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....

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Jane West Compared to Humpty Dumpty and the Funny Face Soft Drink Cups

I found Jane West this afternoon up in the attic. As you can see from this photograph, she is in pretty good condition. She's almost mint. This is because, as you might remember from my previous post about Jane, that I never played with her. On the other hand, sitting next to her is my favorite stuffed toy of all time. Humpty Dumpty. When Humpty was new (I got him when I was about 4 years old ... I needn't mention how old he is, but let's just say he's definitely 40-something), he sported a small, golden felt crown, felt hands with five fingers each, a darling little felt face and inside were chimes! Behind his crown he had an elastic band from which you could bounce Humpty up and down and his chimes would ring merrily.
He looks a lot different now, obviously, but like the Velveteen Rabbit, he certainly was loved.
In front of Jane and Humpty are what's left of my Funny Face "soft drink" cups. Remember Funny Face? Kind of like Kool-aid. Here we have (from left to right) Freckle Face Strawberry, Goofy Grape (1969) and a later addition (from 1974) With-It Watermelon (however, I remember him being Wacky Watermelon, but all my research says otherwise). Sadly, we never got Jolly Olly Orange or Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry. As you can see, these are badly dishwasher scarred. My own children loved to drink out of them. One day, I realized they were starting to lose their color and sprout tiny cracks in their plastic ... so I retired them to the upper shelf of the cabinet.

The Return of the Pumpkin People

Well, last summer I rescued the pumpkin people from the trash. Yes, I almost threw them away. The first year I made them and put them up, they looked great. They were based on directions given in a Martha Stewart Living Magazine (or maybe it was her Halloween book). Anyhow, that year, I was so proud of them. A neighbor even told me that her child's walk was not complete until she took him to look at the "pumpkin people." Of course, that year I also put them up at the beginning of October so there would be lots of time to enjoy them.
Then last year came and nobody helped me. My eldest daughter was off at the university ... and she was the one who usually would help. I went ahead and bought the bales of straw, but I just couldn't do it all by myself. I put them up without stuffing, but they looked terrible.
Then, this summer, as I was cleaning up the yard, I found them behind some bushes. I went so far as to put them directly into the trash can (sans heads, though, which I thought I'd keep anyhow) ... but then, as our garbage day approached, I couldn't do it. I pulled them out of the trash and set them behind our privacy fence. Well, they did take an incredibly long time to construct! How could I just stand there and throw them away?? What was I thinking? Was I crazy or something???
Anyhow, I was sure this year the ground would be too hard for me to even try to get them in ... then it rained last week! It rained for four days straight!
SO, today, with Kent's help, we stuffed their outfits and put them up! They are extra scary this year, too, as they had stayed outside all year (and not in the shed as usual). Lots of spider webs and roly-poly bugs and earwigs and coccoons are in their clothing. The straw, a year old, is full of strange creatures, too!
If you look closely, you'll notice the pumpkin woman wears a purple scarf. This is one of the first things I ever knitted! She's missing all her stuffed crows, as they looked too gruesome to use. I left them outside all year, too. What a shame! I was just too tired last year, I guess ... I think her broom is up in the attic. I'll have to go check. The first year, I also hung a battery-operated lantern on her arm. This was great Halloween night so nobody would walk into the pumpkin people on the way to our front door.
Happy Halloween!

Still Working on Rebecca Doll ...

