Knitted in the Round 12″ Baby Doll – Part 1 – Knitting the Body

Knitted in the Round 12″ Baby Doll – Part 1 – Knitting the Body

When Pixie opened her gift that held her new baby doll, pure joy filled her face. (And THAT is why I stay up to 1:00 a.m. every night!) The second photo is when the gown went up and she noticed the belly button. No words… but a look for me that said, “Of course my Gammy would put a belly button on my dolly.” BTW… she named the dolly Malena… actually, Princess Malena!

The dolly in the white sleeper was the one I made for the Little Lady… due on Saturday, and the one below it is the one I made for Pixie’s birthday.

Several months ago I featured a pattern for Basic Knit Dolls. When I designed the dolls, I designed them for beginner sewers, and the dolls are knitted flat, and require seams.

You can find the pattern for the gnome hats HERE.
The doll I’m sharing today is a variation of the 12″ Basic Knit Doll, and it is knitted in the round, so there are no seams on the legs, arms, torso or head. Unlike the Basic Knit Doll, which starts by knitting the legs, with this doll you begin at the head and work your way down.

Click here to add this pattern to your Ravelry Queue.

I will share the pattern in two parts:

The 12″ Doll’s Body
The Face and Hair

Here is Part 1: Knitting the 12″ Doll’s Body

worsted weight yarn (less than 1 skein) – I prefer to use 100% wool because it stands up to play better than acrylics which tend to ball up over time.

Size 6 needles or needles that fit the gauge.

22 stitches and 28 rows = 4″ square in stockinette stitch

IMPORTANT: Leave long yarn tails (12″ – 18″) when you cast on or when you cut yarns. These will be used for sewing up the dolls.


Beginning at head and using your double pointed needles (dpn), cast on (CO) 50 stitches.

Divide evenly on 3 needles, join in circle, and place marker (pm).

Knit for 26 rows. This makes up the head. Using a contrasting yarn, mark this row.

For the body, continue knitting for 40 more rows ending at marker.

You will be working 1 leg at a time.

Place 25 stitches on a holder.

Divide the remaining 25 stitches on 3 dpns and join.

Knit for 26 rows.

DO NOT bind off. Cut thread leaving a long tail.

Thread the tail through a yarn needle. Slide the needle through each stitch as you remove them from the knitting needle. Later, this will be pulled tight to gather the stitches for the bottom of the foot.

Now divide the remaining 25 stitches that are on a holder on 3 dpns. Knit the other leg in the same manner.

You will be working one arm at a time.

Cast on 20 stitches.

Divide evenly on 3 needles, join in circle, and place marker (pm).

Knit for 30 rows.

DO NOT bind off. Cut thread leaving a long tail.
Thread the tail through a yarn needle. Slide the needle through each stitch as you remove them from the knitting needle. Later, this will be pulled tight to gather the stitches for the bottom of the hand.

Knit the other arm in the same manner.

Pull the yarn tails at the end of the feet and arms where you slipped the yarn needle through the stitches. By pulling the thread tightly, you will close in the holes at the end of the arms and legs. Tie off on the inside.

There will be a small opening at the crotch that will need to sewn closed. Do this from the inside.

Use matching yarn to sew a running stitch at the neck line going in and out of every stitch. Leave long ends and remove the contrasting yarn marker.

Stuff the doll beginning with the feet.

When you are satisfied with the amount of stuffing, thread the yarn tail at the head and sew a close running stitch around the head opening.

Pull the yarn tail at the top of the head closing the hole. By pulling it tightly, you will gather the top of the doll’s head. The knit head should be mostly wrinkle free. If you have wrinkles around the top of the head, try adding a little more stuffing. When satisfied, tie it off. Note: There might be a “hole” in the top of the head. If so, simply sew the hole closed by making little stitches across the hole as if darning.

Stuff the arms but do not attach yet.

Pull the yarn that you sewed around the neck firmly to create a neck. When you are pleased with the shape of the head and neck, tie off the yarn, and work the thread ends into the doll so they are not visible.

Attach the arms at the side of the doll. The arms should be placed 1/2″ – 3/4″ below neck. NOTE: You may choose to wait until after you have embroidered a face and added hair so the arms do not get in your way.

If you like, you can add a belly button to the doll’s stomach using a woven spider wheel stitch.

The completed “nakey” baby with hair and face.
Copyright © Wee Folk Art 2008 – 2010. All rights reserved.
All photos, text and patterns are copyright protected. You may not copy, reproduce or redistribute any material found on without written permission. Wee Folk Art retains all rights.


  1. Love, love love it!!!! I have a couple of little girls here that absolutely need one of these. Better get my needles going. Thank you so very much for generously sharing your pattern.

  2. This doll is amazing. I can’t wait to see how you did the hair. My little girl has curly hair and I am sure that she would love a doll like this.

  3. That is such a precious look of love on Pixie’s face that it’s just about to heart my heart with total sweetness. Adorable doll. Wish I could pull this off, but know I can’t. For the love of God, Kimara, why don’t you have an Etsy shop. I can’t stand looking at all these things and not being able to buy them!!!

