Maneki-neko (Lucky Cat) No Sew Free Crochet Pattern

easy no sew white crochet maneki neko lucky cat on red background happy smile crochet brand

Welcome to the free version of my Maneki-neko (Lucky Cat) no sew, free crochet pattern!

The Maneki-neko is a traditional Japanese lucky cat statue, also called the “beckoning cat,” most often seen in the busy areas of businesses, restaurants, and homes. You’ll see them with either paw raised and sometimes both paws raised. If it is beckoning with the left paw, it symbolizes attracting good people and relationships as well as good customers. If it is beckoning with the right paw, it symbolizes attracting money and good fortune. If it is beckoning with both paws, you’ve experienced a rare sight! Both paws raised symbolizes attracting both money and good relationships. This pattern gives directions for all three paw positions. I, personally, prefer both paws raised because the cat looks like it wants to give me a big hug!

Traditionally, the Maneki-neko is a calico or white cat, but different colors give various meanings. Look them up and have fun choosing the look of your own Maneki-neko! One can get really fancy with the accessories for their lucky cat. I have included one embellishment in this pattern— the bell around its neck, signifying the wealth of its owner—to keep things both streamlined and as squishy as possible.

This pattern is also available as a Premium Pattern!
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Please do not copy any part of this pattern for distribution or sale. However, I’d love for you to sell your finished products made by this pattern. Please credit me, happy smile crochet.

Pattern is written in English, in US terms, using Craft Yarn Council abbreviations.

Abbreviations

  • BLO – back loop only
  • ch – chain
  • dec – decrease
  • inc – increase
  • invdec – invisible decrease
  • sc – single crochet
  • sl st(s) – slip stitch(es)
  • st(s) – stitch(es)
  • rnd(s) – round(s)
  • RS – right side
  • WS – wrong side

Supplies

  • Hobbii Baby Snuggle chenille yarn, 100% polyester, super bulky size 6 weight, 3.5oz(100g), 131yds(120m) in: White (Color: 01) 2.5oz(75g), 93yd(85m)
  • Hobbii Honey Bunny chenille yarn, 100% polyester, super bulky size 6 weight, 3.5oz(100g), 131yds(120m) in: Tomato (Color: 40) 0.2oz(6g), 8yd(7.5m)
  • OR any super bulky size 6 weight yarn in constrasting colors. Scraps of black worsted weight yarn for mouth and whiskers
  • Size H-8 (5mm) hook
  • (2) 12mm black round safety eyes (note that eyes are a choking hazard for children under 3 years old)
  • One gold-colored jingle bell, 0.5in(1.3cm)
  • One gold-colored jump ring, 3/8in(0.96cm)
  • Poly-fil stuffing
  • Tapestry needle
  • Stitch marker
  • Scissors

Measurements

3.5in(8.9cm) tall

Skill Level

Easy

Gauge

7 sts x 7 rnds in sc = 2in(5cm) square

Gauge Instructions

Rnd 1: 6 sc in magic circle.
[Alternatively, ch 2, place 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook.] (6)
Rnd 2: [inc] 6 times (12)
Rnd 3: [sc, inc] 6 times (18)
Rnd 4: [2 sc, inc] 6 times (24)
Rnd 5-12: 24 sc (24, 8 rnds)
Do not stuff. Squish the tube flat and measure 7 sts across and 7 rnds down to ensure it is square, or close to square.

Pattern Notes

  • Pattern can be worked in any type of yarn with appropriate corresponding hook size. Here I feature super bulky size 6 weight chenille.
  • Pattern is worked in continuous rounds without joining; unless otherwise stated.
  • Place stitch marker in 1st stitch of round to indicate beginning of round and move marker up each round.
  • Pattern uses invdec for decreases, except where indicated.
  • Changing Color: insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull up a loop, complete st with new yarn color.
  • To avoid clumps in the poly-fil when stuffing, pull out a handful at a time and pull apart to fluff.
  • Pattern is no-sew but a needle may be used, if preferred, to close up the opening of the head.

