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Free pattern – buoys!

These guys are wicked simple, and make good last minute gifts, either as ornaments or in addition to a card or note. All you’ll need is some double pointed needles, scraps of yarn, and something to stuff with. If you wanted, you could knit these on straight needles and sew them up after.

materials.

  • size 4 DPNS
  • scraps of worsted weight yarn
  • stuffing
  • tapestry needle

instructions.

 

CO 9 sts

Round 1: knit
Round 2: KFB into each stitch (18 sts)
Rounds 3 & 4: Knit
Round 5: Purl

Knit straight for 13 rounds, alternating colors as desired.

Round 19: (K1, k2tog) around (12 sts)
Rounds 20 & 21: Knit
Round 22: (K2tog) around (6 sts)

Cut yarn and thread through remaining sts. Stuff buoy, then pull yarn tight and weave in end.

Pick up 3 sts around the hole in the top of the buoy and place on one needle. Work icord for 5 rows.

Row 6: K2tog, K1
Row 7: K2tog

Cut yarn and pull tight through remaining st. Weave in all ends.

note: Knitting only one round (instead of two) after increasing the top will create a noticeably smaller buoy, if you desire.

Knit them in team colors, school colors, Christmas colors… They can hang alone, or tied together in a little bunch. You can hang them from the top or the bottom, it’s up to you.

Free pattern – toy lobster

Meet François.

François, as you may have gathered, is a lobster. I hadn’t seen any patterns for a toy lobster on the internet, so, while procrastinating on studying for my Tibetan Buddhism final, I decided to create one.

As a Mainer (and, additionally, someone who works by the water and deals with a lot of tourists), I find myself constantly correcting people when it comes to the actual color of a lobster – they’re actually a dark, blue/green/black kind of combination, and only turn red after you boil them. Because of this, it’s ironic that the only worsted weight yarn I had in my stash at the time was bright red. Sorry, François, looks like it’s the dinner table for you.

Materials:

  • less than one skein of any worsted weight yarn, any color
  • size 6 DPNs (this is what I used, but a lower size is recommended – depending on how tightly you knit, it might be a good idea to use a size 2, 3, or 4 set of DPNs so that the stuffing isn’t seen)
  • a handful or two of poly-fil stuffing
  • tapestry needle

Gauge:

  • not terribly important, but make sure it’s tight enough that the stuffing won’t show through

Instructions:

The lobster is knit in several stages, with as little seaming as possible. The tail consists of five little “fin” pieces which are sewn together and then sewn onto the mail body piece. Six legs are created with three icords that are simply poked through the lobster’s belly. The claws are created separately and then stitched onto the sides of the head.

M1: make 1 stitch. This is accomplished by picking up the “leg” between two stitches (or at the beginning of a needle when working with DPNs). (See this video for a visual.)
KFB: knit the front and back of a stitch to increase one.

Tail:

The tail has five pieces and is built from the middle. The two pieces on either side of the middle piece are symmetrical, and the two outermost pieces are identical. All pieces are knit straight on two DPNs (or straight needles if you prefer).

middle (make 1)

CO 8 sts
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: P2tog, P4, P2tog
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: P2tog, P2, P2tog
Row 7: K2tog twice
Cut yarn and thread through last sts, pull tight.

inner right (make 1)

CO 6 sts
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: k2tog, knit to end
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: k2tog, knit to end
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: k2tog twice
Cut yarn and thread through last sts, pull tight.

inner left (make 1)

CO 6 sts
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit to the last 2 sts, k2tog
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: Knit to the last 2 sts, k2tog
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: k2tog twice
Cut yarn and thread through last sts, pull tight.

outer piece (make 2)

CO 4 sts
Rows 1-6: Work stockinette stitch
Row 7: k2tog twice
Row 8: Purl
Cut yarn and thread through last sts, pull tight.

finishing tail

Weave in ends from BO edges. With ends from CO edges, connect the tail pieces. The pieces will overlap. Flat end (CO edge) of inner pieces tilt at about a 45º angle from the middle piece. CO edge of outer pieces tilt at about a 45º angle from the inner pieces. Hopefully the picture helps!

Body/Tail:

CO 24 sts, 8 on each needle. If you leave a long tail (8″-12″), you will be able to use this later for seaming. Join in the round, being careful not to twist.
Rounds 1-6: knit
Round 7: p first 16 sts, k to end of round.
Rounds 8-10: knit
Round 11: p first 16 sts, k to end of round
Rounds 12-15: knit
Round 16: p first 16 sts, k to end of round
Rounds 17-20:knit
Round 21: k2tog, k5, k2tog, k5, k2tog, k3, k2tog, k3 (20 sts)
Round 22: purl first 13 sts, k to end of round

Round 23: M1, knit to end of needle, M1, knit to end of needle, M1, k3, M1, k1, M1, k3 (25 sts)
Round 24: knit
Round 25: M1, knit to end of needle, M1, knit to end of needle, M1, knit to end of needle (28 sts)
Round 26: knit
Repeat rounds 25 and 26 until you have 40 stitches.
Round 35: k2tog, k10, k2tog, k10, k2tog, k6, k2tog, k6 (36 sts)
Round 36: knit
Round 37: k2tog twice, k6, k2tog, k6, k2tog twice, k5, k2tog twice, k5 (29 sts)
Round 38: knit
Round 39: k2tog twice, k3, k2tog, k3, k2tog twice, k5, k2tog twice, k4 (22 sts)
Round 40: knit
Round 41: k2tog x6, k3, k2tog twice, k3 (14 sts)
Round 42: knit
Round 43: k2, k2tog, k2, k3, k2tog, k3 (12 sts)
Round 44: knit
Round 45: k2, k2tog, k3, k2tog, k3 (10 sts)
Round 46: k2tog all around (5 sts)

Cut yarn and thread through remaining sts. Pull tight and weave in.

finishing

Stuff the body. Using the CO tail, sew the CO end shut flat while also sewing on the tail piece.

