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free kelpie amigurumi crochet pattern
Advanced Amigurumi,  Amigurumi,  Free Patterns

Murdock the Kelpie | Free Crochet Pattern

I knew the next free amigurumi pattern needed to be a kelpie because I love making crochet mythical creatures. Whether you call him a “kelpie,” “mer-horse,” or a “hippocampus,” Murdock is fun crochet fantasy creature ready to play with your mermaid dolls.

free kelpie crochet pattern, mermaid horse amigurumi, pin

About the Kelpie

The Kelpie, sometimes called a “water horse” is a shape-shifting water spirit of Scottish legend. The Loch Ness Monster has been referred to as a “kelpie” because he is a water spirit haunting the loch. They are a symbol of power, as they were said to have the strength and endurance of 10 horses. And if you touched a kelpie, you could never let go, and it would drag you into the water, never to be seen again.

Kelpie, from harrypotter.fandom.com

Murdock means “Protector of the Sea” and I thought it incredibly fitting considering I was searching for a traditional Scottish name to match his watery personality.

Construction

His assembly is rather unique. While short rows are nothing new to crochet (they are great for socks!) you see less of them worked in the round — “Short rounds,” if you will. These short rounds give Murdock the gently curve of his tail as well as the sharp corners of his knees.

I think you will find that this technique for curving work in the round will be a very useful addition to your toolbox.

Note: I would highly recommend purchasing a printable version of this pattern. For the tail in particular, it is important to keep track of your rounds; this is much easier when you can put a check mark by them as you go or highlight what you have finished. And let’s face it, this is a LONG pattern. That’s a lot of scrolling.

Murdock the Kelpie can be purchased as a Premium Pattern for only $5.00 (printable, ad-free, downloadable .pdf file with extra photos) here.  It can also be found on Etsy or Ravelry

Murdock the Kelpie

All patterns are written in English, in US terms using Craft Yarn Council abbreviations.

Intermediate. Knowledge needed of chains (ch), slip stitch (sl st), single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc), increases and decreases. Knowledge of amigurumi part attachment is recommended. Pattern uses short rounds for shaping.

Supplies

  • Red Heart Super Saver yarn, 100% acrylic, worsted weight, 364 yds/7 oz/198 g, White (MC), < 1 ball.
  • Red Heart Super Saver Stripes yarn, 100% acrylic, worsted weight, 236 yds/5 oz/141 g, Cool Stripe (AC), 1 ball.  
  • Furls Odyssey G (4.00 mm) hook
  • Two 15mm colored round-pupil safety eyes
  • Polyfil stuffing
  • Tapestry needle
  • Straight pins

Measurements

10″ tall x 20″ long from hoof to tail

Gauge

2” x 2” = 7 sts x 7 rows in sc

Pattern Notes

  • Work in continuous rounds. Do not slip stitch unless otherwise specified by the pattern.
  • For best results, assemble parts in order as directed.
  • Weave in attachment end at very end of project in case pieces require repositioning.
  • Rounds labeled “Short round” are worked back and forth and will end before the round is complete, leaving stitches deliberately unworked to be worked in later rounds as instructed. This will create the curve of the tail.
  • When instructed, an additional sc will be added at the end of a round to move the starting stitch of the next round to the left. This will keep the curves in a straight line on the tail.
  • On pieces containing short rounds, stuff firmly to blend texture of stitches.
  • Ch-2 at beginning of row counts as dc.

New to amigurumi? Need a little help with part attachment? Check out “5 Tips for Perfect Amigurumi Part Attachment” and “Easy Peasy Joining for Round Amigurumi Parts.

Pattern Stitches

  • Sc4tog – Single crochet 4 together [Insert hook through next st, pull up a loop] 4 times, yo, pull through all 5 loops on the hook.
  • Surface sc – Surface Single CrochetWith loop on hook, insert hook around post or between stitches of finished work, pull up a loop, yo, pull through both loops on hook. Work single crochets on top of finished work.

Other video tutorials useful to accompany this pattern: The Invisible Decrease, Binding Off Embroidered Details, and Super Simple Jogless Color Changes.

And most of all, there is a complete Murdock the Kelpie video tutorial.

