Saturday, December 12, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a Great White Christmas

NEW EDIT:
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.)

Body:
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)
BO.
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!


EDITED TO ADD SEAMLESS NOTES:
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.

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