Bananas in Pyjamas

banasI came across the idea over at Laptop on the Ironing Board.  She doesn’t give her pattern, but the basic idea is good – work the stripes flat, make into a tube, crochet around the edges, make a banana head and embroider a face.

Here is my attempt at a pattern based on two experimental models.  I use English/Australian terminology so Americans might like to substitute single crochet when I say dc and color when I say colour.

Chain 10 sts in white.  dc into second ch from the hook and continue for the rest of the row.

Change to blue.  Chain 1, dc into second ch from the hook and dc for the rest of the row, then work another row the same.

Change back to white and work another stripe the same.

Keep going until you have four stripes in each colour (or eight stripes altogether) then fasten off.

Oversew the ends together with white yarn.  This sewing can really blend in if you work little diagonal stitches in one direction then go back making them into little “v” shapes.

One edge will look neat and the other a bit messy with the colour changes.  Crochet over the messy end with white to make a collar.

To make the collar look more collar-ish I started the head in yellow by picking up 14 sts along the inside of the collar stitches.  It was fiddly and I ended up crocheting the head sort of inside out, but the collar part looks better.

Then work 8 more rounds in dc to make the head.

Decrease by working a decrease then a regular dc alternately until the head is closed then fasten off.

The stalk is next.  Pick up some brown or black yarn.  Pull a little loop through the top of the head to start off a chain.  Work about 6 ch, then work a dc in the 2nd ch from the hook and another dc, then three more ch, then more dcs to come back to the top of the head.  Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail for embroidering the face and thread them inside the head to knot.

The eyes are just under halfway up the head, then the smile one bump under the eyes, worked like a fly stitch.  The eye stitch should be doubled to stand out more, but one strand is fine for the mouth.

There you have my take on the Bananas in Pyjamas finger puppets!

banasleft banasright

Leafy hat to dye for

Three hats - fish, possum and OXs (OXen?)When the winter wind begins to blow my thoughts turn towards knitting hats. Socks and mittens too, but they take a little more commitment. So far this year has seen a fish/ganomy hat, a noughts and crosses/hugs and kisses cable hat and polly the possum ears hat. Next request was for a green leafy hat.

Searching ravelry yielded Leaf edged baby hat. graph for leafy edge The pattern for the edge comes from Barbara Walker’s 2nd treasury of knitting patterns. She does great pattern books but she had leanings towards spiritualism and weird things. The pattern needed graphing so here it is.

and the dye? I didn’t have any green, but I did have a dying wool with Children kit from Wooldancer. Similar to dying with Kool-Aid translated for a more sensible country that sells food colouring in little bottles marked “Food Colouring” rather than packets marked Kool-Aid. A great use for food colours too! Don’t eat them – knit them! Then once that was done I found some green wool too so I’m all set.

Thus begins our winter holidays.

Two needle doily

Two needle doily in brownKnitted doilies are fairly unusual items. Most handmade doilies you see are crocheted. The difference between knitting and crochet is often cast aside as irrelevant. The basic observation is that someone took an awful long time to make a tiddly little circle for putting under a vase.

The fine details of making things are worth considering. Knitting is generally floppier and finer than crochet. These properties are valuable in lace head coverings. That’s how was drawn into the world of knitted doilies.

Knitted lace is challenging because the results are not clear until you have washed and stretched the piece. Having a graph of the pattern can help you get your head around the pattern. Here I have my handwritten chart I used when knitting the doily. There was not enough room to fit the whole pattern so this is the centre of the doily. The edging I have graphed using XFig’s perplexing knitting symbols. Why are there knitting symbols in amongst the electrical diagram symbols?
graph of the main doily
Graph for the edge of the 2 needle doily