All posts by irmarks

I'm a knitting pattern designer and owner of the shop DrFrankKnits on Etsy.

Free Pattern Fridays – Rocket Ship Reprint!

Unfortunately, I’ve decided that I can’t keep up the Free Pattern Friday feature every week.  I know the patterns seem to materialize out of thin air, but as anyone who has ever written a pattern before can attest to, they take up a large chunk of time.  Between designing and perfecting the new toys, knitting them, transferring pattern note scrawl into a usable pattern, typing it up, reknitting the item for in-progress pictures and doing a finished toy photo shoot, it simply is taking up too much of the time I need for designing items for my Etsy shop, particularly as the busier holiday season rolls around.  That’s not to say that there won’t be occasional free patterns here, and none of the older patterns are going anywhere, I simply can’t justify spending the time designing free patterns every week, particularly when I start to feel like my blog has become a “grab-and-go” pattern service to most of its audience, instead of the thriving, toy-loving community I’ve been striving to create.

This week I’m reprinting the very first Free Pattern Friday rocket ship pattern here on WordPress for those of you who may not have been able to access it on Tumblr.  When I initially decided to do a blog, I didn’t know anything about them or popular hosting sites, so I just signed up for the first one I found, which was Tumblr.  However, I quickly began to feel like an old “fuddy-duddy” around there.  Not that there’s anything wrong with Tumblr, it’s just that anytime I’m on there, the generational gap becomes painfully apparent. 😀  So, I moved over here to WordPress in the hopes of attracting a broader audience.  I still share all posts here with that blog, but this is my “home base” now.  Since I believe Tumblr requires registration to view posts, I fear that some of you may not have been able to access that first pattern, so I thought it might be beneficial to repost it here.  Anyway, it’s still one of my favorite patterns, fun to knit, with some cute pictures that will look good on this new blog!  I hope you enjoy the revisit!

(Reprinted from my Tumblr blog)

image

Let’s get this blog started with an adorable free pattern for a small (about 3” tall) rocket ship softie!

I don’t know what it is about the classic retro-style rocket design.  Maybe it’s because the lines are so clean and elegant, or maybe it’s because I grew up watching low budget old sci-fi flicks late at night on our public access tv station.  Whatever the reason, I just adore the look.

Quick to knit, I think this tiny rocket has a multitude of decorative uses.  Use them as place card holders/favors for a space/sci-fi themed party, string a bunch together (in different colors, or the same color) to make an awesome garland, or just display them individually in random locations around the house.  Have fun with it!  If you do make some cool craft with your rockets, feel free to send me pictures!  I’d love to see them!  This is also a wonderful stash-buster because it uses a very small amount of yarn!

(If this whets your appetite for more rockets, I also have a large rocket ship pattern available for purchase at my Etsy shop! (http://www.etsy.com/shop/drfrankknits ))

Mini Rocket Ship Pattern

by Ilana Marks

Materials:

  • Worsted Weight White Yarn (Main Color – MC)
  • Worsted Weight Red Yarn (Contrasting Color – CC)
  • Worsted Weight Blue Yarn (Accent Color – AC)
  • Worsted Weight Orange Yarn (optional)
  • Polyester Fiberfill Stuffing
  • One Set Size 6 Double Pointed Needles (dpns)
  • Crochet Hook (Size F or thereabouts) (optional)
  • Tapestry Needle

Main Body

With White or MC yarn, co 8 stitches, leaving a short tail.  Divide the stitches onto 3 dpns and proceed to work in the round.

Rnd 1: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 2: (kf&b, k1) X4 (12 st)

Rnd 3-4: Knit 2 rounds.

Rnd 5: (kf&b, k2) X4 (16 st)

Rnd 6-13: Knit 8 rounds.

Rnd 14: (k2tog, k2) X4 (12 st)

Rnd 15-16: Knit 2 round.

Rnd 17: (k2tog, k1) X4 (8 st)

Rnd 18: Knit 1 round.

Cut the white (MC) yarn and continue with red (CC) yarn.

Rnd 19: Knit 1 round.

Stuff the piece

Rnd 20: (k2tog) X4 (4 st)

Rnd 21: Knit 1 round.

-Cut the red yarn, leaving a short tail.  Thread the tail into a tapestry needle, then draw it through all stitches on the needles, pulling tightly to close.  Weave in the end.

-You may add a little more stuffing through the open cast-on edge if necessary, then use the cast-on tail to cinch that opening closed.  Weave the end you used to cinch up the piece back up through the now-closed hole into the body, pulling tightly to flatten out the base of the ship.  Weave this tail back through the piece a few more times to secure.

image

Fins

Turn the rocket ship so that the red nose tip is on your left.  Beginning just to the left of the first increase row and using Red or CC yarn, pick up and knit 5 stitches onto one dpn, heading toward the nose.  Turn the ship so that the nose is on your right and, using a second dpn, pick up 5 more stitches parallel to and about 1 row over from the first 5.  Continue to knit these 10 stitches in the round.

image

Rnd 1: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 2: kf&b, k2, k2tog, ssk, k2, kf&b (10 st)

Rnd 3-4: Repeat Round 2.

