Monday, December 31, 2007

"Monk" Bottle Bag Finished

(update 1/3/08) Well, I gave the bottle bag with a bottle of Two Hands Angel Share Shiraz (I believe it was 2002) that I had gotten as a special birthday present last year and had been saving (I rarely drink anything as I may get a call at 2 in the morning and need to rush out to the ER or some such thing ... so I hated to open such a fabulous bottle of wine for only one glass) SO, I saved it and gave it ... to one of the priests at our church on New Year's (to share, of course). I don't think he knew I had knit the bottle bag, but he seemed to like the wine it held. *sigh. When will I ever learn that people simply don't appreciate knitted gifts??? It's definitely back to toys for me!!!

Here is the bottle bag with the knotted rope belt: Front View I've thought about felting a small head to cover the bottle top, but decided against it. It's only holding a bottle of sparkling grape juice at present, but will hold the real thing before it's given away.
Here is the back view.
Here is the bag with the top folded down.

Wow! That's Efficiency for You!

WOW! I am so excited! It's just past 8:30 in the morning and I've already:

A) Fixed my husband's email program so he can now access everything again!

B) Re-established the Home-Care services for my parents for this Friday instead of next Monday

and

C) Made sure (before the dreaded enrollment period ends) that both my parents have Medicare Prescription Drug Plan coverage.

PHEW! O.K. My work is done for today. I can go knit! YEA!!! YIPPEE! If this is any indication of how well the New Year of 2008 will be rung in, then I'm going to like it a lot!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Jane West Gets a New Hat

Remember the smaller Pilgrim Hat for the felted turkey? Well, I found someone else who absolutely LOVES it! Certainly changes her personality! Doesn't Jane look grand? Maybe she'll go have some tea now! (I might have to knit her an entire outfit, she looks so good!)

Start of Felted Monk Bottle Bag

Here is the front view of the felted "Monk" bottle bag
Here is the side view
It didn't come out exactly as I had planned ... but maybe it will do for now. I still need to make an i-cord with the three knots in it (for vows of poverty, chastity and obedience). I will make holes in it under the "hood" area and thread the cord through there. (I think I'll do that. I have to make it and see if it looks right.) I guess I'll use the white Lopi Lite I have in my stash, as I know it felts reliably. This bag I made exactly like the snowman, only omitted the decreases and knit it straight up. I then increased and worked several rows of seed stitch in-between stocking stitch. Kent thinks it looks like the grim reaper!

New Hats for Snowman!


I felted something I had lying around and turned it into this: A hat that covers the ears for the snowman (well it would cover his ears, if he had any!) ... reminiscent of the postman in the film "Jingle All the Way." Or maybe it could be like a Napoleon-style hat if I bring up the sides a little more ... Here is snowman in a felted sombrero! All I need are a few inches of ball fringe to trim it with.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Simply Knitting Snafu

Look! How exciting! A free audio book of Persuasion! Unabridged, too!
See all the great freebies this month?? Of course, Persuasion is the BEST! From the description, I thought it might be on an enclosed CD ...

I'm so depressed.
Yes, quite.
Here I was, getting all prepared to finally clean out the "computer room," which has really become my stash room ... and I was all excited because the latest issue of Britain's Simply Knitting magazine came in today's mail ... and guess what was a freebie?? A BBC audio "book" of my favorite Jane Austen book Persuasion!
I thought, "WOW! Now I can clean my stash while listening to my favorite book! What a stroke of luck!"
So, at first, I thought it might be on an enclosed CD. They've done that before ... like the other month when they sent a sample CD of The Bumper Book of Knitting (which locked up my computer the first time I tried to use it, by the way ... but it was free, you know). Anyhow, I turned the magazine upside down and shook it a bit. I checked inside the plastic casing in which it arrives each month. Nothing. There was no CD enclosed. I then turned to page 9, as I was directed to do on the first page of the magazine, and discovered that it was an audio download. Well, that was still o.k. I was, after all, going to clean the "computer" room and, as the name suggests, there is a working computer in there. So, still bristling with excitement, I quickly logged onto the website address they provide and there, I was met with the fateful words, "Must be a resident of the UK."
I selected "United States" from the drop-down menu anyhow, just in case, I mean ... maybe they wouldn't notice. US ... UK ... it's kind of the same ... Alas. They did notice, after all, and directed me to the US website which had no such free download at all.
I could always join the site for $14.95 a month, I read ... I was even given an opportunity for a discount for the first three months ... but I don't want to do that. So, instead, I'll listen to Sophie Kinsella's The Undomestic Goddess, which I bought on eBay last summer and was saving for wintertime ... sigh. It's a good book, but it's definitely not Persuasion.
This is merely one of the disappointments I've had at not being a resident of the UK when it comes to fabulous offers in Simply Knitting. Don't get me wrong: I'm glad to be a US citizen born and bred, but gosh! We don't have any knitting magazines like Simply Knitting. I think more people must knit over there than over here.
All our magazines are stuffed with the usual amount of sweaters, scarves and did I mention sweaters? Yes, there are shawls and neck warmers, too. (*yawn) There's hardly a mention of toys ... ever! If you thought Knit Simple was going to be the US version of Simply Knitting, well, just take a look at it before you subscribe. I think you'll be as sadly disappointed as I.
*sniff ... sniff. At least I got the stitch markers.
Back to cleaning.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Nean the Bean's Sockless Sock Monkey Knitting Pattern

Sockless Sock Monkey posing for the camera ...

Here he is, relaxing.

A small wave to all his fans out there!


UPDATE: May 14, 2009: If you'd rather have a pdf version of this pattern for easier printing, you can now find it on my website on the Free Patterns page. Click here to go there now.

UPDATE: January 15, 2008: Arms are now finished and sewn on ... he's just waiting for me to finish his red-felted fez!
I am not really a perfectionist when it comes to my toys. If you end up with an extra stitch here or there, or one less here or there, it really won't matter in the end.

Nean the Bean's Sockless Sock Monkey Knitting Pattern

copyright 2007-2009 Anita M. Wheeless


You will begin by knitting from the bottom of his leg, starting with his foot. Using cream colored double-knitting weight yarn, and knitting back and forth on size US 3 (3.25 mm) double-pointed needles, cast on three stitches, then turn. Or, if you prefer, cast on one stitch and then knit one/purl one/knit one all in the same stitch, then knit the next row. After choosing either of these beginnings, continue as follows:

Knit front and back in each

Knit


Knit front and back in each again. You now have 12 stitches.