I have now finished knitting Rebecca's body and have started an arm ... and ... well, yes, I admit, I started one of her socks, as well. Hopefully I will finish her socks more quickly than Randy's socks (which I have been working on now for almost a year). I have confidence I shall finish Rebecca's socks, though, as they are only about 8 centimeters long. Aside: She has shorter legs than Randy (as one would expect, seeing as how she's a doll and not a real person).
And speaking of centimeters, I really don't like metric measurements. I have no reference points for them. I remember in the 1980s there was an enormous push to get the metric system going. I am reminded of this daily when my son and I use his earth-science text recommended by our umbrella school. The book was written in the '80s and every page is peppered with metric measurements ... so many, we feel as though we're having our own mini tectonic-plate movement colliding and re-dividing our brain waves. AAACKKK.
I remember walking 17 kilometers from a bus stop to the beach when I was in Spain. I knew this, you see, because a big, green sign said so. I had no idea how far 17 kilometers was. I only knew that, at the end of it, when we finally reached our camp site, I had blisters on my feet from wearing thin alpargatas. Hm. They were very cute, but the insides were woven in rope. Not very suitable hiking shoes, to say the least.
Anyhow, most of the British patterns are kind enough to use inches (or at least put them in parentheses). But this German pattern likes to use centimeters only. Fortunately, I have my handy measuring tape that came free with one of my Simply Knitting magazines. (It has centimeters on one side and inches on the other.)
My arms hurt last night from knitting so much. (As my daughter noted, "That doll is big!") Yes, Rebecca is much bigger than Miss Sophie. She's more the size of a Raggedy Ann, I guess. The two dolls are currently sitting next to each other on the dresser (well, Miss Sophie is sitting; Rebecca has no legs yet) and poor Miss Sophie looks quite small. In fact, I think, no ... I'm quite sure, Rebecca will be even bigger than my Funky Fur bear.
The Lulu doll, pattern for which I'm anxiously awaiting, looks an awful lot like the character Bangwell Putt to me (not the real Bangwell Putt doll, which looks rather sad), but the character in the book "The Journey of Bangwell Putt" by Mariana (see photos above). I probably will knit her once to see how she goes, then try again to make her more Bangwell Putt-ish. She obviously needs to be more chubby and have less hair. I'd also like to knit Bangwell's travelling case. My own copy of The Journey of Bangwell Putt, which my eldest brother gave me in 1968, I kept in pristine condition, despite the fact that I read it almost every day. I say it was in pristine condition, including dust jacket, except for my name and date in the upper right-hand corner of the inside page (which you can almost see in the photo above. It says June 21, 1968). Well, all that changed when a bearded collie (which we co-owned at one time), ate most of the book over the Christmas holidays that year. *sniff. The insides are still fairly intact; however, the dust jacket was terribly torn and, for some inexplicable reason, this dog (who was no more than a puppy at the time), ate the entire hardcover!!! Both ends!
Well, back to knitting ... at some point I'd love to knit all the characters from my favorite books! (Yet another project!)
Speaking of which, one of the toy books by Jean Greenhowe has some elephants that look suspiciously like the Babar characters ... especially Cousin Arthur!
Well, I better get going for now. More later ....

Friday, October 26, 2007

Rebecca's Head

I have finished the head for the Rebecca doll. I decided to put in her hair first, before I knit her body and arms and legs, because I knew it would take forever (and it did) ... So now, that part is out of the way!
I am excited about this doll because the pattern knits her entirely in the round, so there are no seams except for those to join the limbs and her head to her trunk.
Everybody thinks she looks like "Wendy" of Wendy's Hamburger fame. *sniff. She's not Wendy, I keep trying to tell everyone. She's Rebecca! (But they're right. She actually does look a little like Wendy.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Top Hat Pattern for Snowman

I finally finished the top hat for the snowman. I apologize for the delay! I got caught up into other projects ... such as starting the Knitted Farmyard (but I'll describe that another day)! Anyhow, the top hat is very easy. (Did you notice? He's finally got a face! But I'm not sure I did the right thing ... Do you think he needs a more traditional smile with "pieces" of coal instead of a line? AAACKKK!) I'd love some opinions, if you've got the time.

Top Hat for Snowman

copyright 2007 Anita M. Wheeless

Use a size US 10 or 10 1/2 needle and cast on 84 stitches with Lopi lite black or two strands of Cascade 220 black ... or any 100% wool (NOT superwash, of course!) yarn

Divide onto 3 size US 8 double-pointed needles by purling 28 stitches onto each needle. Put a stitch marker so you can remember your starting point. Join the round and purl for the next three or four rounds until you have a nice brim. You can decide how wide you want to make it by purling more rounds (or not).