Cut the yarn, leaving a tail for seaming.  Ensure that the 10 stitches are evenly distributed on two needles, with the tail coming off the rightmost stitch on the back needle.  Place a small pinch of stuffing in the fin, then seam the fin closed using Kitchener Stitch (grafting).  Weave in the ends.  (You can even off the overhanging end from the Kitchener stitch by weaving the tail back into the piece and pulling tightly)

image

-Make another fin in the same manner, beginning to pick up stitches for the second fin about 4 stitches to the right (when the nose is facing away from you) from the first fin.

-Make a third fin in the same manner, beginning to pick up stitches about 4 stitches away from the second fin.  You should have three evenly-spaced fins, and the ship will be stable when placed on a flat surface.

Window

Using Blue or AC, cast on 8 stitches onto 3 dpns, leaving a tail for seaming, and proceed to knit in the round.

Rnd 1-2: Knit 2 Rounds.

Cut the yarn, leaving a short tail.  Thread the tail into a tapestry needle and draw through all stitches on the needles, pulling tightly to close.

Place this knitted circle about halfway between the top of a fin and the color change at the nose of the ship.  Using the cast on tail, begin seaming the window to the ship body using mattress stitch.  Add a tiny pinch of stuffing before finishing the seam.  Weave in the ends.

image

Fire (optional)

-Cut 4 – 5” strands of orange yarn.

-Thread a crochet hook under a stitch at the base of the rocket ship.  Wrap a strand of orange around the crochet hook and pull the loop under the stitch.  Bringing the hook and loop above the stitch, grab the tail ends of the orange yarn and pull them through the loop.  Pull the tail ends tight to secure.

-Repeat with the other orange strands, attaching them to evenly-spaced stitches on the base.

-Using one blade of a pair of scissors, split the plies of the yarn tails to give a fiery look.

-Trim the fire pieces to the desired length.

Weave in any remaining ends and enjoy your rocket!


Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you continue to visit me, even though the free patterns may be several weeks apart from now on.  You can click the “follow” button in the sidebar to receive e-mails when I update the blog or follow me on Twitter or Facebook for updates (links also in the sidebar.)  I’m busily working on some new vehicles for the shop, which will eventually be part of future Land and Air Pattern sets.  Some samples of what I’m working on – a cement truck, a small fire engine and a small single engine Piper-style aircraft:

cement truck1 small fire engine2 piper comanche done1

Be sure to check out Etsy and Ravelry for more toys and patterns!

Have a great weekend!

 

Free Pattern Fridays – Knitted “Ferrari” Sports Car!

I’m always putting the offer out there for toy design requests – and someone finally took me up on it! A very kind and always-supportive friend on Ravelry had a dream of knitting a Ferrari!  I have to say I don’t blame her – they make beautiful cars!  The request was somewhat of a coincidence, seeing as I had been looking at Ferraris (images of them, not the real thing, unfortunately) a few weeks ago in a quest to design a fancy sports car.  I put it on the back burner after a few design failures, but this request made me revisit it, and I’m super glad I did!  So, as a gift to my friend … and to you as well, I’m sharing the pattern here on Free Pattern Friday!  I know you and your family are going to love these cars as much as I do.  It’s based loosely on the Enzo model and its racing equivalent, the FXX.  In the R&D phase of this pattern, I learned that Ferraris are often painted red because that was the official race car color of Italy.  In the days before racing sponsorships were common, color was used to identify what country a particular car was racing for.  Even though the colors aren’t a standard in international races anymore, the Ferrari racing team has stuck with the tradition of painting their cars red.  The association of Ferrari with the color red is such a strong one that it seems to carry over into their street-legal vehicles as well – with most people opting for the classic red paint job.  However, if you want to break with tradition and use a different color yarn for your car model, that’s entirely up to you!  Other than a stylized Ferrari logo, I’ve left my models as a clean slate – but you can add additional details like racing numbers, stripes, etc.

Perhaps the best part of this pattern – you can make one and tell all your friends that you just got a Ferrari!  Wait for the jaws to drop, then smile and produce this model from your bag!

When knitted with worsted weight yarn, the cars measure about 6 inches long.  Enjoy!

Ferrari Sports/Race Car

ferraritoys4

by Ilana Marks

Materials:

-Small Amounts of:

  • Worsted Weight Black Yarn
  • Worsted Weight Red Yarn
  • Worsted Weight Dark Gray Yarn
  • Worsted Weight Light Gray Yarn
  • Worsted Weight White Yarn
  • Worsted Weight Yellow Yarn (Optional – for logo)
  • Worsted Weight Green Yarn (Optional – for logo)

-One Set US Size 6 double pointed needles (dpns)

-Polyester Fiberfill Stuffing

-Tapestry Needle

Main Chassis

Using Black Yarn and leaving a tail for seaming, cast on 24 stitches onto three dpns and join to knit in the round.

Rnd 1: Knit 1 round.

-Cut the Black Yarn, join in the Red Yarn and continue to work with red.

Rnd 2-4: Knit 3 rounds.

Rnd 5: k2, (kf&b) twice, k4, (kf&b) twice, k14 (28 st)

Rnd 6: k3, (kf&b) twice, k6, (kf&b) twice, k15 (32 st)

Rnd 7: k4, (kf&b) twice, k8, (kf&b) twice, k16 (36 st)

Rnd 8-12: Knit 5 rounds.

