Saturday, December 12, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a Great White Christmas

Re-doing my pattern so it’s easier. People keep making snippy comments in their Ravelry Project notes, but never saying anything to me about what might help. I’m NOT a professional designer, and it’s a free pattern I posted because the world needs more cute sharks, so if you have issues, PLEASE talk to me.
I haven't test-knitted this version yet, but it's seamless with less fiddly-ness.
Co 4 stitches with a disappearing Circular Cast on.
K 1 round
*Kf&B *(8 sts)
K 1 round
Increase 3 sts evenly across row (11 sts)
K 1 round
Increase 3 sts evenly across row (14 sts)
K 10 rounds
Decrease 3 sts evenly across row (11 sts)
K 2 rounds
Decrease 3 sts evenly across round (8 sts)
Knit 1 round
K2tog, K1, K2tog, K1, K2tog (5sts)
K 1 round
K2tog, k1, K2tog
K1 round
Switch to flat knitting. K2tog, K1 (2 sts)
K 2 rows.
CO1, k2, CO1
Knit 1 row
Co1, K4, Co1
Knit 1 row
Co1, K6, Co1
K1 row.
BO 4 sts, K 4 sts, CO1
BO last 5 sts.
Use yarn tail to pull center of caudal fin in, creating a shark tail shape.
Make Fins as directed below, either separately and sewn on, or picked up and knitted on. 

Original post:
Hey, I survived the cold, cold weather we had last week (though it was certainly not as cold as Portland & Seattle- there are many benefits to living on the coast!). One of those very cold days we took a walk on the dunes, which the dogs thoroughly loved. It was strange hiking on a frozen trail through the forest though.

We're getting all geared up for Christmas, which for me of course means knitting & crafting various little gifts. One of this year's endeavors was a shark ornament for my good friend ( & co-worker) Steph, who loves sharks.

I actually paid attention & wrote down what I did so I could repeat it, so I may as well post it here so anyone else desiring a shark ornament can make one too! Maybe someday I'll put up my anemone pattern as well. These ornaments do require a ridiculous amount of sewing small, fiddly bits together and weaving in ends, but it's worth it! If you want tips on how to do them more seamlessly, see below.

Great White Christmas Ornament:

I used some leftover Lion Brand Wool Ease in a gray color, probably less than a quarter of a skein for 2 sharks, so less than 50 yards (45m).

US 6 (4mm) double-pointed needles.

Note: If you weave the fin ends in strategically, you can both reinforce the fins AND make the garter stitch look more like moss stich, which looks nicer.
(These instructions are for the smaller of the 2 sharks. To make the bigger one, knit an extra row between each of the tail increase rows, and increase up to 17 stitches.)

CO 2 stitches. Knit flat (garter st) for 2 rows. Then increase 1 stitch, and placce the 3 stitches on 3 double pointed needles.
Knit one round.
K1, M1, K1, M1, K1. (5 st)
Knit 1 round.
Increase 3 st evenly across the row. (8 st)
Knit 1 round.
Increase 3 st evenly across the row. (11 st)
Knit 2 rounds.
Increase 3 st evenly across the row. (14 st)
Knit 10 rounds.
Decrease 3 st evenly across the row. (11 st)
Knit 1 round.
Stuff the shark's body, giving it a nice, streamlined shape.
Decrease 3 st evenly across the row. (8 st)
Knit 1 round.
Decrease 4 st evenly across the row. (4 st)
Cut yarn & draw end through, cinching the nose shut.

Dorsal Fin:
Pick up 4 stitches at center back.
Knit a row.
Knit, K2 tog at head end.
Knit a row.
Knit, K 2 tog at head end.
Cut yarn leaving a long tail, & draw through. Make a hang-loop and weave the end through the dorsal fin (see note).

Pectoral fins (make 2):
CO 1.
Knit into front & back (2 st)
Knit a row.
Knit into front & back, K 2 (3 st)
Knit a row.
Knit into front & back, K 3 (4 st)
Bind off.
Sew onto the lower edge of the body, slightly forward of the dorsal fin. They should stick out to the side. Weave ends in (strategically).

Tail fins (make 2):
CO 1
K1, CO 2 st (3 st)
Knit a row
K3, CO 1. (4 st)
Secure to the center of the tail so that the curved edges are facing out, and then sew the bound off edges together in the center of the tail. Weave in the ends.

If you want, sew a black bead on for eyes. I haven't gotten to that part yet myself, but intend to shortly. :)
Voila- sharkey!

If you made the nose longer & knitted the tail horizontally rather than vertically, you could easily turn this into a dolphin, and by changing the overall color & shape of the dorsal fin, it could become any number of cetaceans!

these notes are from the lovely Lady Sunkist who knit this pattern seamlessly as dolphins for her marine biologist son

To knit nearly seamlessly:
start at the tail- cast on 9 stitches.
Knit one or two rows and then decrease - SSK at the beginning, & a K2tog at the end of the row.
Continued decreases at each end until 3 stitches rem. Then continue with the regular instructions for the body & dorsal fin.
For the pectoral fins, pick up 4 stitches from the body.
Knit several rows, doing decreases until 1 stitch rem. Weave in ends, pulling fins into the proper curved shape.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Ok, so I posted my shark pattern, I might as well put up my notes from the anemones I made a few years ago as well, right? I'd love to see other peoples' versions!

These are just loose notes, not a pattern. The size of the finished creature is entirely up to you, based on how many you cast on, and how tall you knit the base. This pattern is super-easy, if you have basic knitting skills and can use DPNs, you can do this!

My colors were used to mimic the Giant Green Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica) that we see all over our tidepools (since these were designed as presents for my fellow tidepoolologists), but feel free to use any colors that strike your fancy!

These were knit with several leftovers of acrylic worsted/aran yarns. Any yarn will work, and if you don't want to hold yarns doubled, just use bulky weight instead.
The yarns I used were: Caron Wintuk (brown), Lion Brand Wool-Ease worsted (darker green), Lion Brand Jiffy (olive).
For the tentacles, you will need a thin worsted shiny yarn in a contrasting color. I used TLC Cotton Plus.
US 8 (5mm) and US 6 (4mm) double-pointed needles.
Gauge is irrelevant.

Using size 8 needles and one strand brown and one strand olive-green worsted yarns held together, cast on 40 st (or thereabouts). Join in the round, and knit the tube (stockinette) about 4" (or as tall as you want it).

When the stalk is tall enough, wrap one stitch and turn as if to knit a short row. Turn the whole stalk inside out- the reverse stockinette is now the right side (voila- no purling!).

Switch the brown yarn strand for another shade of green, and knit the top of the anemone in stockinette. Use regular decreases, scattered around the row, every other row. Be sure to keep the top flat like a pie crust, rather than curved like a hat crown. A slight bulge is good though, realistic.

Once you have decreased down to about 10 stitches, bind off to form the gullet hole. Anemones have to eat, you know!

Now take your size 6 DPNS and a shiny worsted yarn, and pick up 4 stitches at the top edge (just inside the turning ridge where the stockinette meets the reverse stockinette).
I-cord for about 2.5-3 inches, then decrease 1 stitch to taper the tentacle. Do a few more rows of I-cord and then pull the end of the yarn through the last few stitches and pass it back through the length of the tentacle, tying it to the other end at the base inside the anemone.
Repeat the tentacles all the way around the edge, varying lengths slightly every other tentacle.

Because of the nature of stockinette, this anemone can actually curl in on itself to hide its tentacles, just as real anemones on rocks do when the tide is out!