Monster monster…


Update 20/10/2008 8.15pm GMT – a free PDF download is now available for this pattern. I’ve hopefully made a few of the instructions a little clearer, and have tidied up the formatting.

9.41pm GMT – Noticed two lines missing from PDF! Now reinstated and updated (and sworn at).
21/10/2008 – Hopefully that’s it, because not only were two lines missing, the whole section for the ears had vanished too. That’s also now reinstated, and the new link is below.

—->Click here to download<—-

The small/child’s size pattern is now available, here on my blog, and here as a PDF download

Update – extra info on seaming can be found in this blog post –

Bokaclava revisited


By way of a brief explanation – Bok is a gargoyle/demon in a classic Doctor Who story called ‘The Daemons’. My partner, mere weeks after we first met, asked me if it would be possible to knit a ‘bokaclava’, complete with sticky out tongue.

(The answer to that is yes, obviously…)

I’m currently working on a child’s size pattern, so keep an eye out for updates.


Gauge: 19sts/27 rows over 4″ with 4mm needles.

Fits 20″ – 23″ head circumference.

Yarn : Initially, I made this with RYC Cashsoft Aran, as I found it on sale at John Lewis, but any wool blend that gives the right gauge and creates a fairly stiff fabric with 4mm needles, but is soft enough to wear against the face, is suitable – I’ve used more affordable yarn since (eg Sirdar Bonus Aran, 20% wool/80% acrylic) with great results. I’ve not tried a wool-free substitute yet, so can’t personally recommend any for those with allergies.

Sirdar Bonus Aran, in Cherry –


With 4mm needles, cast on 72 sts. Join, being careful not to twist; work 3×1 rib in the round for 13 rows.

Knit stocking stitch for the next 22 rows.

Make mouth and nose opening

Next row – knit 12 sts. Break yarn; knit next 12 sts with scrap yarn to make mouth later. Rejoin yarn and knit to end.

Knit 7 rows in stocking stitch.

Next row: knit 14 sts; break yarn, knit 8 sts with scrap yarn, rejoin – knit 14 sts. Place next 36 sts on stitch holder – these stitches will be the back, and are worked separately. Turn work and purl back across first 36 sts.

Knit 12 rows stocking stitch, flat.

Make eyeholes

Next row (right side) –

k7, CO8, k6, CO8, k6.

Next row (wrong side) –

p7, m8, p6, m8, p7.

Knit 4 rows stocking stitch.

Short row eyebrows

k17; slip last stitch, wrap and turn (as in short row technique).
p16. Save last stitch on stitch holder.
k to last stitch, wrap and turn etc – continue with these rows until 4 sts remain ‘live’, 7 are wrapped, and 7 are on stitch holder.

Next row –

K4; pick up and knit into back of wrapped stitches until all are live again.

Next eyebrow – knit to last stitch; save last stitch on stitch holder. Turn.


P16, wrap next stitch and turn.

K to last stitch; save on stitch holder.

P to last unwrapped stitch; wrap and turn.

Rep. from ~~~~ until 4 sts remain live, 7 are wrapped and 7 on stitch holder.

Next row – k4.

Next row – k across to wrapped stitches; pick up and knit to bridge of nose. Knit across first eyebrow, creating garter stitch ‘eyebrows’.

Knit 2 rows in stocking stitch for forehead. Break yarn.

Rejoin yarn and pick up 8 stitches between stitches on stitchholders; knit 12 rows of 2×2 rib across all stitches (52 sts).

Cast off.


Rejoin yarn; knit 58 rows in stocking stitch.

Make holes for horns

With RS facing – k10; break yarn, k4 on scrap yarn; rejoin yarn, k8; break yarn, k4 on scrap yarn; rejoin yarn, k10.

Next row – p10; break yarn, k4 on scrap yarn; rejoin yarn, p8; break yarn, k4 on scrap yarn; rejoin yarn, p10.

Knit 10 rows stocking stitch; cast off.

Make mouth and tongue

Undo scrap yarn and using 4mm DPNs pick up stitches either side (24 sts). Knit 5 rows stst.

Dec 1 stitch either side until 12 sts remain.

Knit 4 rows stocking stitch.

Dec 1 stitch either side until 6 sts remain. Graft remaining 6 sts together.

Create mouth and tongue by pushing all but the last 13 rows back into the mouth opening and sewing down.



Undo scrap yarn. Cast off lower stitches. Dec 1 stitch at each end of each row of upper stitches to make a point, and fasten off, use tail end of yarn to sew down just above mouth.

Side ribbing

Pick up six stitches at side of head leading up to forehead ribbing (see photos). Work 14 rows in 2×2 rib, cast off.


