Knitting Nemo! Finding Dory! How to Knit a Fish!

These cute little fish softies are perfect for knitting up Finding Dory inspired characters or in any tropical fish colors of your choice!

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For a complete step-by-step tutorial of this knitting pattern, you can watch my video below.  Subscribe to my YouTube channel Studio Knit for more fun knitting ideas!

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ABBREVIATIONS
K = Knit
KFB = Knit Front and Back
K2Tog = Knit 2 Together

KNITTING TECHNIQUES How to Knit for Beginners >

MATERIALS

For our materials, we are using medium worsted or aran weight yarn, knitting needles, mine are size 4US so I have a really tight knit, a tapestry needle, scissors, and stuffing!

And let’s keep things really simple by knitting with straight knitting needles, we’re going to make it flat in the Stockinette pattern, with no knitting in the round. I thought you guys would like that!

  • Medium worsted or aran weight yarn of any fiber of your choice (mine is cotton)
  • Knitting needles (mine are size 4US for a tighter knit)
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors
  • Stuffing!

BASIC FISH SOFTIE KNITTING PATTERN
Note COLOR changes for a Nemo Clownfish, or use any tropical COLORS of your choice!

We begin with a slip knot and cast on 3 stitches, then on row one, we just knit.

Following the pattern, we are increasing up until row 14. We increase with the Knit Front and Back stitch shown here, KFB. And if you want to see it slower and in more detail, check out my KFB video.

 

BODY
Cast On 3 Stitches ORANGE
Row 1: Knit Row ORANGE
Row 2: KFB, KFB, KFB (6 Sts remain) ORANGE
Row 3: Purl Row ORANGE
Row 4: KFB All 6 Sts (12 Sts remain) ORANGE
Row 5: Purl Row ORANGE
Row 6: * KFB, K4, KFB * twice (16 Sts remain) ORANGE
Row 7: Purl Row ORANGE
Row 8: * KFB, K6, KFB * twice (20 Sts remain) ORANGE
Row 9: Purl Row ORANGE
Row 10: * KFB, K8, KFB * twice (24 Sts remain) ORANGE
Row 11: Purl Row ORANGE
Row 12: * KFB, K10, KFB * twice (28 Sts remain) BLACK
Row 13: Purl Row BLACK
Row 14: * KFB, K12, KFB * twice (32 Sts remain) WHITE
Row 15: Purl Row WHITE
Row 16: Knit Row BLACK
Row 17: Purl Row BLACK
Row 18: Knit Row ORANGE
Row 19: Purl Row ORANGE
Row 20:  Knit Row ORANGE
Row 21: Purl Row ORANGE
Row 22: Knit Row ORANGE
Row 23: Purl Row ORANGE

Once we hit row 24, we are creating decrease rows with one of my favorite little stitches, Knit Two Together. K2Tog. So simple.

Row 24: Knit Row BLACK
Row 25: Purl Row BLACK
Row 26: * K2TOG, K12, K2TOG * (28 Sts remain) WHITE
Row 27: Purl Row WHITE
Row 28: * K2TOG, K10, K2TOG * (24 Sts remain) WHITE
Row 29: Purl Row WHITE
Row 30: * K2TOG, K8, K2TOG * (20 Sts remain)  BLACK
Row 31: Purl Row  BLACK
Row 32: * K2TOG, K6, K2TOG * (16 Sts remain)  ORANGE
Row 33: Purl Row  ORANGE
Row 34: Knit Row BLACK

Once we are down to 16 stitches here on Row 35 that’s going to be the beginning of our tail and we are going to take it off our knitting needle by placing a temporary lifeline using our tapestry needle and I’m using blue yarn.

Row 35:Purl Row  WHITE
Row 36: Knit Row  WHITE
Row 37:  Purl Row BLACK
___

MAKING UP

Place 16 Stitches on a Lifeline strand of yarn

Make up your eyes however you’d like. Using my tapestry needle, I doubled some white yarn, made a french knot, then gave a little black pupil with a stitch of black yarn.

Seam up your little fish with the right sides touching, then turn inside out and tuck in your yarn ends.

FINS:  Of course our Nemo here has one smaller “lucky” fin on its RIGHT side!  We just pick up our stitches where we want to place fins in any shape and size that we’d like. We will also add a little dorsal fin on the top and on all of our fins we are going to bind off with a black edge. We weave in and cut off our yarn ends of all our fins.

LARGE LEFT FIN

Pick up 4 Stitches on left side of fish in ORANGE
Row 1: Knit Row ORANGE
Row 2: * KFB, K1 * 2 Times (6 Sts Remain) ORANGE
Row 3: * KFB, K1 * 3 Times (9 Sts Remain) ORANGE
Row 4: Knit Row ORANGE
Row 5: Knit Row ORANGE
Row 6: Knit Row ORANGE
Row 7: Knit Row ORANGE
Row 8: * K2Tog, K5, K2Tog * ORANGE
Bind Off: BLACK

SMALL RIGHT FIN

Pick up 4 Stitches on left side of fish in ORANGE
Row 1: * KFB, K1 * 2 Times (6 Sts Remain) ORANGE
Row 2: Knit Row ORANGE
Row 3: Knit Row ORANGE
Bind Off: BLACK

TOP DORSAL FIN

Pick up 5 Stitches at top of fish in ORANGE
Row 1: Knit  ORANGE
Row 2: Knit ORANGE
Row 3: K2Tog, K1, K2Tog (3 Sts Remain)  ORANGE
Bind Off: BLACK

STUFF BODY OF FISH

Now let’s stuff the body of our fish.
With the base of the tail folded here, we are going to place our 16 Stitches onto one knitting needle, then we Knit Two Together using our orange yarn. Follow the pattern for some knits, increases, and decreases, then we bind off in black yarn.

TAIL

With tail folded, place stitches back onto one knitting needle and we finish our fish by knitting the tail in the garter stitch.
Row 1: K2Tog all stitches (8 Sts Remain)  ORANGE
Row 2: Knit Row ORANGE
Row 3: Knit Row ORANGE
Row 4: KFB, K6, KFB (10 Sts Remain) ORANGE
Row 5: KFB, K8, KFB (12 Sts Remain)  ORANGE
Row 6: KFB, K10, KFB (14 Sts Remain) ORANGE
Row 7: Knit Row ORANGE
Row 8: Knit Row ORANGE
Row 9: Knit Row ORANGE
Row 10: K2Tog, K10,K2Tog (12 Sts Remain) ORANGE
Row 11: Knit Row BLACK
Bind Off: BLACK