Hungry, Hungry Hippo

Preparing to make the ever-popular Cookies ‘n Cream cupcakes from VCToTW for about the hundredth time, I barely need to crack open the book to know what step comes next. Constant requests have kept my memory sharp on the exact ingredients and measurements required, so baking up a batch is more a matter of mechanical follow-through than conscious thought. Moving in stride to the cupboard where the Joe Joe’s are housed, my easy progression is brought to an abrupt halt as my hands scrape along an empty shelf. Having just bought a new package only days ago, there was no way that they could have all been finished already, so where were they? Did I forget to unload them with the rest of the groceries? Did they get misplaced? Forgetting about the mixer still churning away with cupcake batter, becoming more glutenous by the minute, I searched high and low throughout the entire kitchen cabinet.

No luck; Not a crumb of the requisite sandwich cookies to be found. Flipping off the mixer and looking warily at the over-beaten dough, I wondered what else could possibly be an adequate substitute for these to still be considered Cookies ‘n Cream cupcakes. Maybe if worst came to worst, I considered if it would be possible to freeze the raw mixture and finish it off after buying a new pack of cookies later. Turning off the oven and preparing to pack up the operation for the day, the crinkling of plastic wrap caught my attention. Seeming to emanate from the table behind me, I turned around and wandered over to see who was there, having assumed I was alone at the moment. Well, would you believe what I found…

My Joe Joe’s! And not just that, but the thief as well, munching away without the slightest concern that he had just been caught red-handed. Who knows how long this hungry hippo had been pigging out, but considering the greatly diminished total of cookies still to be seen, it’s a good thing I discovered him when I did! Any later, and I may not have been able to finish my cupcakes after all.

Hastily grabbing the package away for fear of loosing even more into his ravenous appetite, chowing down as though he hadn’t eaten in a week, he issued a a moan of complaint. Amazingly, he still wasn’t satiated, demanding more to sooth his bottomless pit of a stomach! I hesitated, not wanting to deprive him of his tasty treat entirely but still not willing to surrender my vital ingredient, and considered who deserved them more. Ultimately, we were able to compromise; Since the hungry hippo had already gotten quite a substantial head-start on his snack, I gave him just a few more cookies to tide him over until we could have a real meal, and I continued on my way to turn the rest of the Joe Joe’s into crumbs for the cupcakes. No need to horde the sweets on either of our parts; This way, we both got what we wanted.

If you would like to make your own hungry hippo, it’s a very easy pattern indeed! I must warn you though, your hippo may eat more than even a typical college student, so I won’t be held accountable if you find various snacks missing from your cabinets!


With an F hook, Ch9, sc into 2nd ch from hook, sc1 into next 6 ch, sc3 into last st. Continuing around, sc1 into back posts of next 6 st, sc2 into last st (18 sts)
Sc 8, sc2 into next st, sc 8, sc2 into next st (20 sts)
Sc 8, sc2 into next 2 sts, sc 8, sc2 into next 2 sts (24 sts)
Sc 3, sc2 into next st* around (30 sts)
Sc around for 8 rounds
Break yarn, leaving a long tail with which to sew.


Sc 6 into a circle
Sc2 into each st (12)
Sc 1, sc2 into next st* around (18)
Sc 2, sc2 into next st* around (24)
Sc 3, sc2 into next st* around (30)
Sc 4, sc2 into next st* around (36)
Sc 5, sc2 into next st* around (42)
Sc 6, sc2 into next st* around (48)
Sc around [6x]
Sc 6, sc2tog* around (42)
Sc 5, sc2tog* around (36)
Sc 4, sc2tog* around (30)
Sc 3, sc2tog* around (24)
-Insert safety eyes and stuff-
Sc 2, sc2tog* around (18)
Sc 1, sc2tog* around (12)
Sc2tog* around (6)
Break yarn, gather remaining stitches together and pull tight, knotting off. Leave a sizable tail for attaching to the body.


Sc 6 into a circle
Sc2 into each st (12)
Sc 1, sc2 into next st* around (18)
Sc 2, sc2 into next st* around (24)
Sc 3, sc2 into next st* around (30)
Sc 4, sc2 into next st* around (36)
Sc 5, sc2 into next st* around (42)
Sc around
Sc 6, sc2 into next st* around (48)
Sc around [10x]
Sc 6, sc2tog* around (42)
Sc around
Sc 5, sc2tog* around (36)
Sc around
Sc 4, sc2tog* around (30)
Sc around
Sc 3, sc2tog* around (24)
Sc around
-Insert stuffing-
Sc 2, sc2tog* around (18)
Sc 1, sc2tog* around (12)
Sc2tog* around (6)
Break yarn and gather remaining stitches, tying tight.

Legs (Make 4):

Sc 5 in a circle
Sc2 into each st (10)
Sc 1, sc2 into next st* around (15)
Sc around for four rounds
Sc 3, sc2tog* around (12)
Break yarn

Ears (Make 2):

Sc 5 in a circle
Sc2 into each st (10)
Sc 1, sc2 into next st* around (15)
Break yarn

Assembly: Embroider nostrils on snout before stuffing, and attach to the head centered between the safety eyes. Fold each ear in half with the right sides out and sew the first two stitches next to the tail together. Sew the ears to the head, directly opposite each other.

Stuff legs lightly and attach to underside of the body, evenly spaced, with each pair (front / back) sewn directly next to each other. At the slightly tapered end of the body, sew on the head. For the tail, braid three separate strands of yarn to desired length and attach to rear of the hippo.

Hide all cookies in the house, or expect quite a few snacks to go missing in short time!

101 thoughts on “Hungry, Hungry Hippo

  1. Care to share the cookies n’ cream cupcake recipe?? I just searched your blog for it and while I did notice a prevalent cupcake theme (ahhh, you are truly a girl after my own heart) I did not see the recipe! Thanks! Love the hippo – very cute.

  2. Ya know… maybe you should get better locks or something, you sure do get a lot of critters wandering into your home! :) (Thanks for sharing the pattern on this cutie!)

  3. Casey: I bet the reason she hasn’t posted cupcake recipes is that they’re from a *book* that she didn’t *write*. :) You can get in trouble, doing that.

    “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World” is by Isa Moskowitz and… someone else too. But you can find it in most bookstores; I saw it in Barnes and Noble last week. The New York Times printed a few of the recipes on their website in the last couple of months.

    This pattern is adorable, by the by. Will totally make one. Maybe a whole, er, flock.

  4. I love your little hippo….reminded me of a book I’ve read to the kids in my class so many times. thanks

  5. Tres cool Amigurumi, madam! I simply adore him. Amigurumi is best when it’s simple, pudgy and adorable. Just like this! I even like the color.

  6. Thank you so much for the hippo. So so cute. I just started to learn how to crochet. Could you please tell me what * means. Thanks again.

  7. nana, the * means repeat the instruction however many times, or in this case, all the way around.

  8. wanting to make the hippo but I don’t know what size hook to use and what weight yarn too. I’m a nubee to crochet too.

  9. I have almost finished making the hippo, but I am having trouble with the snout. Do you start in a ring or with a chain?

  10. Cute hippo.. want to make one..having problems with the snout.. could you please explain..”Continuing around, sc1 into back posts of next 6 st, sc2 into last st “..
    i am new to crochet.. could you please help..
    i made the bird.. really cute.. wanted to send u a pic.. cant figure out how..
    Thanks for all the patterns. :)

  11. Thanks so much for this pattern! My sister is a die-hard hippo fan and I just finished one for her and gave it to her tonight. I’m so excited to be able to give her one. You can see it at by blog.

    Thanks again for sharing your work!

  12. hi, can i ask u q? wher can i get all ur patterns for crochet animals as well as dolls..i just love it..its tooo cute…do u have book or n e thing..i would love to buy all ur patterns..thank you for sharing some but..after looking at all i would love to have them for my sons animal collation..thank you once agin..i will be waiting for ur repply..thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu……

  13. Was wondering what kind of yarn (weight?) did you use? He’s absolutely adorable! My husband asked me to make one for him…thanks for the creation and great story. Love those Joe-Joes!

  14. Thank you so much for having this pattern up!

    Recently I decided to make a stuffed animal, and I made the body, arms and legs, but no head, because I was unsure what I wanted it to be. After my friends all tolf me they wanted it to be a hippo, I realized I didn’t know what a hippos head looked like, let alone how to crochet one!

    I’ll post pictures as soon as I’m finished with it. Again, thank you so much!

  15. Oh, i love this so much and in purple…and the character you build in a little story. I have got to try and make this….gotta get some purple yarn. I expect it says somewhere….so excited by the pictures I have read everything….generally what gauge crochet hook and yarn do you use and do you have a favourite yarn?

    Thank for this pattern..eeek! I love it.


  16. Can someone please explain the beginning of the snout to me? I’m not really a complete newbie to crocheting but it doesn’t make sense to me nor does the math. Email me at thatfatbaby @ minus the spaces or find me on ravelry-MamaNak. thanks

  17. Hi! Thanks so much for this pattern! It is SO adorable!!! =) But I was wondering (like many others) how to make the snout. I’m having problems with the “continuing around” part. If you could help, that would be awesome! I LOVE your patterns~ I made the cupcake and the chicks and everyone loves them! Thanks again!

  18. your patterns are amazing.

    Im newish at crocheting, actually I used to crochet a lot when I was like 10 and I just rediscovered it (Im 17) anyway hah. I was making the snout and it looks nothing like yours! yours is perfectly rectangular but mine is small at the end and gets bigger. I dont know why. oh well, I think its still okay

  19. I would really like to use this pattern. It’s awesome!

    But what do the stars mean?

    “Sc 3, sc2 into next st* around (30 sts)”

    Does the “*” mean to just continue that sequence around?

  20. I love your patterns, they are so cute and perfect. I also adore the little stories you tell around each one, they really give your ami’s character and makes me want to make my own even more.

    Great Job!!

  21. Congratulations for your blog! I’m a fan of crochet, knitting, beading,… crafting:)
    Keep it up!


  22. i made the hippo…. but my hippo could not stand on its 4 feet without stumbling forward..! the head is tooo heavy..! :P

  23. hiya – really cute hippo!

    Would you be able to explain what sc2 means please? Is it just the same as “sc x 2”?

  24. I was wondering if you would make hippos for others?
    I can’t crochet. But I would love to have one of these wonderful creations.

    please email me.

  25. oh i want to make a hippo too but i have no idea how to crochet and i can’t make sense of your instructions

  26. I am almost done with my hippo, thanks for posting it, Is the snout crocheted in the round or in a straight line? Thanks.

  27. What size eyes did you use? It’s adorable! I just have to make one!


  28. I love your Hippo,But could you pls help with the snot I do not know how to do it,do you start with the chain and also Continuing around, sc1 into back posts of next 6 st, sc2 into last st (18 sts)??!! I am totaly lost.

  29. I’ll try to interpret for some of you that are not as familiar with the terminology. And, yes, “*” means do the same thing the number of times listed.

    With an F hook, Ch9, (this is the beginning of the snout)
    sc into 2nd ch from hook, (only one stitch there)
    sc1 into next 6 ch, (this is 6 single crochets next to the one above)
    sc3 into last st. (three (3) stitches in one to create the rounded end/side)
    Continuing around, sc1 into back posts of next 6 st, (for me, this would be putting stitches at the “bottom” (the remaining yarn from the original single above), but I suspect this means to insert your hook through one stitch and out the next stitch before yarning over and doing the single crochet.)
    sc2 into last st (18 sts) (two stitches in the same chain as the original single crochet)
    Sc 8, (single crochet in the next 8 stitches)
    sc2 into next st, (this is an increase, so two stitches in one)
    sc 8, (see above)
    sc2 into next st (20 sts) (another increase)
    Sc 8, (bet you’ve got this one)
    sc2 into next 2 sts, (increase)
    sc 8, (you’re a star!)
    sc2 into next 2 sts (24 sts) (increase, again)
    Sc 3, sc2 into next st* around (30 sts) (three single crochets and then two in one stitch until you have 30 total stitches)
    Sc around for 8 rounds (working “even” you’ll do 30 stitches for 8 rows)
    Break yarn, leaving a long tail with which to sew. (That should be self-explanatory.)

    Hope this clarifies things for you beginners. This really is an adorable hippo pattern and such a little piggy he is. Ta, Christi

  30. I’ve used this pattern about nine times, for different things like friend’s new babies, gifts for the kids at my school, etc. and it’s a hit EVERY TIME!!!!!!!!!!! I love your patterns, please keep more coming!

  31. Oh, so cuuuute! I’m gonna stop by at the yarn shop when I go home from work today, I have to make this one! Thank you for sharing!

  32. Omg im only twelve and I love to crochet im sorta new and this be great to see if i can ove on to harder things

  33. I need some help. I just finished the body and did it exactly the way your pattern says to do it, but it came out differently than the picture. Your body is round, while mine came out ovalish. Any way I could fix this without having to the the pattern all over again?

  34. Sc 1, sc2 into next st* around (18)
    Sc 2, sc2 into next st* around (24)
    Sc 3, sc2 into next st* around (30)
    Sc 4, sc2 into next st* around (36)
    Sc 5, sc2 into next st* around (42)
    Sc 6, sc2 into next st* around (48)

    im confuesed!!!
    this is my first project and im not gunna quit trying.
    what does the beginning mean??
    ex. sc 1,
    sc 2, Does this mean the beginning of a new row?
    sc 3,
    sc 4,

  35. I can’t get the snout :( can anyone help me out?? I can’t figure out if its a round or a chain i’m working with!

  36. I love this guy!!! I’m making him for my little brother for Christmas!!! Now he can truly say that he got a hippopotamus for Christmas!!!

  37. I love this pattern-it came out great! I was wondering if I could sell the finished product on my etsy account?

  38. i just learned how to crochet last week and now im addicted! love the hippo! i havent made it yet but when i do i hope it looks like yours! youll probably have to email me when i need help ;p

  39. I’m looking at these with my 3yr neice and just said “oh cute, look at the hippo” to her, turning the netbook so she could see the screen. “Gabby’s hippo” was her response. So I said, “would you like it if auntie tries making some of these?” and she said, “yes please.”

  40. Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed this pattern!!! I just finished “him” last night in yellow and this morning found he had stolen an apple off the counter! Thanks for sharing!

  41. […] I had a request from someone to make a hippo. I have not made one before, and while I found a few patterns (free and otherwise) none of them really were what I was looking for. However, I decided to go ahead and make a few using various patterns with the idea that I could make a few extra to add to my charity toy stash. This is the first attempt, and it is from a free pattern called Hungry, Hungry Hippo. […]

  42. I am new to the internet. I have only made blankets before, Hippo will be my first stuff animal. What brand yarn are you using for Hungry Hippo? USA yarn please. Do I use BACK POSTS through-out the pattern? When you say sc around 6 X – do you mean 6 more rows / rounds or just around that row / round? Can you give me a hit as to how you sew the pieces together during assembly? Can I embroider the eyes as well as the nostrils (a baby gift). This if my first time using a pattern from the internet, I buy books from the local yarn store most of the time.

    1. Hi Lily, and welcome! To answer your questions…

      -Only crochet through the back posts on rows that indicate as much.
      -Sc around 6 X does indeed continue making single crochets for 6 additional rounds.
      -Use a whip stitch to attach the pieces once you’re happy with the placement. Long sewing pins can help you get a feeling for the placement before making it permanent.
      -Absolutely, go ahead and embroider the features to make it more baby-friendly.


  43. Thank you for the tip on sewing the pieces together. Have made the head, body, snout, and 2 legs. Hope to have it finished by Sunday. Followed your pattern to the letter & everything did come-out correctly. So glad I found you, Thanks again, Lily in California.

  44. Please can you give me a rough idea of how big the finished hippo is, I know a lot depends on the the wool an needle but I would like one about 6″ tall. Many thanks in advance

    1. I’m afraid it’s been many years since I gave away my hippo as a gift so I can’t give you exact measurements. If memory serves me right, I’d estimate that it’s about probably 8 – 10 inches long, but fairly squat; 4 – 5 inches tall. I hope that helps!

  45. Hello, i have a question, you have very nice free patterns on your website, may i translate all of the free patterns on your site to dutch??? i place that on my website with the original link to your pattern.
    Greetings Patricia

    1. Hi Patricia,

      I’m touched that you like my work enough to translate it into Dutch. As long as proper credit and links back to the original patterns are included, I would be delighted if you wanted to share. Thanks for asking!

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