Divide by knitting four stitches onto each of the three double-pointed needles.


Join and knit in the front and back of each again. (24 stitches) Be sure to place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round so you can keep track. I like to use the little colored ones that look like baby safety pins.


Knit 25 rounds with the cream yarn, then cut the cream and join the brownish-marble color (or whatever you choose for the main color) and continue knitting in the round for 50 more rounds. Yes! 50 more!!!


When you finish knitting the 50 rounds, I cut the yarn (having left a good-sized tail, but you will not use this tail for anything again, so you may choose how long to make it) and let that leg rest on its three DPNs. Then, take out another set of size three (3.25 mm) DPNs and repeat this entire process for the second leg. The only difference is, do not cut the yarn when you finish the second leg.


O.K., now comes the leg joining part. Once again, the foot-joining mini-tutorial on MochiMochiland's blog is great. But I will try to explain it a little here.


I took my first leg that I had finished (that was still waiting on the three double-pointed needles) and divided the stitches as best I could onto just two of the double-pointed needles. I did the same with the second leg that still had the ball of yarn attached. Take the first leg that you knit (the one with the cut yarn) and hold it out in front of you. The tail should be hanging down on your right. Divide the stitches onto two dpns and set it down for a moment.

Now, knit across the leg that has the yarn still attached (this is the front of the leg). When you finish knitting all the stitches on the front of that leg, add three more by the backward loop method. You'll need these three to continue his body. The photos of the sock monkeys that I saw did not look very much wider than the two legs, so that's why I only added three stitches in the middle. If you want his body bigger, you could add more stitches here. After you've added the stitches, keep knitting across onto the front of the other leg (the one with the yarn tail). I wound up with a tiny hole where my tail of yarn was. As MochiMochiLand suggests, you may want to wrap this around the needle. I didn't. In fact, I had my leg facing the other way, with the tail of yarn on the left rather than on the right facing his "crotch". That's probably why I got the hole! Alas, it's just a little birthmark on my monkey and I don't mind. I certainly wasn't going to rip it out and start over!!! In any event, keep knitting the stitches. You'll wind up on the back side of this leg and then when you've finished those of his back leg, you'll need to add the three for his body again (or however many you've decided you'd like for his body) ... then continue knitting across, this time knitting the stitches from the backside of the other leg. When you've made it around, you can divide all these stitches back onto just three double-pointed needles again so that you can continue to knit the rest of his body in the round. Yes! It's just that easy! You will end up with quite a big gap between his legs. This is needed later for stuffing him, so please don't sew it up yet!


So now we continue on with his body. Continue to knit for 80 rounds more. YES! 80 rounds!! I decided not to make any decreases for his head because I don't think that a real sock monkey has any decreases there. It is, after all, a sock. At this point, join the cream-colored yarn and cut the brownish one. Knit for 15 rounds more. Before I began the decreases for the top of his head, I stuffed him as much as I could. Stuff his legs using the hole between his legs. Push the stuffing all the way down to his feet. When you've stuffed him adequately, then begin the decreases for the top of his head as follows:

k2, k2tog all the way to the end, then knit one.

knit the next round

knit one round more

decrease again by knitting three, then knitting 2 together all the way around.

knit for two more rounds

decrease again by knitting 2tog, k2 to the end and you will have three left, so knit these.

Knit again

k2tog all the way around

k2tog all the way around again

k2 tog all the way around yet again

k2 tog all the way and then knit the last one.

You are finished! I went ahead and embroidered his eyes here so that I could have a better idea of where I wanted his mouth.

Arms

The arms are exactly the same as the legs above, only make each separately. Before binding off, decrease by knitting two together all the way around. Then, bind off each leg, stuff and sew the open edges of each one. To place on his body, fold the sewn together part down (as if making a little under-arm area) and stitch securely to his body (one on each side) so that they hang down. I'm sure the arms could also be knitted in the round, joining them to his body as for the legs; however, I wanted my monkey to have more floppy arms that hung at his sides rather than those that stick straight out like a gingerbread man's arms.

Mouth

Cast on 54 using cream.

Divide by knitting 18 stitches onto each of the double-pointed needles.

Knit 4 rounds

First decrease round: knit 2 together, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 1

Knit

Second decrease round: knit 2 together, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 2

knit

Third decrease round: knit 2 together, knit2, knit 2 together, knit 2, knit 2 together knit 1

Cut cream and join red.

Knit 2 rounds

Decrease: knit 2 together, knit 2, knit 2 together

Knit 2 rounds more

Knit three off the next needle, then slide three onto the other needle (removing a needle) so you are working with only two needles. Graft his mouth together. If you are unsure about grafting, try this video demonstration (with talking!) I discovered. It's wonderful! I used black dk-weight yarn and the straight stitch over the graft to make his mouth. Stuff this piece and sew it securely under his eyes. You might want to look at a photo for proper placement.

Ears (make 4)

Using size 3 (3.25 mm) straight needles, cast on 18 stitches

Beginning with a knit row, stocking stitch two rows

Begin increases by knitting one, increase in next stitch by knitting front and back, then k14, then increase in the next by knitting front and back, then knit one. You will now have 20 stitches.

Next row purl

Next row knit one, increase in next, knit 16, increase in next, knit one (22)

purl

knit one, increase in next, knit 18, increase in next, knit one (24)

Purl

Now we will begin our decreases: k2tog, knit 20, k2tog, (22)

Purl

k2 tog, knit 18, knit 2 tog (20)

purl

*slip 1, knit one, pass slipped stitch over, knit to last 2, k2 tog

p2tog, purl to the last two and purl these together through the back loop. These rows will help shape his ears in the right direction.*

If you are not sure how to slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over, try this video demonstration from the same wonderful person who did the grafting stitch video or how to purl two together through the back loops, there is a nifty little demo from knitting help.com here Both stitches are not that difficult to master and they are really useful when shaping.

