Labyrinth was THE movie of my childhood. Many others came close - The Princess Bride, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Willow, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (yep), The NeverEnding Story, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe animation - but Labyrinth was the special one. So this year I crocheted one of its characters for my sister's birthday.
The Worm is only in the movie for a moment but it is one of the best moments in the entire movie (and that's saying something). Sad to say, several crocheted worms died in the making of this pattern - a moment's silence - but happily I got there in the end.
It's a bit of a tricky pattern. Have a read through before you start. If you have any questions or you want me to add anything, let me know.
Good luck, guys. I really hope you enjoy this one.
Happy crocheting! Oh, and you remind me of the babe …
Edit: Someone on Facebook suggested that the scarf could be narrower and I agree (Thanks, Chris Flemish). I've adjusted the pattern so that the scarf is 2 sc wide instead of 3. Photos with the new scarf will have to wait - someone has kidnapped the worm. He should be back tonight. Also, even though I like to crochet everything when I'm making a toy, I think in this case a scarf made from some drapey red material would work really well. <-- New photos have now been added.
The Labyrinth Worm
7.5cm/3in tall (this doesn't include the hair), 8.5cm/3.3in long
Advanced. The colour changes and the facial features of the worm - the cheeks, the eyelids, and the mouth - are the trickiest part of this pattern. You could leave out the eyes and the mouth and instead embroider or stitch them on for a simpler pattern. Notes on colour changes and a link to a tutorial by June Gilbank are given at the beginning of the pattern instructions. I've included many photos of the assembly of the worm. If anything is unclear or if you have any problems, let me know.
Note on yarn and hook size
I used DK weight yarn and a 3.0mm hook for this pattern. For those using US hooks, I recommend a size C or D, for those using UK hooks, I recommend a size 11. You can use a different weight yarn than DK but it will change the size of the worm. This means that 7.5mm safety eyes may not match your worm and you may have to choose a different size. Remember to use the same weight yarn for all colours so that the different parts of your toy are in proportion. Choose a hook size that will give you a nice tight stitch.
Yarn (DK/8 Ply)
Black (small amount)
Plastic Safety Eyes - 7.5mm diameter
Crochet Hook - 3.0mm or size that gives you a nice tight stitch
***This pattern was written using US crochet terminology***
Rnd – Round
sc – Single crochet
sc2tog – Single crochet two stitches together.
sl st – Slip stitch
st – Stitch. This term covers chains, sc, hdc, sl st and other stitches used in crochet.
Make a ring – The starting point for crocheting in a spiral. Use which ever method you prefer.
* * - Repeat the instructions between the asterisks as directed.
( ) – The number of stitches that should be in a completed round are placed in brackets at the end of that round’s instructions.
If you're unfamiliar with changing yarn colour when crocheting, have a look at this tutorial by June Gilbank. For this pattern, I recommend using the tapestry crochet technique - carry the colour your not crocheting with across the top of the row and crochet over it. This second colour may sometimes show through to the front but the worm is quite a motley little guy anyway so it's not really a problem.
Back Section (in Blue and Tan)
Start with Tan.
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12)
Rnd 3: *sc in next st, 2 sc in each st* around (18)
Rnd 4: change to Blue, sc in next 2 st, sc2tog, *sc in next st, sc2tog* twice, sc in next st, change to Tan, sc in next 7 st (15)
Rnd 5: change to Blue, sc in next 2 st, 2 sc in next st, *sc in next st, 2 sc in next st* twice, sc in next st, change to Tan, sc in next 7 st (18)
Rnd 6-7: change to Blue, sc in next 11 st, change to Tan, sc in next 7 st (18)
Rnd 8: same as Rnd 4
Rnd 9: same as Rnd 5
Rnd 10-11: same as Rnd 6
Rnd 12: same as Rnd 4
Rnd 13: same as Rnd 5
Cut both Blue and Tan yarn. Fasten off, leaving long tails to use when joining the back section to the front section. Stuff firmly.
Head/Front Section (in Blue and Tan)
In Rnd 7 you create a hole so that the worm's open mouth can be made. If you would rather embroider or stitch on a mouth, I've included an alternative Rnd 7 and 8 below the Head/Front Section instructions.
Start with Blue
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each st around (12)
Rnd 3: *sc in next st, 2 sc in next st* around (18)
Rnd 4: change to Tan, sc in next 9 st, change to Blue, sc in next 9 st (18)
Rnd 5-6: same as Rnd 4
Rnd 7: change to Tan, sc in next 3 st, chain 3, skip 3 st, sc in next 3 st, change to Blue, sc in next 9 st (18)
|Rnd 7: chain 3 ...|
|... skip 3, sc in next 3 st.|
Rnd 8: change to Tan, sc in next 3 st, sc in the back loops of the next 3 chains, sc in next 3 st, change to Blue, sc in next 9 st (18)
Okay, time to add the eyes and the mouth.
Push the safety eyes in so that their top edge sits where the blue and tan meet at the top of the head.
Attach black yarn to the side of the mouth opening. Single crochet around the mouth opening. The white crosses in the picture below show you where to place the single crochets.
Thread the tails of yarn to the back of the mouth.
Push the mouth into the head and use the tail of black yarn to stitch the opening closed.
