Plague Doctor (free pattern)

 


In the last months I saw him on social media regularly: the Plague Doctor, often accompanied by the words 'Wash Your Hands'. I doubt that plague doctors ever said that, because in their time running water wasn't available for everyone. Besides: people didn't know about bacteria and viruses back in the days, so washing your hands wasn't common use. 

People knew you could get sick by having contact with another sick person, though. The plague doctor wore a leather gown, a mask with glass sight holes and a beak that was stuffed with flowers and herbs to hide the stench of reeking wounds, all to protect him from contamination by sick people.The long stick was for poking people to see if they had the plague and if they were still alive.
In a way his gear looks like what we are still wearing nowadays when we have contact with people that are infected by dangerous contagious diseases. In my hospital we wear protecting gowns, special masks and goggles and gloves while having contact with patients having contagious diseases. Fortunately the gear is much lighter now and instead of a beak we wear a mask. In case of unbearable stench we have peppermint oil to drip on the inside of the mask. 

The plague doctor's task was to separate sick people from healthy people to prevent spreading of the plague, much like governments all over the world are now asking people to stay home in case of corona contamination. For centuries this is the way people have dealt with epidemics of infectious diseases.

Must have been quite scary back then; not only the fear of sickness, but even more the visit of the plague doctor. Looks like he's coming straight out of a horror movie. I've added him to my Halloween decoration.

 


 

Pattern for Plague Doctor

 

Yarn: Scheepjes Catona in various colors (dark grey, brown and black)

Hook: 3mm


Beak (in brown):

1: magic ring

2: 3 sc

3: 2sc in every stitch (6)

4: sc in every stitch (6)

5: increase in every second stitch (9)

6: sc in every stitch (9)

7: increase in every third stitch (12)

8: sc in every stitch (12)

9: increase in every fourth stitch (15

10 sc in every stitch (15)

11: increase in first, fourth and eight stitch (18)

12: increase in first, fifth and nineth stitch (21)

13-14: sc in every stitch (21)

15: increase in every third stitch (28)

16: increase in every fourth stitch (35)

17: increase in every fifth stitch (42)

18: increase in 22th, 26th, 30th, 34th, 38th and 42nd stitch (48)

18-25: sc in every stitch

26: decrease by crocheting every 7th and 8th stitch together (42)

27: deecrease by crocheting every 6th and 7th stitch together(36)

28: decrease by crocheting every 5th and 6th stitch together (30)

29: decrease by crocheting every 4th and 5th stitch together (24)

30: decrease by crocheting every 3rd and 4th stitch together (18)

Stuff the head and the beak until firm

31: decrease by crocheting every 2nd and 3rd stitch together (12)

Fasten off and close the little gap with the loose end of the yarn 




Cap (dark grey)

1: magic ring

2: 6 sc in the ring

3: increase in every sttich (12)

3: increase in every 2nd stitch (18)

4: increase in every 3rd stitch (24) 

5: increase in every 4th stitch (30)

6: increase in every 5th stitch (36)

7: increase in every 6th stitch (42)

8: increase in every 7th stitch (48)

9-18: sc in every stitch (48)

19: decrease by crocheting every 7th and 8th stitch together (42)

Fasten off



 

Goggles (black and brown) (make two)

1: magic ring in black

2: 6sc in ring

3: single crochet in every stitch (6)

Change color to brown

4: increase in every stitch (12) 

Fasten off



 

Hat (black)

1: magic ring

2: 6sc in ring (6)

3: increase in every stitch (12) 

4: increase in every 2nd stitch (18)

5: increase in every 3rd stitch (24)

6: increase in every 4th stitch (30)

7: increase in every 5th stitch (36)

8: increase in every 6th stitch (42)

8: increase in every 7th stitch (48)

9: sc in every stitch, but only the back loops (48)

10-12: sc in every stitch (48)

13: decrease by crocheting every 7th and 8th stitch (42)

14: sc in every stitch, but only the front loops (42)

15: increase in every 7th stitch (48)

