Introduction: How to Knit a Pucca & Garu Cap
One day while surfing the net, I discovered the videos of Pucca and Garu. Pucca is a girl in love with the ninja Garu. He desperately tries to avoid Pucca's advances, but in spite of his best efforts she usually wins out in the end. I really liked the cute simple character designs and thought they would be perfect on a knit cap I was going to knit for a friend. I knit this cap as a Fair Isle cap with intarsia elements. Knitting this required me to learn a new skill: knitting intarsia in the round.
- 1 skein each of sport or D-K weight yarn in Red, Black, Light Pink, Dark Pink, White, and dark grey (I used Red Heart Sport as I was stash busting. Obviously, the better the yarn the nicer the end project.)
- #3 US (3.25 mm) 18 inch circular needles
- #3 US (3.25 mm) Double Pointed Needles (DPN)
- #5 US (3.75 mm) circular needles or DPN
- Stitch Markers
- Yarn Bobbins
- Tapestry Sewing Needle
- Intarsia Patterns for Pucca and Garu I found the patterns at a anime cross-stitching site: http://katepc.infogen.net.nz/chobitonepiecepucca.htm
Gauge: 22 stitches = 4 inches
32 rows = 4 inches
Size: As this is a mock-up for a hat I'm knitting for a friend, I knitted using my head as a model. The hat was knit for a 23 inch circumference head.
I calculated that it would require 124 stitches for a 23 inch circumference. As this in essence a Fair Isle project, I erred on making it a little bigger than necessary as Fair Isle fabric is not as stretchy.
The intarsia charts are both 44 stitches across, so both will require 88 stitches. This leave us 36 stitches (124 - 88 = 36). That mean there is going to be 18 stitches between the end of one pattern and the start of the next.
Using the #5 needle(s) cast on 124 stitches in the black yarn.
Place a stitch marker at the beginning of the row. Join the stitches together, taking care that you don't introduce any twists.
Knit 6 rounds.
Knit the next two rows in Knit 2, Purl 2 rib. This prevents the stockinette brim from rolling up further.
When you get to the end of the second row, break the yarn leaving about 6 inches to weave in later. Begin knitting with the background color (red). Knit 3 rounds.
Now it's time to start the intarsia patterns. I arbitrarily made the Garu pattern the front and the Pucca pattern the back.
The cap is basically a piece of Fair Isle with elements of intarsia. The red is worked as Fair Isle, when not being worked the red yarn is stranded in the back. When possible, twist the color of yarn you are working around the red yarn every 3-4 stitches to prevent long strands of red yarn.
All the other colors are worked as intarsia. Each block of color will have it's own bobbin.
Normally you knit intarsia blocks flat. You would normally knit the block of color and at the end of the block the bobbin of yarn would end up on the left side of the color block. When you get to end of the row you turn the work around and purl back. When you get back to color block the bobbin is waiting on the right side for you to use.
Working intarsia in the round has it's own problems. As the you knit in only one direction, after the first round the bobbin is on the far end of the color block and not available for knitting. To work around this, you have to get creative.
1. Slip as to purl all the stitches that you are going to have to knit from the left needle to the right needle.
2. Twist the red yarn around the yarn you will be working. In some sections this will create a long strand. (I will deal with this at the end by using the loose yarn ends to weave the long strands into the knitting)
3. Work the color block by knitting the stitches backwards from the right needle to the left needle. I won't explain how to "knit backwards" as there is a really good description of the process on Knitty: http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer06/FEATreverse.html
4. Slip as if to purl the knitted stitches from the left needle back to the right. You are now ready to proceed knitting with the next color.
When you return back to that block of color, the bobbin of yarn will be waiting for you. You will have to do the slipping and "backward knitting" every other row, while working the pattern.
After finishing the pattern, knit 4 rows in the red.
Begin decreasing to form the crown. Using stitch markers, divide the knitting into 10 even (more or less) sections. In each section knit to the last two stitches. Knit these two stitches together.
Knit the next row plain.
Repeat these two rows until approximately 10-12 stitches are left. Knit-2-together the row.
Break the yarn, leaving about 6 inches. Thread the yarn through the stitches and draw tight.
The easy part is over. If you turn the hat inside out, it'll look like a spaghetti dinner exploded. You have a lot of work weaving in all the loose ends and evening out the tension in the stitches.