if I'll get it made but I'm sure going to enjoy trying. Thanks for sharing!

At Fri Dec 04, 06:42:00 PM MST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was sent your web site, and it is fantastic, I am having a problem I don't understand this part, in row 3 is only says 1 sc,1inc{21sts} I don't understand how that is supposed to be sorry thank dee

At Wed Sep 15, 06:39:00 AM MDT, Anonymous jmm said...

I came across this on Ravelry and I just love these cats! They are so beautiful. I would love to try my hand at this, but what is a magic ring?

At Fri Nov 19, 05:29:00 AM MST, Anonymous dasha said...

Great pattern, but unfortunately I cannot see your picture so I cannot finish mine. Can you repost the picture. At least :) thanks

At Fri Nov 19, 07:29:00 AM MST, Blogger Kathy Wishnie said...

Thanks for letting me know that the photos disappeared, Dasha. They should be back now. Let me know if not.

At Mon Jul 22, 09:31:00 AM MDT, Blogger Unknown said...

thanks for sharing the pattern
I like do this for gift


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