The newest Natty Knits Pattern “Snake Maker” is in Knit Now magazine, available from all good newsagents in the UK.
The Snake Maker allows the knitter to knit a snake to their own specifications. It includes a tail, head, tongue and left and right leaning sections. It’s actually a pretty easy pattern, but here are some hints and tips to help you get the best results.
A Note on Gauge
When I knit toys I always use needles that are one or two sizes smaller than recommended for the yarn. You don’t have to get the gauge exactly right, but you can check it by holding your garter stitch fabric up to the light. If the gauge is tight enough you should only see pinpricks of light through your knitting.
More About Short Row Shaping
The Snake Maker pattern uses a technique called short row shaping. A short row is made when you turn your knitting before the end of a row. This means that some sections of your work will have more rows than others. The sections with more rows will arch, creating a three-dimensional shape. Each time you turn your knitting before the end of a row you create a loop of yarn under a stitch and a small hole in the fabric. So, when you knit back over a stitch that has a loop under it, you must knit into the loop at the same time as the stitch above it to close the hole. There’s a special blog post about short row shaping, with lots of photos just here.
Short rows in stockinette stitch can be tricky, if you find you have an uneven finish on your Snake, try adjusting the tension of the work before you sew it together.
Snake Making Formulas
Knit a coiled snake by repeating the left coiling section, so that the sewn seam will be on the inside of the coils. Ten sections will make one complete coil. For larger coils, knit two rows in stockinette stitch between each section. This Python was knitted with 27 sections!
Knit a straight snake by knitting in the round all the way through. Knit to Rnd 31, of the tail, M1L at the start of the next rnd, make the snake body as long or as short as you like, then begin the head at Rnd 1.
The Snake Maker pattern will be available to buy from the Natty Knits Etsy shop and Ravelry in March 2013.