Order of Parts and Assembly

1) Crochet Tail
2) Crochet Paws
3) Crochet Body/Head
4) Attach Base ofTail
5) Attach End of Tail and Base of Paws 6) Attach Bell
7) Attach End of Paws
8) Close the Cat and Make the Ears
9) Embroider the Mouth and Whiskers

Instructions

Tail

With white yarn
Rnd 1: 4 sc in magic circle. [Alternatively, ch 2, place 4 sc in 2nd ch from hook.] (4)
Rnd 2: [sc, inc] 2 times. (6)
Rnds 3-5: 6 sc. (6, 3 rnds)
Rnd 6: 2 invdec, 2 sc. (4)
Fasten off, cut yarn. Hide yarn tail in Tail to act as stuffing.

Paws

(Make 2)
With white yarn
Rnd 1: 6 sc in magic circle. [Alternatively, ch 2, place 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook.] (6)
Rnds 2-3: 6 sc. (6, 2 rnds)
Rnd 4: invdec, 2 sc, invdec. (4)
Fasten off, cut yarn. Hide yarn tail in Paw to act as stuffing.

Body/Head

With white yarn
Rnd 1: 8 sc in magic circle. [Alternatively, ch 2, place 8 sc in 2nd ch from hook.] (8)
Rnd 2: [inc] 8 times. (16)
Rnd 3: [sc, inc] 8 times. (24)

Attach Base of Tail
Rnd 4: Attach Base of Tail (2 sc), inc, [2 sc, inc] 7 times. (32) Secure End of Tail in rnd 9.
Rnd 5-8: 32 sc. (32, 4 rnds)

Attach End of Tail and Base of Paws
Rnd 9: Attach end of Tail (sl st 1), 7 sc, attach base of 1st Paw (2 sc ), 13 sc, attach base of 2nd Paw (sc 2), 7 sc. (32)
Change color to tomato in last st (see Pattern Notes).

Attach Bell
Rnd 10: With tomato yarn, BLO, 16 sl st, insert Bell (sl st), 15 sl st. Change color to white in last st. (32)
Rnd 11: With white yarn, BLO, 32 sl st. (32)
Cut tomato yarn, and tie both loose tomato yarn tails together.

Attach End of Paws
Rnd 12 (BLO):

Left Paw UP, Right Paw DOWN version:
BLO [2 sc, dec] 2 times, sc, attach end of left Paw (sl st), dec, [2 sc, dec] 5 times. (24)

Left Paw DOWN, Right Paw UP version:
BLO [2 sc, dec] 6 times, sc, attach end of right Paw (sl st), dec, 2 sc, dec. (24)

Both Paws UP version:
BLO [2 sc, dec] 2 times, sc, attach end of left Paw (sl st) dec, [2 sc, dec] 3 times, attach end of right Paw (sl st), sc, dec, 2 sc, dec. (24)

If you left one of the Paws DOWN, use a 6 inch scrap of yarn to tack the Paw snugly against the body. Tie the yarn ends together on the inside of the body.

Rnd 13: [sc, invdec] 8 times. (16)
Rnd 14: 16 sc. (16)

Preparing to Close the Cat and Make the Ears
Rnd 15: 4-8 sc. Adjust the number of sts until you reach the st above the Left Paw (the cat’s Left Paw) is attached. Fasten off, leaving an 18 inch tail. End of Rnd 15. (4-8 sc)

Close the Cat and Make the Ears
Rnd 16: Flatten out the opening of the top so it makes a line from Paw to Paw. The end points of this rnd will form the ears.
Place safety eyes between rnds 13-14 (4) stitches apart, making sure eyes are centered under each ear.
Stuff. This plushie requires a rather firm stuff, especially at the end so the ear points are distinctly formed.
Whipstitch across the folded opening of the top with your crochet hook.
Continue to stuff firmly as you whipstitch across, making sure to stuff each ear point firmly, especially in “ear points” which you are creating, with special attention to the last ear point. Stuff more as needed. Fasten off, leaving a 5in(12.7cm) tail. Weave in tail.

Embroider the Mouth and Whiskers
Embroider mouth on the same row as the eyes, in a “w” shape. The sts may need to be smaller than you expect due to the small area. Take care not to pull too tight to prevent the sts from disappearing into the body. Embroider 2-3 whiskers at the sides of each eye.

You are done! Now go find the perfect place to sit your Maneki-neko so it can fill your day with cuteness!

This pattern is also available as a Premium Pattern!
Premium Patterns are printable PDF files, with extra photo/video tutorials not available in the free version, and ad-free. Premium Patterns are available on Etsy and Ravelry.

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