Sunday, May 3, 2009

Gnome's Boot in the Rounds

I used the pattern for the smallest gnome to test knitting it in the rounds. My pattern is from the Bumper Book of Knitting.

Alan Dart’s pattern gives 1 stitch as seam allowance. So in theory, if I am knitting it in the rounds then I should reduce the number of stitches by the seam allowance. I decided not to do that for two reasons. First, I tested my gauge. I needed more stitches anyway to get the correct gauge. Secondly, even if my gauge is perfect, the seam allowance is only about 0.75cm or 0.30 inch; I don’t think it is going to distort the shape of the toy in any great manner. So I knitted as per instruction, with no reduction in stitches.

I will not be repeating the pattern here, copy right and all that. I just highlight the areas that enable me to knit the boot in one piece. Using chunky yarn and large knitting needles for the pictures here; they are not what was suggested by the pattern.

I stuffed all the pieces after I have finished knitting with the exception of the head & body.

Knitting Techniques used:
- the Turkish Cast-On
- knitting in the rounds with two circular knitting needles (My needles are different colour, silver and grey, just easier for me to pick up the correct set to work on.)
- three needles bind-off

The little gnome asks you to cast on 22 stitches for his little boot. With the Turkish cast-on method, you start knitting from the middle at the base of the boot and need to cast on half that number of stitches.

With two circular knitting needles of the same size, place a slip knot on the top needle. Wrap the yarn around both needles anti-close wise 11 times. Don't count the slip knot.
Pull the lower needle through so the wraps are sitting on the nylon wire. Using the other end of the grey needle, knit across the 11 wraps.When you come to the end, transfer the slip knot from the left needle... the right needle.Now pull the grey needle through so the stitches are now sitting on the wire. Turn the piece so that the silver needles is above the grey set, and move the wraps to the needle tip. Pick up the other silver needle and knit across the remaining 11 wraps.You have casted on 22 stitches, 11 on either side. You can now drop off the slip knot from the needle all together.You are ready to work in the rounds, and starting from row 1 of the pattern, do all the increases, decreases as the pattern said. Here I just finished row 2 and placed a stitch marker near the end before I started knitting row 3. It's to show you this is the toe end, you don't have to use the marker.You have done 12 rows and are ready to cast off 6 stitches at the beg of next 2 rows.Move the boot to the wire and turn it inside out.

Do a three needles bind-off, cast off 5 stitches.
To double check, there should be 9 stitches on each left needles and 1 stitch on the right.
Now move the boot back on the wire to turn the right side out.
Transfer that 1 stitch on the right needle to the left needle that is further away from you. It is the silver one here on the picture. There should be 9 stitches on the grey needle and 10 on the silver one.
Knit a round to the last 2 stitches and knit the two together. (18 stitches)
Knit another round. You have now done the cast off 6 stitches at the beg of next 2 rows and can carry on knitting in the rounds for the leg.
Remember you need to do a purl row at top of boot before changing to a different color yarn.

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