Complete your set of cute characters from issue 37 and whip up Mr Robin tonight. Knitting intarsia needn’t be bothersome either, which is why we’ve got exclusive tips from designer Tracey Todhunter right here. Knit him tonight and he’ll soon be perched happily on your mantelpiece!
- One ball Vanna’s choice in Scarlet and Chocolate
- Yellow yarn, for the beak
- 3.5mm knitting needles, one pair
- Toy stuffing
- Plastic toy eyes, we used 6mm Trimits from woolwarehouse.co.uk
- Jewellery wire for the feet
Begin by winding two small balls of yarn (one in red and one in brown). With main ball of brown yarn, cast on 7 sts.
Row 1: (kfb) to end. 14 sts
Row 2 and all even rows: Purl.
Row 3: (k1, kfb) to end. 21 sts
Row 5: (k2, kfb) to end. 28 sts
Row 7: (k3, kfb) to end. 35 sts
Row 8 : Purl
Row 9: Using the intarsia method, k13 chocolate, k9 red, k13, brown
Row 10: p13, brown, p9 red, p13 brown.
Rows 11 to 14: As Rows 9 and 10.
Row 15: k14, brown, k7 red, k14 brown.
Row 16: p14, brown, p, 7 red, p 14 brown. Cut small balls of red and brown yarn and continue using main ball of brown only.
Row 17: (k3, k2tog) to end. 28 sts
Row 18 and all even rows: Purl.
Row 19: (k2, k2tog) to end. 21 sts
Row 21: (k1, k2tog) to end. 14 sts
Rows 23: (k2tog) to end. 7 sts
Cut yarn leaving a long tail for sewing up. Sew seam, stuffing Robin as you go. If using plastic eyes, place these just above the last row of red (use photo as a guide).
With brown yarn cast on 10 sts
Row 1: Knit
Row 2 and all even numbered rows: Purl.
Row 3: k1, k2tog, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.8 sts
Row 5: As Row 3. 6 sts
Row 7: k1, (k2tog) twice, k1. 4 sts
Cut yarn and draw through remaining loops. Attach to sides of Robin’s body.
With white yarn, cast on 35 sts
Rows 1 and 2: Knit, cut white yarn and change to red.
Row 3: Knit
Row 5: (k5, k2tog) to end. 30 sts
Row 7: (k4, k2tog) to end. 25 sts
Row 9: (k3, k2tog) to end. 20 sts
Row 11: (k2, k2tog) to end. 15 sts
Row 13: (k1, k2tog) to end. 10 sts
Row 15: (k2tog) to end. 5 sts
Row 16: Purl.
Row 17: Knit.
Rows 18 – 24: Continue to work in stocking stitch.
Cast off, cut yarn leaving a long tail and sew side seam. Sew felt ball to top of hat. Sew hat to top of Robin’s head. Use a small piece of yellow yarn to sew a beak. Feet are made using a small oddment of jewellery wire, twisted to form each foot. To attach, apply a small amount of textile glue to the wire and insert into the base of the Robin’s body.
Hang up each ornament with a loop made from a short crochet chain. If you prefer, a small piece or ribbon or thin cord can be sewn on to each ornament instead.
SAFETY FIRST: These ornaments are not designed as toys and are unsuitable for young children due to small parts. If you prefer not to use plastic toy eyes, embroider the eyes with black yarn.
Tips for Intarsia
We recruited designer Tracey Todhunter to give us tips on using the intarsia technique, which is used to make the Robin’s beautiful red breast.
“Intarsia is where each block of colour is knitted with a separate ball of wool. Knit to the first stitch in the new colour, do not cut the old colour, but leave it at the back of your work. Hold the new yarn firmly and knit in this colour until the next colour is required. Pull the yarn tail gently, but not so tight that the knitting puckers. Repeat each time a colour change is made.
For this project you will have three balls of yarn – the main ball of brown and a smaller ball each in red and brown. On the second row (a purl row), when you reach the first colour change, twist the old and the new yarn by holding both yarns at the front of your work and taking the new colour from front to back, beneath the old yarn. On a knit row, bring up the new colour from beneath the old colour, twisting the yarns to prevent a hole forming. Pull the yarn gently to tighten each stitch if necessary.”