Left ear –

Cast on 3 sts and knit stocking stitch for 2 rows.

k1; m1; k2 (4sts)
Next row: purl.

k1; m1; k2; m1; k1 (6 sts)
Next row: purl.

k1; m1; knit to last st; m1; k1 (8 sts)
Next row: purl.

k1; m1; k to end (9 sts)
Next row: purl.

k1; m1; k to last stitch; m1; k1 (11 sts)
Next row: purl.

Knit to last st; m1; k1 (12 sts)
Next row: purl.

k1; m1; knit to last stitch; m1; k1 (14 sts)
Next row: purl.

k1; m1; knit to end (15 sts)
Next row: purl.

k1; m1; knit to last stitch; m1; k1 (17 sts)
Next row: purl.

k to last stitch; m1; k1 (18 sts)


Next row: purl.

Knit across these 18 sts, then make a further 54 stitches, join taking care not to twist (72 sts)

Knit round these 72 sts.

Next row: k4, k2tog; repeat (60 sts)
Knit two rows.
Next row: k1, k2tog; repeat (40 sts)
Knit two rows.
Next row: k2tog; repeat (20 sts)
Knit two rows.
Next row: k2tog; repeat (10sts)
Last row as above (5 sts)
Loop yarn through last 5 sts and fasten off.

Right ear –

Reverse instructions to ~~~~~~ then continue as for left ear.

Mattress stitch side ribs to side of forehead rib.
Sew top of forehead ribbing to back of knitting along the cast off edge and down the sides with a flat seam (see photos).

Edited 5th June 2009 – for further details of this, and the attachment of the ears, see this post –

Make horns

Undo all scrap yarn; put 4 live stitches from each edge onto DPNs, and pick up 2 from rows at either side of hole – 12 stitches.

Knit 12 rounds.

Next row:

k2, k2tog; repeat until 9 stitches remain. Knit five rounds.

Next row:

k7, k2tog (8 sts).

Graft ends.

Attaching ears

The ears are knitted so that the tops of the points are to be folded over on themselves, adding thickness, creating a ‘back’ to the ear and making them more three dimensional.

This is done as follows –

Sew the part of the ear where the circular knitting begins to the top of the ribbed edge section of the opening created for the ear.

Sew up edge of point along side of head, until 1” from end of point. Fold point down on itself, and stitch down. Sew seam between other edge of point and side seam of the back of the balaclava, until you reach the circular part of the ear. Sew circular part to rest of opening.

Run a few stitches through upper ear to add definition.


Weave in ends.


Handwash and dry flat – shape while drying.


And that’s it.

This pattern is free for personal use, and not to be used or knit for resale or profit.

Email aminspace(at) with enquiries if you are interested in ordering a Bokaclava ready-handknit by me. Various colours available.


35 thoughts on “Monster monster…

  1. My son in law was making fun of me surfing around Ravelry until he saw this. Now he wants me to make him one and has already made a few structural suggestions to meet his needs. Thanks for pattern and opportunity to show him that he really does need the knitters of the world 🙂

  2. thingsandideas

    I think you’re the first person other than me to try and knit this – certainly you’re the first I know of! I’d love to see your finished results, if you don’t mind posting it 🙂

  3. I like the red one! I am doing it in orange and green (s-i-l wants to wear it hunting). It is bizarre but when/if I get it done I will certainly post a pic for you! thanks for all the personal help.

  4. AliciaStar

    looks a little freakish and so interesting at the same time… a weird but very cool knit… I might give this a try and freak out my kids ;)… my brother in law would probably love to wear this!

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  7. Annie Pinoie

    please help,i have difficulties to translate the description because of the short terms in dutch. Should it be possible to have more explanation about the pattern? thank you very much

    1. thingsandideas

      Hi, I don’t speak dutch, but I’m always happy to help if I can – which parts of the pattern are you wanting more detailed explanations of?

      If you’d prefer to email me, the address is on my ‘About’ page.

  8. geri

    My other half was heading out to go ice fishing this morning and was heavily hinting that he would like a ski mask like from when we grew up and were kids in the 60’s. So I googled and low and behold. I know if I make it the 19 & 17 year old are going to want one too. The fasionista 16 year old will add jewels…I better get your pattern down and say thanks very much for amusing AND warming the family 🙂

  9. Jodie

    I am a long time Dr. Who fan and pass the love along to several family members, so this was a joyful find. The weather is finally cooling down in my area so I am searching for my fall/winter knitting projects. What a score. I will be sure to post a picture if it comes out well. Thank you so much for sharing. This is a gem.

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