I've written before about knitting where tension is not an issue. That post is here.
But there are times when tension is very important, usually garments.
My latest project is to be a fluffy pink pig based on Alan Dart's Sirdar pattern which uses predominantly snowflake DK yarn.
Now, the colour (or anything like it) has been discontinued, so an alternative is required.
I went for Sirdar's snowflake chunky instead, which is usually knitted up on 5mm needles.
An adaption of the pattern was required, especially as a plain DK yarn is also used in conjunction.
The tension for snowflake DK on 3mm needles is 26st over 36rows on a standard square, and chunky is 18st over 24rows on 4mm, a simple ratio between the two of 1.4.
Adapting the pattern meant a little maths as both width and length have to be adjusted and also allowing for shaping - sketching things out was very helpful here, especially for the turn rows shaping the top of the head.
So I now had the pattern adapted for the new yarn.
Of course, things were never going to be that easy, not knowing me!
There are TWO errors I made. It would have been a lot easier to sort out one. It would have been even easier had I knitted tension squares to begin with!
First mistake, I inadvertently knitted the snowflake on 3mm needles - I'd been using 3mm needles for just about everything for so long, it seemed natural and I didn't even realise.
Second mistake, I didn't check that the plain DK yarn I was using would knit up without distortion on 3 mm needles. It doesn't.
It would have been so much easier had I simply done this to begin with:
A very important lesson hard learned!
Coulomb's feet are based on Rosie Rabbit's from Alan Dart's Animal Magic (sadly now, hard to come by because, yes, you've guessed it, Sirdar discontinued most of the colours.):
Coulomb's nose is actually Rosie's tail!
And Coulomb's hands are based on Gordon Gorilla's (same source):
(I've scanned in the pictures of the animals from Animal Magic. They're here.)
So the secret of Coulomb is that, instead of reinventing the wheel, I took bits of other patterns and adapted them to my needs (rather like Object Oriented Programming - oh yes, I have now linked knitting to computer programming!!).
In an earlier post, I mentioned altering the pattern for the hands from that in
This modified version also has the advantage of allowing pipecleaners to be
inserted into the fingers (remember to make them safe by turning down the ends
with pliers). The fingers can now be made to hold things like swords and
So it's been time to do the hair.
The hair is done with a loop stitch:
1. Insert RH needle and wrap yarn as though to stitch
2. Wrap yarn around (certain number) of fingers and the needle again
3. Knit pulling both loops though.
4. Transfer loops back to LH needle
5. Knit loops together
6. Tighten loop
Now, I'm not one to faff about transferring loops back to the LH needle if I can help it. So, leaving the two stitches on the RH needle I insert the LH needle through the stitches from the right. Geometrically, it's identical.
Loop stitch in pictures (Leth-styley):
The result is a lovely head of curls. The loops were then cut to give a shaggy look.
Obviously I couldn't stitch on the wig without giving Samuel a face first, so copying the photograph in the book I stitched in his features.
Then came his beard, which was a row of loop stitches spaced out with knit stitches. The strands were cut, separated, gathered into two bunches and bound.
I have not yet dug about in the cupboard for beads to add to his hairstyle, but here he is:
I am unhappy with his hat, so I have devised an alternative pattern and shall see how that turns out.
All cast on and ready to go.