THEN, Knit 2 tog all the way around each needle so that you reduce your size by 1/2. There should now be 14 stitches on each needle.

Now, knit until it measures (without brim) about 3 1/2-4 inches tall. (Or continue knitting and make it even taller!)

NEXT k2 tog, k4, k2 tog, k4, k2 tog on each needle

NEXT k2 tog, k3, k2 tog, k2, k2 tog on each needle

NEXT k2 tog, k1, k2 tog, k1, k2 tog on each needle

THEN k2 tog, k1, k2 tog

FINALLY k2 tog all the way around

Cut your yarn, leaving about six inches and thread it through a darning or embroidery needle and then run that through the remaining stitches; pull tightly. Take needle and go down through the top of the hat and either weave in the bit of yarn left over underneath or knot off underneath.

Place hat in lingerie bag (oh, remove stitch marker first)! And then felt as per the instructions given for the felted snowman.

Once the hat is sized to your liking, take it out and rinse it off. Pat it dry (or roll in a towel). Meanwhile, put a plastic bag or plastic wrap over a can of vegetables, soup or dogfood (to prevent the can from rusting onto your hat), and then pull the hat down on top of the can. This will give the top hat part the "tall" look. Fix the brim by flattening it out between your fingers all the way around until it looks the way you want it. A large part of felting is making sure the piece looks like you want it before it dries. Make sure you use the right thing to shape it. If you put this hat on a rounded "mold" like the bottom of a custard dish or a Downey Ball, for instance, it will take on the rounded shape and look completely different!

Let it stay on the can until the hat is completely dry. Remove and place on your snowman's head!

As always, if you run into any strange bits or something I've written doesn't make sense, please email me and I'll help! If anyone wants to "test knit" and send me their photo, I'll be happy to post it!

Thank you for trying my patterns!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Last Night I Didn't Knit ...

Last night I didn't knit. Nope. Not even one stitch. I went to my neighbor's house and played Bunco, instead.
Hard to believe, I know! I guess I thought after living in this neighborhood for 15 years, it was about time I met some of the neighbors.
ANYHOW, I had never played Bunco before. It's really fun and one of the best things about it is that nobody can get mad at you for making poor decisions like they can at cards. (It's kind of scary to play bridge with hard-core bridge players.)
Well, for some reason, playing Bunco made me start to reminisce about all the old games and toys I used to play with when I was little. So, I had to go to eBay (my favorite place for taking a stroll down memory lane), and check some of them out.
Right now, for sale, is the version of Candyland that I soooo remember! I had to pull my hand away from the "bid now" button. (I mean, really, what would I do with a vintage Candyland game after I had it home?) But there, on the page, I could supersize the photo and drool over the peanut brittle and the little candy canes and the gingerbread men pieces. Ah! It was great! And there, best of all, was the ice-cream float card. That was my ultimate favorite! That card, sadly, was later removed in newer versions. When my children had Candyland, it wasn't the same at all. The manufacturer re-did all the illustrations and replaced the cute, gentle drawings with weird, garish cartoons. I never could get used to King Candy ... and Queen Frostine. Playing Candyland was just never the same. Now, the game looks even worse! Take a look at this newer version for sale. What's up with that peppermint guy? YIKES!
And, while I was looking up Candyland, my thoughts suddenly turned to Josie West. I smiled and nodded to myself. Yes, Josie West. I remember her well. I remember that Christmas that I wanted Josie West so badly. I think I was in 3rd grade. My older brother had lots of the other Marx action figures in the West family ... and I wanted Josie with her cute ponytails and her neat horse. *Sigh. I guess my parents waited too late to shop for Josie, though, because on Christmas morning when I opened the box I thought would have Josie in it, it had Jane. (This link to an eBay auction photo gives you a good idea of the difference between Josie and Jane.)Jane was Josie's mother, you see, and she was HUGE (and rather ugly, to boot). I was disappointed, to say the least. I never did get Josie. I might get her now, though, as I see eBay has a lot of Josies for sale. Strangely, my daughters LOVED my Jane doll and used her quite often when playing Barbies. She was, after all, in great condition, as I had relegated her to the storage shelf and never played with her much. For my daughters, Jane was the "popular" girl. I had to laugh because I couldn't stand old Jane, myself. (Though I have to admit, it wasn't Jane's fault for being Jane and not Josie.)
I really liked the guy dressed in black that my brother had and, for all these years, I thought he was Johnny West. To my horror, this morning as I looked up the people at the Marx Online Museum, he was a bad guy! He wasn't Johnny at all! No, I think he may have been (shudder, gasp)the outlaw Sam Cobra!
Well, after I had my fill of the West family, I started thinking about all the hours spent playing card games like Spoons and Pig and Milles Bornes. (How I loved throwing a flat tire down on one of my unsuspecting siblings!) Ah, yes. Those good-old days when you could still buy Mint Julep candies 2 for a penny!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cowboy Hat for Snowman Pattern

