Saturday, 21 November 2009

Striped Gecko with Bobble Toes

This is another baby present. The body starts at the nose with Judy's magic cast-on for toe-up socks. The nose increases just like a toe-up sock but with increases every third row instead of every other row. At the end of the increases, I made Aran bobbles for eyes. The body is a tube, using Techknitter's jogless stripes (I allow them to travel). For the tail I decreased at the same rate as the nose, but offset by 45°, so at the centre front and back instead of at the sides.

The fun part is the feet. The toes are aran bobbles, and on the underside is a moss-stitch triangle to represent the velcro feet that geckos have. You could literally sew velcro on, and have a handy toy that sticks to bedcovers, toddlers' clothes, and whatnot.

bobble toesI started the feet at the toes, as follows.

Cast on 25 using Judy's magic cast-on for toe-up socks (i.e. 25 on each needle). Knit 2 rounds.
Round 3: On the top, k2, make bobble, *k4, make bobble, repeat from * 3 more times (5 toes), k2. On the bottom, k2, *p1, k1, repeat from * till 2 st from end, k2.
Round 4 and even rounds: k on top. On bottom, keep seed/moss stitch pattern correct, reserving 2k at each end.
Round 5 and odd rounds: 2 decreases on top and 2 on bottom for each of next 2 odd rounds. Then 4 decreases on each side in following odd rounds till you're down to 9 stitches top and 9 bottom. On the moss stitch side you keep the decreases at the edges, on the top I put them between the toes to make a nice anatomical shape.
Gecko foot underside
When you're down to 9 just knit straight till it is long enough, stuff the foot, and do a 3-needle bind off, leaving a tail the length of your arm for sewing it on.

The way I know of making an Aran bobble is like this, but you could use whatever kind of bobble you please:

Into next stitch, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1 (5 sts on needle).
Turn. P5.
Turn. K5.
Turn. Slip 1, p1, pass slipped st over. P1. P2tog. (3 sts on needle).
Turn. Slip 1, k2tog, pass slipped st over. (Back to 1 st on neede).
Continue from there, as though nothing had happened.

The last step is to embroider the eyes. This has to be done last (same principle as when they paint a religious image in India).
I learned quite a few things making this, some of them the kind of things I ought to have known but that only really come with specific experience. It's not perfect, or even close, and if I was making it again I'd make it a bit differently. I'd make the tail bigger, and the body smaller, I'd add some shaping behind the head, and I might use just two colours and perhaps add a cable down the spine. The moss stitch, to my shame, is messed up on one of the back feet by a misconcieved pattern of decreases. But it was a work of discovery and will be loved by a fellow knitter and her baby, who might be moving to a tropical climate soon.

I really like the bobble toes.


Jo A said...

I love the feet. I have a toy bear with velcro on the hands which is ideal for attaching to the top bar of a cot. The best bit is, when you don't want it attaching to random things, there is a small piece of material attached to the hand that you can put over the hooky side. However, I feel it is only right that a gecko should attach himself to all things at all times. It is just part of his nature.

msHedgehog said...

@Jo, I think I had a koala like that once. Its front feet stuck together.

Anonymous said...

Ah, so cute. I was wondering how he was going to turn out. Nice to know that the knitting wasn't perfect. I don't feel so alone with the scarf I am working on!

maya said...

I love it, in all it's multicolored glory. The legs are fabulous, the attention to detail is great.

javieth said...
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