16: increase in every 8th stitch (54)

17: increase in every 9th stitch (60)

Fasten off



Body (grey)

This part isn't visible, it's just to hold up the figure

1: magic ring

2: 6 sc in ring

3: increase in every stitch (12)

4: increase in every 2nd stitch (18)

5: increase in every 3rd stitch (24)

6: increase in every 4th stitch (30)

7: sc in every stitch, but only the back loops (30)

8-37: sc in every stitch (30)

38: decrease by crocheting the 4th and 5th stitch together, only the back loops (24)

39: decrease by crocheting the 3rd and 4th stitch together (18)

Fill the body with dry rice, so it will be heavy enough to stand up

40: decrease by crocheting the 2nd and 3rd stitch together (12)

Fasten off and close the little gap with the loose end of yarn

 


 

Gown (dark grey)

Attach the yarn for the gown to one of the little loops made in round 38 of the body

1: sc in every little loop (30) 

2: increase in every 5th stitch (36)

3-5: sc in every stitch (36)

6: increase in every 6th stitch (42)

7-9: sc in every stitch (42)

10: increase in every 7th stitch (48)

11-14; sc in every stitch (48)

15: increase in every 8th stitch (54)

16-22: sc in every stitch (54)

23: increase in every 9th stitch (60)

24-30 (or until gown is as long as the body): sc in every stitch (60)

 

Arms (brown and dark grey) (make two)

1: magic ring in brown

2: 6sc in ring

3: increase in every 2nd stitch (9)

4: increase in every 3rd stitch (12)

5-6: sc in every stitch (12)

7: 1sc, 1popcornstitch, 10sc (12)

8-9: sc in every stitch (12)

Change color to dark grey

10: sc in every stitch

11: sc in every stitch, only the back loops (12)

12-20: sc in every stitch (12)

Keep the arm with the hand site from you and attach yarn to one of the loops from row 11 to make the sleeves

1: increase in every 2nd stitch (18)

2: increase in every 3d stitch (24)

3-4: sc in every stitch (24)


Cape (black)

The cape is crocheted with hdc's instead of sc's!

1: chain of 30 stitches; make a circle by closing the chain with a sl st

2: hdc in every stitch (30)

3: increase in 5th stitch (36)

4: increase in every 6th stitch (42)

5: increase in every 7th stitch (48)

6: hdc in every stitch (48)

 


 

Assemble the plague doctor. Use a long wooden skewer as the plague doctor's stick.  

There you go!

 

~*~

 

Nina Tiger is featured by Annemaries Haakblog, Creative Jewish Mom and My Bijou Life this week!

 


 

 



Comments

  1. Ok, this is just too adorable.
    Lisa

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  2. I doubt they ever called a plague doctor cute, but your little doctor is!
    How lovely of you to make this a free pattern. I don't crochet with yarn myself, but know people who should like this a lot!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cat! But you make me curious now. What is it that you crochet with?

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    2. I only saw this now. I crochet with wire. I used to knit yarn (also do that with wire now, but using a crochet hook), but somehow never got into crocheting with it. To say it clearly, I sucked at it ....

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  3. You are so talented! Amazing! Thanks for sharing at Charming Homes & Gardens!

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  4. Liz, I love your crocheted plague doctor. Truly a timely design and genuinely scary for Halloween. He will be featured in this week’s Creative Compulsions.

    Michelle
    https://mybijoulifeonline.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Typos in this post aside, the pattern (which doesn't list yarn color, hook size, or gauge, all of which are generally necessary in a crochet pattern) does not produce a final product that looks anything like the highly edited images in the post. The cape is short and does not wrap all the way around the body, the hat isn't as tall as the one photographed, nor does it cover the whole head, and the cap doesn't create a triangular border around the beak like in the photograph (it looks like a sorry granny's cap). In my 12 years crocheting, I've never come across a more erroneous pattern, particularly one that counts a magic ring as the first round.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for all the time and effort you took for giving this very nice comment.

