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Knit an Olympic runner: free knitting pattern

Ron the runner, in his singlet, shorts and trainers, makes a fun Olympics memento or decoration

Olympknits: knit Olympic runner - Toys to make - free knitting patterns - Craft ideas for kids - Craft -

● 4mm (US size 6) knitting needles

● 50g (2oz) oatmeal DK (this will make 2 dolls)
● Oddments of brown yarn for hair, brown or black for eyes and pink for mouth

Other materials
● Stuffing
● White T-shirt fabric for vest (an old T-shirt works very well for this)
● Contrasting coloured thread for vest
● Paper for number badge
● Navy silk or satin for shorts
● Contrasting coloured thread for shorts
● White felt for shoes
● Contrasting coloured thread for shoes
● Ribbon and white yarn for shoes

22sts and 30 rows to 10cm (4in)

Note on gauge
All knitters have slightly different gauge, so it’s important to check your gauge so that the outfit your athlete will wear fits properly. If you have more than the stated sts/rows to your 10cm (4in) swatch, then use slightly larger needles. If fewer, use slightly smaller needles.

Finished size
Approximately 33cm (13in) tall.

K2tog knit the next 2 stitches together
Kfb knit forward and back into the same stitch to make 2 stitches
P2tog purl the next 2 stitches together
Rep repeat
Skpo slip 1, knit 1, pass the slipped stitch over the knitted stitch


Head, body and legs
Start at top of head.
Cast on 7 sts.
Row 1 [Kfb] 6 times, k1 (13 sts).
Row 2
Row 3
[Kfb, k1, kfb] 4 times, k1 (21 sts).
Row 4
Row 5
[Kfb, k3, kfb] 4 times, k1 (29 sts).
Row 6
Row 7
K6, [kfb] 2 times, k12, [kfb] 2 times, k7 (33 sts).
Row 8
Rows 9–22
Stocking/stockinette stitch.
Row 23
K6, skpo, k2tog, k12, skpo, k2tog, k7 (29 sts).
Row 24
Row 25
[K2tog, k3, skpo] 4 times, k1 (21 sts).
Row 27 K.
Row 28

Row 29
[Kfb, k1] rep to last st, [kfb] (32 sts).
Row 30
Rows 31–54
Stocking/stockinette stitch.
Row 55
[K2tog, k1] rep to last 2 sts, k2tog (21 sts).
Row 56

Row 57
K9, k2tog, turn (hold left leg sts and continue on 10 sts for right leg).
Row 58
Rows 59–88
Stocking/stockinette stitch.

Row 89
K4, [kfb] 2 times, k4 (12 sts).
Row 90
Row 91
K5, [kfb] 2 times, k5 (14 sts).
Row 92
Row 93
K6, [kfb] 2 times, k6 (16 sts).
Row 94
P2tog, p12, p2tog (14 sts).
Row 95
K2tog, k10, k2tog (12 sts).
Row 96
[P2tog] rep to end of row (6 sts). Thread yarn through remaining sts. Rep on remaining 10 sts for left leg.

Arms (make 2)
Cast on 10 sts.
Rows 1–30 Stocking/stockinette stitch.

Row 31 K1, [kfb] 2 times, k3, [kfb] 2 times, k2 (14 sts).
Row 32 P.
Rows 33–36 Stocking/stockinette stitch.
Row 37 [K2tog] rep to end of row (7 sts). Thread yarn through remaining sts.

Making up

Head, body and legs
The head, body and legs are knitted all in one. Sew down the back of the body and head and fill with stuffing. Sew down the inner legs to the tips
of the toes. Fill with stuffing as you go as the legs are thin.

Sew up the arm seams, filling with stuffing as you go. Sew the arms on to the body using the neck shaping to help with

Thread a long length of yarn onto a thick needle (I used 2 lengths of yarn to make it quicker). Sew 1cm (½in) stitches around the edge of the head to form the shape of the hairline. Try to work the stitches in the direction that real hair takes. Fill in the gaps with more stitches until the whole head is covered.

Facial features
Embroider eyes using brown or black yarn. Using the skin-coloured yarn, pull up 2 stitches just below the centre of the eyes and pull tightly to create the nose. Sew neatly inside the body so that no thread is visible. Using pink yarn, make 2 stitches just below the nose to create the mouth. You can give the doll different facial expressions by where you choose to place the mouth.

Runner’s outfit

See the templates on the next page

Cut 2 vest shapes using the template on the following page. Sew both side seams using a neat running stitch. Sew the front right shoulder strap to the back shoulder strap directly behind it. Repeat on the left side. Turn the vest inside out so that no seams show on the outside. Sew all edges under by 0.5cm (¼in) using a neat running stitch in a contrasting coloured thread. This adds a little detail to an otherwise plain vest.

Print a number onto paper using your computer (you can write it if you prefer) and cut round it in a square. Attach it to the vest by making small stitches in each corner.

Cut 4 shorts shapes using the template on the following page. Sew the bottom and side edges under using a neat running stitch in a contrasting coloured thread. Repeat on all 4 sides. Place the front left leg piece on top of the corresponding back leg piece and repeat with the right leg pieces. Sew both inside seams using a neat running stitch to join the front leg pieces to the corresponding back leg pieces. Sew the front seam to join the 2 front pieces together, then repeat to join the back pieces. Ensure the seams are on the inside. Overlap the front side on the back side by about 1cm (½in) and pin it in place. Repeat for the other side. This creates the overlapped look that running shorts have. Sew around the top of the shorts using a neat running stitch to neaten the edge, ensuring the folded down edge is on the inside.

Cut 2 shoe backs, 2 soles and 2 shoe fronts using the templates on the following pages. Sew the bottom of the 2 shoe backs to the back edge of both soles using a neat running stitch in contrasting thread. Wrap the front pieces around the front sections of the sole and sew it securely. Cut up 6 small pieces of ribbon for each shoe. Sew 3 to each side to add detail. This also attaches the front section of the shoe to the back making it less likely to fall off. Thread a sharp needle with white yarn and stitch up the front of the shoe to give the appearance of laces. Tie with a bow at the top.


This pattern is taken from 'Olympknits' by Laura Long (David & Charles, £6.99).

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