Continue with these last two rows (from the first * to the last *), repeating them in that order, until you get down to only one stitch. Run a bit of yarn through that last stitch with a yarn needle and tie off. It wants to be sort of a point, so help pull it into shape so that it is rounded. I had to push my needle through the lumpish part where the last stitch was and try to sew it down, smoothing it out. I then repeated this entire pattern sequence three more times, for a total of four pieces. You will stitch two pieces together (a front and a back) for each ear. Stuff as full or as thin as you like, then run a gathering stitch around the ears, just under the seams and pull tightly to give it a bit of an indentation and a bit more roundness. I ran two gathering stitches, one under the other, on my monkey's ears. Attach the ears securely to each side of his head. Again, you may want to look at a photo for exact placement.

Tail

Using brown or main body color, cast on 12, divide by knitting four stitches onto three double-pointed needles (size 3.25 mm)

Knit 50 rounds. At this point, cut the brown and join the cream.

Knit for 1o more rounds, then knit two together all the way around and run a gathering stitch through these and pull tightly and knot off. Stuff tail. I turned it inside out (like when putting on stockings) to help me stuff it more easily. Then sew securely to his backside.

I omitted the red-lip rear end! If you like it and want it; however, make another piece exactly like the mouth and sew it on his rear area before adding the tail.

As always, if you run into any problems, send me an email at amwheeless@carolina.rr.com ! I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know if you make him. Thank you!


Monday, December 17, 2007

More of the Sockless Sock Monkey

I am so glad I left the hole where his legs were joined. This helped so much in stuffing the legs. I still need to distribute the stuffing better and then will sew up that hole and the holes in the bottoms of his feet.

NOTE: For the finished pattern, please see December 20th's entry or click here. Thanks!


I finished knitting up to the top of his head, but realized I better stop and stuff him as much as I can before I finish (or I probably wouldn't be able to stuff him at all)! Believe it or not, it took 80 rounds to get him this size after the join with the legs. I then cut the brown and joined the cream to finish the top of his head in cream.

After his head is finished, I will still have the tail, ears, mouth and embroidery of the eyes. The arms should be knit exactly as the legs, only knit separately and stitched on after. I'll keep updating as I progress.




Friday, December 14, 2007

Beginnings of Sock Monkey Pattern

Body after 22 rounds from when legs were connected.

Here are the two legs connected and the start of the body in the round. The photo is one of many images of sock monkeys. I found on the internet. This one came from a blog. I'm using the photo as a reference. There are so many variations!



I had already started my first leg with some Plymouth Encore dk in my stash at home when I spotted this yarn at my local yarn store. Isn't it just about perfect?? Of course, I had to buy some.


NOTE: If you searched for a sock monkey knitting pattern and you were directed here, the finished pattern is on this blog, just a little later (December 20th's entry)! You may click on the Sockless Sock Monkey Pattern under Nean the Bean's Free Patterns on the right over there, or you may simply click here to be redirected to the correct entry. Thanks!


I wish I could spend a lot more time knitting than I am able to, but last night at least I was able to finish both legs, connect them and start the body in the round. Here is what I have so far, if anyone cares to begin along with me:


Nean the Bean's Knitted Sockless Sock Monkey


copyright 2007 Anita M. Wheeless


Starting with a leg, and knitting back and forth using double-pointed needles size US 3 (3.25 mm), cast on three stitches using white or off-white or cream double-knitting weight yarn.


Turn and knit, increasing in each stitch by knitting in the front and back. You now have 6 stitches.


Knit the next row.


Increase in each stitch again by knitting in the front and back of each. You now have 12 stitches.


Divide these twelve stitches among the three double-pointed needles by knitting four stitches onto each.


Increase again by knitting into the front and back of each stitch. You now have 24 stitches total.


Knit for 25 rounds. Cut off white and join brown or brown/cream/mix (whatever you want his legs/body/head to be).


Knit for 50 rounds more.


At this point, you may either put all stitches on a stitch holder, thread a piece of yarn through the stitches to hold them or keep a set of needles in them and take out another set to knit the other leg. Whatever method you choose to keep the stitches open on this leg is fine. Cut the yarn, leaving a tail. Set the finished leg aside and start another.


When you've finished with the second leg, do not cut the yarn. At this point, divide your stitches so that you are only using one needle for the front and one needle for the back for each leg. Mochi Mochi Land has a great tutorial for this part. You will knit across the front of the leg that you just finished (the one with the yarn still attached)and when you get to the end of the stitches on that leg, add three more stitches in the middle using the backward-loop method. Pick up the first leg you had knit and knit all the way across the front. Then continue going around, knitting all the way across this leg's back. Again, add three stitches by way of the backward-loop method and continue across the back of the other leg. Great! The legs are now connected with a tiny bit of body in the middle!


So far, I have knit 22 rounds more. Obviously, it will be quite a few rounds more before he has a body and a head! So stay tuned for exact round counts.


Meanwhile, does anyone have a preference on whether or not I should decrease for a neck? If this were a "true" sock monkey, there would be no decrease. There are so many variations of sock monkeys floating around out there! Some have lots of cream on legs and arms ... some have less. In the final analysis, I guess you can choose how much cream to use. Just join on the brown sooner and knit the same amount of rounds that you would have knit in the cream.


I'd certainly appreciate comments and suggestions as I go!


Friday, December 7, 2007

Father Christmas Completed!

Here is a front view of Father Christmas
Here is a back view of Father Christmas
I finally finished Father Christmas. It took lots longer than I had anticipated and he is riddled with errors. If I ever make him again, I'm sure I'll do better next time. The pattern is very cute; however, the directions are very misleading. Here are a few things that might make it easier for you, should you decide to accept this mission:
When attaching the second leg: Transfer your stitches from three needles to two on the leg you just finished working. Knit across, adding in three stitches in the middle to connect the two front legs. You will need two more needles here. The front will be knitted on two needles and the back on two needles ... going across, if this makes sense. Check out mochimochiland for a great explanation of how to do this.
Also, it's important to note that the loop stitch is made by working three rows: the first and third row are simply knitted; the second row is where all the looping is done: It begins with a knit stitch, then works the remaining stitches with the loop (which is formed by wrapping the yarn twice around your index finger of your left hand, then inserting needle into them both, wrapping yarn around the needle and knitting all three), then knit the last stitch in the row. These instructions are quite UNLIKE those you'll find in the Ann Budd pattern!
For the collar, I actually cast on 50 (I'd probably do 45 next time); however the amount called for in the pattern would never go all around his neck. Perhaps the original design only has the collar in the back, as his beard is in the front? Not sure, but I like mine better.
For the arms, I knit them separately, changing to flesh-tone yarn before the last 8 rows. I knitted 26 rows in red/8 in flesh-tone yarn for both arms. I seamed them up the back. My collar is large enough to cover where the arms are sewn onto his body.
For the miter ... or mitre, if you prefer (bishop's hat) ... the directions were not good. I ended up dividing the stitches that I increased on needle two among the three needles after the initial 6 rounds, as if I had not, I would have run out of stitches on my first and third needles (as you continue to decrease) long before I would have run out on my second. Also, I stopped when I still had about 8 stitches on the needles and used the gathering stitch to pull them together.
Also, I chose Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino and am quite disappointed. The yarn, although wonderfully soft and comfy, stretched the whole time I was working with it and shows the stuffing terribly. It's already got slubs in spots and nobody has even really played with him yet!
Let me know what you think!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Beginnings of Knitted Farmyard