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    2. It for sure does tell you the yarn and hook size “Scheepjes Catona” “hook 3mm”

      Delete
  6. Plz could you give yarn used & colors?? Also size crochet hook to use thank you for the lovely free pattern & I'd really like to make it but most of us do like or need this info Thank you bunches

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    Replies
    1. Of course! I used Catona by Scheepjes and a 3mm hook. I added more pictures to the post, so shapes are more clear and assembling will be easier.

      Thank you for your nice comment and feedback! I hope to see your plague doctor one day. And if anything still is unclear you can ask me anytime.

      Delete
  7. I am currently crocheting your Plague Doctor. I have a question, did you stuff the arms and hands . If so how much...I'm thinking maybe only a little. Also did you stuff the hat. My doctor is bigger because I used a needle or 4.5 with a medium yarn. Also I made the body slightly longer.

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    Replies
    1. Great to hear you are using my pattern! I didn't stuff the arms/hands. The hat isn't stuffed either, because otherwise it falls from the head. Would love to see the result when yours is finished! Good luck!

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    2. Hi, another small question....I am assembly mine and I am not sure where you attached the arms. Are they attached at the top edge of the gown so they come from the body. Or did you attach them just to the gown. Also did you see the open edge of the arms closed before you attach them to the doctor. Mine seem very bulky.

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    3. Great to hear you are using my pattern! I attached the arms at the top edge of the gown and under the cape. The arms are not stuffed. I didn't close the open edge of the arms, but I think attaching them to the gown is easier then, so closing the edge before attaching to the body is a good idea, I think.

      I hope you will show me your plague doctor when finished! Good luck!

      Delete
  8. My plague doctor turned out really cute and also just a tiny bit scary :) Thank you for sharing the pattern!

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    Replies
    1. That's great to hear!!! Thank you for taking the trouble to let me know, I really appreciate that! I would love to see your plague doctor.

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  9. Oh, my goodness! Liz, your Plague Doctor is genius!!! I was reading about the Black Plague last fall (when I was so blasted sick with Covid...) and your Doctor is really funny! He is perfect for Halloween and I guess I didn't see him during SYS back then (no wonder since I was sooo miserably sick from mid-October until just before Thanksgiving). Happy to feature him as an add-on for this past week's features at Share Your Style #301. <3

    Have a great upcoming week,
    Barb :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for featuring my plague doctor! He's still on topic, onfortunately. Who could have guessed, more than a year ago, when it all started...

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  10. I finished making your pattern last night, ready to gift to my nephew for his birthday as he is obsessed with them. Thank you so much for making this a free pattern ­čĺŤ

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  11. Hi, I made the plague doctor as a present and it has got to be one of the most fun patterns I've ever worked. I had to do some adjustments but overall,the pattern is awesome. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for your nice compliment! Have a very merry Christmas and best wishes for the new year!

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  12. I crocheted this as a birthday present for my friend who's an OBG and he loved it!! I did tweak it here and there bc of yarn size differences but overall very simple and amazing pattern! Thank you Liz!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the effort to let me know the reaction of your friend when you gave him his present! Great to hear he liked it!

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  13. Thank you so much for the pattern, I'm still workin on it and it has been so much fun. By the way your pattern is so easy to read. Thanks again.

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  14. Hello
    try made it and I have a question whit body, I don't really sure if I could stuff with cotton apart the dry rice.
    I do my best write in English ­čÖł

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    Replies
    1. Sorry for this late reaction. I'm not very active on my blog at the moment.

      It's not necessary to use rice to fill the body. The rice is just to give the body more weight, so it will stand up, but you can also use cotton to fill the body with.

      Delete
  15. Such a groovy pattern! Well written, fun to make, and you gifted it to us all for free?! You're the bees knees. Thank you for sharing your genius art!

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  16. My question is how do I do this the first part of the gown “Attach the yarn for the gown to one of the little loops made in round 38 of the body” like how?

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    Replies
    1. The “shoulder” of the body where you Sc into BLO is where I attached mine. I crocheted into the front loops that were left open.

      Delete
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