It's been ages since I last blogged. Sorry I've been AWOL. I've had such a busy month with commission deadlines. I've finished the last of my 6 toy knits for Knit Magazine. A Cat, Fox, Penguin, Pig, Cakes and a Mouse. The Cat and Fox have been published - they look fab and I'm looking forward to seeing the rest in print. I also attended a great event at Cranage Hall where I had a stall in the hands on area. It was the annual North West Women's Network event and I would recommend it to anyone. Ruth Clemens (GBBO runner up) was the key note speaker and was inspirational. Her website is http://www.thepinkwhisk.co.uk/ and her recipes are really easy to follow.
My aim for Christmas is to post 10 free patterns for quick knits - mainly ideas for christmas pressies and wrappings. But my first free pattern is just for fun - how many of you leave carrots out for Rudolph? Well here's a pattern for a fab lifesize carrot. Everyone commented on them at the Womens Network Event, so I thought I'd share.
The increasing is made by picking up the loop between the two stitches and knitting into the back of it. This forms a neat, almost invisible increase and so is great for increasing in the middle of the row. I only made one carrot using this method of increasing - the top carrot. The rest used kfb (knitting into the front and back of the stitch) which leaves a hole, which I wasn't happy with and I think you can see the holes, even in the photo. Here's a good link for increasing if you need it http://www.learn2knit.co.uk/knitting/increasing.php.
m1: make 1 increase by by picking up the horizontal loop that lies between the two stitches on the needles and knitting into the back of it (this twists the stitch and prevents a hole).
stocking stitch: one row knit, one row purl, repeated as many times as stated.
k2tog: knit the next two stitches together as one stitch to decrease 1 stitch.
p2tog: purl the next two stitches together as one stitch to decrease 1 stitch.
Materials: oddments of orange double knitting yarn, oddments of green yarn, 2.75mm straight needles, toy filling, darning needle, two double pointed needles (for point of carrot)
Instructions: Cast on 7 sts using 2.75mm straight needles and orange yarn.
Row 1: purl all sts
Row 2: [k1, m1] to the last st, k1. (13 sts).
Rows 3-5: starting with a p row, stocking stitch 3 rows.
Row 6: [k2, m1] to the last st, k1. (19 sts).
Rows 7-11: starting with a p row, stocking stitch 5 rows.
Row 12: [k3, m1] to the last stitch, k1. (25 sts).
Rows 13-17: starting with a p row, stocking stitch 5 rows.
Row 18: [k2, k2tog] to the last st, k1. (19 sts).
Rows 19-25: starting with a p row, stocking stitch 7 rows.
Row 26: [k1, k2tog] to the last st, k1. (13 sts).
Rows 27-33: starting with a p row, stocking stitch 7 rows.
Row 34: [k1, k2tog] to the last st, k1. (9 sts).
Rows 35-39: starting with a p row, stocking stitch 5 rows.
Row 40: [k2, k2tog] twice, k1. (7 sts).
Rows 41-45: starting with a p row, stocking stitch 5 rows.
Row 46: [k1, k2tog] twice, k1. (5 sts).
Row 47: p2tog, p3tog. (2 sts).
Change to double pointed needles and knit 3 or 4 rows then k2tog (1 st remaining). Cut yarn and pull yarn through last st. Pull tight to fasten off. Starting from the bottom, use mattress stitch to close the side seam, filling with toy filling as you sew. Use your knitting needle to poke the toy filling into the point of the carrot.
Stalks: Using 2.75mm needles and green yarn, cast on 18 or 20 sts. Cast off. Make three in total of varying lengths (I made two with 18 sts and one with 20 sts). Stitch the three stalks together for approximately 1cm, then stitch to the top of the carrot inside the cast on edge.
Good luck - email me if you see any errors (I've slightly rushed this post) and I'll add the pattern on ravelry. My user ID is Lynne Rowe if you want to post a picture. I can't wait to see your Rudolph carrots.
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