Tips & Techniques for Knitting theknittycat's Peeps and Other Toys

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Nearly a pattern for the Thing, and other Peep patterns!

Please check out for larger photos and all of the peeps.

A pattern for the Thing?!  Is it possible that she's FINALLY finished it??

Well, It is possible... 

Yes!  I've finally finished writing the pattern!  Whew!  No wonder it took me so long to MAKE him!  I had no idea how much work he was till I wrote it all down.  Being quite a lazy knitter, I would never have tackled such an ambitious project if I'd known in advance how much work it would be.  ;o)  And writing his pattern was even HARDER than MAKING him!!  Sheesh!  All of you pattern designers out there, I take my hat off to you.... or I would if I were wearing one.

But don't let me put you off of making a Thing of your very own.  Although the pattern is pretty long (at least for MY standards ...  I like things I can make in a day or three!), each part of it is fairly simple to do.  I do recommend that you are an experienced knitter, or at least a very adventuresome beginner!  I knit him in the round on two circular needles, but you could use dpns if you are more comfortable with them (they always make me feel that I need two extra hands), and there are no seams to sew, but the head and arms, and brow ridge, are knit separately and sewn on.  Other than knitting and purling, I use k2tog for decreases, and two types of increase stitches, the kfb and the kinc.  Video help for the kinc here 
scroll about halfway down the page for increasing in the right side of the stitch, where she calls it a KRL (“Knit Right Loop”, and  KLL for the left side of the stitch).  Then it's just knit purl knit purl.... and so on and so on.... till you have a big orange Thing!  :o)

I will be posting the pattern in pdf format very soon (I just need to add photos to it first).  It's my Christmas gift to Marvel fans and the knitters who love them!  :o)


  A slightly belated Happy Thanksgiving to all!

More Patterns Coming?

In other peep news - I've nearly completed a pattern for Nellie the Musical Elephant (because our niece wanted one like her - so I took notes while I made hers - Hurray!).
Also, I'll be posting a pattern for the Unbroken Heart soon as well.

Christmas is nearly upon us and I have LOTS of tasks (as I'm sure you all do), so I don't know how much I'll be able to get to, peep-wise, for the next month, but since I've been so bad at adding posts here, you probably won't notice.  ;o) 
The good news (for some folks) is that I'm planning on making an Elmo and a Cookie Monster for Christmas gifts and I'll be making notes on their
construction as I make them, so apres Christmas, there may be patterns for them soon. 

We wish all of you  
Very Happy Holidays!  
And we hope that you have lots of fun preparing for them.  :o)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Why Knitting Peeps is Fun... and info about Hello Kitty and Muppet Peeps


Please check out for larger photos and all of the peeps.

Why knitting Peeps is fun...
  • You don't have to worry about gauge.
  • You rarely have to weave in ends (they just get buried into the peep).
  • You can use any yarn that pleases you, including scraps.
  • They are generally very short term projects (instant gratification - something we knitters don't often get).
  • Pretty much one-size-fits-all.
  • They give you the opportunity to try out new techniques on a small project.
  • They're cute and knitting them makes you a very cheerful knitter!
  • They make the recipients happy!
Okay, they won't keep you warm like socks, a scarf or a sweater, but they will give you the warm fuzzies inside.  :o)


Info about Hello Kitty Peep and Muppet Peeps...
I've been getting requests for patterns for a number of my peeps, and I want to thank you all so much for your kind interest in them!  :o)  I'm so pleased that you like them so much!  As you probably know by now, I don't actually HAVE patterns for them.  You may have already guessed that I'm not much of a pattern writer, since I like to make things up as I'm knitting them.  This makes it a little difficult to reproduce them.  :o)  But I am making an effort to share the things I've learned, and I'm writing up instructions as best as I can for the little guys.  I'll be putting up a "nearly" pattern for the Thing here soon, which has been taking up a LOT of my time, and frying my brain (at the moment, it's fairly complete except for the arms and hands), and then I'll be able to concentrate a little more on instructions for some of the other peeps.  I do have some notes on a couple of the others that just need finishing, and I'll put them up as soon as I'm able.

The Hello Kitty that some of you are interested in was actually a very simple variation on the classic peeps, which are made using the double knitting technique.  My recommendation is that you start out by trying out the free pattern for the double-knit bear that is linked to on the intro page (Peeps! and how to make them... Introduction).  It teaches the inside-out double knitting technique really well (that's where I learned it, though I had tried the right-side out technique previously), and it is the starting point for the classic peeps.

Then if you want to make Hello Kitty after that - her legs are a bit shorter and instead of increasing in the center of the front of the face, you increase at the sides, to make her head wide and rather flat, and quite large in proportion to the rest of her body. 

(TIP:  I find it unwieldy to do much increasing and decreasing while the peep is inside out, so I turn them right side out after the arms are made, and place the stitches on two circular needles to do the increasing for the head, or you could use dpns.  Also, I've found that turning goes a lot easier if you turn the arms first.  I also stuff the legs, arms and body at this point, using the back end of a size K crochet hook to push the stuffing into the limbs.)

I used a slip stitch technique to shape her ears so I wouldn't have to knit them separately and sew them on (which I heartily dislike doing), but it would work just as well to make them separately, or pick up stitches at each side of the head for them.  I will eventually provide the slip stitch technique, but I'm not sure when I'll get to it, since there are so many things to do!  So I'd suggest making the ears one of the other ways, and not waiting for me!  :o)   When I do make the bits and pieces separately, I knit them in the round with 2 circular needles so I don't have to make a front and back and sew them together.  The ears on the classic peeps are double knitted while making the heads, and require a break in the yarn for the second ear, but no other sewing.  (Have you gotten the idea yet that I don't like sewing?). 

As to the muppets... I don't have any patterns started yet, but since I am making an Elmo, and possibly a Cookie for Christmas gifts, I will try to make some notes as I go.  Except for Kermie, They are based on the classic peeps, but are larger, and have much larger heads.  Then their eyes, Elmo's nose, and Cookie's cookies were knitted separately in the round, then stuffed and and sewn on.  Kermie was approached totally differently, knitting his body and head in the round in one piece, then each limb knitted in the round, then stuffed and sewn on.

I hope this has been helpful to you.  If you check back here occasionally, I hope to eventually get some patterns done and posted.  But as I keep making new peeps, and I'm as slow as a snail at writing patterns (if a snail wrote patterns) ... I think it is going to be a looong process!  :o)