Even though I don't have the top hat finished yet, I thought I'd go ahead and post the cowboy hat pattern. Here it is. I hope it's written well. Please let me know as soon as possible if you run into something weird!

Snowman's Cowboy Hat
copyright 2007 Anita M. Wheeless

Cast one stitch onto a size 8 or larger needle.

Knit back and forth for the next several rows, as follows:

k1, p1, k1 all in the same stitch


k1 f&b in each (6 stitches now)


k1 f&b in each (12 stitches now)

Divide onto the three size 8 dpn by knitting them on. You will have four stitches on each needle. Put a stitch marker to mark first round and join by

k1 f&b, k1


k1 f&b, k2


k1 f&b, k3

knit 2 rounds

then k1 f&b, k4

knit 2 rounds

then k1 f&b, k5

knit five rounds

Then increase in each stitch all the way around (this is for the brim)

knit 2 rounds

then knit 2 together all the way around

bind off

Throw in lingerie bag and put in the washer. Felt as given for snowman. Once the hat comes out, you must shape it into the form you want. For the cowboy look, I pushed the center down (made a crease, like a dimpled chin); then I rolled the brim up and bent it into the cowboy shape on the sides. I used the snowman as the head form while it dried.
This same pattern could also be a bowler hat by sewing up the tiny hole in the center and not creasing it down but rather rounding it out. Also, do not bend the sides, but rather keep them rounded. You could also make this into a fedora-style hat. The object you choose as your form to shape your hat while it dries makes all the difference.
If you run into any difficulties, please send me an email!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pumpkin in-the-round Knitting Pattern

Here is the rough draft of the pumpkin in-the-round knitting pattern. Please let me know if you don't understand something. My notes were scribbled! I've made it a couple of times, though, and it has been working (for me)!!
PLEASE READ THIS NOTE! It has just been brought to my attention that my directions are a bit sketchy!
You actually knit back and forth (on two needles) until you get to the round where you divide your stitches onto the three double-pointed needles.
Please, please email me with any questions because I am new at writing my patterns out for others to follow.

Stem directions are below. The pumpkin measures about 9 inches tall and 27 inches in circumference. You could also felt a swatch of black and cut out face shapes. I've thought about attaching faces with velcro! SO you could change his personality from day to day. (Just a thought!)

Pumpkin in-the-round Knitting Pattern
copyright 2007 Anita M. Wheeless

k1 - knit one
p1 - purl one
k1 f&b - knit into the front and back of a stitch. This increases one stitch.
k2 tog - knit two stitches together. This decreases by one stitch.

Use three, size US 10 1/2 DPN needles. I knit mine with two strands of wool held together. I used one strand of chunky Cascade orange and one strand of Nature Wool orange blend. You could also use one strand of Lopi; however, if you use other yarns, your pumpkin might end up smaller or bigger, depending on your yarn.