Legs: (make 3 using 2 DPNs)

CO 1 st.

Row 1: KFB
Row 2:
KFB, k1
Row 3: Knit
Continue knitting icord straight until leg measures about 6.5 inches long.
next row… k2tog, k1
next row… k2tog
Cut yarn and pull tight through last stitch. Do not weave in.

finishing

Legs are attached immediately after the tail portion of the main body ends (the last purl line). All three are fit in before the halfway mark of the upper body, if not a little less. I suggest that you wait to bring the legs through until after you make the claws, to make sure everything is lined up right. If not, it is easy enough to pull them out and adjust them when all is said and done.

Make sure you leave both ends of each leg free. With one end threaded through a tapestry needle, poke the tapestry needle through the belly of the lobster. Make sure that the two holes are on the same row of stitches, and then pull the leg through so that there are equal portions on either side of the body. (You may need to put a knitting needle through the hole to make it big enough.)

It should be noted that the legs do not go straight out through the sides of the body, but are actually more underneath… the picture should help with this.

To make the legs crook forward, weave in an end to about the halfway point of the leg, then jump a few stitches before bringing your needle back in, and pull. Continue weaving the end in. If you weave the end in through to the body, the legs will be secured so that no one can accidentally pull them out. The legs will remain straight if you then straighten them, but they have fairly good memory and will now stay bent if you point them that way.

Arms and claws:

arm and claw (make two)

CO 6 sts (2 on each needle). Join in the round, being careful not to twist.
Rounds 1-3: knit
Round 4: k1, m1, k1 for each needle (9 sts)
Knit 10 rounds
Round 15:
Needle one: k1, m1, k1, m1, k1
Needle two: k1, m1, k1, m1, k1
Needle three: k3 (13 sts total)
Round 16: knit
Round 17:
Needle one: k1, m1, k1, m1, k1, m1, k1, m1, k1
Needle two: k1, m1, k3, m1, k1
Needle three: k3 (19 sts total)
Rounds 18-19: knit.
Round 20:
knit the first two needles, but instead of knitting the 3rd needle (with 3 sts on it), use a 5th needle and knit 5 sts from needle one. This new needle, with 5 sts, is your new “needle one.” That means that the old “needle one” is now needle two, and needle two is needle three. Make sure to pull tight. The needle with 3 sts will not be used until later. If you only have 4 DPNs, a stitch holder for the 3 sts will work fine.
Rounds 21-22: knit
Round 23:
Needle one: k2tog, k3
Needle two: k1, k2tog, k1
Needle three: k3, k2tog twice (12 sts total)
Round 24: knit
(note: around this point you’ll probably want to stuff the arm and what you have of the claw. You can then continue to add bits of stuffing as you go, though the top of the claw doesn’t really need much.)
Round 25:
Needle one: k2tog, k2
Needle two: k1, k2tog
Needle three: k2tog, k1, k2tog (8 sts total)
Round 26: knit
Round 27:
Needle one: knit
Needle two: k2tog
Needle three: knit (7 sts total)
Round 28: knit
Round 29:
Needle one: k2tog, k1
Needle two: k1
Needle three: k1, k2tog (5 sts total)
Round 30:
Needle one: k2tog
Needle two: k1
Needle three: k2tog
Cut yarn and thread through remaining stitches. Pull tight and leave the tail.

Now work an icord for 6 rows using the 3 live sts remaining.
Row 7: k2tog, k1
Row 8: k2tog
Cut yarn and pull tight through remaining st. Leave tail.

Sew a claw to each side of the lobster’s head with the i-cord part of the claw facing inward. You may want to use a needle (poked through the body) to make sure they line up correctly.

Using the same method as crooking the legs, you can work with your tapestry needle and the ends of the two claw parts to make them bend toward each other. Weave in all remaining ends.

Cut four short lengths of yarn (two for each arm). Tie one tightly at the base of each claw and weave in ends. Tie the other tightly about a half inch lower than the first and weave in ends. Voila – knuckles!

finishing touches.

  • Draw a length of yarn through the front of the lobster, near his “nose,” for antennae. Another option is to chain stitch a length of yarn with a crochet hook and draw it through.
  • Use a contrasting color yarn to create eyes, also near his “nose.” After you’ve embroidered them, poke the needle under the stitches and push them outwards so they kind of pop out a little.

Questions, comments, pictures, suggestions, or pattern corrections can be sent to me at mm.link[at]gmail[dot]com . My username on Ravelry is Mahoney.

Huge thank you to my test knitters for their enthusiasm and feedback!
-yenju
-yarnhoardinmama
-tinker
-sjanova

Like this pattern? Check out Rustleaire’s Cuddly Scorpion, designed with François’ claws in mind.

what is…?

dirigo is a knitting blog, without the blog. it is simply a place for me to post any patterns i create, for others to enjoy. my username on ravelry is mahoney. this is where you can find other projects i have made that were not created by me. you can contact me at mm.link[at]gmail.com. thanks!

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