Instructions

Head

With MC, ch 2.

Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6)

Rnd 2: Inc in each st around. (12)

Rnd 3: [sc, inc] 6 times. (18)

Rnd 4: [2 sc, inc] 6 times. (24)

Rnd 5: [3 sc, inc] 6 times. (30)

Rnd 6: 9 sc, 4 dc in next st, 9 sc, 4 dc in next st, 10 sc. (36)

Rnd 7: 9 sc, sc4tog (see Pattern Stitches), 9 sc, sc4tog, 10 sc. (30)

Push nostrils inward.

Rnd 8-9: Sc evenly around. (30)

Rnd 10: [3 sc, dec] 6 times. (24)

Rnd 11-14: Sc evenly around.

Rnd 15: 11 sc, inc, 4 sc, inc, 7 sc. (26)

Rnd 16: 5 sc, 4 inc, 12 sc, 4 inc, sc. (34)

Rnd 17: 16 sc, inc, 6 sc, inc, 10 sc. (36)

Rnd 18: 17 sc, inc, 6 sc, inc, 11 sc. (38)

Rnd 19-22: Sc evenly around.

Insert safety eyes between rounds 17 and 18 in line with nostrils, 8 stitches apart. Start stuffing.

Rnd 23: 2 sc, 2 dec, 32 sc. (36)

Rnd 24: [4 sc, dec] 6 times. (30)

Rnd 25: [3 sc, dec] 6 times. (24)

Rnd 26: [2 sc, dec] 6 times. (18)

Finish stuffing.

Rnd 27: [sc, dec] 6 times. (12)

Rnd 28: Dec 6 times. (6)

Cut yarn. Thread needle through back loops of remaining 6 stitches. Pull tight to close. Leave long tail for sewing.

Nostril Flairs

With MC, sl st into Round 6, 5 surface sc (see Pattern Stitches) around top edge of nostril, creating a half circle edge around the concave circle, sl st into Round 6 on opposite side. Repeat on other nostril. Weave in ends.

Eyebrows

With AC, ch 6.

Row 1: Sc in second ch from hook, 3 sc, sl st in last ch. (4 sc, 1 sl st)

Bind off leaving long tail for sewing.

Sewing through the back of the starting ch, sew eyebrow 3 sts directly over each safety eye and 2 sts down the inside of each safety eye. Weave in ends.

Ears

(Make 2)

With MC, ch 2.

Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6)

Rnd 2: Sc evenly around. (6)

Rnd 3: [sc, inc] 3 times. (9)

Rnd 4: [2 sc, inc] 3 times. (12)

Rnd 5: Sc evenly around. (12)

Rnd 6: [3 sc, inc] 3 times. (15)

Rnd 7: Sc evenly around. (15)

Rnd 8: [sc, dec] 5 times. (10)

Rnd 9: Sc evenly around. (10)

Bind off leaving long tail for sewing. Press flat. Thread yarn through far side of last round, curving bottom of ear into bowl shape.

Ears are attached to the head with the concave side facing forward. Sew ears to head with front of ear at Round 23 and back of ear at Round 24. Attach ears 6 sts apart, even with safety eyes.

Neck

With MC, ch 2.

Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6)

Rnd 2: Inc in each st around. (12)

Rnd 3: Sc evenly around. (12)

Rnd 4: [2 sc, inc] 4 times. (16)

Rnd 5: [3 sc, inc] 4 times. (20)

Rnds 6-8: Sc evenly around. (20)

Rnd 9: [4 sc, inc] 4 times. (24)

Rnds 10-12: Sc evenly around. (24)

Rnd 13: [5 sc, inc] 4 times. (28)

Rnds 14-17: Sc evenly around. (28)

Rnd 18: [6 sc, inc] 4 times. (32)

Rnds 19-22: Sc evenly around. (32)

Rnd 23: [7 sc, inc] 4 times. (36)

Rnd 24-27: Sc evenly around. (36)

Rnd 28: [8 sc, inc] 4 times. (40)

Rnds 29-36: Sc evenly around. (40)

Rnd 37: [3 sc, dec] 8 times. (32)

Rnd 38: [2 sc, dec] 8 times. (24)

Stuff firmly.

