Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Knitting in the round

Say hello to Lilly Rabbit! She isn't the most photogenic rabbit on the block (or should I say, in the warren?), mainly because I took bad photos in dim light at night, but she's sweet. And on a more practical note, she was an exercise in learning to knit in the round. I think she looks like a mini-version of me when I was a kid! The pearl buttons I used for the eyes have a rim which makes them look a bit like glasses, and she looks earnest, slightly nervous and gawky. Me all over.

She's knitted entirely on four double-ended size 3 needles in a 4-ply cotton mix I had left over from knitting darling daughter a rabbit hat when she was about 2 years old! I started off at the centre of the base with six stitches and cast on every two stitches, every other row. Then I came up the sides, decreased around the top until I had about 16 stitches left, and then I went all fiddly and managed to knit 6 stitches at the base of each ear in the round all the way up and all the way down! I must confess this isn't an original pattern: I adapted it from The Purl Bee's Big Cuddly Bunny pattern, and sort of made it up as I went along. The Purl Bee has LOTS of lovely patterns in knitting, sewing and crochet, if you're interested.

Why? You may well ask! Apart from thinking that a cute bunny would be a good gift inside one of those lovely German paper eggs that I hoard for Easter celebrations, I also thought it would be a great exercise in learning to knit in the round because my secret ambition is to conquer knitting socks! I have Swiss friends here with mothers who send them hand-knitted socks in gorgeous yarns, and as I don't have a mother any more to knit them for me (or, more likely, to ask me why I want knitted socks and tell me she's got better things to do!) I realised I'd have to do it myself. And I reckon if I can conquer 4-needle knitting in 4-ply wool on small needles I can conquer turning a heel, especially with the help of a book I've found that tries hard to explain how sock patterns work in plain English. Wish me luck! If I succeed, the results will be posted here.