Cast on one stitch on a larger needle than the double-pointed needles you will use.
Round 1 - knit one, purl one, knit one all in the same stitch

Round 2 - knit

Round 3 - k1 f&b in each (6 stitches)

Round 4 - knit

Round 5 - k1 f&b in each (12)

Round 6 - divide by knitting onto three double-pointed needles (four stitches on each)

Round 7 - Place stitch marker to mark first round, join and k1 f&b, k1) to end of round (be careful not to twist your stitches or you'll end up with a moebius something and not a pumpkin)!

Round 8 - knit

Round 9 - (k1 f&b, k2) to end of round

Round 10 - knit

Round 11 - (k1 f&b, k3) to end of round (10 stitches on each needle at this point)

Round 12 - knit

Round 13 - (k1 f&b, k4) to end of round

Round 14 - knit

Round 15 - (k1 f&b, k5) to end of round

Round 16 - knit

Round 17 - (k1 f&b, k6) to end of round

Round 18 - knit

Round 19 - (k1 f&b, k7) to end of round

Round 20 - knit

Round 21 - (k1 f&b, k8)

Round 22 - knit

Round 23 - (k1 f&b, k9)

Round 24-31 - knit (total of 8 knitted rows)This builds the pumpkin up a bit before you are going to start the increases for his fatter middle area

Round 32 - start increases: k1 f&b, k10, k1f&b, k10, k1 f&b

Round 33 - knit

Round 34 - k1 f&b, k11, k1 f&b, k11, k1 f&b

Round 35 - knit

Round 36 - k1 f&b, k12, k1 f&b, k12, k1 f&b

Round 37 - knit

Round 38 - begin decreases - k2 tog, k12, k2 tog, k12, k2 tog We're now trying to get him back to where he was before we increased.

Round 39 - knit

Round 40 - k2 tog, k11, k2 tog, k11, k2 tog

Round 41 - knit

Round 42 - k 2tog, k10, k2 tog, k10, k2 tog

Round 43 knit

Round 44 - k 2 tog, k3, k2 tog, k3, k 2tog, k3, k2 tog, k3, k 2tog

Round 45 knit

Round 46 k2 tog, k2 all the way around BUT BE CAREFUL! Watch opening. Don't let it get too small. If it looks small, you can stop after round 44 and start the next rows instead:

Round 47 and Round 48 - Purl all the way around

Round 49 - I used the i-cord bind off because it gives a nice, finished hole; however, if you think this is too fussy, just bind off normally and don't bother. No one will see the hole in this pumpkin, as the stem will be sewn over. The i-cord bind off is great if the hole will be seen.

Put pumpkin in lingerie bag and throw in washing machine. The Nature Wool/Cascade combination definitely felted faster than Lopi for me, so take it out every five minutes or so and just make sure it looks the way you want it to look.
When it's finished felting, take it out and rinse, then roll in a towel. I stuffed mine with polyester fiberfill while it was still wet.
To get the characteristic pumpkin bulges, tie yarn (I used orange because my pumpkin was still wet and I didn't want any other colors to run into it) around the pumpkin from the bottom to the top and pull as tightly as you can, then knot off. Do this 4 times, adjusting where you tie the yarn from bottom to top, dividing the pumpkin into 8 wedge-shaped bulges.
Let it dry COMPLETELY. I'd say, wait three days before untying to make sure that the grooves stay in place.

Pumpkin Stem
copyright 2007 Anita M. Wheeless

Using a larger size needle than you will use DPNs, cast on 54 stitches.

Round 1 Divide onto three DPNs by purling 18 onto each needle

Round 2 knit

Round 3 knit

Round 4 Decrease by k2 tog, k3, k2 tog, k3, k2 tog, k3, k2 tog, k1

Round 5 knit

Round 6 k2 tog, k3, k 2tog, k3, k2 tog, k2

Round 7 knit

Round 8 k 2 tog, k 2, k2 tog, k2, k2 tog, k1

Round 9 knit

Round 10 k2 tog, k2, k2 tog

Round 11 knit until you get the desired length for your stem. I'd say about three inches.