You can just begin to see the pond to the left and the start of the cornfields above. Under that is one of the meadows and one shrub so far!
Here is the start of the cut cornfields.
Hopefully, this is what my finished project will look like!

If you haven't gotten your copy of The Knitted Farmyard by Hannelore Wernhard yet, go! Right now! Go get one! This is one of the best books ever!!! The actual playmat of mine is going to measure about 3 feet by 4 feet, so that is why it is taking SO long! Kent has volunteered to do some yarn cutting for me (more service hours earned for him) ... this will be a big help because it really slows me down to have to stop and cut more yarn. Once I've got my rhythm going of picking up yarn, latching it in and picking up another piece, it's like that ad on TV about the person who pays by check or cash instead of the Visa card! Everything comes to a screeching halt! Anyhow, I'm making myself work on the rug canvas first ... once that's completed I'll start on the houses and the people.

Another fantastic project I'm about to begin has the same ideas ... it's Knitted Gardens by Jan Messent. I LOVE this book, too. Her gardens are a bit smaller and the knitted areas are glued to cardboard. Both are good ideas and I will probably end up combining the two.

Meanwhile, I'm still working on my monk wine bag. I'm just going to have to experiment with increasing for the hood when I get to the top. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Also, I'm still finishing Father Christmas and will post a photo soon. However, if anyone is interested in working the pattern, I found a fabulous blog that has incredible directions for making legs which really work out for Father Christmas, too. Take a look at MochiMochiland. I wish I had found this earlier!


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Another Pair of Booties Finished

I kept meaning to knit these booties for one of the program coordinators at the museum where Kent volunteers ... days turned into weeks and finally! This weekend I made myself focus and I started/finished them. This is the easiest pattern I have ever used!!! I bought it on eBay from Over the Rainbow Designs. These little booties only take about an afternoon to knit ... I used washable dk for the ribbed part. These have already been washed in the washer/gentle and tumbled dry (low) two times! The color difference in the booties comes from using Sirdar's Funky Fur Magic eyelash yarn. I love it! So easy to work with. The best eyelash ever made! And yes! There is a difference in eyelash yarns!!! (Well, in my opinion.)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Vacation

Amelia's contribution to the baking day ... eating the dough!
Kent using the ancient, but wonderful, Mirro Cookie Press (note gloves for germ-free cookies)!
Spritz Christmas trees. Kent did all the decorating, too. I was really impressed.

Here's Colette, ready for more dough making! She was such a great help.


We had a terrific time over the Thanksgiving holidays! Since we had sort of celebrated Thanksgiving last weekend with one of my brothers and his family, we decided to go for a Honey-Baked Ham for the "real" Thanksgiving meal. What a time saver that was! (I'll have to write about the actual purchasing of the Honey-baked Ham later, as that is quite a story in itself.)
It was a lot of fun to have Colette home for a few days ... and we were able to get a good deal for Amelia on a laptop computer (which she's been wanting for a really, really, really long time). No, it wasn't door-buster deal, but it was still pretty good. Colette and Kent did some power baking and baked about 5 dozen Spritz butter cookies for our church's annual Cookie Walk. Phew! What a relief to have them do it all!!! Kent certainly earned his Confirmation service hours!!
Meanwhile, I'm still working on Father Christmas, but had to put him aside for awhile as I started a few other projects ... like the booties I've been promising to knit for one of the program coordinators who works at the museum where Kent volunteers ... and I started a Jean Greenhowe project from her "Christmas Special" that's a little knitted envelope for seeds or, in this case, bath salts.
I've also come up with ideas for some felted bottle bags ... I think I'll call them Bring Your Own Bottle Bags ... I'm working on a monk with a hood. It's taking A LOT more yarn than I thought, so I better stop at the yarn shop this afternoon for more brown cascade 220. I have ideas for a snowman and a Santa, as well. I'm hoping the hood on the monk will be all right. It seems like it's going to be really big right now, but I wanted sort of a cowl ... and cascade 220 always felts really well.
Meanwhile ... I ordered 8 pounds of roving! YIKES! What was I thinking??? Anyhow, 6 pounds are BFL, the other two are a gorgeous merino. It's all just right for dyeing and spinning. Now, when will I have the time to do that, I wonder?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ann Budd's Father Christmas ... "Lite" version

I am now re-working most of the Father Christmas pattern to suit me! I like easy, simple projects that end up looking pretty good ... I'm not really a knitter who likes to be completely challenged, baffled and confused when it comes to directions.

So, with that in mind, I'm knitting Father Christmas differently! Right now, I have the body (I did the lower body and upper body, along with the head, as all one piece) and the two legs. I am just about to start the arms. I am going to experiment with the infamous "loop stitch," but if it, too, becomes more of a nuisance than a pleasure, I'm going to try latching the yarn in on the ends in a sort of fringe, instead.

I'll keep you posted!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Father Christmas

I've started Father Christmas from Interweave for my mother-in-law. The beginning of the boot is terribly difficult! I had to rip it out about four times before it finally worked for me. Even then, I had to fudge it a bit in the back, as the last round was supposed to end in the middle of the back of the boot. This knowledge would have been helpful when casting on. Oh well! The next boot should go a bit more smoothly, I hope. I had to shift stitches from one needle to the next and then end a bit early in order to have it end in the back center. AAACKKK. I'm NOT doing it over, though. Although I'm sure this mistake will haunt me forever. *sigh

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Knitted Angel Pattern




Here is the knitted version of the angel. I just finished her last night. I think she looks a little bit like Carol Channing in Thoroughly Modern Millie, but oh well! I am not good with embroidering faces! This is so frustrating. I need lots more practice. I made an extra head of the Rebecca doll, as it's nice and large, and am starting to use this to practice embroidering eyes and mouths, as well as testing out colored pencils for cheeks, etc.