Rnd 39: [sc, dec] 8 times. (16)

Rnd 40: Dec 8 times. (8)

Cut yarn. Thread needle through front loops of remaining 8 sts. Pull tightly to close. Weave in ends.

Tail

With AC, ch 2.

Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6)

Rnd 2: Inc in each st around. (12)

Rnd 3-5: Sc evenly around. At end of Round 5, turn. (12)

Rnd 6: (Short round)(see Pattern Notes) Do not ch, 8 sc, leave 4 sts unworked, turn. (8)

Rnd 7: (Short round) Do not ch, 7 sc, sl st in next sc. (7 sc, 1 sl st)

Rnd 8: Continuing on unworked sts two rounds below, sc in each st around. (12)

Rnd 9: [2 sc, inc] 4 times, sc to move starting st (see Pattern Notes), turn. (16)

Rnd 10: (Short round) Do not ch, 12 sc, leave 4 sts unworked, turn. (12)

Rnd 11: Do not ch, 11 sc, sl st in next sc. (11 sc, 1 sl st)

Rnd 12: Continuing on unworked sts two rounds below, sc in each st around. (16)

Rnd 13: [3 sc, inc] 4 times, sc to move starting st, turn. (20)

Rnd 14: (Short round) Do not ch, 16 sc, leave 4 sts unworked, turn. (16)

Rnd 15: (Short round) Do not ch, 15 sc, sl st in next sc. (15 sc, 1 sl st)

Rnd 16: Continuing on unworked sts two rounds below, sc in each st around. (20)

Rnd 17: Sc evenly around. Sc to move starting st, turn. (20)

Rnd 18: (Short round) Do not ch, 16 sc, leave 4 sts unworked, turn. (16)

Rnd 19: (Short round) Do not ch, 15 sc, sl st in next sc. (15 sc, 1 sl st)

Rnd 20: Continuing on unworked sts two rounds below, sc in each st around. (20)

Rnd 21: [4 sc, inc] 4 times. Sc to move starting st, turn. (24)

Rnd 22: (Short round) Do not ch, 20 sc, leave 4 sts unworked, turn. (20)

Rnd 23: (Short round) Do not ch, 19 sc, sl st in next st. (19 sc, 1 sl st)

Rnd 24: Continuing on unworked sts two rounds below, sc in each st around. (24)

Rnd 25: Sc evenly around. Sc to move starting st, turn. (24)

Rnd 26: (Short round) Do not ch, 20 sc, leave 4 sts unworked, turn. (20)

Rnd 27: (Short round) Do not ch, 19 sc, sl st in next st. (19 sc, 1 sl st)

Rnd 28: Continuing on unworked sts two rounds below, sc in each st around. (24)

Rnd 29: [5 sc, inc] 4 times. Sc to move starting st, turn. (28)

Rnd 30: (Short round) Do not ch, 24 sc, leave 4 sts unworked, turn. (24)

Rnd 31: (Short round) Do not ch, 23 sc, sl st in next sc. (24 sc, 1 sl st)

Rnd 32: Continuing on unworked sts two rounds below, sc in each st around. (28)

Rnd 33: Sc evenly around. Sc to move starting st, turn. (28)

Rnd 34: (Short round) Do not ch, 24 sc, leave 4 sts unworked, turn. (24)

Rnd 35: (Short round) Do not ch, 23 sc, sl st in next st. (23 sc, 1 sl st)

Rnd 36: Continuing on unworked sts two rounds below, sc in each st around. (28)

Rnd 37: [6 sc, inc] 4 times. Sc to move starting st, turn. (32)

Rnd 38: (Short round) Do not ch, 28 sc, leave 4 sts unworked, turn. (28)

Rnd 39: (Short round) Do not ch, 27 sc, sl st in next sc. (27 sc, 1 sl st)

Rnd 40: Continuing on unworked sts two rounds below, sc in each st around. (32)

Rnd 41: Sc evenly around. Sc to move starting st, turn. (32)

Rnd 42: (Short round) Do not ch, 28 sc, leave 4 sts unworked, turn. (28)