When you are ready, purl your last row, then bind off. Pull your yarn down inside the stem tube before you felt it.

Throw stem into lingerie bag and put in your washing machine. I usually throw in a pair of jeans to help with the agitation. Use a little Wool Wash or Woolite or even a bit of laundry detergent, if you haven't any Woolite. Use the hot setting. My washer has only hot with a cold rinse; however, I never let my felted projects go through the rinse. Continue to check your stem about every five minutes. When yours is felted to the size and look you are satisfied with, remove. When dry, trace pumpkin-hole size onto bottom of stem piece and cut stem to fit over the hole. You can go ahead and cut the felted piece. It won't unravel!!! Stuff stem tube, if desired. Stitch stem piece securely to pumpkin.

I am still working on leaves and tendrils! I intend to i-cord the tendrils and while wet, wrap around a dowel or pencil and let dry like that so they'll end up curly. The leaves can be cut from a felted swatch. Knit a piece, felt it, then use a real leaf (I like Oak and Maple or an ivy leaf or even a grape leaf) and pin it to the swatch. Cut out and stitch onto pumpkin wherever you'd like it! Again, if you run into anything that you have a question about, please email me.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Cowboy Hat for Snowman!

I thought I'd try something a little unusual ... so here's a cowboy hat for the snowman (who still has no face, I know, I know ... I will get to that soon)!
If anyone expresses an interest in the pattern, I'll be happy to post it. It's very, very easy.

Pumpkin Finished! (Well, first try!)

As promised, I finished the pumpkin. This is a different kind of pumpkin from the one I saw on ... this is knitted completely in the round (which means only the stem and leaves, if you want, are to be sewn on after). The entire pumpkin is one piece!
As it is, I'm not so sure I like the color choice. (kind of reminds me of Indian Corn instead of a pumpkin ...) It's a gorgeous yarn (will have to find label later), but rather thin, so I also knit it with a strand of orange Cascade chunky (also will check label!) ... I used what I had of Lopi and another strand of a thin green mix. I ended up cutting the green part after felting and putting it directly in the "hole" after stuffing and I sewed it there with one strand of green embroidery floss. I still have to do his face! (Why are faces always last on my to-do list???) Also need to knit a swatch to cut out leaves.
Kent helped me tie orange yarn around the pumpkin while it was wet to get those bulges.
If there's any interest in the pattern, let me know; however, it's pretty long when written out. Right now, it's just scribbles on a piece of paper!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Felted Snowman Pattern

UPDATE: 2009: Many people have asked me how big this snowman is. He is approximately 8 inches tall when felted, though his size varies with the wool yarn you use and how long you felt it.

Here is the "rough" pattern for the snowman. It is still a work in progress. Feel free to add the embellishments you would like. I've changed it slightly since I first posted it. I hope this has improved it.
Let me explain about the seemingly strange, one-stitch cast on! This helps to get a stable base from which you can keep increasing. This is knitting from the inner part to the outer (if that makes sense). I first saw this technique in a free pattern for a pitcher from Interweave. Although the pitcher was not felted, and it was quite small and used a light-weight yarn, I really liked the method. Before that, I used to work from the outside in (which is still very useful, I might add). However, if you want a toy or something else to stand up on its own, it really needs to have a nice, flat base. SO, once you've cast on the single stitch, you then put your right needle into it as if to knit, even bring your yarn around as if you were going to knit it, knit it, but don't remove it from the left needle. No, indeed! Instead, bring your yarn forward and put your right needle forward through that same stitch as if you were going to purl it and then purl it, but just as before, don't take it off the left needle! NO! WAIT! You're not finished yet! Don't remove the stitch! NO!! Move your yarn to the back and, once again, put your right needle into the back of that same, first, original stitch as if to knit and now, go ahead, knit it and, YES, this time, you may actually take it off the needle! VOILA! You get three stitches on your right-hand needle! And it makes a nice little bump. If you've not ever tried this before, don't be afraid of it. It really works well! (I hope I did an adequate job of explaining it. If not, please email me!)
I really liked the idea of Jean Greenhowe's Little Snow Folk; however, I wanted to knit mine in the round to avoid seams and also, I wanted a felted snowman that was a bit more rustic like a real snowman and not so much like a little doll. I also wanted mine to be more round.
WELL, ever since having taking a sock workshop where a wonderful sock lady taught me the finer points of DPNs, I like to cast onto a larger needle (US size 10 or 10.5, in this case) and then, when I divide the stitches onto the double-pointed needles, I simply knit them on and count that as one round, as she did. WOW! What an eye opener that was!
For this snowman, I used size 8 DPN and Lopi Lite yarn. You could also use Ella Rae Classic Merino or Patons Classic merino in Winter White or Aran. Obviously, you can vary the size by using different size needles/yarn, etc. I hope you enjoy! If you have any questions or run into errors, please let me know so I can publish a correction! Sometimes I lose count and may end up with one more or one less stitch. It doesn't matter! Once it's felted, no one will be able to tell!

