Real pandas might not be hybrids, but this one is. I made it using the hippo pattern from Susan B. Anderson's Itty Bitty Toys. I modified the snout to be more bear-like, but the resulting head looked freakishly small for the body. I don't know why this was, because I've made the hippo twice (once as a hippo and once as a rhino), and their heads look perfectly in scale.
So, I took that head off and knit a new one using the head from the baby bear pattern. It fit perfectly. Wondering why I didn't use the bear pattern to begin with? Size. I wanted a smaller bear than results from that pattern, which I'd made in blue for a different baby.
The eyes took a few tries, but I had an a-ha moment when I realized I could get a rounder shape using crocheted chain stitches.
Because I was frustrated while trying to figure out the eyes, I decided to weave in all the ends. Usually, I wait until I am completely finished before doing this. Here, you can see why waiting is smarter: his ears are crooked.
I considered cutting the ears off and trying to pick out all the black yarn, but decided against it. I think his lovability will be unaffected in a child's eyes by his lopsided ears.
The panda was knit on size four needles with Caron Simply Soft yarns. He used significantly less than half a skein. I might knit a smaller body to go with the panda head that is now sitting in my work cart.