Rnd 13: k4, ssk, k2tog, k8, ssk, k2tog, k16 (32 st)

Rnd 14: k3, ssk, k2tog, k6, ssk, k2tog, k15 (28 st)

Rnd 15: k4, ssk, k2tog, k4, ssk, k2tog, k14 (24 st)

Rnd 16-25: Knit 10 rounds.

Rnd 26: k2, (kf&b) twice, k4, (kf&b) twice, k14 (28 st)

Rnd 27: k3, (kf&b) twice, k6, (kf&b) twice, k15 (32 st)

Rnd 28: k4, (kf&b) twice, k8, (kf&b) twice, k16 (36 st)

Rnd 29-43: Knit 15 rounds.

-Knit only the first 4 stitches of the next round then cut the red yarn, leaving a tail for seaming. Distribute the stitches evenly onto 2 needles (18 stitches per needle) with the working yarn coming off the rightmost stitch on the back needle.

ferraripattern1

-Using the tail, seam the two sets of stitches using Kitchener Stitch.

-Stuff the car chassis, making sure to fill out the back section and the front wheel wells.

-Using the cast on tail, seam the open cast on edge using mattress stitch, adding additional stuffing to the front of the car as needed before closing the seam.

ferraripattern2 ferraripattern3

-Weave in the ends. The front seam may have a slight overhang, so when weaving in the front end tail, pull it tightly to “sink” this overhang into the body before weaving through the body a few more times to secure.

Cab

Using Dark Gray Yarn and leaving a tail for seaming, cast on 32 stitches onto three dpns and join to knit in the round.

Rnd 1: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 2: k6, ssk, k6, k2tog, k6, ssk, k6, k2tog (28 st)

Rnd 3: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 4: k6, ssk, k4, k2tog, k6, ssk, k4, k2tog (24 st)

-Cut the Dark Gray yarn and join in the Red Yarn. Proceed to knit with Red.

Rnd 5-6: Knit 2 rounds.

Rnd 7: (k2tog, k1) 8 times (16 st)

Rnd 8: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 9: (k2tog) 8 times (8 st)

-Cut the Red yarn, thread the tail into a tapestry needle and weave through all stitches on the needles, pulling tightly to close.

ferraripattern4

Attaching the Cab:

-Lightly stuff the cab piece and pin it in place on top of the chassis, just behind the front wheel wells. The cab piece should be slightly squared off, with the decrease seams facing the sides of the car body.

ferraripattern5

-Seam the cab to the chassis using the tail and mattress stitch. You can add additional stuffing to the cab before closing the seam if necessary.  Weave in the end.

ferraripattern6 ferraripattern7

-Thread the red cab closing tail into a tapestry needle and weave it down into the closed-up hole at the top of the cab, pulling tightly to flatten out the top before weaving through the cab a few more times to secure.

Tires (Make 4)

Using Black Yarn and leaving a tail for seaming, cast on 8 stitches onto three dpns and join to knit in the round.

Rnd 1: (kf&b) 8 times (16 st)

Rnd 2: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 3: (kf&b, k1) 8 times (24 st)

Rnd 4: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 5: (k2tog, k1) 8 times (16 st)

-Cut the Black Yarn and join in the Light Gray Yarn. Proceed to work with Light Gray.

Rnd 6: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 7: (k2tog) 8 times (8 st)

-Lightly stuff the tire.

-Cut the light gray yarn, thread the tail into a tapestry needle and weave through all stitches on the needles, pulling tightly to close.

-Make 3 more tires in the same manner.

Attaching the tires:

-Press the tire flat, with the gray hubcap centered and facing outward.

-Align the tire along the side of the body, underneath the wheel well at the front of the chassis.

-Using the cast on tail, seam the wheel to the body with a few stitches. Weave in the end.

ferraripattern9 ferraripattern10

-Thread the Light Gray closing tail into a tapestry needle and weave it into the closed-up hole at the center of the hubcap and down through the tire into the body. Pull tightly to flatten out the tire before weaving the end through the body a few more times to secure.

-Attach the back tire in the same manner, in line with the front tire and near the rear of the chassis.

ferraripattern11

-Attach the other two tires in their appropriate places on the opposite side of the toy.

Rear Spoiler

Using Red Yarn and leaving a tail for seaming, cast on 8 stitches onto three dpns and join to knit in the round.

Rnd 1-20: Knit 20 rounds, stuffing lightly as you go.

-Cut the yarn, leaving a tail for seaming. Distribute the stitches evenly onto 2 dpns (4 stitches per needle) with the tail coming off the rightmost stitch on the back needle.

-Seam the two sets of stitches together using Kitchener Stitch. Weave in the end.

