Monday, 5 April 2010

SOCK DRAGON! Part 3 - Tail and Neck

Yo! So, after telling you guys I'd stop when it became impractical to turn the heels on the tail, it then became impossible. So there are now 6 heels to the body section, before I reduced down to 16 stitches and started knitting on 2 needles again. I did about 10 rows of that, then down to 12, another 10 rows, and so on til I got to 4. That whole section will need to be sewn up along the sides, as it's not in the round, but it did leave a useful hole for stuffing his back half through :)

At the head end I did something rather cunning which I should probably illustrate. I orientated the knitting so that I could tell which was the back of Socky and which was his tummy, and found that the first tail-end from my casting-on was at one side of his tummy. I counted 10 stitches back from this point all along his tummy ('bottom' on the diagram) and picked-up-and-knit them so that there were 10 new stitches on needle 1. These stitches were in the same direction as the other tummy stitches, unlike most pick-up-and-knit, which made a nice neat join.
Now I counted up the left and right sides of his body, and saved another 10 stitches each on needles 2 and 3. I didn't pick up and knit these, yet, I just slipped one of the loops from the cast-on stitches onto the needle (which is awkward) so that I could identify and count them.
Now I had 10 stitches left, opposite the first heel I had made, and I slipped these onto needle 4 without knitting them.

Having identified the sides of the body, I could now begin to knit the neck piece! Starting with needle 1, I knit 10 and then picked-up-and-knit an extra stitch from the side-needle before turning the work so that I had 11 stitches. I was using a fifth needle for these rows, at the same gague, but in fact once the top 10 are defined I found it was also fine to take the side-needles out, use one of those as my working needle and just pick-up the likely-looking stitches.
Purling back across the 11, when I got to the end I picked-up-and-PURLED a stitch from the second side-needle to get 12. I found (because of where I put my working yarn to begin with) that I would pick up extra odd stitches on needle 3 (11, 13, 15, etc. up to 29) and even stitches on needle 2 (12, 14, 16 up to 30.)

Once I had knit all the side-stitches, I was left with 30 stitches on my working needle and the remaining 10 on the top needle; I'd created a big flap of chest! After dividing my 30 again between the DPNs, I picked-up-and-knit the last 10 stitches on needle 4 to start knitting in the round again to do the neck.

I'd also nearly run out of wool. I'll need to get at least another ball for his head I think to be sure, and some for his legs as well. Wings are apparently obligatory; they're probably going to involve a lot of black felt and pipe-cleaners! Socky has been mostly stuffed this weekend though and looks amazingly fat and wibbly, just how I imagined, so I'm satisfied at the moment!

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