Introduction: Knit a Fox Scarf! (and Polish Those Knitting Skills)
Everyone needs a new scarf, right? Well.... I wanted one anyway. However, this pattern is perfect for honing your skills to a really professional level, from knitting neat edges to practising increasing, decreasing, ribbing, colour changing, working on 3 double pointed needles, 3 needle bind off, and stitching up. (With an added fluffy tail, just to add that something extra)
Step 1: You Will Need:
2 x 50g balls of orange DK Yarn
1 x ball of white DK yarn
Scraps of black DK yarn
(DK or double knit also goes by 8ply)
4mm double pointed needles x 3
5mm straight needles
2 x goggle eyes (or similar)
Carding brush (or dog brush from a dollar store... don't use the one you have for the dog)
Step 2: Beginning on Double Pointed Needles
Double pointed needles can be intimidating... but this is a nice way of starting to work on multiple needles.
Cast on 6 stitches in black. Place 3 on each of 2 needles as shown in the image. (I recommend casting on 7 stitches, then passing the 7th stitch over the 1st stitch to complete the round.... however, this is a bit tricky for beginners, easier with practise. The same result can be gained by darning in your ends)
Rotation 1 (R1): Knit front and back of the first stitch, knit 1, knit front and back into last stitch. Do this on both needles. (5 on each needle)
Rotation 2: Knit all stitches
Row 3: Change to white yarn. Knit front and back of the first stitch in white, knit to the last 2, Knit front and back of the second to last stitch, knit 1. Turn. You will now cease working in the round, and begin working straight. Ignore one half of the stitches (everything on needle 2).
Row 4: Knit 3, Purl to last 3, knit 3. This stops the edges of your knitting rolling under.
Row 5: Knit 1, knit front and back of the next stitch, knit to the last 2 stitches, knit front and back of this stitch, knit 1.
Row 6: Knit 3, Purl to last 3, knit 3
Repeat rows 5 and 6 until 33 stitches are on the needles. Change to orange yarn. Complete rows 5 and 6 one more time to give you 35 stitches on the needles.
Row A: Knit all stitches
Row B: Knit 3, purl to last 3, knit 3
Repeat rows A and B 3 times. *****
Cast off all the stitches.
Return to the secondary needle.
Complete the instructions from Row 3 onwards until you reach the end of the repeats of rows A and B. (Stop when you reach the point with ***** DO NOT CAST OFF THESE STITCHES.)
Step 3: Knitting on Straight Needles
This section is really easy.
Change to the 5mm needles.
Knit 170 rows. (sounds like a lot, I know).
However, do make sure you do the following:
- Slip the first stitch on each row. This keeps your edges nice and neat.
- When you reach the end of the first ball of yarn, carry the tail of the yarn across the back of your knitting. When you reach the following row, pick up the tail of the new ball of yarn and carry this across the back of your knitting. This will mean you have less ends to darn in at the end. However, you can skip this step and just darn in your tails at the end if you are not feeling confident)
Now you have reached the part where the scarf magically gets narrower (so that the foxes face maintains its shape when threaded with his tail.
For this section you have 2 rows:
Row C: K1, p1 rib (k1, p1 pattern repeats over the whole row)
Row D: P1, k2 rib (p1, k1 pattern repeats over the whole row)
Repeat rows C and D 10 times (for a total of 20 rows)
Knit 10 rows (remembering to slip each first stitch)
Row E: Knit 1, Knit 2 together, Knit to the last 3 stitches, Knit 2 together, knit 1
Repeat Row E until 9 stitches remain. This makes a gentle curved area leading to the tail of the scarf.
When you have 9 remaining stitches.
Cut 9 lengths of yarn approximately 30 cm each.
Thread a piece of white yarn through each stitch, folded in half. See image for details there.
Take the yarn and braid it into a tail. Tie the end neatly.
Step 4: Making the Ears - Knitting in the Round
This gets to be a bit challenging as you are changing colours, and knitting on 3 needles. But hang in there. These are easy done in the end, and have no darning ends in (as all the tails get tucked inside the ear.
Cast on 4 stitches in black on 4mm dpn (2 on each needle as shown in the image)
K1 front and back, K1 front and back, (turn to second needle) K1 front and back, K1 front and back,
Knit 1 rotation (knitting all the stitches in the colour they already are on both needles- the same every time)
Change to orange yarn, with white yarn ready to go. The white section is only on the front, so you only have to worry about that for one side.
K1 front and back, k2 in white, K1 front and back, (second needle) K1 front and back, k2, K1 front and back.
Knit 1 rotation
K1 front and back, k4 in white, K1 front and back, (second needle) K1 front and back, k4, K1 front and back.
Knit 1 rotation
K1 front and back, k6 in white, K1 front and back, (second needle) K1 front and back, k6, K1 front and back.
Knit 1 rotation
K1 front and back, k8 in white, K1 front and back, (second needle) K1 front and back, k8, K1 front and back.
Knit 1 rotation
K1 front and back, k10 in white, K1 front and back, (second needle) K1 front and back, k10, K1 front and back.
Knit 5 rotations keeping the colours as they appear on the needles already.
Cut off white yarn leaving a 5cm tail. (and black if you haven't already)
Tuck in these tails into the ear cavity.
Hold both needles in the left hand (for right handers... for left handers do the opposite). Knit one stitch from each needle at once (so pick up a front of a stitch from each needle, and knit them as though they are one stitch, creating one stitch if that makes sense....), and complete a 3 needle cast-off or bind-off. You can youtube this for more information, but it isn't too bad.
Step 5: Making the Fluffy Tail
For this you will need 1 of each in white and black, and probably about 6 in orange (depending on how tightly you braid).
Take the yarn and wind it around your hands as shown in the image above. Cut a length of yarn about 10cm, and tie the yarn together in the centre. Take this tie, and thread on the darning needle. Darn it to the tail.
Start with the white one, and stitch it near the bottom of the braid.
Then do a black one, stitching on above the white one. I find about 10mm is enough space between each thingy of yarn.
Then add on orange ones until you reach the top of the braid.
Cut all the loops so that your tail is in strands. You can just trim it there and leave it as is. Or, carefully take your carding brush, and hold the yarn tightly, brush the yarn so that the fibres separate, making a fluffy tail. This is the easiest with either a felted wool yarn or an acryllic yarn. This takes a while, but don't rush it.
When all the bits are brushed, trim the fur to an even length. Run your fingers through the tail (as hairdressers do when they are checking your hair cut...) to fluff it up evenly.
Admire the tail.
Step 6: Finishing the Face
Fold the knitting over at the black nose. Darn in your black ends closing this small black nose triangle.
Take the orange tails and stitch across the top of the section that you did on the 4mm needles. Insert your ears into this seam. I find it is easiest to stitch across, insert an ear, stitching the ear on without worrying about the top layer of his face, then going back over the ear attaching the top of his face to the white part of the ear.
Take 2 goggle eyes and stitch them to the line where the white and orange meet.
Thread the tail through the mouth of the fox scarf.... and wear. You are done. :D