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Great project to practice various stitches and a cool tactile toy for a baby
This toy uses stitches with different textures to stimulate the development of a baby’s tactile sense, which is very important in the early months. It exploits the self-striping pattern of the yarn as a cue to change stitch patterns.

The project is a sampler of some classic and very basic stitch patterns: stockinet, garter, seed, 1×1 rib, but it also uses more complex techniques – bobbles and loops/fur stitch.

This pattern is not written in the style where each little step and stitch is written out and explained. It leaves room for experiment and imagination. Please read carefully through the whole pattern before starting the project.

This pattern is not meant to serve beginner knitters. However, if you are a beginner that likes challenges and happily plunges into unknown waters, I’d be glad to help.

Posted by Leyla Alieva - Silk and Wool Published See Leyla Alieva - Silk and Wool's 7 projects »

  • 107658_2F2015-02-24-140513-Snake_Toy.pdf 256 KB [ Download ]
  • Step 1

    I knitted with self-striping yarn, using stripes as an indication of when to change the stitch pattern. If you have different yarn that has different length of stripes, or your gauge is different, your stripes will have different width, so you may want to change stitch pattern after a different number of stripes than stated in instructions.
    Use any method to knit in the round that you prefer.
    Cast on 4 stitches, join in the round. Optionally, place marker to mark the beginning of the round.

  • Step 2

    Tail/increase/stockinet stitch section. Round1: kfb in each stitch = 8 sts
    Rounds 2 and 3: k all sts Round 4: (k1, m1, k1) = 12 sts Rounds 5 and 6: k all sts Round 7: (k3, m1) = 16 sts Rounds 8 -10: k all sts
    Round 11: (k4, m1) = 20 sts Rounds 12-15: k all sts
    Round 16: (k5, m1) = 24 sts Rounds 17-20: k all sts
    Round 21: (k6, m1) = 28 sts Rounds 22-25: k all sts
    Round 26: (k7, m1)= 32 sts
    Then knit all rounds until the end of current colour, end the round you are on. At this stage I have 3 stripes and 6.5 cm (2.5in) long tail.
    Garter stitch section. Round 1: k all sts Round 2: p all stitches
    Repeat these two rounds until there are 4 stripes / section is 6.5 cm (2.5 in) long / you’re happy with the result.
    Bobbles section
    Rounds 1 and 2: k all sts Round 3: (k3, bobble, k4) Rounds 4 and 5: k all sts Round 6: (k7, bobble)
    Repeat rounds 1-6 two more times for a total of 18 rounds (or to your liking). Knit all rounds until the end of a current colour. For me it was two more rounds, for a total of 4 stripes, or 5 cm (2 in).
    I recommend stuffing the tail and garter stitch sections when you’re done with bobbles. I stuffed mine not very tightly, just enough to hold the shape, so that it’s soft and squishy. I used some rustly plastic from a bag to stuff the garter stitch section to add an additional stimulus.
    Seed stitch section Round 1: (k1, p1) Round 2: (p1, k1)
    Repeat these two rounds until there are 4 stripes / section is 6.5 cm (2.5 in) long / you’re happy with the result.
    Neck / rib section Round 1: (k1, p1)
    Repeat this round until there are 4 stripes / section is 6.5 cm (2.5 in) long / you’re happy with the result.
    Stuff the rest of the body after finishing the neck.
    Head / loop stitch / decrease section
    Rounds 1 and 2: k all sts
    Round 3: k6, l4, k until the end of the round. Round 4: k all sts
    Round 5: k5, l6, k until the end of the round. Round 6: k all sts
    Round 7: k4, l8, k until the end of the round. Round 8: k all sts
    Round 9: k5, l6, k until the end of the round. Round 10: k all sts
    Round 11: k6, l4, k until the end of the round. Rounds 12-15: k all sts
    When you’re done with round 15, take a look at your loop stitch area from the inside – mine was very loose, and I didn’t want the stuffing to get through here. So I took a piece of yarn from the other end of the ball and enforced the area from the inside
    Stuff the neck, too, at this stage. Use less stuffing, so that the ribbing can pull in and the neck is thinner than the body.
    Round 16: (k3, k2tog, k3) = 28 sts Round 17: k all sts
    Round 18: (k2tog, k5) = 24 sts Round 19: k all sts
    Round 20: (k2, k2tog) = 18 sts Round 21: k all sts
    After round 21 stuff the head. Stuff it much tighter than the body, so it’s round in shape. While stuffing, I used a piece of yarn of the same colour as the second stripe of the neck to thread around the neck at the join with the head and pulled tightly, so that the stuffing from the head didn’t go through to the neck section. When I was done stuffing the head, I let it a bit loose, but kept the yarn in place and hid the ends inside the body using the darning needle to enforce the border between the neck and the head.

    Break the yarn, leaving at least 10 cm / 4 in tail. Using darning needle, thread the tail through the live stitches, take them off the needles. Pull the tail to close the opening. Weave in the ends.
    To finish off the snake, first embroider the eyes – I made just two narrow lines, but you could also do French knots. Where you put the yarn through the last stitches and pulled serves as a mouth.
    Secondly, you need to give the body a twist, so that the toy looks like a snake. Bearing in mind the orientation of the head choose a place where you would like body to take a turn, thread some yarn through as shown in Picture using tapestry needle, leaving tails about 10 cm/ 4in long. Then pull the yarn. The wider is the space between top and bottom stitches, the sharper the turn.

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