Whale knitting

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I recently taught my Chap to knit. What better way to start than with these little whales? The kit came from John Lewis and is, admittedly, aimed for kids, so the pattern is really easy to follow.

Yarn: any kind of DK weight wool will work. Your whale need not be blue!
Needles: Choose appropriate needles for your yarn – we used 4mm ones for standard DK weight wool. (The whales are so small that they use very little wool so a ball will go a long way.)
Stuffing: old wool, commercial stuffing or cotton wool would work.
Contrast colour yarn: for stitching on the eyes.
Darning / yarn needle: for stitching up the whale and making the eyes.

Cast on 24 stitches.  Knit garter stitch (knit every row) for 6 rows. This will be your tail.

Knit 23 rows in stockinette stitch (one row knit, one row purl) finishing on a knit row.

This row should be a purl row. Cast off 6 stitches, purl 7. You should now have 8 stitches on right hand needle and 10 on left hand needle. Cast off 11 stitches. Snip the thread and pull it through with a yarn needle. You should have 7 stitches left on the needle ready to knit into the whale’s face.

Re-join the yarn from the ball so you can continue knitting the  stitches (a quick slip knot or looping technique will work). Knit one row, purl one row. Next row, knit 2 together knit 3, knit 2 together. Next row, purl. Next row, knit. Next row, cast off in purl.

Flipper – make two
Cast on 6 stitches. Row 1: knit. Row 2: knit 2 together knit 2, knit 2 together. Row 3: knit. Row 4: knit 2 together, knit 2 together. You should now have 2 stitches on your needle. Knit one final row. Cast off.

Making up
Fold whale lengthways, right sides together. Sew your whale up from the tail end along the long side. Fold over the flap and sew all the way round. Turn outside in. Stuff with stuffing until plump. Sew the tail up in line with the garter stitch, pulling the yarn gently to gather the tail together. Secure with a few extra stitches. Sew the flippers on low down the body with a few strong stitches. Add eyes in contrasting colour. Release into the wild!

The Chap is now on whale no. 4…


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