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Knitted Catnip Delight




There isn't a kitten that wouldn't purr over a catnip-filled knitted pillow. The toys are also packed with wool stuffing and a jingle bell
This toy is a great way to use leftover yarn because it requires less than an ounce. You'll also need a handful of wool stuffing, a large needle, a jingle bell, and a couple of spoonfuls of dried catnip. 

We used chunky-weight yarn and size-11 needles to make a 3-inch-wide heart. Using different yarn weights and needles will produce results in a variety of sizes. The instructions use standard knitting abbreviations; refer to the key for clarification.

Abbreviation Key
St= Stitch
K= Knit
KFB= Knit into front and back of stitch (to make 2 stitches where there was 1)
P= Purl
K2Tog= Knit 2 stitches together
P2Tog= Purl 2 stitches together
BO= Bind off


  • Chunky-weight yarn
  • Size-11 needles to make a 3-inch-wide heart


  1. Step 1

    To knit 1 heart: Cast on 2 St.

  2. Step 2

    Row 1: KFB, K to last St, KFB. Row 2: P. Repeat these 2 rows until there are 14 St (12 rows total).

  3. Step 3

      Row 13: K2Tog, K5, and turn work; leave remaining 7 St on needle.

  4. Step 4

    Row 14: Working with the 6 St closest to end of needle, P2Tog, P2, P2Tog.

  5. Step 5

    Row 15: BO 4 Sts, and trim remaining yarn to 24 inches. Use large needle to weave yarn through back of piece to beginning of reserved 7 St.

  6. Step 6

    Row 16: Working with reserved 7 St, K5, K2Tog. Row 17: P2Tog, P2, P2Tog. Row 18: BO 4.

  7. Step 7

    Using a large needle, weave loose ends of yarn into back of heart.

  8. Step 8

    Repeat knitting instructions above to make a second heart.

  9. Step 9

    Stack hearts with right sides out. Using a mattress stitch and a needle threaded with yarn, sew hearts together along perimeter, leaving a 1-inch gap.

  10. Step 10

    Tuck half the stuffing inside heart, and insert a bell and catnip. Add remaining stuffing to fill heart.

  11. Step 11

    Sew closed the 1-inch gap in the heart pillow, and weave yarn up inner side of heart. Trim excess yarn at edge of heart so that the loose end is hidden inside.



Reviews (15)

  • lostgirla 16 Feb, 2009

    These would make great sachets. Maybe sew a length of ribbonand attach 3 or so together would make a great gift, or party favor.

  • Rochelleanne 16 Feb, 2009

    What is the "mattress stitch" technique in step 3?

  • LisaMarie62 6 Feb, 2009

    thanks cookiesgalore. what a great idea since i do not knit either. have been looking for cat toy projects, this looks terriffic.

  • cookiesgalore 6 Feb, 2009

    I would use only wool or cotton because polyfill might not be safe for cats if they ingest it. Also, since I can't knit or crochet, I am going to use old wool sweaters that have shrunk in the wash. Just cut out hearts, stuff with catnip and sew them up! Much easier!

  • jimswife 6 Feb, 2009

    Do you have to use wool stuffing? Could you use the polyfill ( I always have tons of it)?

  • debkneer 6 Feb, 2009

    Adorable! I'd love to see this in a crochet pattern, though.

  • JuniorGuard 6 Feb, 2009

    I cut up a wool sweater with moth holes for the stuffing, enclosing the catnip and bell in the wool. It won't leak out if the cat pushes the stitches aside.

  • lelisabeth 6 Feb, 2009

    These are a great cat toy to make for your local animal shelter. Ask the shelter if they allow catnip first, because some do not. Our local shelter sends one toy home with each cat adoption!

  • Luv2Kraft 6 Feb, 2009

    If you're worried that your cat might pull it apart, use wool yarn and felt the hearts before you stuff them. But I've made TONS of knitted and crocheted cat toys (without felting) and have never had any problems. My cats just like to lick them and cuddle with them.

  • bittyro 6 Feb, 2009

    This is a good idea for a drawer or closet sachet, but as a cat toy, it has a couple of flaws. 1) If your indoor cat still has its claws, that knitted stitches can be pushed/pulled apart and the catnip will work its way out and get all over the place. 2) Once the stitches have been pulled apart far enough, the cat can then pull out the stuffing and eat it, which he or she will do now that it is infused with catnip. Making the pillows out of a heavy canvas or denim would make then far more durable just maybe not as cutsey.

  • OctoberFran 6 Feb, 2009

    This would not be as cute as the hearts, but the cat won't care: I'm using some swatches I've knitted to check gauge--just fold over, sew two sides, stuff, and close. The same would work for crochet.

  • lbuser 6 Feb, 2009

    Love this one (love the cat!). Does anyone have a similar version for crochet?

  • catherinescrivo 6 Feb, 2009

    Oh! I love this idea! So cute!

  • steffyk 27 Jan, 2009

    Does anyone know what the little heart candies are in this same issue on page 127? I would love to find or make a recipe but I don't even know where to start. Thanks!

  • nehasinha 17 Jan, 2009

    This is a nice simple idea, and very cute! You could also put dried flowers and cloves inside and use as a closet or drawer freshener.