Maneki neko

While trying to think of crochet patterns I would like, I looked at my little ceramic lucky cat, bought in San Francisco’s Chinatown many moons ago. Locale of purchase notwithstanding, the maneki neko (beckoning cat) is a Japanese sculpture to bring luck, customers, and/or money to the owner – the raised paw is beckoning good fortune. The coin is labeled “ten million ryō”, which is something like ten billion US dollars.

I started the design process before really looking for existing patterns. I found a few, but only one at the level of detail I wanted, and it was not the shape I was looking for, so I persisted. Three heads, four raised arms, five legs, two lowered arms, and three bodies later, I present to you the pattern.

front view

Good Luck Cat (beckoning cat, maneki neko)
Use worsted weight yarn and an E or F hook, in white except for the collar, which is red. You also need:
* some stuffing
* a small gold bell for the collar
* yellow, gold, or gold-painted felt for the coin
* a black paint pen for the coin and optionally for the facial features (otherwise, black embroidery floss for the features)
* small amounts of red, black, and orange or tan felt, or the same colors in fabric paint (I used Tulip Soft fabric paint in gold metallic (on white felt for the coin), red velvet, ebony matte, and golden tan matte, and a DecoFabric paint pen in black)

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