Thursday, 28 January 2010

Guffmonkey McNoodle

A daft monkey I knitted for my daft boyfriend. To be honest, he's a sort of extended version of Aristotle, but I'm chuffed with the results - before embarking on the knitting I did little sketches of how I thought I could get him to look with my limited knitting skills, and he actually turned out as I'd hoped!

DK weight yarn in Colour A (main body) and Colour B (hands/feet/mouth/inner ear. I didn't estimate amount, but you won't need more than 100g for A and more than 50g for B.
1x pair of 4mm needles
Yarn sewing needle
Buttons for eyes

2tog = knit 2 stitches together
inc = increase (using knit into back of stitch)

CO 60 sts in Colour A
Row 1: k all, then continue knitting until work measures approx 6" (but feel free to adjust for a shorter/longer monkey).
Begin decreases for doming the head:

Row 1: k1, *k2tog, k13, repeat from * 3 times, k2tog, k12 (52)
Row 2: k all sts

Row 3: k1, *k2tog, k12, repeat from * 3 times, k2tog, k11 (44)
Row 4: k all sts
Row 5: k1, *k2tog, k11, repeat from * 3 times, k2tog, k10 (36)
Row 6: k all sts
Row 7: k1, *k2tog, k10, repeat from * 3 times, k2tog, k9 (28)
Row 8: k all sts
Row 9: k1, *k2tog, k9, repeat from * 3 times, k2tog, k8 (20)
Row 10: k all sts
Row 11: k1, *k2tog, k8, repeat from * 3 times, k2tog, k7 (12)
Row 12: k all sts

Cast off, leaving sufficient yarn to stitch back  edges together. Once this is done, turn inside-out an and stuff well to (hopefully) achieve a sort of sausage shape. You may need to pummel the monkey into his desired shape a bit! Once stuffed to satisfaction, thread yarn along the cast on edge to create a 'drawstring' and pull then stitch closed. You may well end up with a bit of a 'wrinkly' bottom, as obviously this end isn't shaped, but wrinkles either side of the back seam function quite well as some cute monkey bumcheeks!

Arm/leg (make 4 the same)
CO 10 stitches in Colour B to make foot/hand.
k for approximately 1.5" - 2 " inches, then switch to Colour A.
Continue garter stitch for another 5" - 6" or until limb is the same length as your monkey body.
Cast off, and then leaving cast off edge open, stitch the long edges and end of  cast on 'foot' part together to form a tube closed at one end. Turn whole piece inside out. (This can be fiddly. I found pushing the 'foot' part inside the tube a little way with my thumb, and then using a large stoppered end of the knitting needle to push in the rest of the way, was easiest.)

CO 40 stitches in Colour B.
Knit until work measures 4". Cast off and then stitch together short edges to form a band. Fold in half so long edges meet (i.e. you have a doubled up band).  You can stitch long edges together if preferred or stitch together when attaching to body (see below).

Ears (make 2)
To be honest,my ears were a bit of a botch job, so feel free to cut four semi circles of felt, two for each of your two colours (as close as you can match) to form the fronts and backs of your ears.  I'll (hopefully) add my attempt at the pattern for the knitted version here soon.

Attaching arms/legs
With  Colour A, stitch arms to the each side of the monkey, about half way down, Stitch underneath the arm (i.e. the armpit!) so that that the arms don't lie flat and form little shoulders. Stitch the legs in the same way, directly underneath the arms, about two inches from the bottom of the body.

Attaching mouth
Arrange the mouth band in an oval, with the folded end outward the other  edge to the body. Flatten the outer edge of the band and pin in place if desired. With Colour B, stitch around the inside edges of the band, following the shape of the oval.

Sew on two buttons for eyes, and stitch a cross on front of body  in Colour B for a belly button if desired. You can also add a tuft of hair by looping a double strand of Colour A at the top of the head, and trimming to length.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Aristotle the Octopus

Legs, 2 Needles
This pattern was improvised due to a lack of time and patience - all of the other (very cute) octopus patterns I could find required DPNs and knitting in the round, which was a technique I'd yet to master. A very intricate hour was spent learning to knit in the round with what I had to hand, namely DK yarn and 3mm DPNs, when it became obvious that a) this was going to result in a very tiny octopus that b) I'd managed to knit inside out (he was supposed to be stuffed on the needles). Some thinking and researching later, I managed to cobble together a 2 needle version - he's named Aristotle in honour of Pugsley Addams' pet octopus. Despite his shaky start, I hope you'll agree he's rather handsome. He's very easy and doesn't take long at all to knit.

DK weight yarn in colour of your choice - I estimate 50g will do (this barely made a dent in a 100g ball)
1x pair of 4mm needles
Yarn sewing needle
Buttons for eyes

k2tog = knit 2 stitches together
k1b = knit into back of stitch

CO 40
Row 1: k all
Repeat Row 1 until work measures approximately 2 inches
Begin decreases:
Row 1: k1, *k2tog, k8, repeat from * 3 times, k2tog, k7 (36 sts)
Row 2: k
Row 3: k1, *k2tog, k7, repeat from * 3 times, k2tog, k6 (32 sts)
Row 4: k
Row 5: k1, *k2tog, k6, repeat from * 3 times, k2tog, k4 (28 sts)
Row 6: k 
Row 7: k1, *k2tog, k5, repeat from * 3 times, k2tog, k3 (24 sts)
Row 8: k
Row 9: k1, *k2tog, k4, repeat from * 3 times, k2tog, k3 (20 sts)
Row 10: k
Row 11: k1, *k2tog, k3, repeat from * 3 times, k2tog, k2 (16 sts)
Row 12: k
Row 13: k1, *k2tog, k2, repeat from * 3 times, k2tog, k1 (12 sts)
Row 14: k
Row 15: k1, *k2tog, k1, repeat from * 3 times, k2tog (8 sts)

Cast off, leaving a long thread to use during finishing.  Stitch back edges together, leaving cast-on edge open (forming a little hat shape). Stuff well, hopefully achieving a spherical shape. Thread some yarn along the cast-off edge, like a 'drawstring'.  When happy with the amount of stuffing, pull string to close the body, and stitch shut. Add your eyes now if you like, or like I did, wait until the legs are attached to get an idea of how the little guy will look.

Legs (make 8 - preferably!)
CO 50 sts
Row 1: k1b
Row 2: k30, then k2tog for the last 20 sts (this makes his tentacles curl at the bottom to form little 'feet')
Cast off.

Similar to closing the body, I lined up the legs and threaded yarn through the top of each,forming a loop and then pulling tight to arrange legs in a fanned out circle.
Then I stitched to the bottom of the body  - any old how if I'm honest. I'm sure others could finish neater! I also added an optional loop to the top of Aristotle's head for dangling him from things.


This is the first pattern I've written up - if you want to try it out, I'd love to see the results! Also, any more experienced knitters out there,  do let me know if any improvements are needed to the pattern, or if my numbers are out or anything!