Free Pattern: A Lil Ugly – a pocket size duck

A Lil Grey Ugly - a pocket size duck

A Lil Ugly – a pocket size duck is the perfect size for The Little Yellow Duck Project. It works up in about an hour but is still large enough for The Little Yellow Duck tag to be tied around it’s neck without falling off. I’ve made the Ugly pattern in 3 sizes. This is the middle size.


A little worsted weight yarn in 2 colors. If you use a thinner weight yarn use a C hook or smaller. If you use a bulky or super bulky weight yarn, use a larger hook.
9mm black safety eyes
C or E crochet hook (2.5mm or 3.5mm). The smaller hook will make a smaller Ugly.
Tapestry Needle

Abbreviations (US Terms):

CH: Chain
DC: Double Crochet
FSC: Foundation Single Crochet
dec: Single Crochet Decrease
FSC: Foundation Single Crochet
FLO: Front Loops Only
FSC: Foundation Single Crochet
HDC: Half Double Crochet
inc: Single Crochet Increase
SC: Single Crochet
SC3tog: Single Crochet 3 Together
SS: Slip Stitch


This pattern is worked in continuous rounds.

Head and Body (make 1 start in main color):

Round 1: 6SC in magic circle (6)

Round 2: (SC, 4SC in next SC, SC) 2x (12)

Round 3: (inc, SC) 6x (18)

Round 4: (inc, 2SC) 6x (24)

Round 5: (inc, 3SC) 6x (30)

Rounds 6-8: SC around (30)

Round 9: (dec, 3SC) 6x (24)

Round 10: SC around (24)

Round 11: (SC, 3SCtog, 3SC, 3SCtog, 2SC) 2x (16)

Round 12: (SC, dec, SC) 4x (12)

Round 13: SC around (12)

Ugly Head with EyesFlatten the head. Your working yarn will be on the left towards the front. Add plastic safety eyes between rows 9 and 10 1 sc apart.


Round 14: (SC, inc) 6x (18)

Rounds 15-16: SC around (18)

Round 17: (SC, Dec) 6x (12)

Start Feet of UglyRound 18 (and part of 19): SC, dec, (the dec should be in the front center, if it is not, SC until you get to the front center), change to contrasting color, FLO for the rest of the round: in the first stitch (SS, HDC, 2DC) in the next stitch (DC, HDC), 6 SC, in the next stitch (HDC, DC), next stitch (2DC, HDC, SS)

Final Round (starts a few stitches into round 19): Change back to main color, SC through both loops, 5 dec in unworked back loop from last round, FO leaving a long tail. (6)


Pull the loose end in contrasting color where the feet ended into the body and tie a knot with the other end of the yarn from the feet. Pull it into the body.

Weave tail from main color through final round and pull tight. Tie knot and pull into body.



Beak (make 1 in contrasting color):

wpid-20150415_213049-1.jpgRound 1: CH 1, 5 FSC, turn and SC up other side (10)
Rounds 2-3: SC around (10)
FO leaving long tail
Sew beak onto head. I like to use 3 or 4 longer stitches between the eyes when sewing on the beak.


Wings (make 2 in main color):

wpid-20150415_214030-1.jpgYou will be working on both sides of the chain.
CH 4, Turn, inc, 3SCinc, inc, continue to work up the other side of the chain working over your end, inc, 3SCinc, inc (14)
SS into the first stich and FO
Pull both ends tight

Sew wings onto body.

You’re done!



Dark Grey Lil Ugly

Your Duck is SOOOOOO Ugly

Some of the First Uglies Doing Acrobatics on My Aunt's Couch

Some of the First Uglies Doing Acrobatics on My Aunt’s Couch

In case you haven’t heard, April 15 is Little Yellow Duck Day, and yes here in the US taxes are also due (but I’m pretty sure you already heard about that one). To celebrate, along with releasing a bunch of ducks in the Westchester/NYC/CT area (9 were released today including one on the super cute yarn bombed door of Lion Brand Studios), I’ll finally post the patterns for Ugly – a cute little duck in three sizes.

Last July, a few weeks after I started making ducks for The Little Yellow Duck Project, I created my first Ugly. I had planned on posting the pattern right away, but kept tweaking the pattern and rewrote it in a few different sizes. 30 Uglies later, I’m finally ready to start posting. All three patterns should be posted by Wednesday night (unless of course I tweak them some more first).

Little Yellow Ducks Invade NY

Coworker Ducks

For the past 2 weeks I’ve been more than a little obsessed with The Little Yellow Duck Project. I’ve been crocheting little ducks like crazy and my son, husband, and I have now placed 34 ducks in NYC, Long Island, and around Westchester County.

It’s ridiculously fun. Sneaking around. Trying to leave a duck in a super crowded place without being noticed. Eagerly checking The Little Yellow Duck Project’s world map to see if any new ducks have been reported. The rush when we’ve had another duck on the map. The amazement that our ducks were the first ones reported in NY state. The shouts of joy when we realized that the 500th duck reported was one we had left!

Ducks about to hit the streets of NY

Ducks about to hit the streets of NY

My husband’s continued attempts have resulted in 0 of 14 ducks on the map. However, after leaving ducks on his coworker’s desks and discussing the project with them, he learned that one of them is about to donate a kidney in a few days. He didn’t feel it was right to push her to register it. She was doing more than her share for the cause.

So what is the cause? The Little Yellow Duck Project has two goals: to brighten up someone’s day by finding a little duck and to increase awareness and registration for organ, blood, and bone marrow donation. How is that personal? My friend Tania who I mentioned in my last post died earlier this year at the age of 41 while waiting for a heart transplant.

Little Yellow Duck with Tag

Little Yellow Duck with Tag

So what’s the deal with these ducks? There are a few official free patterns, but you can make any duck you like however you want to make it and stick a tag on it letting people know to take it home and that it’s part of The Little Yellow Duck Project with the website listed. I’ve used both the Just Ducky Lovey pattern and Filbert. Both are free patterns and work up in about an hour. I’ve found that Just Ducky Lovey is better for sticking in places, like slots of a bench if it’s windy. Filbert stands up and works great for flat places like picnic tables or the top of washing machines. The tags are available in multiple languages on the website and even include a place for you to name each duck.

While I’ve crocheted my ducks, there are also patterns for knitted and sewn ducks. People have also made ducks out of pom poms and have made bags with appliqued ducks on them.

This is an international initiative so no matter where you are, no matter what your medium, give it a shot. You just might make it on the map (and help to save a life in the process).

Ducks for The Little Yellow Duck Project

First Group of Ducks for The Little Yellow Duck Project

Little Yellow Duck

Filbert! as a Little Yellow Duck

Mallard variations of Just Ducky Lovey

Mallard variations of Just Ducky Lovey




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