-Thread the cast on tail into a tapestry needle and seam the cast on edge using mattress stitch. Do not weave in this end just yet.

ferraripattern13

Attaching the spoiler:

-Position the spoiler on the rear end of the chassis. Using the cast on tail you left on the spoiler, attach the spoiler to the body with a few stitches along the spoiler’s length.  Weave in the end.

ferraripattern14

Decorations

-Thread a length of red yarn into a tapestry needle and make 6 or 7 long straight stitches at the two back corners of the cab, stretching from the color change at the top of the cab down to the point where the cab was attached to the chassis. Weave in the ends.

ferraripattern16

-Thread a length of red yarn into a tapestry needle and make two sets of 2 vertical straight stitches spanning the black grill at the front of the toy. These two sets of stitches should be about 2 stitches apart.  Weave in the ends.

ferraripattern17

-Thread a length of black yarn into a tapestry needle and make 4 long straight stitches near the back of the body, just in front of the back wheel wells and underneath the cab. Repeat on the other side of the cab.  Weave in the ends.

ferraripattern18

-Thread a length of light gray yarn into a tapestry needle and make 3 small stitches at the front edge of one of the front wheel wells to make a headlight. Repeat on the front of the other wheel well to make the other headlight.  Weave in the ends.

ferraripattern19

-Thread a length of white yarn into a tapestry needle and make 2 sets of 4 long straight stitches near the edges of the spoiler. Weave in the ends.

ferraripattern20

-(Optional “Ferrari Logo) Thread a length of yellow yarn into a tapestry needle and make 3 straight stitches across 2 knitted stitches just behind the front wheel, on one of the “doors” of the car. Weave in the ends.  Make one stitch each across the top of the yellow stitches in red, white and green as shown.  Weave in the ends.

ferraripattern21 ferraripattern22 ferraripattern23

There you have it!  Add any additional decorative touches you’d like and enjoy your new car!

ferraritoys8 ferraritoys7 ferraritoys6

ferraritoys2ferraritoys3


I hope you enjoyed this week’s pattern!  I’ll offer again – if you ever have anything you’ve dreamed of seeing as a knitted toy, let me know!  I love to hear about the types of things that interest my readers!  I can’t guarantee that everything you request will show up in pattern form here, but it never hurts to ask. 🙂  Sometimes I feel a little bit like a clown at the birthday party – making balloon animals on request.  Of course, knitted toys take much longer to make, but the idea of starting from nothing and creating something fun and joyous is definitely the same!  And, as always, feel free to check out Ravelry and Etsy for other toys and patterns I have available!  I also encourage you to share this pattern link and my blog with your social networks and anyone you think may enjoy it!  Thanks so much for visiting and I hope you have a great weekend!

Rainy Days and Tuesdays …

Sorry, I couldn’t resist “paraphrasing” that Carpenter’s classic.  We’ve had some crazy weather in Phoenix these past few days.  The usual monsoonal flow got a boost from a downgraded hurricane and created some major rainy conditions here.  Luckily, in my area, the flooding wasn’t too severe – I know that some of Phoenix’s flooding made the US national news.  That’s a pretty major feat for a place where there’s generally very little weather to speak of (other than dry and sunny.)  The rains seem to have subsided, but they’ve left bleak, cloudy skies in their wake, which is a bit of a mood-killer.  Right now I’m trying to keep myself smiling by working on this week’s new free pattern.  It’s going to be a very cool one – if I don’t say so myself 😀 .  Make sure to be here on Friday to check it out!

Another thing that makes me smile is that I finally got the BC Rich-style guitar toys listed on Etsy today!  Click the picture to check them out!

bcrich1

They join the other guitar toys already in my shop:

explorerguitaretsy2 guitaretsy5

In other news, several of my free patterns from this blog have been featured on AllFreeKnitting!  So, I’d like to say “welcome” to those of you who are visiting me from there!  If you haven’t been to that site, by all means go check it out!  There are tons of free patterns there, for all kinds of items.  You can also click over to my featured patterns and rate them if you like:

Geckos

Backpack Charms

Music Notes

Pacman Playset

Thanks for stopping by!

Free Pattern Fridays – Knitted Tractor Toy!

I thought I’d do another vehicle pattern this week!  Tractors seem to be having their “moment in the sun,” if you will.  The last time I was in the toy store, I saw several die-cast tractor toys sharing space with the other Hot Wheels/Matchbox cars.  The image searches I did while devising this pattern brought up many pictures of people restoring old tractors.  It also showed me how far tractor technology has come with all kinds of new attachments, body designs and innovations.  I’ve chosen to keep this design more in the classic vein, though.  The green and yellow colors of a John Deere tractor are, of course, iconic – but that doesn’t mean you have to use those colors.  If you want to make a hot pink tractor, I’m all for that!  I think your kids would have a blast creating a farm scene around their new tractor!  Add some toy animals and perhaps an unfinished wooden birdhouse dolled up to look like a barn … maybe some toilet paper roll silos.  In my simple scenes, I bundled up some raffia to look like bales of hay or sheaves of wheat.  Let your imagination run wild!

When knitted with worsted weight yarn, the tractor measures about 5 inches long.

Knitted Tractor Toy

tractorscene3

by Ilana Marks

Materials:

-Small amounts of worsted weight:

*Green Yarn (or other main color of your choice)

*Light Gray Yarn

*Black Yarn

*Yellow Yarn

-One Set US Size 6 double pointed needles (dpns)

-Small amount of polyester stuffing

-Tapestry Needle

Main Body

Using Green Yarn, cast on 4 stitches onto one dpn.  Work the first round as for i-cord.

Rnd 1: (kf&b) 4 times (8 st)

-Distribute the stitches onto 3 dpns and proceed to knit in the round.

