Introduction: There's Something Fishy in My Pocket!
Let's face it, haven't you always wanted a fish in your pocket. I'm not talking smelly, slimy real fish, but nice well-behaved knitted fish with which you can charm and delight your friends. Get the knitting needles and yarn ready, for here we go! I am using leftover yarn from other finished projects using Vanna's Choice yarn by Lion Brand.
Step 1: Yarn and Needles
Choose nice brightly coloured yarn and a pair of 3mm (or larger) knitting needles. I like 3 mm needles, as they give a nice tight finish. I am using bright red to start.
Step 2: The Tail End.
Start at the tail end and cast on twelve stitches and knit one row plain and one row purl. If you want a wider, longer tail, start with a few more stitches (multiple of two) If you want a very wide tail, but not a longer one. Cast on 24 stitches and decrease one stitch at each end of every row.
Knitting tip, When not increasing or decreasing, I always slip the first stitch at the beginning of the row, instead of knitting as this makes a much neater row end.
Step 3: Decrease
Knitting in stockinette stitch, (one row plain, one row purl - the plain row is the right side)
decrease one stitch at each end of the plain rows only, until 6 stitches remain on your needle. (Decrease by knitting two stitches together) Knit three rows in stockinette stitch without decreasing.
Step 4: On the Increase
I have changed colour from red to yellow, but you can continue in red, or any other colour you like.
Increase one stitch at each end of every other row (the plain knitting rows only) until you have 24 stitches on your needle. Purl one row.
(Increase by knitting twice into the first and last stitches).
You can vary your colours and knit stripes if you wish.
Step 5: Decrease for the Head
Continue in stockinette stitch and decrease one stitch at each end of every plain row until two stitches remain. Knit these two stitches together and bind off.
Step 6: Same Again
Now you have one side of your pocket fish. Knit a second piece exactly the same as the first.
Step 7: Sew It Up!
With right sides together (plain knitted side) and starting at the nose, sew the two pieces of your fish together neatly. Leave the tail end open. Turn right side out and stuff lightly with something like fibre-fill. If you want a fat fish, stuff well! When the fish is stuffed to your liking, you can neatly sew up the tail part. If you have difficulty turning the fish right side out, very gently poke the nose through with the blunt end of the knitting needle.
Step 8: Behold the Fish!
Now you have achieved fish you can decorate him in many different ways. You will need to give him an eye (one on each side) and perhaps a smiley mouth. I did a chain stitch in red across both sides to define the head section.
To create a fin effect - with a darning needle , stitch straight across the top and bottom of your fish very neatly and there your are - instant fins! Stitch through both sides.
If he is a plain little guy, it would be fun to embroider some little flowers on his sides to make him (or her) a bit more cheerful and friendly. If you choose to make him stripey, he may be cheerful enough already. in either case, he/she is all ready to pop into your pocket and your friends' pockets! If you have a cat, I am sure he or she would love a little fish like this to play with!
Step 9: Here He Is Peeking From a Pocket!
Carry your fish in your pocket wherever you go! Certainly brightens up a dull pocket!
Step 10: Variations on a Fishy Theme!
There are many easy variations you can knit to achieve slightly different fish.
For the blue angel fish in the photo, start with 16 stitches on your needle and decrease as per the instructions to six stitches, knit two rows stockinette stitch and then cast on six stitches at the beginning of the next two rows. Then you can decrease down to two stitches as before. I added a simple fringe to his tail and added a couple of stripes as I knitted..
If stockinette stitch bores you, try knitting the tail in knit one purl one rib and then moss stitch, garter stitch, seed stitch - for the body. The variations are endless. Create your own aquarium - let the real fish swim free...........