my primary reason for making this instructable is because i recently went to a neighborhood camp out thing and was surprised at the number of kids who had had such nice knives, but after watching them for a while i noticed they barley knew how to sharpen a stick, i'm not a great whittler by any means, but i know a few basics.
granted there are a few contests that iv'e had my eye on. : )
Step 1: Knifes
despite popular belief you don't need a really nice knife to do much to a piece of wood, it does help and a sharp knife is safer than a dull one but the knife i use in this instructable only cost me $5
(if you do want to get a good knife that will last a long time but wont drain your bank account take a look at kershaw)
Step 2: Sticks/ Wood
picking out the right stick is very important, for this little project you want a strait stick that the bark wont fall off when its dropped, handled, or carved
Step 3: Different Types of Cuts
no not cuts on your fingers, cuts on wood the first one is what i call a notched cut (there may or may not be another term for that but that's what i was taught and so i'm sticking with it) sorry its a little hard to read, the other to are pretty obvious as to how to do them, i'm going to refer to the last one as a "forward cut". ill show you how to make a notched cut on the next step.
Step 4: Notched Cut
put your knife at a slight angle and push down while sliding forward a little to penetrate farther, then angle it the other way and do the same, repeat as necessary to achieve the desired depth.
Step 5: De-nubbing
getting rid of these guys can be done in a number of ways, a forward or thumb assisted cut will get rid of most of the small ones, and a notched cut works well for thicker ones, my personal preference is what is shown in the last 2 pictures, start with a forward or thumb assisted cut and then twist your knife back to break it off.
Step 6: Marking
ok so first you need to mark where your going to cut, the easiest way to do this is to put your knife on an angle and roll the stick making a nice little coil/ spiral or whatever you want to call it do that across the part of the stick you want to carve but not the whole thing, your going to want a little bit left for a handle on both sides.
Step 7: Carving the Candy Cane Stripe
using a thumb assisted cut carve halfway between 2 lines then turn it around and carve the other half.
Step 8: Keep Going
repeat the process all the way up the section
Step 9: Finishing
to finish it off you make a notched cut on both ends till you pass the pith and then do it again on the sides. then break off whats on the end. and cut off the fuzz
Step 10: Done
and there you if you want to take up wood carving you'l defiantly need to know more than this but it will give you a nice start, hopefully i will be able to post another instructable with a more complex project.