A Lion for the Jubilee

For the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, my knitting group, The Outcasts, were asked to contribute to a display case in Reading Museum. We've been knitting and crocheting all manner of items for the case, from Union Jack bunting to tea cozies to stamps. Other Outcasts and friends are also knitting figures to fill a crowd scene of Jubilee celebration - my friend & fellow designer Ella Austin even knit the Queen herself. My main contribution to the case is a bright, neon-colored lion - the Maiwand Lion is a symbol of the town of Reading, a giant sculpture of a fearsome lion in a park in the town center.

knitted soft toy neon Forbury Lion Reading Berkshire

My lion is a little less fearsome, and a little more fun. Knit in neon yellow, lime green, and magenta, I worked him all in the round in pieces shaping with increases, decreases, and short rows. I knit the body in one piece from nose to tail, each leg from the paw upwards, and the mane separately.
Knitted in the round intarsia toy lion improvised freeform knitting yellow
The green on the belly was done with intarsia in the round... which was a new technique for me, and quite a challenge! The edges ended up pretty messy so I had to sew it up separately afterward. True intarsia in the round isn't really possible, but it can bee mimicked using short rows and purling back over the intarsia area. Here's a rundown of some of the techniques you can use to achieve this effect. ~Joyuna


  1. I love your lion! I've had to wrestle with Intrsia in the round too -lots of slipping stitches back and forth -not much fun -luckily it was only for a couple of rows.

  2. Super cute! Excellent shaping.

  3. nice work, more like cuddly than fearsome

  4. Do you have any plans to write him up as a pattern? Mostly it's the shaping that I am super into, and can't figure out how to do.

  5. Thanks Heather! I will think about it when I get some extra time. I mostly improvised it based on photos of the statue, which stands in a very particular pose that I was eager to get right!

  6. Oh I absolutely LOVE this! cute!!

    tea cozy