Tips for Knitting Wild Animals

Tips for Knitting Wild Animals

My 3D knit mojo rolled along over the winter. Most recently, I turned back to Knitted Wild Animals, by Sarah Keen.

Alanna Nelson knitting in Melrose MA

The giraffe, panda and elephant in their new home

Sarah’s patterns are easy to knit but need a chunk of time to assemble. These three animals used almost an entire bag of polyfill (I chose not to stuff them with wool, as the panda was really quite big and I wondered if the wool might get a bit felted over time).

The last time I knit patterns from this book, there were mental notes about what I might do differently next time. Did I remember them? Of course not.. but this time I’m writing it down.

Alanna Nelson knits wild animals in Boston

Knitted Wild Animals by Sarah Keen

  • Leave 8″ long tails at the cast on and bind off edges to seam your pieces together.
  • If you have difficulty identifying the cast on and bind off edges, tie a bow on the cast on tail to help you remember which is which.
  • Tie sets of arms, legs, horns… everything that’s knit in twos and keep them together until the seaming begins
  • Consider knitting pieces in the round on double pointed needles (the shorter, the better). The legs, arms and horns could have been knit in the round for the giraffe, elephant and panda. The body sections for the panda and elephant could be, too.  Just put markers in between the 2 pieces so your increase and decrease points are easy to identify.

So, there! Now, have you knit patterns from this book? I’d love to hear your tips about what worked for you.

Recovering my 3D knit mojo

Recovering my 3D knit mojo

Once upon a time, there was a mother who would knit anything for her daughter. The toddler loved hats and all kinds of animals. When the mother discovered The Knitted Farmyard by Hannelore Wernhard, she resolutely created its landscape rug and a variety of tiny animals that required hardly any knitting but plenty of fiddly finishing. The toddler loved playing with each of the knitted animals. She and her friends would take the animals all over the house, in the stroller and around town. Before the mother knew it, hours of laboriously fashioned little animals had completely disappeared, thereby extinguishing all desire to ever create anything three dimensional again.

Alanna Nelson knits toy animals

Giraffe from Sarah Keen’s Knitted Wild Animals

With very little exception, 3D knitted toys did not pop into this mother’s knitting radar (or onto her needles) for a very long time.  Last summer, as I watched a knitter create an ornament in the form of a box of Hobb’s popcorn, the kernel of knitting curiosity cracked that moldy resolution to avoid knitted toys. The flame sparked brightly when my sister requested not one but THREE knitted wild animals from Sarah Keen’s Knitted Wild Animals. Another toddler who may just love animals in my future? Can I refuse? No way! I don’t want to miss this chance.

So soon I shall knit another giraffe, an elephant and a panda. I’m warming up with other 3D knit projects this winter.

knit Mimmo

Parlour Cat a free Rav pattern by Sarah Kellener

I finished one of two Parlour cat by Sarah Elizabeth Kellner, in memory of our dear gatto di lusso. No face yet, but it looks quite convincing when placed on the chair. Can’t wait to make the next one.

Celestine is a 12 pointed star designed by Norah Gaughan. Easy to knit in sport weight yarn, this pattern could be a traveling project… except for the double pointed needles. However, TV knitting is completely appropriate.

If If keep this up, a knit cornucopia with accompanying knit vegetables may be in my future.  But will the 3D knit mojo last that long?