Basic Two-Ball Felted Snowman
Copyright 2007-2009 Anita M. Wheeless

Abbreviations used in this pattern:
DPN- double-pointed needles
k1 - knit one
p1 - purl one
k1 f&b - knit one front and back. This increases one stitch.
k2 tog - knit two together. This decreases one stitch.

Round 1 Use a size US 10 or 10.5 needle and cast on ONE stitch. k1, p1, k1 in the same stitch

Round 2 knit

Round 3 k1 f&b in each (6 stitches)

Round 4 knit

Round 5 k1 f&b in each (12 stitches)

Round 6 Divide by knitting the stitches off of the larger needle onto 3 size US 8 DPN. This counts as a knitted round.

Round 7 (k1 f&b, k1) to end (6 on each)

Round 8 knit

Round 9 (k1 f&b, k2) to end (8 on each)

Round 10 knit

Round 11 (k1 f&b, k1) to end (12 stitches on each)

Round 12 knit

Round 13 (k1 f&b, k1) to end (18 stitches on each or 54 total)

Round 14 knit up to the 27th row

Round 28 start decreases k5 (k2 tog) two times, k5,(k2 tog) two times; next needle k5,(k2 tog) two times, k5, (k2 tog) two times; next needle k5 (k2 tog) two times, k5, (k2 tog) two times

Round 27-29 knit these three rounds or if you want more of a division between the balls, you could knit a couple more rounds or if you don't want so much of a division between the balls, you could knit only one or two more rounds. You decide.

Round 30 start increases for head (you're basically putting back the stitches you knit together in round 28) so, on the first needle k5, increase in next two stitches by knitting front and back, k5, increase in next two; next needle k5, inc. in next two stitches (f&b), k 5, increase in next two; next needle k5, inc in next two stitches (kf&b), knit 5, increase in last two. You should have about 18 stitches on each needle for a total of 54 stitches again.

Round 31-46 (15 rows) knit

Round 47 start decreases for top of head (k2, k2 tog) to end OR if you wanted to add another ball, repeat row 28 and start decreasing, then knit a couple or more rounds for another division, then start your increases again for the next ball. I haven't done it yet, but you could always not increase by as many. For instance, don't put all the stitches back to end up with a smaller ball for the head. If you decreased by four in the second ball, decrease by 8 on each needle for the third ball.

Round 48 knit

Round 49 (k1, k2 tog) to end (if you end up with two left, knit them together!)

