Friday, October 24, 2008

"Quack" pattern

In the last post, you got a dramatic introduction to these squeaking, felted ducks. Here's the pattern:

Materials
-- About 40 g (65-70 yds) of feltable worsted weight yarn.
For the yellow duck, I used Peace Fleece (70% wool/30% mohair) in 'chickie masla' for the body and a rust-colored Bartlett fisherman's yarn (100% wool) for the beak and feet.
For the mallard duck, I used Lamb's Pride Worsted (85% wool/ 15% mohair) in "Sandy Heather" for the body, unknown colorways or dark brown, white, and dark green for the neck and head, Peace Fleece as the beak, and the Bartlett for the feet.
-- Size 10 needles. Straight or circular for the body. Double-pointed or circular for the legs.
-- Darning needle
-- Stuffing for the body. Wool roving, recyled t-shirts, etc.
-- dog squeaker from the pet store (optional)

Sizing
-- Knitting gauge: 14 stitches and 20 rows = 4"
-- Size before felting: 14.5" long and 5.5" wide when sewn together (11" wide unsewn)
-- Size after felting: 12" long and 4.75" wide

Abbreviations
k = knit
p= purl
k2tog = knit the next two stitches together
kfb = knit in the front and back of the next stitch
ssk= individually slip the next two stitches knitwise, then knit them together
sl1 wyif = "slip 1 with yarn in front," which you'll do by bring the yarn to the front and slipping the next stitch purlwise
ch 3 = "chain 3;" I use this in the bind off for the webbed feet. You'll knit one stitch, slip it back to the left needle, knit it again, slip it back again, and knit it a third time. It leaves a little chain of 3 stitches on the right-hand needle.
bind1 = "bind one off;" when you have two stitches on the right needle, use the left needle to lift the first (right) stitch over the second (left) stitch. It will bind off that first stitch.



Pattern
The duck is knit back and forth on two needles. You'll cast on at the tail, increase for the body, decrease for the neck, increase for the head, and then decrease for the beak. This will give you a flat, contoured piece that you seam together at the bottom, leaving a space for stuffing. You'll felt it, stuff it (including a dog squeaker if you want), and then use the cast on tail for seaming.

Tail
Cast on 5 stitches, leaving a tail of about 10" (this will be used for seaming)
Row 1 and all odd rows: purl across
Row 2: kfb 5 times (10 stitches)
Row 4: {kfb, k1} 5 times (15 stitches)
Row 6: {kfb, k2} 5 times (20 stitches)
Row 8: {kfb, k3} 5 times (25 stitches)
Row 10: {kfb, k4} 5 times (30 stitches)
Row 12: {kfb, k5} 5 times (35 stitches)
Row 14: {kfb, k6} 5 times (40 stitches)

Main Body
Knit in stockinette (knit the even rows, purl the odd rows) for Rows 15-33, or about 3.75"

Shoulders
Next, you'll decrease for the shoulder. If you're doing the Mallard version, change to a brown yarn half way through the decreases, around Row 40.

Row 34: {k2tog, k8} 4 times (36 stitches)
Row 36: {k2tog, k7} 4 times (32 stitches)
Row 38: {k2tog, k6} 4 times (28 stitches)
Row 40: {k2tog, k5} 4 times (24 stitches)
Row 42: {k2tog, k4} 4 times (20 stitches)
Row 44: {k2tog, k3} 4 times (16 stitches)

Neck
Knit in stockinette for Rows 45-55, or about 2.5". If you're doing the Mallard version, change to green yarn halfway through the neck, around Row 50. I also embellished it by duplicate stitching in white on Row 49 (you could knit a row of white instead, but I didn't think of it until too late).

Head
Row 56: {kfb, k3} 4 times (20 stitches)
Row 58: {kfb, k4} 4 times (24 stitches)
Row 60: knit
Row 62: knit
Row 64: {k2tog, k4} 4 times (20 stitches)
Row 66: {k2tog, k3} 4 times (16 stitches)

Beak
Change to the beak color yarn (orange for a yellow duck, yellow for a mallard).
Row 68: k2, ssk, k2tog, k4, ssk, k2tog, k2 (12 stitches)
Row 70: knit
Row 72: k1, ssk, k2tog, k2, ssk, k2tog, k1 ( 8 stitches)
Row 74: ssk, k2tog, ssk, k2tog (4 stitches)
After Row 74, break the yarn and draw it through the remaining 4 stitches.

