Round Pig Hints and Tips

The Round Pig pattern is finally finished and is available in the Natty Knits Etsy shop and from Natty-Knits on Ravelry.

A Note on Gauge

When knitting toys I always use needles that are a mm size smaller than that recommended for the yarn. You don’t have to get the gauge exactly right but at least knit up some garter stitch using smaller than usual needles, until you get a fabric that you can only see pinpricks of light through.

More About Closing the Holes

The Round Pig pattern uses a technique called Short Row Shaping. This involves turning the knitting around before you’ve knitted to the end of the row, so making the knitted fabric 3 dimensional. However, when you turn the knitting, you leave a small hole. There’s a special blog post on how to close the holes and get a smoother finish just here.

M1R and M1L

The M1 increase is the neatest way to make an increase without leaving a hole. But this increase leans to the left or the right depending on how you work it. Because the increases are made along the edges of the pig’s ears, they are very visible, so it’s best to get them leaning in the right direction. These increases are described in detail with videos at http://www.knittinghelp.com, just here.

Sewing Together

For the Underbelly Seam and the Bottom of the legs

The following way is an excellent method for sewing the top and bottom of garter stitch knitting, it leaves a nicely hidden seam. The basic method involves weaving the yarn in and out so that it goes directly over the existing stitches in the knitting. Here’s a diagram:
The important thing to remember when using this method is not to pull the yarn tight as this will just make a nasty mess. It’s a delicately balanced operation, but simple with practice.

For the Legs and the Nose

Use Fake Grafting (sometimes called Faux Kitchener) to sew together the top and bottom of stockinette stitch.

Look carefully at where the leg or nose changes from garter to stockinette stitch, with the garter stitch section on the right all sewn together using the weaving method described above, find the first v shaped stitch at the bottom right and sew through the middle of the v from back to front. Then sew behind the corresponding v on the top right from right to left (as shown below).

For The Ears

The Purl cast off on the Knit side will turn the cast off stitches towards the underside of the ear so that it’s invisible when you sew the ear to the body (thank you to sparkley on Ravelry who came up with that excellent idea).

I have found it a little difficult to get the ears straight and as they’re so visible, this is important. Here’s how I solved the problem. Find the first short row turn on the nose side of the Pig’s body. This will look like two stitches merging into one. Then using a contrasting color yarn and starting from the fourth section of the body, sew a straight line with running stitch through four sections. It should look like this.

Then you have a guideline along which to place the cast off edge of your Pig’s ears.

French Knots for Eyes

The little piggy eyes are made using embroidered French Knots, this is a great tutorial for how to do these from purlbee.

Positioning the Legs

You can place the legs closer together or further apart, but  as long as they’re symmetrical, those chunky legs will always be able to support the body. My only tip here is to pin the legs in place before you sew them on and to place them slightly closer to the tail end so that the pig’s nose looks slightly  upwards.

If you have any questions or comments which are not covered either in the pattern or here, please contact me through the NattyKnits Etsy shop and I’ll do my best to help you.

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