Intro: Knitted Beard
So, basically, I saw this somewhere on the web a month or two ago, and I wanted to make something like it for Christmas (for a grab bag type thing). Turned out looking pretty cool, so I made a bunch of them for myself and my family.
Step 1: Materials
You will need:
A pair of size 13 knitting needles
Super bulky yarn (weight 6)
Scrap thread or yarn
Step 2: Beard Pattern
Cast on 4 stitches. Leave an 8 inch tail if you want to use it to sew the elastic on.
Row 1: Loop stitch across all stitches
Row 2: KFB, K across all stitches
Repeat these two rows until you have 12 stitches on the needle, end on an even row.
Row 17: Bind off five stitches. Loop stitch across remaining stitches.
Row 18: K across all stitches.
Row 19: Loop stitch across all stitches
Repeat these two rows three times
Row 24: K across all stitches.
Row 25: Cast on five stitches, then loop stitch down across the newly cast on stitches and the old stitches.
Row 26: K2tog, K across remaining stitches.
Row 27: Loop stitch across all stitches.
Repeat these two rows until there are four stitches left, ending on an odd row. Loop stitch and bind off these four stitches. Also leave a long tail here.
Tips: Here is a link to my favorite loop stitch tutorial . Try to keep things kinda loose. I'm not sure why, but when I do the loop stitch it always feels very tight, and my wooden needles are all "scratched" up at the end from making very tight stitches. May just be me, though. It is also a good idea to make the loops smaller near the two edges (where the beard meets the ears). It makes it look a little nicer (so says my brother).
This pattern is totally adjustable. If you're knitting along, you can keep holding it up to your face to see where you should be adjusting. This pattern goes up and above my ears, and I have a pretty good size head. I like it like that, though, as it keeps my ears extra warm. Just start the chin part with less than 12 stitches, and bind off/cast on a proportionate amount of stitches for the chin. Make sure you make note of how many stitches you had before you started the chin, so that you know how many you should have after the chin. Probably obvious, I know, but I'm guilty of doing that on my first few, and I ended up having to guess (educated guess, mix of counting the stitches and hard thinking).
Step 3: Mustache Pattern
This part is very free form.
Cast on two stitches. Do an increase in the first row, then knit every row for three or four rows. Decrease to one stitch, then increase back up to three stitches. Knit every row for three or four rows. Decrease once in one row. Bind off.
Take a look at the picture to see how it should come out. Leave long-ish tails for sewing it onto the beard.
Step 4: Putting It All Together
Now sew the mustache into the beard, in the gap. You'll want it to line up the top of the beard with the top of the mustache. I've found that the smaller the mouth gap, the better. It looks a little goofy with a big mouth gap, but you may like that. So, start from the bottom of the mustache and sew up to the top of the beard and mustache. Simple stuff.
Next up, cut a strip of elastic. You'll probably want to measure by holding up the beard how you want it on your face, then measuring from end to end over the top of your head. I usually use a roughly 10 inch strip. Take the strap and place it as shown in the photo.
Now sew the strap onto the beard. You can use scrap yarn, thread, or (and I literally just realized this) the yarn tails from the start and end of the beard. Thread was the first thing I used, but it ended up breaking on my brother's beard. I tried scrap yarn next, and it seems to be working good. But I think the yarn tails are the best bet. Less to weave in too!
Finally, weave in those ends. Should only be a few (depending on whether you used the tails to sew on the straps). I noticed that, since the front is so big and loopy, you can just weave the ends through a couple stitches then out the front, and cut to size. The ends should blend in pretty nicely like that.
It is now time to wear your beard. Get out there and do something awesome with it!
Note on washing: I used acrylic (and acrylic/wool mix) so it is washable, but when you wash it, the beard will get fuzzy. And these fuzzies will get in your mouth. My suggestion? Hit around the mouth opening with a beard trimmer (or scissors), and get rid of the fuzzies!