Rnd 43: (Short round) Do not ch, 27 sc, sl st in next st. (27 sc, 1 sl st)

Rnd 44: Continuing on unworked sts two rounds below, sc in each st around. (32)

Rnd 45: [7sc, inc] 4 times. Sc to move start st, turn. (36)

Rnd 46: (Short round) Do not ch, 32 sc, leave 4 sts unworked, turn. (32)

Rnd 47: (Short round) Do not ch, 31 sc, sl st in next st. (31 sc, 1 sl st)

Rnd 48: Continuing on unworked sts two rounds below, sc in each st around. (36)

Rnd 49: Sc evenly around. (36)

Rnds 50-51: Change to MC, Sc evenly around. (36)

Bind off leaving long tail for sewing.

Stuff firmly. (see Pattern Notes)

Set tail on a flat surface, curving in chosen direction. Set neck on flat surface beside tail, large end down, positioned so the neck extends straight up from the tail. Use pins to mark attachment points where tail meets neck between Rounds 26-34. Sew tail to neck. Add additional stuffing to tail before attaching completely.

Using yarn tail from head, sew head to neck. Align center point of last round of head to center point of first round of neck. Sew head at a downward tilt between Rounds 1 and 10 on the neck.

Tail Fins

(Make 2)

With AC, ch 8.

Row 1: Sc in second ch from hook, 2 sc, hdc, [dc inc] 3 times, ch 3, turn. (10 sts, 3 chs)

Row 2: Sl st in second ch from hook, sl st in next ch, 10 sc, turn. (12)

Row 3: Ch 1, 3 sc, hdc, [dc, dc inc] 3 times, ch 3, turn. (13 sts, 3 chs)

Row 4: Sl st in second ch from hook, sl st in next ch, 13 sc, turn. (15)

Row 5: Ch 1, 3 sc, hdc, [2 dc, dc inc] 3 times, ch 3, turn. (16 sts, 3 chs)

Row 6: Sl st in second ch from hook, sl st in next ch, 16 sc, turn. (18)

Row 7: Ch 1, 3 sc, hdc, [3 dc, dc inc] 3 times, ch 3, turn. (19 sts, 3 chs)

Row 8: Sl st in second ch from hook, sl st in next ch, 19 sc, turn. (21)

Row 9: Ch 1, 3 sc, hdc, [4 dc, dc inc] 3 times, ch 4, turn. (21 sts, 4 chs)

Row 10: Sc in second ch from hook, sc in next 2 chs, 21 sc. Fold short end of tail on itself, sl st into last st of Row 1. (24)

Bind off leaving long tail for sewing.

Turn one fin inside out. Position with long edge of each fin on top so they mirror each other. Position each fin with tail so they lay flat once attached. Sew fins to tail across from each other between Rnds 1 and 5, sewing through both layers of the folded end of the tail fins.

free kelpie crochet pattern, mermaid tail horse Hooked by Kati
free kelpie crochet pattern, mermaid tail horse Hooked by Kati

Bent Leg

CORRECTION: Rnd 32 now has 4 sc added to move starting st.

With MC, ch 2.

Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6)

Rnd 2: Inc in each st around. (12)

Rnd 3: [Sc, inc] 6 times. (18)

Rnd 4: [2 sc, inc] 6 times. (24)

Rnd 5: [3 sc, inc] 6 times. (30)

Rnd 6: [4 sc, inc] 6 times. (36)

Rnd 7: Sc evenly around. (36)

Rnd 8: [7 sc, dec] 4 times. (32)

Rnd 9: Sc evenly around. (32)

Rnd 10: [6 sc, dec] 4 times. (28)

Rnd 11: Sc evenly around. (28)

Rnd 12: [5 sc, dec] 4 times. (24)

Rnd 13: Sc evenly around. (24)

Rnd 14: [4 sc, dec] 4 times. (20)

Rnd 15: Sc evenly around. (20)

Rnd 16: [3 sc, dec] 4 times. (16)

Rnd 17-20: Sc evenly around. At the end of Rnd 20, turn. (16)

Stuff thigh loosely. Stuff firmly through knee.

