When the CreaCrafts team plans special editions of Knit & Stitch Creative magazine it involves a lot of brainstorming. For our second special edition we wanted to create a magazine with wide appeal and we settled on the idea of baby animals quickly – because who doesn’t love baby animals? Once we came up with the concept we thought about the kit – considering white bunnies and toy puppies before settling on the idea of a fox make and mittens. Here our designer Caroline talks about how she came up with the design from conception to completion.
“Every so often our garden is visited by a fox” she says, “not an urban animal but a real, wild, fiery orange countryside fox. And in the spring, if we’re lucky we see its cubs playing in the neighbouring field.” Being so close to this countryside animal gave her a chance to take photos and draw initial sketches (see above). She then simplified her sketches into simple shapes and two colours – using CreaCrafts Harmony Tangerine and a cream yarn, Moonstone. In her first experiments she tried other creamy yarns, such as CreaCrafts Haptic Filament but decided that the same double knitting yarn would be good to use throughout, anticipating that there would be several knitting methods in the project.
She then plot out the design, deciding where the increases could shape the face.”I knew I wanted to work the design from the nose upwards so the head could widen into the ‘body’ of the scarf and then finish with a ‘tail’, therefore I had to start with just a few stitches.” The mittens, however, needed to be worked from the cuff to the tip, so she had to reverse the method of making these, using decreases to shape the faces.
When mapping the design she soon realised there would be wide areas of one colour before changing to another – which meant using the intarsia method. This method of knitting was first introduced in Knit & Stitch Creative magazine, Issue 15, and is often called “picture knitting” because of its ability to create complex pictures seamlessly within a piece. We’ve uploaded a link here from the magazine to help you further. While the intarsia section of the scarves and gloves are knit in stocking stitch, she chose moss stitch for the body of the scarf. This was, she explains, “to give the impression of rough animal pelt”.
For the finishing touches Caroline first considered adding buttons, but realised this could be pulled off with little fingers! In the end she opted for simple stitches in a black embroidery thread to add eyes and noses to the scarves and mittens, which gave the make the finishing touch. We hope you enjoy making it as much as we enjoyed creating it!
- Click here to buy the Baby Animals special.