Rnd 2: k1, (kf&b) twice, k2, (kf&b) twice, k1 (12 st)

Rnd 3: k1, kf&b, k2, kf&b, k2, kf&b, k2, kf&b, k1 (16 st)

Rnd 4: k1, kf&b, k4, kf&b, k2, kf&b, k4, kf&b, k1 (20 st)

Rnd 5: k1, kf&b, k6, kf&b, k2, kf&b, k6, kf&b, k1 (24 st)

Rnd 6-35: Knit 30 rounds.

Rnd 36: k1, ssk, k6, k2tog, k2, ssk, k6, k2tog, k1 (20 st)

Rnd 37: k1, ssk, k4, k2tog, k2, ssk, k4, k2tog, k1 (16 st)

-Stuff the piece.

Rnd 38: k1, ssk, k2, k2tog, k2, ssk, k2, k2tog, k1 (12 st)

Rnd 39: k1, ssk, k2tog, k2, ssk, k2tog, k1 (8 st)

-Add some additional stuffing to the front of the body if necessary.  Cut the yarn, thread the tail into a tapestry needle and weave through all stitches on the needles, pulling tightly to close.

-With the tail still on the tapestry needle, thread it down into the now-closed hole and into the body, pulling tightly to flatten out the front end.  Weave it through the body a few more times to secure.

tractorpattern1

-Weave in the cast on tail at the rear end.

Cab

Using Light Gray Yarn and leaving a tail for seaming, cast on 24 stitches onto 3 dpns and join to knit in the round.

Rnd 1-8: Knit 8 rounds.

-Join in the Green Yarn, cutting the Light Gray Yarn.  Proceed to knit with Green.

Rnd 9-12: Knit 4 rounds.

Rnd 13: (k2tog, k1) 8 times (16 st)

Rnd 14: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 15: (k2tog) 8 times (8 st)

Cut the green yarn, thread the tail into a tapestry needle and weave through all stitches on the needles, pulling tightly to close.

tractorpattern2

Attaching the cab:

-Stuff the cab through the open cast-on edge.

-Position the cab on the top rear of the body.  You’ll notice that there are seams running along the back of the body which create 4 “sections” of stitches.  Two of these sections are narrow, two are wide.  Align the cab along one of those narrow sections.

tractorpattern3

-Pin the cab in place so that it’s squared-off.

tractorpattern4 tractorpattern5

-Using the cast-on tail from the cab, stitch the cab to the body using mattress stitch, adding additional stuffing as necessary before closing the seam.

-Thread the green closing tail at the top of the cab into a tapestry needle and weave it down through the closed-up hole, pulling tightly to flatten out the top of the cab before weaving it through the cab a few more times to secure.

tractorpattern6 tractorpattern7

Back Wheels (Make 2)

Using Black Yarn and leaving a tail for seaming, cast on 8 stitches onto 3 dpns and join to knit in the round.

Rnd 1: (kf&b) 8 times (16 st)

Rnd 2: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 3: (kf&b, k1) 8 times (24 st)

Rnd 4: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 5: (kf&b, k2) 8 times (32 st)

Rnd 6-7: Knit 2 rounds.

Rnd 8: (k2tog, k2) 8 times (24 st)

-Join in the Yellow Yarn, cutting the black yarn.  Proceed to knit with Yellow.

Rnd 9: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 10: (k2tog, k1) 8 times (16 st)

Rnd 11: Knit 1 round.

-Lightly stuff the wheel.

Rnd 12: (k2tog) 8 times (8 st)

-Cut the Yellow Yarn, thread the tail into a tapestry needle and weave it through all stitches on the needles, pulling tightly to close.

tractorpattern8

-Repeat to make a second wheel.

Attaching the wheel:

-Press the wheel flat, with the yellow “hubcap” on the front.

-Align the wheel just below the cab on the tractor body, again making sure that the yellow area is centered and facing outward.

tractorpattern9

-Using the cast-on tail, stitch the wheel to the tractor body with a few stitches, then weave in the tail.

-Thread the yellow wheel closing tail into a tapestry needle and insert it into the closed-up center of the wheel and into the body, pulling tightly.  This helps to flatten out the wheel and keep it firmly attached to the body.  Weave this tail through the body a few more times to secure.

tractorpattern10 tractorpattern11

-Repeat to attach the second wheel, on the opposite side of the body.

Small Front Wheels (Make 2)

Using Black Yarn and leaving a tail for seaming, cast on 8 stitches onto 3 dpns and join to knit in the round.

Rnd 1: (kf&b) 8 times (16 st)

Rnd 2: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 3: (kf&b, k1) 8 times (24 st)

Rnd 4-5: Knit 2 rounds.

Rnd 6: (k2tog, k1) 8 times (16 st)

-Join in the Yellow Yarn, cutting the Black Yarn.  Proceed to knit with Yellow.

Rnd 7: Knit 1 round.

-Lightly stuff the wheel.

Rnd 8: (k2tog) 8 times (8 st)

-Cut the Yellow Yarn and thread the tail into a tapestry needle.  Weave the tail through all stitches on the needles, pulling tightly to secure.

tractorpattern13

-Repeat to make a second wheel.

Attaching the Front Wheels:

-Press the wheel piece flat, with the yellow “hubcap” facing outward.

