So, I’m going to jump on the Dragon Knit-Along over on Kim Harrison’s blog, and a few friends have commented that their skills aren’t up to the task.
First, let me say: nonsense. The point of a KAL is to be able to get help and ask questions as you go. Kim Harrison is obviously planning to go nice and slow with this project, so you can learn as you go along.
Second: Stuffed animals are a great beginner knit, because the gauge doesn’t matter, and you’re usually knitting tons of stockinette, only focusing on the shaping of the piece. But even if you are way off and everything is lopsided and weird… it will still be awesome. I have knitted and sewn some truly deranged-looking stuffed animals in my time. The main trick is to get the eyes "right." Everything else pretty much falls into place. If the eyes are a little derpy, that’s fine, too.
Third: OK, say you really really just can’t do it. Shaping is beyond you. You have too much going on right now to learn something. You are daunted. That’s fine. Here are three free, adorable stuffed animal patterns you can knit this month to be part of the KAL and still have fun:
Bunny: A great project for felting, this project is done by knitting a big rectangle and then folding it. It’s ori-yarni, really. Super easy, super cute. You can knit it in garter or stockinette, as you prefer.
Knitten: This was the first thing I ever knitted– a knitted kitten I then gave to Alladin. He still plays with it sometimes. Knitted flat in 3 pieces, all garter stitch (that means all knit stitches, no purls), and very little increase/decreases (just the tail, actually).
Grumpasaurus: This is knit in the round (stockinette) with some shaping. The ridge teaches you a picot stitch. The tail carries most of the weight of the project. It’s basically an egg with a tail and a couple of stubby legs.
For any of these projects, you will need:
- Yarn, about 1 ball, maybe 2 if you are using bulky yarn.
- Needles to get a night tight gauge for the yarn. You don’t want it to be super stretchy or holey when you stretch it.
- A bag of polyfill stuffing
- A yarn needle to stitch things up
- Either craft eyes, a pair of buttons, or contrasting yarn you can use to embroider eyes onto your creature. The Grumpasaurus is the only one that really needs a face in order to be recognizable– the kitty and bunny are fairly identifiable even without eyes.