Knitted Angel
Copyright 2007 Anita M. Wheeless

Materials needed:

Size US 3 (3.25 mm) Double-Pointed Needles

Plymouth Encore DK-weight yarn in White

Paton's DK-weight in Peach or Sirdar Bonus DK in Flesh or whatever DK-weight skin-tone color you would like to use

Lion Brand Glitterspun in gold

Oddments of Reynolds Lopi Lite in Mustard for halo (or any golden color DK-weight yarn)

Oddments of Angora blend in white for hair

Sparkle thread for hair

Embroidery floss or acrylic paints for face

Angel Body

Using size US 3 (3.25 mm) double-pointed needles and one strand of white held together with one strand of glitterspun, cast on 36 stitches.

Divide by purling onto three double-pointed needles so that you have 12 stitches on each needle. Place your stitch marker and prepare to join.

Knit two rounds. Cut glitterspun and continue with white.

Knit 12 rounds.

Start decreases for shaping:

k2tog, k8, k2 tog all around

knit two rounds more

k2 tog, k2, k2 tog, k2, k2 tog

Knit 5 rounds more

k2 tog, k3, k2 tog

knit one round more

k2tog, k1, k2 tog

knit three rounds more

Join your skin-tone color yarn and cut white.

Knit one round

Increase in each stitch by knitting in the front and back of each

Knit 9 rounds more

knit 2 tog all the way around

Gather remaining stitches onto an embroidery or yarn needle and thread a length of yarn through the stitches. Gather tightly. Insert needle down into top of head and knot off underneath.

Arms/Hands (make two)

Using size US 3 (3.25) straight needles, cast on 8 stitches using white yarn.

Starting with a knit row, st-st for 3 rows.

Join skin-tone yarn and cut white.

St-st for three more rows.

Gather stitches onto a yarn needle. Thread a length of yarn through, pull tightly and knot off.

Wings (make two)

Using one strand of white yarn held together with one strand of gold Glitterspun, cast on 5 stitches onto size 3 (3.25 mm) straight needles.

Knit one row

On the purl row, increase in first and last stitch by purling into the front, then move your yarn to the back and knit into the back of the stitch.

Knit one row

Again, increase in first and last again (purl into the front of the stitch you are increasing, move yarn to back, knit into the back)

knit one row

Increase in the first, purl 3, increase in the fourth, purl 3, increase in last

Knit

Now, knit into the front and back of each stitch

Knit

Decrease by knitting 2 tog all the way

Bind off

Base

Using size US 3 (3.25 mm) DPN, cast on 36 stitches using white yarn.

Divide by purling 12 onto each needle. Place your stitch marker.

Knit two rounds

Decrease by knitting 2tog, k3, k2tog, k3, k2 tog

knit

Decrease again by knitting k2tog, k3, k2tog, k2

Knit

Continue decrease by knitting k2tog, k2, k2tog, k1

knit

k2 tog, k3

knit

k2 tog all the way around

Gather remaining stitches onto a yarn needle and pull a length of yarn through. Pull tightly and knot off.

Halo

Holding gold or mustard colored yarn along with glitterspun, cast on 40 stitches onto a size 3 needle leaving a nice, long tail of glitterspun. Bind off, leaving the glitterspun tail for now.

To make up:

Stuff body with polyester fiberfill. Take arms and fold them, overstitching the edges together to shape into an arm. You can stuff it lightly or leave it without stuffing, as it's so small. Decide which section looks the best to be the front of the angel and center the arms, sewing them in place.

Put the base on underneath the angel and stitch it in place.

Take the wings and unbend them a bit (as the stocking stitch makes them want to roll inward). Find the right spot on her back and sew them in place.

To make the hair, take the sparkly thread held together with the angora and wind the two strands held together around your index finger about 4-5 times. Ease the loops off your finger and snip the yarn/thread leaving a tail to insert into the loops to hold them in place. Knot off. Repeat this about 7 or more times to get enough little curls to cover the angel's head. Using the bit of tail left, stitch in place on her head.

Take the halo and center it around the head, crossing the extra in the back of the head. (See photo). Stitch this cross-over to hold it in place, then stitch the halo securely onto the head. Let the bit of glitterspun tails hang down, if you like that.

Embroider the face using three strands of embroidery floss ... or use acrylic paints.

Again, if you have any trouble, please email me and I'll figure it out! I hope you enjoy it.

There are many things we could do with these angels. We could make different hands (holding a book, for instance) and different expressions, too. I have thought about a whole set of them doing chores! (Holding a mixing bowl and spoon; holding a broom, etc.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Christmas Angel with First Communion Angel

Here is a photo of my Christmas angel standing alongside my First Communion Angel Candle (circa 1968-69). I wish I had her handy when I was stitching my angel's face. I'll have to use this for inspiration for my knitted one. She looks so ... well, so angelic!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Knitted and Felted Christmas Angel Pattern



I just finished this knitted Christmas angel. She actually looks very much like the angel candle I received on my First Communion Day many, many years ago. I'll have to take a photo of the candle to show you, but that's for another day, as the candle is at my parents' house on their mantle.
This felted angel can either be a free-standing, stuffed figure or you could omit the stuffing and the bottom base (which is felted separately) and use her as a Christmas tree-top angel. She was knitted on size US 6 DPN.
I was very unhappy with her hair! I used a sparkle thread and angora blend held together and rooted them individually into her head before felting. She came out with a felted blob! I had to cut it off, but the remaining hair on her head looks o.k. She needed some sort of hair. Not sure. Maybe next time, I'll felt her first, then root in the hair. It will be more difficult in the felted knit, but it may be worth it.
I also used the sparkle thread held together with Lopi lite throughout. I would recommend not to do this. You can't see the sparkle thread at all, anyhow, and it was a real pain to knit with it. It snaps and tangles easily.
The wings and the halo and the bottom of the angel were knitted with one strand of Glitterspun held together with the Lopi lite.
I am also working on a non-felted version, using much smaller needles and one strand of dk-weight yarn.