Rnd 21: (Short round) Do not ch, 14 sc, leave 2 sts unworked, turn. (14)

Rnd 22: (Short round) Do not ch, 12 sc, leave 2 sts unworked, turn. (12)

Rnd 23: (Short round) Do not ch, 10 sc, leave 2 sts unworked, turn. (10)

Rnd 24: (Short round) Do not ch, 9 sc, sl st in next sc. (9 sc, 1 sl st)

Rnd 25: Continuing on unworked sts from previous rnds, sc, sl st in next sc, 14 sc. (15 sc, 1 sl st)

Rnd 26: [2 sc, dec] 4 times. (12)

Rnds 27-32: Sc evenly around. At end of Rnd 32, 4 sc to move starting st, turn. (12)

Rnd 33: (Short round) Do not ch, 10 sc, leave 2 sts unworked, turn. (10)

Rnd 34: (Short round) Do not ch, 8 sc, leave 2 sts unworked, turn. (8)

Rnd 35: (Short round) Do not ch, 6 sc, leave 2 sts unworked, turn. (6)

Rnd 36: (Short round) Do not ch, 5 sc, sl st in next sc. (5 sc, 1 sl st)

Rnd 37: Change to AC, Continuing on unworked sts from previous rnds, sc, sl st in next sc, inc, [2 sc, inc] 3 times. (16)

Rnds 38-41: Sc evenly around.

Finish stuffing.

Rnd 42: Working in BLO, 8 dec. (8)

Cut yarn. Thread needle through front loops of remaining 8 sts. Pull tightly to close. Weave in ends.

Mark with pins Rounds 20 and 32 on front (inside curve) of neck. With neck/tail on a flat surface, align bent leg between pins with back of thigh touching color change on tail. Slightly flatten loose stuffing in thigh and position leg at upward angle so hoof is slightly off the ground. Pin thigh and neck where they touch. Sew leg to neck using pins as guide.

Extended Leg

CORRECTION: Rnd 34 now has 4 sc added to move starting st.

With MC, ch 2.

Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6)

Rnd 2: Inc in each st around. (12)

Rnd 3: [Sc, inc] 6 times. (18)

Rnd 4: [2 sc, inc] 6 times. (24)

Rnd 5: [3 sc, inc] 6 times. (30)

Rnd 6: [4 sc, inc] 6 times. (36)

Rnd 7: Sc evenly around.

Rnd 8: [7 sc, dec] 4 times. (32)

Rnd 9: Sc evenly around.

Rnd 10: [6 sc, dec] 4 times. (28)

Rnd 11: Sc evenly around.

Rnd 12: [5 sc, dec] 4 times. (24)

Rnd 13: Sc evenly around.

Rnd 14: [4 sc, dec] 4 times. (20)

Rnd 15: Sc evenly around.

Rnd 16: [3 sc, dec] 4 times. (16)

Rnd 17-20: Sc evenly around. At the end of Rnd 20, turn. (16)

Stuff thigh loosely. Stuff firmly through knee.

Rnd 21: (Short round) Do not ch, 14 sc, leave 2 sts unworked, turn. (14)

Rnd 22: (Short round) Do not ch, 12 sc, leave 2 sts unworked, turn. (12)

Rnd 23: (Short round) Do not ch, 10 sc, leave 2 sts unworked, turn. (10)

Rnd 24: (Short round) Do not ch, 9 sc, sl st in next sc. (9 sc, 1 sl st)

Rnd 25: Continuing on unworked sts from previous rnds, sc, sl st in next sc, 14 sc. (15 sc, 1 sl st)

Rnd 26: [2 sc, dec] 4 times. (12)

Rnds 27-34: Sc evenly around. At end of Rnd 34, 4 sc to move starting st, turn. (12)

Rnd 35: (Short round) Do not ch, 10 sc, leave 4 sts unworked, turn. (10)

Rnd 36: (Short round) Do not ch, 9 sc, sl st in next sc. (9 sc, 1 sl st)

Rnd 37: Change to AC, Continuing on unworked sts from previous rnds, sc, sl st in next sc, inc, [2 sc, inc] 3 times. (16)

Rnds 38-41: Sc evenly around. (16)

Finish stuffing.

