Quetzal Bird by Elsie Tall

Quetzal Bird

March 2021
DK (11 wpi) ?
22 stitches and 15 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette stitch
US 3 - 3.25 mm
80 - 100 yards (73 - 91 m)
13" from tip of beak to tip of tail, 5 3/4" tall from belly to top of plume
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This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download

My daughter is in the habit of asking me to make a stuffie for each of her friends when they have a first baby. Usually she determines what her friend’s “spirit animal” is and asks me for that. I was stumped when she asked for a Quetzal (a beautiful Central American bird). There was a crocheted quetzal on Ravelry, but nothing knitted. SO, after some research I came up with my first original pattern. Some techniques were borrowed from others’ published bird patterns, but the all-in-one construction and special features are my own.

The quetzal body and tail is created in one piece, using intarsia to add a blue neck band and white tail feathers. After knitting the top of the head, stitches are picked up to create the head and neck in the round, and then back-and-forth to create the back and split tail. Stitches are then picked up with each row to knit the breast, underbelly and undertail. Only the wings, beak and plume will need to be sewn on at the end.

Any gauge of yarn can be used. I used a variety of mostly DK yarns in my stash, with a couple of sport-weight and even worsted yarns. Very little yardage of any one color is needed, except for the main color, green, of which I used maybe 60 yds. You will need 25 yds or so of red. Small amounts of blue, yellow, white and black will also be used.