-Position the wheel at the front end of the body, in line with the back wheels.  To ensure that the finished toy will stand level, make sure that the bottom edge of the front wheel aligns with the bottom edge of the back wheels.  This means that the point of attachment of the front wheels will be lower on the body than it was on the back wheels.  Again, make sure that the yellow area is facing outward and centered on the wheel.

tractorpattern14 tractorpattern15

-Using the cast-on tail, seam the front wheel to the body with a few stitches before weaving in the end.

-As for the back wheels, thread the yellow closing tail into a tapestry needle and weave it down through the center of the wheel and into the body, pulling tightly to flatten.   Weave the tail through the body a few more times to secure.

-Repeat to attach the second front wheel on the opposite side of the body.

Decorations

-Using a scrap of green yarn, make several long straight stitches at the 4 corners of the cab to create the windows.

tractorpattern16

-Using a scrap of Red or Orange Yarn, make two sets of small straight stitches to create the cab lights.

tractorpattern18

-(Optional – if you want a real “John Deere” style tractor): Using a scrap of Yellow Yarn, create two lines of duplicate stitches along the front top edges of the tractor, curving around to meet each other at the front of the toy.

tractorpattern19 tractorpattern20

Exhaust Pipe

Using Black Yarn and leaving a tail for seaming, cast on 3 stitches onto one dpn to knit as i-cord.

Rnd 1-12: Knit 12 rounds of i-cord.

Rnd 13: k2tog, k1 (2 st)

-Cut the Black Yarn, thread the tail into a tapestry needle and weave through the 2 stitches on the needles, pulling tightly to close.

tractorpattern21

-Thread the cast-on tail into a tapestry needle and attach the exhaust pipe in front of the cab and near the top edge of the toy using a few stitches.  Weave in the end.

tractorpattern22

-Thread the closing tail into a tapestry needle, and make a stitch to bend the top of the pipe, then weave the tail down through the rest of the pipe and into the body.  Weave the tail a few more times through the body to secure.

The tractor is finished!  Enjoy!

tractorpattern23 tractorpattern24

tractorscene2


I hope you enjoyed this week’s free pattern!  If you’re on Flickr, I’d like to remind you about the new DrFrankKnits group I’ve created.  Visit http://www.flickr.com/groups/drfrankknits to join!  It’s free and everyone is welcome!  If you create a cute farm scene with this pattern, Flickr is a great place to show it off!  And don’t worry – you don’t have to be a great photographer to come and share!

Have a wonderful weekend and happy knitting!

Free Pattern Fridays – Gecko Lizards!

Gecko lizards are a common sight out here in the desert.  The other night, I noticed one on the outside of my kitchen window.  It had obviously been attacked or otherwise frightened because it was missing a part of its tail.  Shedding off a part of its tail is a fascinating method that many of these lizards use as a defense mechanism.  I grew up with cats – and as you probably know, cats like to play with lizards.  So, as a child, it was a common occurrence for me to find these amputated tails, still flopping around.  Anyway, I snapped a picture of this lizard on the window – my camera has trouble taking pictures at night, so it’s not super-clear but you get the idea.

lizardonwindow

Then, a few nights later, when returning from my evening walk, I noticed another gecko on the outside garage wall, hanging out under the lights.  It was blending in quite well with the wall!

lizardonwall

These gecko encounters inspired me to make a knitted gecko!  In addition to being a cute, portable toy to play with, it would also make an interesting wall decoration.  Any time I’m in the garden section of a home improvement or department store, I always see these sculptural metal lizards – but why spend money on something like that when you can make a hanging lizard decoration using your stash?  You could even use these outside on a patio, although they may fade over time from exposure to the elements – but they’re quick enough to make that you could easily whip up some more if they wear out.  Geckos come in all kinds of colors and patterns, so feel free to experiment with this basic pattern to make your own colorful lizard.  I bet they’d look great incorporating some bead-knitting work, for those of you who are adept at that.  You can also knit more or less rows of i-cord on the tail to change its length.  When knitted as written with worsted weight yarn, these lizards measure about 5 inches long.

Gecko Lizard Doll

lizard pics5

by Ilana Marks

Materials:

-Small amount of light green worsted weight yarn (or other lizard-y color of your choice)

-Scrap of black worsted weight yarn

-Small amount of polyester fiberfill stuffing

-One Set US Size 6 Double Pointed Needles (dpns)

-Tapestry Needle

 

Lizard Body

Using light green yarn (or your color choice,) cast on 2 stitches onto one dpn to work as i-cord.

Rnd 1-2: Knit 2 rounds i-cord.

-Continue to work as i-cord, sliding the stitches to the right end of the needle and pulling the yarn across the back of the work.

Rnd 3: (kf&b) twice (4 st)

Rnd 4-15: Knit 12 rounds i-cord.

Rnd 16: (kf&b, k1) twice, still working as for i-cord. (6 st)

Distribute the 6 stitches onto three dpns and join to knit in the round.

Rnd 17: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 18: kf&b, k1, (kf&b) twice, k1, kf&b (10 st)

Rnd 19: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 20: kf&b, k3, (kf&b) twice, k3, kf&b (14 st)

Rnd 21-28: Knit 8 rounds.