Rnd 42: Working in BLO, 8 dec. (8)

Cut yarn. Thread needle through front loops of remaining 8 sts. Pull tightly to close. Weave in ends.

Mark with pins Rounds 20 and 32 on back side of neck. With neck/tail on a flat surface, align entended leg between pins with back of thigh touching color change on tail. Slightly flatten loose stuffing in thigh and position leg straight out so hoof is firmly on the ground. Pin thigh and neck where they touch. Sew leg to neck using pins as guide.

Tail Spines

With AC, ch 5.

Row 1: Dc in 3th ch from hook (see Pattern Notes), 2 dc, ch 3, turn. (4 dc, 3 chs)

Row 2: Sl st in second ch from hook, sl st in next ch, 4 sc, turn. (4 sc, 2 sl sts)

Row 3: Ch 2, 3 dc, ch 3, turn. (4 dc, 3 chs)

Row 4: Sl st in second ch from hook, sl st in next ch, 4 sc, turn. (4 sc, 2 sl sts)

Rows 5-6: Repeat Rows 3 and 4.

Row 7: Ch 2, dc, dc dec, ch 3, turn. (3 dc, 3 chs)

Row 8: Sl st in second ch from hook, sl st in next ch, 3 sc, turn. (3 sc, 2 sl sts)

Row 9: Ch 2, 2 dc, ch 3, turn. (3 dc, 3 chs)

Rows 10-23: Repeat Rows 8 and 9 seven times.

Row 24: Sl st in second ch from hook, sl st in next ch, 3 sc, turn. (3 sc, 2 sl sts)

Row 25: Ch 2, dc dec, ch 3, turn. (2 dc, 3 chs)

Row 26: Sl st in second ch from hook, sl st in next ch, 2 sc, turn. (2 sc, 2 sl sts)

Row 27: Ch 2, dc, ch 3, turn. (2 dc, 3 chs)

Row 28: Sl st in second ch from hook, sl st in next ch, 2 sc, turn. (2 sc, 2 sl sts)

Rows 29-32: Repeat Rows 27 and 28 twice.

Bind off leaving long tail for sewing.

Pin with Row 1 at center point between shoulders where tail and neck meet. Pin neck spines in a straight line running on top of the tail, along the curve, ending at the tip of the tail between the tail Fins. Sew through end st of each row to make Spines stand up. Sew starting ch of Row 1 to neck so that spines stand up.

Neck Spines

With AC, ch 7.

Row 1: Sl st in second ch from hook, sl st in in next ch, 4 sc, turn. (4 sc, 2 sl sts)

Row 2: Ch 2, 3 dc, ch 3, turn. (4 dc, 3 chs)

Rows 3-4: Repeat Rows 1 and 2.

Row 5: Repeat Row 1.

Row 6: Ch 2, dc, dc dec, ch 3, turn. (3 dc, 3 chs)

Row 7: Sl st in second ch from hook, sl st in next ch, 3 sc, turn. (3 sc, 2 sl sts)

Row 8: Ch 2, 2 dc, ch 3, turn. (3 dc, 3 chs)

Rows 9-26: Repeat Rows 7 and 8 nine times.

Row 27: Repeat Row 7.

Bind of leaving long tail for sewing.  

Pin Row 1 one round above eyebrows, evenly spaced between eyes. Pin spines in a straight line between ears, over center point of head, and down neck, ending where tail and neck meet. Do not curve Neck Spines. They are intentionally offset and will not touch the tail spines. Sew through end st of each row to make spines stand up.


Post comments and pictures on social media with the hashtag #hookedbykati, or tag me @hookedbykati. You can also post pictures on the Facebook Page, or in the Hooked by Kati Crochet Community Facebook Group.

You may sell products made by this pattern, but please link back to hookedbykati.com or credit Hooked By Kati on the craft fair tag. Do not copy this pattern for distribution or sale; that’s not nice and also illegal.

If you run into a snag, drop me a line! I respond quickly and will help any way I can to clarify any confusion or challenging stitches.

Find more free patterns like this at allfreecrochet.com.

Free kelpie crochet pattern, mermaid horse amigurumi, pin

Yarn on,

Kati

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