Continue on to Rnd 9 -
Rnd 9: change to Tan, sc in next 4 st, sc2tog, sc in next 3 st, change to Blue, sc in next st, sc2tog, sc in next 4 st, sc2tog (15)
You can start stuffing. Be careful not to pop out the mouth.
Rnd 10: continuing in Blue, sc in next st, change to Tan, sc in next 3 st, 2 sc in next st, sc in next 4 st, change to Blue, 2 sc in next st, sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in next st (18)
Rnd 11: continuing in Blue, sc in next st, change to Tan, sc in next 9 st, change to Blue, sc in next 8 st (18)
Rnd 12-14: same as Rnd 11
Rnd 15: continuing in Blue, sc in next st, change to Tan, sc in next 17 st (18)
Cut the blue yarn, leaving a long tail.
Rnd 16: continuing in Tan, sc in each st around
Rnd 17: *sc in next st, sc2tog* around (12)
Rnd 18: sc2tog around (6)
Finish stuffing firmly. Cut yarn and weave through remaining stitches, pulling tight to close up hole. Weave in loose end. Thread the blue tail of yarn up through the worm and out through the top of the head. This will be used later to secure his tufts of hair.
Alternative Rnd 7 and 8
Rnd 7-8: change to Tan, sc in next 9 st, change to Blue, sc in next 9 st (18)
Eye Lids (in Tan)
Cut yarn and pull through last stitch. Leave a tail to use when stitching the lids to the face. Make two. The eye lids should just cover the top of the eyes. If you are using bigger safety eyes than suggested, you might want to add a chain or two to the eye lids.
Lips (in Tan)
Cut yarn and pull through last stitch. Leave a tail to use when stitching the lips to the mouth. Make two.
Cheeks (in Tan)
This section requires you to crochet in the back humps of a chain. Knot Sew Cute has a great tutorial on how to do this.
Row 1: Working in the back humps of the stitch, sc in 2nd chain from the hook, sc in each chain to the end (7)
Cut yarn and fasten off. Leave a long tail of yarn. Stitch the two ends of the strip together using the tail of yarn to create a circle. Stitch closed the gap left in the middle of the circle. You should still have a tail of yarn left. This will be used to join the cheeks to the face. Make two.
This may seem like a complicated way to crochet a circle. I do it this way because I prefer the texture it creates. Here's a simpler alternative:
Make a ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in ring (6)
Rnd 2: *sc in next st, 2 sc in next* around (9)
Cut yarn and fasten off, leaving a tail of yarn. Make two.
Scarf (in Red)
Row 1: sc in 2nd chain from the hook, sc in next chain (2)
Row 2: chain 1, turn, sc in next 2 st to the end (2)
Repeat Row 2 until the scarf is a little longer than twice the length of the worm. I crocheted 50 rows. Cut yarn and fasten off. Weave in ends.
For the first worm I made, I knitted the scarf using 3.25mm needles. I cast on 48 stitches, knit two rows and then casted off. This gave me a good length scarf.
|Worm with knitted scarf|
***These are guidelines only. Be guided by your own eye at all times.***
Join the front and back sections. Pin the sections together. Line up the blue and tan sections. Use the blue tail of yarn to stitch the blue sections together. Use the tan tail of yarn to stitch the tan sections together.
Join the eye lids to the face. Carefully pin the eye lids above the eyes. Use the tails of yarn left on the eye lids to stitch them onto the face. (He looks a little mean at this point. Don't worry. The cute will come.)
Join the lips to the mouth. Pin the lips to the mouth and stitch on using the tails of yarn left on the lips.
Join the cheeks to the face. Pin next to the mouth and below the eyes and stitch on using the tails of yarn left on the cheeks.
For the long tuft on the top of the head: Cut three lengths of blue yarn a little longer than twice the length of the front section of the worm. Loop strands onto the top of the head - fold in half, pull the folded end through a stitch in the top of the head, then pull cut ends back through the folded end.
For the tufts at the side of the head: For each tuft, cut three lengths of yarn a little longer than twice the width of the worm's face. Loop strands onto a stitch behind the eyes where the blue and tan colours meet.
For the short blue tufts that run along the body: For each tuft, cut two lengths of yarn that can wrap around two of your fingers once. Loop strands onto the body where the blue and tan colours meet.
For the small tan tufts behind the cheeks: For each tuft, cut one length of yarn that can wrap around two of your fingers. Loop onto a stitch behind the bottom edge of the cheek where the blue and tan colours meet.
Secure the tufts.
Finally, we're going to use that long blue tail of yarn you threaded up and out through the top of the worm's head. Use this tail of yarn to stitch down the loops of the tufts of hair. You will only need to put one stitch into each loop.
Trim the tufts. Separate the strands of yarn and brush out. I found a lint brush works quite well. To straighten out the longer tufts on the head, use a hot iron on a high steam setting. Hold the iron on the hair for only a second or two at a time. Each tuft should only need 3 or 4 quick presses. Give the tufts one more brush.
Tie on his red scarf and you are done!! Yay! Now, go and have a cup of tea and, for goodness' sake, go and meet the missus. Say hi from me.
The Labyrinth Worm character is not my creation so I would ask you not to sell any toys you make from this pattern. Thank you!
Copyright © Kim Lapsley 2013