Knitted/Felted Christmas Angel
Copyright 2007 Anita M. Wheeless
I used one strand of Reynolds Lopi Lite in white (it's kind of off-white, actually) and size US 6 double-pointed needles. You could also use one strand of regular Lopi, if you'd prefer. I think even Cascade wool would do fine. I would hold two strands of Cascade together, though. For the very bottom, you will also need gold Lion Brand Glitterspun yarn. You will cast on holding the Lopi and the Glitterspun together.
Begin by casting on 36 stitches.
Divide among the three DPNs by purling 12 onto each needle.
Knit for two rows more
Cut the gold thread and continue only with the white.
Knit 12 rows more
Start decreases to shape the body:
k2tog, k8, k2tog all around
Knit 2 rows more
k2tog, k2, k2 tog, k2, k2tog all around
knit 5 rows more
k2 tog, k3, k2tog all around
Knit 1 row more
k2tog, k1, k2 tog
knit 3 rows more
Join whatever face color yarn you'd like to use and cut the white.
increase in each stitch all the way around
Knit 7 rows
k2 tog all the way around.
Gather the remaining stitches onto an embroidery needle and pull a length of yarn through, gathering tightly. Bring your yarn through the top of the head and knot off. (So you won't see the knot)
HAIR: I used one strand of angora blend and one strand of glitter thread, cut about 4" in length and rooted them into her head with a crochet hook. This DID NOT WORK. The hair all felted together into a blog and had to be cut. I suggest waiting until the head is felted, and then you can attach hair at that point. However, if you would like, you could just root some white onto her head before felting and let it felt into her head, giving her just a little hair. I had really wanted long hair that I could pull up, softening around her face. I am going to try this next on my non-felted version.
HALO: Using one strand of Reynold's Lopi Lite Mustard and one strand of Lion Brand Glitterspun in gold, cast on 40 stitches. Leave a long tail. Bind off. I liked the gold strands that were left from the tail, so did not cut them. (I did cut the Lopi, though.) See photo.
WINGS (make two): Using one strand of Lopi Lite in white and one strand in angora blend, if you'd like (although you really don't notice it), and knitting back and forth, cast on 10 stitches.
Knit 5 rows
k2tog to last 2 stitches, then knit these together
knit
k2 tog, k4, k2 tog
knit four rows more
bind off
I overstitched the wing sides/edges with gold Glitterspun.
Felt all pieces together in a lingerie bag. See my felting instructions. The angel body felted faster than the head (as they were different yarns), but when the body was felted to my liking, I removed the pieces. The halo didn't really felt very much, as the glitterspun does not felt and there was only one strand of Lopi. You wouldn't really even have to felt this piece, in my opinion. Since it's quick to knit up (only casting on and binding off), you could experiment and do one both ways to see what you like better. It is an advantage to have it thoroughly wet, so that it can be shaped. I did like that about having felted it.
Take the angel out and shape it. Some suggestions for molds while she's drying: a small funnel, a spritz bottle of the right shape, etc. Let it dry.
Place the halo on the head how you'd like it and criss-cross it at the back and tie it, letting the gold strands hang down.
Shape the wings by folding them in half and letting them dry like that, if you like sort of a fluttery look, as opposed to just straight, flat wings. Folding them while they dry gives them a more bent, in-flight look. Stitch them onto the angel body with gold Glitterspun.
Embroider the face, using three strands (or less) for her eyes and one strand for the mouth. I didn't put a nose on because I just didn't like any I tried! I also used one strand of pale yellow (because I didn't have any white, but I think white would be better) and just placed one stitch for inside her eyes. The mouth was stitched with straight stitches, one under the other, varying the length. Another option would be to paint on the face with a very fine paintbrush and acrylic paint.
For the Christmas Tree-Top Angel, do not stuff and do not make a base. Simply let dry on one of the mold ideas, and put on your tree top!
For a stuffed figure, add the following base:
Still using three, size US 6 DPN needles, Cast on 36,
Divide by purling 12 onto each needle. Place stitch marker.
Knit two rows more
Decrease by k2tog, k3, k2 tog, k3, k2tog
Knit
k2 tog, k3, k2 tog, k2
knit
k2tog, k2, k2tog
knit
knit 2tog all the way around
knit 5 rows more
Gather remaining stitches onto an embroidery needle and pull length of yarn through. Knot underneath.
Felt with other pieces.
Stuff the angel using polyester fiberfill. Be sure stuffing fills up head. You may need to use a knitting needle, chopstick or end of wooden spoon to push the stuffing all the way to her head.
Stitch the base onto the bottom, using gold glitterspun.
As always, if you run into anything troubling, please email me. I will figure it out! I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Christmas Pickle Pattern!

I finished the Christmas Pickle! Randy is holding it so you can get an idea of its size. This is not felted. I knit it on three size US 3 double-pointed needles using one strand of a dk-weight green yarn and one strand of glittery thread held together. The "ornament hook" is made of Glitterspun yarn.

Knitted Christmas Pickle Ornament
copyright 2007 Anita M. Wheeless
Abbreviations
k2tog: knit two together (decrease)
kf&b: knit front and back (increase)
k: knit
Using one size US 3 double-pointed needle, and gold Lion Brand Glitterspun yarn, cast on 9 stitches.
Divide these stitches among three double-pointed needles by knitting three stitches onto each needle. Place a stitch marker at the first needle.
Knit 5 rounds
Cut gold yarn and join one strand of green double-knitting weight yarn and one strand of sparkly thread held together.
Increase in each stitch all the way around by knitting into the front and back of each stitch.
Knit two rounds more
Increase by knitting into the front and back of the first stitch, then k4, then knit into the front and back of last stitch on each needle.
Knit five rounds more
Now to shape the pickle:
k2tog, k2 all the way around on needles one and two only. Knit needle three.
Knit all the way around on all three needles.
k2, k2tog, k2 on needles one and two only. Knit needle three.
Knit two rounds more on all three needles.
k2 tog, knit 3 on needles one and two. Knit needle three.
Knit three rounds more on all three needles.
Knit front and back of first stitch, k3 on needles one and two. Knit needle three.
Knit all around for two rounds more.
k2, kf&b, k2 on needles one and two. Knit needle three.
Knit all around for two rounds more.
kf&b, k2 all the way around on needles one and two. Knit needle three.
Knit for four rows more.
K2tog all the way around.
Use an embroidery needle or yarn needle and thread a length of yarn through all the remaining stitches, but don't gather yet. Stuff your pickle with polyester fiberfill. Then draw up the yarn and pull tightly. Knot off. You may add bumps on your pickle by embroidering French knots wherever you want a bump.
I used the bit of tail I had of the Glitterspun and looped it over to form a little hanging loop. I stitched it in place with an embroidery needle. Weave in any loose ends.
I hope you enjoy! If you have any questions or run into trouble spots, please email me.