Round 50 knit

Round 51 (k2 tog) to end (or bind off here and leave a bigger hole for stuffing)

Round 52 bind off/cast off

To make up

Throw snowman into a lingerie bag and felt in your washing machine using a small bit of Woolite or other wool wash. I added a pair of white jeans to help with the agitation. This little guy had to go through three or four washes started with prewash before he was the right size to suit me. You can judge how big or small or how well felted yours is. Take him out every five minutes or so and check. I didn't have any issues with shrinking more in one spot than another or anything like that. It really shrunk in proportion. (Good news!) Once out of the washer, I rinsed him and rolled him in a towel, then I stuffed him (while still damp) with polyester fiberfill. Be sure you stuff all the way to the bottom. You may need to enlist the aid of a knitting needle or other such object to help push the stuffing all the way down. The snowman depends on being stuffed well in order to stand. Some people have commented that you could use poly-pellets enclosed in a small bag inside the snowman, particularly inside the bottom, for added stability; however, as I wanted mine to be a toy and not a decoration, I opted for poly stuffing only.
Use roving to wet felt a nose in an appropriate carrot shape (or if you want a different nose, try something else). I then securely attached the nose with one strand of orange embroidery floss. I inserted the needle from the hole in the top of his head, so stitches remain unseen. Use embroidery floss for his eyes and mouth. You could use a bit of a red or pink pencil to rub into his cheeks for a glow, as many of the toy patterns suggest. Or I've also seen pink beads or how about a pink sequin on each cheek? If this were for a little child, though, those might not be the best! Too dangerous! If it's just a decoration, that could be good. Although a real snowman would never wear sequins or beads!
Ideas for arms: small juice-box drinking straws covered in yarn; real twigs; felted i-cord, etc. I forgot to mention, when you're finished stuffing him, run a length of strong thread or the white yarn through the stitches on the top of his head opening. Pull tightly in a gathering stitch. Tie off.
See Top Hat Pattern and Cowboy Hat Pattern on my blog under Nean the Bean's Free Patterns.

First Draft: Snowman

Well here's another project I'm still "tweaking." Here is my first try at a snowman. I've used Lopi Lite to give him a very fuzzy look. I wet felted his nose from a bit of orange BFL I had dyed last summer ... and I used roving and wet felted his scarf. In fact, I used the "artfelt" method and just punched the roving into the water-soluble embroidery backing, then wet it and popped it into the dryer.
Just for size, I tried on the teapot lid I had come up with last year and it fits! So now I can use my basic lid pattern and adapt it for a hat for him. In fact, I'm thinking of a couple of different hat styles that can all use this same basic pattern.
If anyone would be kind enough to give me any suggestions as I develop this little guy, please email me! Right now, he's got the two snowballs. I've also thought of adding a third, smaller ball for his head, instead of the large head he's got now.
Not sure how I want to do his facial features ... embroidery? Needle felting? I've not had much luck with my needle-felted features. They all fell off of my hedgehog! *sob*
I think I may go with embroidery.
Anyhow, so far, I'm thinking of juice-box drinking straws (with yarn over) for his arms. I've seen a picture of a pattern that uses wire and beads for the arms. That looks cute, too. I wonder how felted i-cord might work? I might make a few to see. I could possibly wet felt his arms, too.
Now that I'm thinking about it, I really would like him to be able to be a toy, as opposed to a decoration ... so I think bead and drinking-straw arms would both be out ... Hm ... so many ideas, so little time!!! AACCK. The attack of the CLOTHES! (Poor Randy wore mismatched socks to work! I MUST put down the knitting!!! but I don't want to ... *sniff)
p.s. I'd be happy to share my "rough" pattern, but it's very long. To others who post patterns: How do you do it??? Thanks!

Pumpkin-Stem Lid Before Felting

I am now working on a pumpkin (I better hurry this weekend and finish, as Halloween is not far away) ... and I just finished the stem last night. I'm hoping it will felt well. Ideally, what I'm trying to make is a felted pumpkin that can stand on its own without stuffing ... then you could fill it with candy, etc., and put the lid/stem back on!
So far, I am happy with my decreases for the top stem and I think I figured out how to get the stem part to look like it's slanted. Again, after felting I'll really know if I am right or not!
I'm hoping to felt a swatch of black and of green along with the pumpkin and I'll try to cut out a leaf and the facial features from these swatches.
We'll see what happens! Felting is always scary.