  4. What a sweet smile on Pixie’s face! She is just adorable! And I love the green hair on Princess Malena. How cute!

  5. This pattern is SO adorable!

    A local pastor just started an orphanage in Haiti (for true orphans) and I’d love to make these for them – if I can find the time… might have to recruit some help!

    I was thinking about felting them down a little bit to make them even more durable – what do you think?

    Can’t wait to get started on one of these little darlings!

    1. This is taken from the Basic Knit Doll Pattern I featured a while ago:

      These dolls should be knit using worsted weight yarn. I prefer to use 100% wool because it stands up to play better than acrylics which tend to ball up over time. Because dolls will be played with by children, they will need cleaning from time to time. Wool will felt and shrink but I found if you stuff the dolls with an acrylic fiberfill instead of wool roving, they will not flatten out, and they will maintain their shape. I found I could wash a doll in with my normal wash (cold wash, cold rinse) and even tumble dry on warm, with minimal shrinkage. Note: The stockinette stitch will felt and shrink a bit more than the garter stitch.

      So in answer to your question, you can felt them, but use an acrylic fiberfill. Also, I would wait and put the hair and facial features on after it was felted.

      Good luck and let us know how it turns out. Also, if you have an address for the orphanage and would like to share info about it, email me at We might be able to do a feature post on it and invite readers to join you.

  6. I absolutely love this doll pattern! I’m making it now, and it got so magical when I pulled on the string around his (it’s going to be a boy) neck and created his head!

    I’m embellishing mine to make him into a farmer. If you’re interested I can send photos, or I’ll blog about it on

    1. I totally understand about the "magic" of the doll. It is so flat when you are knitting, then you stuff if, but it’s when you cinch the neck that you WOW. Please make sure you let us know when you are done. We’d love to see photos.

      1. Kimara, we finally revealed Farmer Fred, based on this 12-inch doll pattern, at Nathan’s first birthday party. You can read about the farmer details here:

        I knitted him with size 6 needles instead of 7, since he doesn’t wear clothing and I don’t want to see the stuffing throught his brown self-overalls.

        I looooooved knitting this doll, and can’t wait to make more of them! I want to find a hospital program that accepts toys and gifts for sick children and make a bunch in all sizes. Thank you for the pattern!

        1. YAY! It turned out so cute. I especially love the pocket in the back with the handkerchief! Awesome! I’ll be linking on Facebook. And Happy Belated birthday to Nathan!

  7. Love it I’m makeing one for a little girl for christmas . It’s going up so fast ! I cant wait until its done .
    This pattern is the best .

  8. I just completed the simple knitted doll and it turned out beautiful. Thank you for sharing this sweet little pattern. I would love to do more.

  9. Dear Kimara
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful pattern, your beautiful doll has a little friend in Holland now. I’m very proud of her, she doesn’t have pants yet, but does she really needs them?

    1. So glad to hear about the budding friendship 🙂 And as far as pants go… half my dollies ran around "nakie" most of the time 🙂

  10. Thank you for being so generous and sharing your very clear, fun, doll pattern. I made one for my granddaughter and just love it. Now I’m making one for my granddaughter’s best friend. Thank you so much. Barbara

  11. I just knit this doll for my daughter in a blue and denim colored yarn ( her favorite yarn, I’ve made her sooooooo many things with this yarn!!). She’s only had it finished for two days but she’s already planning outfits for me to make her!!! Mind, she’s only 4!

    1. I’ve since made a smaller doll and am working on two other dolls! I do believe I’m addicted to these dolls!

  12. hi,

    just wanted to say thanks for your generosity in sharing this pattern. It is exactly what i have been looking for. I am making bedding for 2 doll beds for my nieces & this is the perfect doll to place in the beds.

    I also use natural fibers because of their “living” qualities. I was wondering if you remember the wool you used to knit w/for the body…the texture & “give” look wonderful.

    many thanks & I’ll send you a picture when I am done 🙂



  13. I just love this doll. Unfortunately I don’t know to much about knitting and some of the “jargon” you are using goes right over my head. Do you know of any good websites that would teach me some of the basics? I guess I will have to study up and give it a try. 🙂 I am so happy I found this. It can be very hard to find a multicultural doll and now I can make one for my daughter. 🙂

  14. Hi,
    I was just wondering if I were to use circulars instead of DPN’s, what size should I use?
    Thanks a bunch 🙂

  15. I am wondering if you have the directions (number of stitches and rows) for the smaller dolls available. Knit in the round?

  16. Is there a pattern for the 12″ knitted doll in round gown?  Thank you. My grandbabes will love this.

    1. I never shared a pattern for the gown. I’ve made many of these and it seems they are never the same size. Guess it depends on the yarn I used and how much I stuffed it. For that reason, I tend to simply trace each doll and make up a gown as I go along. I do know there are many free patterns out there. Do a google search on “free 12″ baby doll clothes patterns” and you’ll find lots of links. These knit dolls tend to be “chunkier” plastic dolls, so you will probably need to enlarge patterns some.

  17. Thank you so much for this pattern, it’s perfect! I’ve been trawling the internet for days for something like this for dolls for the Children’s Hospital. Thanks for sharing your incredible talents 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *