Crazy Kiwis

As deadlines loom and reviews pile up, the oven as been eerily quiet and cold. My ideas for new recipes continue to accumulate and grow by the day like overgrown weeds, and yet I don’t have a minute to cut it down to size. Luckily, it seems that there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel, and the manuscript is just over a week away from the printer. Everyone needs to take a break every now and then, so with the finish line now in sight, I figured it was only fair to dive into some of the luscious summer produce I had been spying at the market and make it into a suitable decadent dessert. Although my wish list for exotic and unusual fruit could fill a novel, I settled upon the first rare delicacy I could find: Kiwis.

True, they are certainly not unheard of or quite so esoteric these days, but it’s still hard for me to hunt them down locally. Having had such little experience with them, I figured something fairly basic would be a good place to start, so a simply kiwi tart it was. Out came the sturdy ceramic tart pan and I wasted no time prepping the fruits. Slicing carefully and admiring their lurid green flesh, flecked with the deep black seeds, the world around me disappeared. The sound of the knife filled my head, cleaving smoothly through the firm fruit, tapping quietly and rhythmically like a metronome as it hit the cutting board. Each cut slice glistened with juice, seeming to sparkle in the light, and I could only feel what a wondrous thing it was to be back in the kitchen again. Losing myself in the moment so completely, who knows what sort of craziness must have occurred during this mental vacation, because there was one shocking sight awaiting me when I looked up.

A kiwi! And not the fruits that I had just been admiring, but the national bird of New Zealand! Sitting right there in my tart pan like it was ready to go in the oven along with the fruit of its namesake, I could write volumes about how wrong this whole scene was. Watching me prep ingredients as if it were as distant as a cooking show on tv, the little guy seemed not the least bit bothered by its uncomfortable-looking seat or proximity to a human with a knife. As a typically shy, nocturnal bird found only halfway across the world, there was simply no conceivable explanation!

This development certainly threw a wrench in my baking plans, to say the least. Off went the oven, away went the flour and sugar. Not wanting to evict my curious guest from the former baking dish, it didn’t look like there would be any tarts to be made today. At a loss of words, the only course of action I could think of was to offer him a slice of the cut fruit… Which he gladly accepted, to my relief. Munching happily as if this were all the most normal thing in the world, I can’t help but wonder if I’m losing my mind. Truly, if only I could understand any of this, my dear readers… But perhaps it’s just an indication that I had better get more sleep instead of shirking deadlines by baking!

I know that these bizarre flightless birds do have quite a few fans out there who would love to get as close to these marvels as I did… But since I have no clue how it all happened, the best I can do is give you a pattern to make your own!


With size 6 DPNs and rust colored worsted weight yarn, CO 3 and distribute them evenly among the needles
Kfb into each st (6 sts)
Kfb into each st (12 sts)
K each st
K1, kfb* around (18 sts)
K each st
K2, kfb* around (24 sts)
K each st
K3, kfb* around (30 sts)
K each st for 5 rounds
K3, k2tog* around (24 sts)
K each st for 2 rounds
K2, k2tog* around (18 sts)
K each st
(Okay, here comes some short row shaping for the neck. W&t means “wrap and turn,” which you can learn how to do via this handy video)
K4, w&t, p6, w&t, k8, w&t, p10, w&t, k12, w&t, p14, w&t, k16, w&t, p10
(Whew! Still with me? Great, it’s all smooth sailing from here!)
K each st
K2, kfb* around (24 sts)
K3, kfb* around (30 sts)
K4, kfb* around (36 sts)
K5, kfb* around (42 sts)
K6, kfb* around (48 sts)
K7, kfb* around (54 sts)
K each st
K8, kfb* around (60 sts)
K each st for 20 rounds
-Insert safety eyes and stuff head lightly-
K8, k2tog* around (54 sts)
K7, k2tog* around (48 sts)
K6, k2tog* around (42 sts)
K5, k2tog* around (36 sts)
K4, k2tog* around (30 sts)
K3, k2tog* around (24 sts)
-Stuff body firmly-
K2, k2tog* around (18 sts)
K1, k2tog* around (12 sts)
K2tog* around (6 sts)
Break thread and draw it through the remains stitches, tying tight.


Switching to size 5 DPNs and yellow worsted weight yarn, CO 3 st, distributing evenly on your needles
Kfb into each st (6 sts)
K each st around for 22 rounds
K1, kfb* around (9 sts)
K each st around
k2, kfb* around (12 sts)
K each st
BO and break yarn, leaving a sizable tail to sew with

Feet (Make 2):

With size 5 straight needles and the same yarn as used for the beak, CO 25 sts
K each st
BO 5 sts, k to end
K to end, CO 5 sts
BO 5 sts, k to end
K to end, CO 5
K each st
CO, leaving a long tail

To Assemble: First take one foot and weave the long tail back through the 5 sts of the toe. Fold the leg in half and use that length of yarn to sew the long edges together, forming a long tube for the leg. Repeat with the other foot piece. Sew each leg to the bottom of the bird body and tie tightly, weaving in ends when satisfied with the placement. Lightly stuff the wide opening of the beak, and sew to bird face. Just weave in those ends and you’re ready to have plenty of your own bizarre adventures!

69 thoughts on “Crazy Kiwis

  1. Hilarious. But be careful, or he will lay eggs in the tart pan, then you will be in big trouble.

  2. gah!! I am totally making that. My bf has a friend from New Zealand and we found him a Ty Beanie that was a kiwi that we gifted him. We were so sad to give him up we ended up getting a beanie baby of the Kiwi that we keep in the car. He actually “escaped” the other night but was rediscovered the next day. I think he needs a knit buddy!!!

  3. How adorable. I was searching Flickr for a knitted creature I could make my bf for our anniversary next month and I think this kiwi bird is just the thing. Great pictures, too!

  4. Wow, I just stumbled upon your blog and I am totally impressed! I will definitely be back to see what else you come up with. ~Ali in California

  5. You are too cute with the stories, the photos and the knitted creatures. I love it! Going to tell my NZ friend to make sure she sees your site.

  6. SOOOOO ADORABLE!! and I love the little story, haha. Not only are kiwis one of my all-time favorite fruits (have you ever tried the Golden Kiwis, which are yellow instead of green?), but my dog’s name is Kiwi (so my family always jokes about her and the fruit – long story, haha). Thanks for providing the pattern to make the lovely Kiwi Bird!! :0)

  7. Kiwi’s are one of my favourite fruits to eat and I love your newest creation! He’s so adorable and your story is as entertaining as always. I hope you reach your goals and deadlines.

  8. Hi there,

    I was referred to your blog by Teeni, who thought I would get a kick out of this post. And I did!! I’m a New Zealander (we call ourselves “Kiwis”) and our house is overflowing with kiwifruit :-) My kids adore them.
    Your wee kiwi bird is very cute indeed – I wish I could knit as I would definitely make one! My youngest son has 2 stuffed kiwis that both make a kiwi noise when they are squeezed … very cute!

  9. Yum, I love kiwi(fruit!) and your kiwi bird is so cute with an equally cute story to go with him, your work is always wonderful.

  10. Brilliant! Reminds me of home and kiwifruit pavlova…

    Homesick kiwi in the tropics.

  11. I saw a picture of the kiwi bird at flickr and had to come take a look. What a great pattern, and a fun post. I want to make one for my daughter now — she already loves kiwi fruit so it seems appropriate!

  12. Kiwi’s are so cute! When it’s no longer so hot in my house I’m going to whip up my own little kiwi, maybe several. Thank you so much for the pattern!

  13. OhMyGoodness! This little bird is soo cute – I may have to make him in the morning! My son, is an animal lover, and this could be a great surpise!!!

  14. Thanks so much for sharing the patterns, and even moreso, the narratives. :) I am inspired to become a better knitter.

  15. You have made my kids happy , we recently moved from NZ and I would like to make the kids your kiwi to remind them of home. Thanks

  16. That kiwi is amazing.

    (Any time anyone mentions kiwis, I start singing a kiwi-fruit round I learned in college. Usually just in my head, though, not out loud.)

  17. Hey there,
    I’m a New Zealander and definately going to knit this gorgeous bird for my husband who is from the UK.
    Can you please tell me what kfb means?
    I havent come across that before

  18. kfb is knitting into the front and back of one stitch to make 2 stitches. Glad I could help!! KNIT ON!!!

