Sunday, 30 November 2008

Lion with Hyperbolic Mane

FlyingHere at last is the Proper Present. He's a rather piebald lion, in three colours because I ran out of the intended colour and couldn't get any more.

I learned Judy's Magic Cast-on for Toe-Up Socks, and it worked brilliantly. Making the legs upwards is quicker and much less annoying, and the cast on didn't have sticky-out ears, like my grafted toes usually do.

Materials: two balls of any brand of superwash double-knitting, and one of eyelash yarn. 3.5mm needles for knitting circularly, either magic loop, or double-pointed if you prefer. Optionally, 2.5mm needles for making properly flat ends.

Step 1: cast on 60 and work circularly. Knit 4 rows, purl 2 rows, then keep on knitting to make a tube, embellished with a cable for his spine. I did two six-by-six cables twisting in towards each other.Rear view

Step 2: close the end like making the top of a hat. Using the last bit of Techknitter's truly flat hat top, with the very neat change-of-gauge trick, is not a bad idea, although I didn't execute it properly in this one. I've also had superior results with her method of grafting.

Step 3: Make four legs as follows: Cast on 6 on each needle using Judy's Magic Cast-On. Increase as for a sock toe till you have 12 stitches each side then continue for 24 rows. Either cast off, or leave the stitches on a holder with a long enough tail for sewing them on to the body later.

Step 4: Make the hyperbolic mane as follows, in a different colour if you like.

Hyperbolic ManeHyperbolic Mane
With the body towards you, crochet a round of dc (American - sc) into the purl bumps from step 2. I put the hook through both rows at once to make it stronger - it has to take quite a bit of strain. Join the last to the first with a slip stitch. Then continue spirally, but increase by one in every third stitch. That is, work 1 dc into first dc, 1 dc into 2nd dc, 2dc into third dc. Continue until the mane is big enough. This creates a hyperbolic plane where N=3, as explained here, and takes longer than you think. Finish with a row of horrifying eyelash yarn, but don't increase on that row, it's not worth it.

Step 5: Pick up the stitches at the original cast on in step 1 - in a different colour if you want it to look like mine. Stuff the body, not too tightly. Decrease as for a hat top, adding extra stuffing for the face as you go, till you have 12 stitches, then graft them together, again as for a hat top.

FaceStep 6: Stuff and sew on the legs. I use fake grafting - just get a tapestry needle and follow the path of the wool so that they seem to grow out of the body.

Step 7: Make a tail by crocheting a small tube then increasing near the end in the same manner as for the mane, and finish off with a row of eyelash yarn in the same way. Sew it on.

Step 8: Embroider a face.

The eyelash yarn I got from a friend. We each had something ghastly we'd bought by mistake and couldn't make anything out of at all. We swapped, in case the other's Muse could do better. I think it found its fate.


Anonymous said...

Finally, a perfect use for eyelash yarn! As if Ruaidhri weren't a tricky enough name on its own, now there'll be a matching Roar-y. We'll just have to keep them together at all times to avoid confusion.

Simba said...

Re lindo! :-D

msHedgehog said...

@Jo, now we have to work out how to get them together. I can post him, but I'd prefer to deliver him. I'm on holiday next Friday, but I have to get back into town quite early - or we could meet at iknit - drop me a line.

maya said...

I love its face, with that annoyed look. The mane is great. Love the look of knitted animal toys but all the shapping involved scares me.

David said...

Reminds me of Parsley the Lion from the TV series The Herbs (Now that dates me!).