Saturday, November 3, 2007

Felted Thanksgiving Turkey Pattern


Felted Thanksgiving Turkey with Pilgrim Hat

Copyright 2007 Anita M. Wheeless

I used four size 10 1/2 double-pointed needles for this project. I used Tondo yarn by OnLine. This yarn has been discontinued ... I bought mine on sale, so it was in my stash to use for this turkey. Feel free to substitute either one strand of Lopi or two strands of Cascade ... either one chunky and one 220 or something similar. For me, the turkey, itself, took exactly one 50 gram ball of Tondo and then there were still the feathers (wings) to knit. I would definitely purchase two to use. I used another ball of Tondo (in a multi-color) to knit the tail.

For body and head:

Cast on one stitch.

Knit one, purl one and knit one again into this stitch. You now have three stitches on your needle.

Knit

Knit front and back in each stitch (increasing one for every stitch). You now have 6 stitches.

Knit

Knit front and back in each stitch again. You now have 12 stitches.


Divide these 12 stitches among the four needles by knitting three onto each needle. Put a stitch marker to show where your first stitch/needle is.

knit 1 f&b, k1, k1 f&b on each needle

knit
knit 1 f&b, k2, k1 f&b, k1 on each needle

knit

knit 1 f&b, k3, k1 f&b, k2 on each needle

knit

knit 1 f&b, k4, k1 f&b, k3 on each needle

knit

knit 1 f&b, k5, k1 f&b, k4 on each needle

knit

k1 f&b, k6, k1 f&b, k5 on each needle

knit for 11 rows more (this gives the main body of the turkey)
Now we start to decrease for the neck:

k2tog, k4, k2 tog, k5, k2tog on each needle

k2tog, k2, k2tog, k2, k2 tog, k2 tog on each needle

knit

k2 tog, k2, k2 tog, k2 on each needle

knit

k2, k2 tog, k2

knit four rows more

Now we will start the increases for the head:

k2, k1 f&b, k2

knit

k1 f&b, k2, k1 f&b, k2

knit

k1 f&b, k2, k1 f&b, k2, k1 f&b, k1

knit four more rounds


Now we will start the decreases for the top of the head:


k2 tog, k2, k2 tog, k2, k2 tog, k1


k2 tog all the way around


k1, k2 tog, k1 all the way around ... be sure at this point that you are leaving a big enough opening for stuffing. You will cover the top of his head with the hat later.


Feathers ... Wings (make two)


Using straight 10 1/2 inch needles, cast on 10

Knit 5 rows in garter stitch

k2 tog to last 2, then knit these two together

knit

k2 tog, k4, k2 tog

knit two rows more

k2 tog, k2, k2 tog

knit two rows more

bind off

After felting, take each wing and fold it in half. Using mattress stitch, and same color yarn (or one color of the yarn) from his tail, oversew the top edges/side together. You will not need to stuff, as the doubling over makes the feathers nice and thick on their own.


Tail:

Using three size 10 1/2 double pointed needles, cast on one stitch.

Knit one, purl one and knit again into this one stitch. You now have three stitches on your needle.

Increase in each stitch by knitting into the front and back of each. You now have 6 stitches.

Knit

Increase in each again, by knitting into the front and back of each. You now have 12 stitches.

Divide these stitches evenly (four each) by knitting them onto three double-pointed needles.

Increase again, this time by (knitting 1 f&b, then k1) all the way around

Knit

(Knit 1 f&b, k2) all the way around

Knit

(knit 1f&b, k3) all the way around

Knit

(knit 1f&b, k4) all the way around

knit

(knit 1 f&b, k5) all the way around

knit

(knit 1 f&b, k6) on needles one and two. Bind off needle three and knit the rest of the way around.

Turn and purl back on just the two needles.

*Turn and k1 f&b in each stitch

Turn and purl two together all the way back

Use a crochet bind off** to get the little loops.


*If you want your tail larger than the one I made, simply do this as many more rows as you like, increasing in the same way (for instance, on the next row, instead of increasing in each stitch for the ruffle edge, you would k1 f&b, k7 and then purl back ... on the next row, you would k1 f&b, k8, etc.) until you get to the desired size. If you like mine, then you will just continue with the ruffle part by increasing one stitch in every stitch as above.

**Using a few chain stitches hooked together makes a nice, little loop. But if this is too fussy for you, I would knit/purl back a couple more rows after the doubling increase and then simply bind off in the usual way. You should still get a ruffle.

Using the crochet chain stitch is easy, just time consuming. Simply insert a crochet hook into the first stitch on your needle. Chain 5, which is a lot like latch-hooking a rug. You just bring the yarn around the end of the crochet hook and pull it through your stitch. See how it's made a little yarn circle? Now you have one chain. Do this again and again until you have five little yarn circles or "chains." This little chain thing will extend beyond your knitting, if that makes sense. Then, insert your crochet hook into the next TWO stitches on your needle and pull the yarn all the way through all three stitches (the two you've just inserted the hook into and the first one that is on your hook already). There's your first loop! Now you just chain five again, insert hook into the next two stitches, pull yarn through all three, etc., until you have used up all the stitches! That's all there is to it!

Pilgrim Hat

I used three size US 10 1/2 double-pointed needles and one strand of Cascade Bollicine Revolution yarn for the hat, white dk weight (or worsted would be fine) for the band and a tiny bit of Lion Brand Glitterspun for the buckle.


Cast on 48 stitches onto one needle.

Divide among the three needles by purling 16 onto each. Place a stitch marker.

Knit 6 rows (or for a narrower brim, knit less rows)

Then decrease for the rest of the hat: knit 2 together all the way around.

I knitted two rows more at this point, then continued decreasing.

k2 together, k4, k2 together

Knit 10 rows more

Then k2 tog, k2, k2 tog all the way around

Knit

knit 2 tog all the way around and, using a gathering stitch and a yarn needle, pull a length of yarn through the remaining stitches, pull tightly and knot off.