Rnd 29: ssk, k3, k2tog, ssk, k3, k2tog (10 st)

-Stuff the body so far.

Rnd 30: kf&b, k3, (kf&b) twice, k3, kf&b (14 st)

Rnd 31: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 32: ssk, k3, k2tog, ssk, k3, k2tog (10 st)

Rnd 33: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 34: ssk, k1, k2tog, ssk, k1, k2tog (6 st)

Rnd 35-36: Knit 2 rounds.

-Stuff the head portion of the lizard.

Rnd 37: (k2tog, k1) twice (4 st)

Cut the yarn, thread the tail into a tapestry needle and weave through all stitches on the needles, pulling tightly to close.

-Weave in the ends.

lizardpattern9

 

Legs (Make 4)

Using light green yarn and leaving a tail for seaming, cast on 3 stitches onto one dpn to knit as i-cord.

Rnd 1-3: Knit 4 rounds i-cord.

Rnd 4: (kf&b) 3 times, still working as for i-cord. (6 st)

Separating the toes:

-Again pulling the yarn across the back of the piece as for i-cord, knit only the first 2 stitches of the round.

-Cut the working yarn, leaving about 8-12 inches of tail.  Thread the tail into a tapestry needle and weave through these two stitches from right to left to finish off.

-Weave the tail down through the toe and reattach to the second of the remaining 4 stitches.

lizardpattern2

-Working only on the first two stitches, work 1 round of i-cord.

-Again, thread the tail through these two stitches and weave down through the second toe to reattach to the leftmost of the remaining two stitches.

lizardpattern3lizardpattern4

-Work 1 round of i-cord on these last two stitches, then thread the tail through them to finish off.

lizardpattern5

-Make 3 more legs in the same manner.

Attaching the Legs to the Body

-Position the cast on edge of a leg piece against the side of the lizard body, just behind the neck.

-Using the cast on tail, attach the leg to the body with a few stitches.

lizardpattern6

Note: If you’re giving this toy to a very young child, or you have very young children around the house, make sure to attach the legs well as they are small and could present a choking hazard.

-Attach the rear leg in the same manner, positioning it just in front of the tail and in line with the first leg.

lizardpattern8

-Attach the remaining two legs on the opposite side of the lizard.

lizardpattern9

-Weave in the ends.  Weave the end at the tip of the toe down through the toe, into the leg, and finally into the body.

Eyes

-Using a small scrap of black yarn, embroider the eyes with a few stitches on either side of the head, a few stitches back from the tip of the nose.  Weave in the ends.

lizardpattern10

(Alternately, if you’re not giving this toy to a child or you plan on using it for a decoration, you can try sewing on some colorful or sparkly beads for the eyes.)

lizardpattern11

That’s it!  Weave in any remaining ends and enjoy your lizard.  If you wish to hang him on a wall, simply thread a small piece of scrap yarn or cord through the piece and tie to make a hanging loop.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s free pattern!  I’ve just released a new pattern set available for purchase on Ravelry – The “Land And Air” set 2!  It contains a pattern for a locomotive and a P51 Mustang fighter airplane!

locomotiveetsy1p51mustangetsy3

Both are easy to intermediate level toy patterns and are super fun, whether you’re using them as a toy or as home décor!  For those who don’t knit, the locomotive and P51 Mustang toys are available in my Etsy shop, hand-knitted by me.

In other news, I’ve created a Flickr photo-sharing group – “The DrFrankKnits Playground.”  I welcome you to join the group and share pictures of the fun you and your family are having with the toys you’ve made from any of my patterns!  Visit http://www.flickr.com/groups/drfrankknits/ for more info.  The playground is pretty lonely right now, but eventually I hope to make it a fun place to share a smile with other toy lovers!

Thanks for reading!  As always feel free to comment if you need help or just feel like chatting. 🙂  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Another Knitted Guitar and Some Shop News!

I added another knitted guitar to the collection this weekend with a BC Rich Warlock model, upon a suggestion from a friend.

bcrichbass1

White is always the easiest color to do an initial design in, particularly if you know that design is going to be a hassle. 🙂  I think this particular guitar is going to be a “toy only” item (i.e. no pattern release planned) because you’ll probably curse my name if you try to knit it yourself.  I was cursing my own name, and I’d have a heck of a time explaining exactly what I did!  Watch for the toy in the Etsy shop soon – in some more edgy colors!

In other news, I finally got back to the second “Land and Air” vehicle pattern set I was working on.  Today is photo tutorial picture-taking day!  Since we’re very close to its release, I’m going to share some teaser pictures of what the set includes:

locomotive29 p51mustangdone

The “Land” component is a locomotive, and the “Air” component is a WWII-era p51 Mustang fighter aircraft!  I love both of these models and I think your family will, too!  Look for the pattern on Ravelry and the toys on Etsy later this week!

Have a great day!