  19. just came across your blog, love it so much! All these incredibly fun A……Japanese word I forget how to spell creatures. I immediately want to make some chickens for paper weights for a few friends. I don’t know how to do anything more complicated with legs etc., hope to learn in the future. I love the design of your blog, colourful, eye-catching, definitely NOT boring!

    I might even try some vegan food, certainly open to change in diet.

    Thanks for the freebie patterns too. You are very talented and creative.


  20. Wow! so wonderful!!!!
    I knit it and also translated your instructions into Hebrew (of course I gave you all the credit and linked to your blog) –
    I hope it’s OK? If not please let me know and I’ll take the translated instructions down right away!
    Thank you for the wonderful instructions (and your whole blog is great!)

  21. I just loved making this Kiwi. My Mum is from NZ so I made her one and then felted it. It’s very cute and sits in her fruit bowl reminding her of home. Thank you for sharing your pattern with us.

  22. My mom made me the kiwi!!!!! IT’S SOOOOO CUTE ! I love him! he sits on the top of my bed!

    …… but he has no eyes yet… lol

  23. All your patterns so adorable.. I love it especially the crochet ones bcoz I am not into knitting but after saw this pattern… maybe I must think again about knitting… I will try it even I am not too confidence about my knitting ability :(… so lovely kiwi bird..

  24. Thanks for this, you are saving my bacon, my overseas daughter (24y) (in Canada) has asked for a ‘knitted kiwi’ your creation is just perfect, will get out the needles today and have a go. Many thanks again.

  25. I’m a ‘kiwi’ and my mate found this on your blog and TOTALLY surprized us with making this for my sons 5th birthday.
    It was the best present ever.

    Thanks for doing this man.
    you’re awesome.

  26. I don’t have a website. I like making animals for the kids in my church. It is really good to for Noah’s Ark.
    Would like to have these in crochet. I’m sorry I don’t know how to knit.

    These patterns are just absolutely adorable.

  27. Kia Ora

    Great to come across a kiwi bird knit pattern. Thank you. Would you have any other NZ toy knit patterns such as a tuatara (lizard), native birds, an All Black rugby player etc by any chance? I’m a NZer in the coolest little capital in the world – Wellington, NZ according to the Lonely Planet guidebook and yes where the Lord of the Rings was filmed and produced. Enough of bragging now. Hi there all you kiwis out there.

  28. A Kiwi! I can’t believe it! You are my hero! Each year my kids’ classes pick an animal name and this year I promised to knit all the students in each class an ami animal…then they came home and told me their class names were the Kiwis and the Wolverines! Now to find a wolverine! Thank you from a room full of Kiwis!

  29. Hi there, I have made this kiwi (and I love it!) but I’m having a hard time with the feet… is it Bind Off and Cast On?

    With size 5 straight needles and the same yarn as used for the beak, CO 25 sts
    K each st
    BO 5 sts, k to end
    K to end, CO 5 sts
    BO 5 sts, k to end
    K to end, CO 5
    K each st
    CO, leaving a long tail

    Thanks :)

  30. I am a beginner knitter and want to knit this toy for my friend’s baby and was wondering if you could help me with the difficult part: ‘K4, w&t, p6’ The w&t part confuses me a bit. If I understand the video then you turn first and then wrap the unknitted stitch … am I correct? So shouldn’t the term be t&w?

  31. Hi! I have a question about ‘K4, w&t, p6′ too. How when turn to knitt p6 – there is only 4 stiches?I cant understand this. :/ Thank you!

    1. Knit four, wrap and turn, purl 6. By turning your piece, you thus have access to all of the stitches you just laid down in the previous row, so this move may not fit into one single row.

      1. Sorry I do that first of all!
        I knitt 4 on the RS and when W&T the next, 5th stich, I have only 4 stiches to purl to the begining of the row not all others stiches, its stay to the right needle.
        You mean that I have to knitt thats 4 and 2 from the other row?

  32. Thank you so much for the pattern! I have knitted two – one brown one for my daughter’s NZ boyfriend, and a white one for her – she has just started a homecrafted candle business in Sydney called LittleWhiteKiwi! They both turned out great.

  33. New Zealand is bidding for a future World Science Fiction Convention. I plan to knit the con committee one of these adorable Kiwis. It will be going to all sorts of SF convention as they campaign to get the bid. I shalll have to make a little tag with your name as designer to attach to him.

Leave a Reply