Well Folks, I can officially say (as close as I can imagine anyhow…), I am middle aged today! Yes, indeed, today I turn 40!!! Kind of momentous, yet strangely it doesn’t feel much different to 39?
Above is a pic of the Maluti Mountains, in the Free State in South Africa. The teeny, tiny little housey thing somewhere in the middle is the Golden Gate Hotel, which is in….yes! you clever people, The Golden Gate National Park! A whole bunch of us went for a 6 hour hike up to where I took this pic. It was in the middle of winter, so everything is a bit dull and brown, but in summer after the rains, everything turns green….it’s awesome!
Ok, back to the mystery toy!
6 balls of yarn, in different colours (preferably colours that sort of go together) I have used a lovely 100% merino hand-dyed yarn, in DK
One 3mm pair of knitting needles (I have used circular needles, but straights are fine too. The knitting needs to be a bit dense, so I used a smaller needle than one would normally use on a DK weight yarn).
A pair of scissors
8 (5x5x5cm) firm foam blocks (I went to the local upholsterer, who cut them quickly)
A tapestry needle for sewing up seams
I suggest that you label (in your mind, that is…or on paper), each colour yarn, A, B, C etc as shown. Things can be a little confusing if you don’t keep track…
It is customary to give a gauge (to new knitters: this refers to the “tightness” of the stitches, ie some people knit very loosely, others very tight….so you can imagine what will happen if the knitted item is a jersey… totally the wrong size if the pattern-follower and the pattern-creator have different knitting tightness! So… you will usually see something on your pattern that says “gauge”, or “tension”, followed by “___ stitches per inch, ___ rows per inch. Some pattern makers use “____ stitches over 10cm, ____rows over 10cm”, and what you then have to do, is knit a “gauge/tension swatch”, and see how your knitting tightness compares. If you have less stitches per inch, you will need to either knit looser, or increase your needle size, so that you achieve the right number of stitches per inc etc. If you have more stitches per inch, you will have to knit tighter, or decrease your needle size. It may initially seem complicated, but will all make sense as you keep knitting.)
For this project: I have knitted at 7 and a half stitches per inch (don’t be distracetd by the half, it simply means that I have half a stitch or “v” at the point where the inch ends), BUT in reality, gauge for this project is not critical, as the foam block we will be covering are compressible, so different tensions won’t make enough of a difference to be a problem.
However, try to keep the tension the same in all the squares and rectangles, so you don’t end up with a lop-sided item… 😉
Step 1. You will be knitting two basic shapes: squares and rectangles.
Using the thumb cast-on as in the previous tutorials, cast-on 13 stitches. Knit one row, turn around, Purl the row etc until you have completed 18 rows in total (9 Knit, 9 Purl).
Cast off. Your square should be about 5cm x5cm
Using the thumb cast-on method, cast on 27 stitches. Complete 18 rows as above.
Your rectangle should be about 5cm x 10cm
Colour A: Make 4 squares, and 2 rectangles (In my case, Royal Blue)
Colour B: Make 4 squares, and 2 rectangles (…Red)
Colour C: Make 4 rectangles only (…Yellow)
Colour D: Make 4 squares, and 2 rectangles (…Orange)
Colour E: Make 4 squares, and 2 rectangles (…Light Green)
Colour F: Make 4 rectangles only (…Dark Green)
If your blocks are not exactly the size indicated, please don’t worry, I will post a short How-to about blocking and all should be well… 🙂
And just look at what arrived…birthday flowers! From my dearest husband… Thank you :’)