Free Pattern Fridays – Music Note Softies!

blog banner free

My mind has been on music this week.  Of course, I don’t know that there’s ever a time when my mind isn’t on music!  I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t spend at least a few minutes listening to music.  I’ve been a violinist since I was 9 years old – with about a 10 year hiatus after high school before picking it up again as an adult.  I also made somewhat of an effort to learn acoustic guitar in college.  I took a music appreciation course as a bit of a respite from the much more difficult coursework in my molecular biology major.  I knew it would be an “easy A” because I could already read music. 😀  Anyway, guitar playing was a component in the class.  I never progressed much beyond a few basic chords, and I found that learning a new instrument as an adult is much more difficult than it is as a child.  I haven’t really played guitar since.  However, I do still play the violin from time to time.  Part of me would love to be a concert violinist, but I’m quite inconsistent with the instrument.  Some days I play like a virtuoso, some days I sound like that 9 year old squeaking out a rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”  I march to the beat of my own drum, anyway, so playing in a group isn’t really my forte.  Therefore, I’m content just being a hobbyist musician!

I think music has touched all of our lives in some way over the years, whether we play an instrument or just listen.  I came up with this cute little musical note pattern to celebrate that love of music!  Try hanging several of them up as a garland or mobile for the music room or entertainment area of your house.  I think they’d make lovely hanging décor for a music classroom if there are any knitting teachers reading my blog!  If you or the kids are musicians, try hanging the notes on an instrument case!  Similar to the backpack charms from last week, these music notes could serve as a way to identify your case when it’s amongst many similar cases.  Use them to dress up a boring music stand.  Have a music party and use them to adorn gift or treat bags for your guests.  They use very little yarn and are super-quick to knit, so you can make lots in different colors to use up some of that stash!    As usual, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination!

When knitted with worsted yarn, they measure about 3 inches tall.

(Of course, traditionally, music notes are black, but black yarn is very difficult to photograph, so I’ve selected some gold, silver/gray, and purple yarns from my stash for the tutorial here.  And due to my color choice, I now suddenly have the urge to listen to Franz Lehar’s “Gold and Silver Waltz.”  That’s not a bad thing, though!)

Enjoy!

Musical Notes

fpf music notes4

by Ilana Marks

 

Materials:

-Small amount of any color worsted weight yarn

-Small amount of polyester fiberfill stuffing

-One Set US Size 6 Double Pointed Needles (dpns)

-Tapestry Needle

Note Body and Shaft

Cast on 6 stitches onto 3 dpns and join to knit in the round.

Rnd 1: (kf&b) 6 times (12 st)

Rnd 2: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 3: kf&b, k10, kf&b (14 st)

Rnd 4: kf&b, k12, kf&b (16 st)

Rnd 5: ssk, k12, k2tog (14 st)

Rnd 6: ssk, k10, k2tog (12 st)

Rnd 7: ssk, k8, k2tog (10 st)

Rnd 8: ssk, k6, k2tog (8 st)

Stuff the rounded portion of the note.

musical notes1

Rnd 9: ssk, k4, k2tog (6 st)

Rnd 10-24: Knit 15 rounds, stuffing as you go.

Cut the yarn, thread the tail into a tapestry needle and weave through all stitches on the needles, pulling tightly to close.

-Weave in the ends.  You can use the cast-on tail to cinch up the small hole in the bottom before weaving in.

musical notes2
Cinching up the small cast-on hole.

musical notes3

If you want a Quarter Note, you can stop right here!  If you want an Eighth Note, proceed to the next steps.

Flag

Cast on 10 stitches onto 3 dpns, leaving a tail for seaming, and join to knit in the round.

Rnd 1: Knit 1 round.

Rnd 2: ssk, k2, (kf&b) twice, k2, k2tog (10 st)

Rnd 3-5: Repeat Round 2 three more times.  You’ll start to run out of stitches on some of the needles as you make the decreases.  Simply redistribute stitches from time to time as necessary.  Alternately, you can work the flag on 2 needles instead of 3, with 5 stitches per needle to avoid this.

-Distribute the stitches evenly onto 2 dpns (5 stitches per needle) with the working yarn coming off the rightmost stitch on the back needle.  Cut the yarn, leaving a tail for seaming.

-Seam the two sets of stitches together using Kitchener stitch.

-Stuff the flag piece through the open cast-on edge.

-Align the flag along the top of the note shaft.  Positioning depends on how you’d like to hang or display the note.  Musical convention: If the note shaft is facing up, the note head is on its left and the flag is on its right.  If the note shaft is facing down, the note head is on its right and the flag is also on its right.

musical notes4 musical notes5

-Using the cast-on tail, stitch the flag to the top of the shaft using mattress stitch.

musical notes6

-Weave in the ends.

musical notes7 musical notes8 musical notes9

That’s it!  Simply thread a piece of yarn or beading wire through the notes and tie in a knot to create a loop for hanging your music notes.

fpf music notes5fpf music notes2


I hope you enjoy knitting this week’s free pattern!  I’ve become kind of sidetracked working on some custom electric guitar toy design requests, so my other upcoming patterns are on hold right now, but all my previously released patterns are still available – you can check them out on Ravelry here!  If you haven’t seen them, check out my blog posts from earlier this week for the pictures of the guitars I’ve been creating!  I’m really quite pleased with them!  I’m planning on making some of the designs that aren’t too mind-numbing available as patterns in the future!

My friends often come to me with special design requests – and I hope that you’ll feel free to do the same!  If there’s something you’ve been wanting to see knitted but just can’t find anywhere, by all means, drop me a line about it!  You may see it here in the future!

Thanks for reading!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!