If you liked the smaller hat, please do as follows. I used two strands of New Zealand 2-ply yarn, but you could also use 2 strands of Cascade 220 or something similar:

Using size US 10 1/2 double-pointed needles,

Cast on 36 stitches

Divide onto the three double-pointed needles by purling 12 onto each. Place stitch marker.

Knit four rows more

k2 together all the way around

knit 6 rows more

k2 tog, k2, k2 tog all the way around

knit

k2 tog all the way around and use gathering stitch as above to finish off.


How to Felt Your Pieces:

After you have all the pieces made, put them in a lingerie bag. Put a bit of Woolite or other laundry detergent in your washing machine and set it to "small" or "mini" load. I usually add a pair of blue jeans to help with the agitation. Blue jeans do not give off lint, like other items might. Try to keep other items out at this point. Set your washer to "hot." I usually throw my lingerie bag in the area where the water is filling, so that it gets pounded by the rushing water. Close lid and set a timer for about 5 minutes. Check it every five minutes or so, just to make sure it's felting as you'd like. You may have to reshape it a bit. Tug it this way or that. Some pieces may felt faster than others, so go ahead and remove them when they are to your liking. Rinse them in cool water and roll in a towel.


When your turkey body is finished, rinsed and patted dry, stuff with polyester fiberfill, pushing it all the way down into the bottom and all around, filling him full to the top. This may take a little doing, as you've left a pretty small hole in his head! I pulled the hole open a bit and stuffed the stuffing down, working it around to fill out his body.

The hat needs to be placed on a form of some sort to get the right shape. Ideally, I think a shape like the top of a Redi-Whip whipped cream can looks about like a Pilgrim hat, but I used an upside-down glass votive candle holder. I wrapped a rubber band around the area where the band would be on the hat. Let it stay like this until completely dry. (Most likely that will take a day or two.) You may stuff the upper part of the hat with polyester fiberfill before securing to head, if you like.

Finishing: Let the other pieces dry, then mattress stitch the feathers as directed above. With white yarn, chain stitch the band along the Pilgrim hat and straight stitch a buckle. For his beak, I wet felted a bit of yellow roving in my hands, rolling it back and forth and then folded it down upon itself. For the wattle, I used a little red roving and also wet felted this in the same way, but left it a little less compact so that I could place a piece onto his beak. I think this part is called the snood! I then sewed this pieces onto his face with a bit of embroidery thread. His eyes are satin stitched with black yarn and outlined in straight stitches with white yarn.


As always, if you have any questions, or run into any problems, please email me! I hope you enjoy your turkey!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Still Working on New Pilgrim Hat

I have a new hat drying right now (on an upside-down votive candle for the shape) and will try to chain stitch a white area around the base, then add a chain-stitched buckle in gold and will see how that looks. It is A LOT bigger and this may not be a good thing! I will probably knit another a little smaller and see how that works.
The first hat was knit with two-strands of New Zealand 2-ply (dk weight) yarn held together and I cast on 36 stitches for the brim, working from the outside to the inside.
The second hat I used a Cascade very thick yarn (will have to check the label again) only one strand and cast on 48 stitches. This I think made the brim too wide and so I let it felt for a really long time, trying to shrink it more. It did become very sturdy! But I think it may still be too large, which tells me that 42 stitches probably would have been just right.
I'm sorry I didn't get to knit at all in the hospital yesterday while waiting for my Dad's surgery, as I thought I would. They kept moving us around from room to room, so I never could settle in and pull out all my stuff. I was going to start working on the pickle, which I will try to do tonight! The idea intrigues me, although my poor Rebecca doll lays forlornly on my dresser, quietly calling out to me, "I need arms and legs and clothes... I need arms and legs and clothes ... please don't forget about me!"
And to make matters worse, the pattern and yarn came in for the Lula doll!!! .... meanwhile, the playmat part of the Knitted Farmyard (which, by the way, is an incredible book) is still very bare, as I have only completed two corn fields and half a meadow in this giant landscape! I have enlisted Kent's help. He will now be the official yarn cutter, as I need TONS of different sizes of yarn cut for me to latch into the rug canvas. Once I get a rhythm going with latching pieces, I can run through a stack pretty quickly and I find it completely irritating to have to stop and measure and cut more.
Not to mention Alan Dart's Dickensian Mice, which I've started and his Knights, which I've almost started. (I say almost, as I needed the needles and had to take off the poor knight's foot and leg.) And of course, last (and certainly least), Randy's socks.
More later ...
More later ...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Felted Turkey

Here's a front view of the turkey. I think his Pilgrim hat may be a bit too small ... I may try to knit another ... in the meantime, I will work out the details on this pattern and post it soon.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Felted Turkey with Face


I wet felted the beak and gobbledy-thingy (what is that called, anyhow??) and stitched it onto his face with one strand of embroidery floss. Then I used black yarn and satin stitched his eyes, but they didn't look right. SO, I then outlined them with white yarn. I'm still not thrilled with this look. Any suggestions?? I used a piece of chunky, black yarn for his tie.

Added Color to Wings

I went back and folded his wings in half each, then used mattress stitch with the same yarn I used for his tail on the edges of wings to close them up. They didn't really need any stuffing. This yarn is very thick. I'm considering needle felting his features. I'll see how that goes.

Felted Thanksgiving Turkey (First Attempt)



Here is my first attempt at making up a knitting pattern for a Thanksgiving Turkey (note his Pilgrim hat). I'm still working on how I want to do his face/beak and red gobbledy-thingy, so sorry he has no expression as yet!
For the tail, I just used a multi-colored yarn that looked Fall-ish to me, but you could easily change colors and knit a bit of brown in the center, then red, then orange, then yellow, or any other combination you like.
For the end of the tail, I increased in every stitch, as if for a ruffle, then on the next row I knit two together all around. I ended with crochet bind-off, but you certainly wouldn't have to do that. In fact, if you just knitted two or more rounds before you decreased, then went on to bind off in the usual way, you should still get a ruffle.
Again, if anyone is interested in the pattern, please let me know. I'll be happy to post it.
If you have any thoughts/suggestions, also please email me and let me know! I wasn't sure if I should try for legs ... Any opinions would be welcome. I'm also thinking maybe I should embroider something around his wings, as they sort of fade into his body ... and a tie around his neck or maybe embroidered buttons? hm....