Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Legs the Penguin


Years ago I created a member of Keith's Pumpkin posse who has been a key feature in our house decor ever since.  We have named this pumpkin "Legs" and he sits and watches over us.  In addition to collecting pumpkins, Keith and I have a bit of a penguin collection so I thought it would be fun to create a penguin companion to Legs.  Until I come up with a better name, I am thrilled to introduce you to Legs the Penguin!

I know that penguins do not normally have long legs, but neither do pumpkins!  This little bit of whimsey has made us so happy that I couldn't wait to start knitting. I'd had this idea in the back of my brain for a while, but when I saw my bird-like sketches of my "dog" in my Design your own Knit toy class with Anna Hrachovec I knew that I had a winner.  I was off and working up these sketches to create the toy that had been in my brain for a long time.  I'm thrilled to share the design of it with you guys today!


Legs the Penguin is a simple toy, but there are some complicated techniques including a modified picot/three needle bindoff and an unusual icord.  Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments section or in the ChemKnits Designs Group on Ravelry, or on the ChemKnits Facebook page.    

Materials 
  • Size 3 (3.25 mm) double pointed needles or circular with a long enough cable for magic loop.
  • KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Worsted weight yarn in black (Coal; 11 g, 25 yards) white (White; 3g, 7 yards) and yellow (Semolina; 2 g, 5 yards).  
  • Fiber fill to stuff the toy
  • Yarn needle to weave in loose ends and stitch together the components
  • Eyes:  The sample used googly eyes and glue to secure them to Legs the Penguin.  You could also use safety eyes, felt or yarn to create the eyes.  
  • Gauge - tight enough so the stuffing won't show through.
  • Final size: Body 2.5" tall, legs 5" long, wings 2.5" long

Abbreviations and Links to How-To Videos:

The Body
  • In black, cast on 6 sts on 3 needles.  Join to knit in the round.  (Note that this is the BOTTOM of the penguin.)  
  • Round 1 - *K1, Kfb* around (9 sts)
  • Round 2 - KFB around - 18 sts
  • Round 3 - Knit around
  • Round 4 - KFB around - 36 sts
  • Knit 18 rounds in stockinette (K all rounds)
  • Decrease Round 1 - K2, K2tog acorss (27 sts)
  • Decrease Round 2 - K around
  • Decrease Round 3 - K1, K2tog across (18 sts)
  • Decrease Round 4 - K around.  Stuff the penguin head with fiberfill, taking care not to over stuff.  You don't want to see any of the filling through the black stitches.  
  • Decrease Round 5 - K2tog around(9 sts)  
  • Break yarn and pull through remaining stitches.  Weave in any loose ends.  


The Stomach
  • In White, cast on 6 sts across 3 double pointed needles.  Join to knit in the round.  
  • Round 1 - KFB around (12 sts)
  • Round 2 - knit around
  • Round 3 - K1, KFB around (18 sts)
  • Round 4 Knit around
  • Round 5 - K2, Kfb (24 sts)
  • Round 6 - K around
  • Round 7 - K3, Kfb (30 sts)
  • Bind off knit wise.  Cut yarn leaving a 12" tail.  
  • Using the cast on tail, stitch up the hole in the center of the stomach


The Feet (Make 2)
  • In Yellow, cast on 3 sts.  Join to knit in the round.
  • Round 1 - KFB around (6 sts) Divide stitches onto 3 needles.  
  • Round 2 - K around
  • Round 3 - KFB around (12 sts) 
  • Knit 8 Rounds in Stockinette. 
  • Place the first 6 stitches on one needle and the remaining 6 sts on a second needle.
  • The toes of the feet are created through a picot bind off.  You will find the following video of how to do a picot bind off helpful for this step.  Since we are binding off across two pieces of fabric, we are doing a modified three needle bind off.  Whenever it is time to bind off one of the original stitches on a needle, knit together a stitch from the front needle with a stitch on the back needle.  
  • FIRST PICOT: Cast on 2 sts at the beginning of the round (I like the knitted cast on.)  Bind off one stitch.  *Knit 1 stitch from the front needle together with 1 stitch from the back needle, bind off one stitch.*  (The two stitches you cast on are now bound off.)  Repeat from * twice more.  (7 sts)
  • SECOND PICOT: Transfer stitch on right needle back to front left needle.  Cast on 2 stitches with knitted cast on.  Bind off 2 sts.  *Knit 1 stitch from the front needle together with 1 stitch from the back needle, bind off one stitch.* Repeat from * Once more.  (3 sts)
  • THIRD PICOT: Transfer stitch on right needle back to front left needle.  Cast on 2 sts with knitted cast on.  Bid off 2 sts.  Knit 1 stitch from the front needle together with 1 stitch from the back needle, bind off one stitch.   Break yarn and pull though last stitch.  Weave in loose ends.  


Beak - Even though the number of stitches increases, continue to knit as you would an icord.  (Knitting in the round on 2 needles.)
  • In Yellow, cast on 6 sts.
  • Knit 1 icord round.  
  • As icord, K2tog, K2, K2tog (4 sts)
  • Knit 1 round icord.  
  • As icord, K2tog, K2tog (2 sts)
  • Cut yarn with an 8 inch tail and pull thorough remaining stitches.  


Creating the Twists for Wings and Legs - We will make the twists longer than you need and then you can trim them down to fit.
  • Cut a 2 yard pieces of black yarn. 
  • Fold in half and step on one end.  Twist clockwise until there is a lot of tension.
  • Fold the twist in half and release the ends to allow it to twist on itself.
  • Adjust the twist as needed so you have a straight strand.  Secure the loose ends by tying a scrap of yarn across.  
  • Repeat Once more for two twists.  Each twist is ~ 12" long.  

Finishing
  • Stitch the stomach to the body of the penguin with one edge starting a the center bottom of the body.
  • Stitch the cast on edge of the beak to the body just above the stomach.  
  • Add Eyes:  I like googly eyes but you can also use buttons, safety eyes or embroider eyes onto your penguin.  I glued the googly eyes onto the penguin and then waited for it to dry before continuing.  I recommend doing the eyes first so you can get the placement of wings/legs right.
  • Legs: With a yarn needle, insert one twist through the body in the desired position.  Pull the twist through the body of the penguin so half of the twist is hanging out of either end.  Adjust the legs to the desired length and then insert and secure the hanging ends into the feet.  Use the loose ends of the feet to secure the twist inside the food so it won't pull off.

  • Wings: Each wing is a loop of the twisted yarn.  With a yarn needle, pull the end of the second twist though the body in the desired position.  Pull the twist through the body of the penguin so half of the twist is hanging out of either end.   Next, pull each end of the twist back in the body at the site where they came out until you get wing loops of desired size.
  • Weave in any remaining loose ends and trim anything sticking out.  

Have fun playing with Legs!

Here is Legs the Penguin hanging out with Russet the Pumpkin waiting for his eyes to dry so we could give him wings and legs.


The finished Legs the Penguin hanging out with his buddy who inspired. 


I hope you enjoy your Legs the Penguin!


This this pattern was created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. This pattern is not to be replicated, sold or redistributed without permission from ChemKnits. © 2014 ChemKnits

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