Seaming
Next, you'll sew together the two edges of the duck. Turn it inside out, pull the two edges together, and seam it with a sturdy stitch. With the mallard, I sewed with the yarn ends so that each color section was seamed with matching yarn. Make sure you leave a few inches unsewn - I left a few in the middle of the body - so that you can turn it right side out and stuff it. You don't need to bother sewing in the ends. In fact, I like leaving long ends for the body, so that I have some felted yarn to sew up the opening.


Legs and Feet
The legs are a little tricky to explain but quick to knit. The basic idea is that for each foot you'll pick up six stitches in the middle of the body, knit an inch or so of I-cord (I did it with double-knitting), and then bind off decoratively for a webbed foot. You'll need two double-pointed needles or one circular needle for this.

Here are the detailed instructions: Turn the duck so that it's on its back with the head towards you. You'll start with the right leg. Pick a general spot about halfway lengthwise on the body and halfway widthwise between the seam and the right side. Pick up six stitches for the leg; three will be on one row, and three will be two rows further back. You can put all six stitches on one needle for I-cord if you want. Personally, I prefer double knitting for this many stitches. To do that, pick up the stitches with your left needle in the following order:

1 3 5
2 4 6

When you start knitting, you'll alternate knit and slip stitches as follows:
{k1, sl1 wyif} 3 times
On the first pass, you'll be knitting the front row and slipping the back row. When you turn your work and come back, you'll be knitting the back row and slipping the front row.

After completing about an inch or two of leg (I did 6 full rounds of knitting, but you might want more), you'll bind of with kind of a decorative picot that gives a webbed-foot look. Here's how I did it:
k1, {ch3, k1, bind1, k1, bind1}2 times, ch3, k1, bind1
Break the yarn and pull it through the remaining loop. Sew the yarn tail inside the leg to hide it. If you like, you can use the cast-on yarn tail to tack the leg down a little and secure it more the body.

Now, repeat for the left leg.

Felting and Finishing
You can hand-felt the duck in warm water, but it's much easier to toss it into the washing machine for a hot wash. It might need more than one cycle. When it's felted to your desired density, let it dry and then stuff it, including a replacement dog squeaker from the pet store if you want. Sew up the opening using the felted ends of yarn.


Enjoy!!

10 comments:

Tea said...

Very inventive! My rat terrier is going to love one of those. Thank you for sharing the pattern!

donna said...

Tippy the Chorkie and Baybee the Chihuahua thank you with all their little goggie hearts for this new toy their mommy is going to make for them.

Carolyn said...

Oh my gosh, I really love these! But my Emma (see my Ravatar at ravelry and don't be fooled by the innocent face!) would gut it in minutes, unless I'm right there saying "Emma, be good! Don't kill the toy, love it honey." I am not a crazy person, really. But I am sorry to say I actually say that to her. Must. Get. Out. More. :)

Rachael said...

Thanks so much for sharing!

T of Balkan Style Bloggers said...

I am going to try this tonight as an Easter gift. Thanks for sharing the pattern!

Anonymous said...

awww its so cute!!!! i have to try this!!!!! i have never felted anything and im to scared to try, so im going to try to make a nonfelted version. thanks for the pattern!

Rebecca said...

These are cute, and the mallard pattern really takes them up and beyond other knit pet toys. Thanks for sharing!

TracyKM said...

This is so cute, I had to knit one for my new puppy. But I'm having trouble with the feet. When doing the ch3, it says in the abreviations, it will leave a chain of 3 sts on the RIGHT needle...but you put them back on the left needle....then I thought, the last of the ch3 should go on the right needle...but you repeat the sequence in the brackets only twice, and then a little bit, but it does not bind off all 6 leg stitches....

Ms. Knitsalot said...

Found your pattern through Ravelry and had to favorite it. My son is in a play and is going to be a black lab with a stuffed bird around his neck. SO how perfect to have found your pattern and I love the picture of the dog wearing it. I'll have to show my son what he will now look like in his play. :0) I should have time to whip it up before the costume deadline.

Danielle Zimmerman said...

I'm having a really hard time figuring out the feet. If you get the time could you post a video or perhaps another way of explaining it? Thanks!