The irony of me doing a KAL on the blog is here I end up sitting by myself in front of my camera knitting. Not so KAL for me! Ha!
Alrighty, I am sure many of you are terrified by the whole Round 52 bit, so I am going to walk you through it step by step today. Hang on to your hats, this is one photo heavy post today! (No joke, there's 29 of them, eesh!)
So first of all, once you get to round 52 it is time to start stuffing. This is probably one of the things I get the most questions on when I talk to people in person. Here is the deal with stuffing: it is art. No, seriously. Think about it as sculpting.
So, first step is going to be to look at my samples (or dig through the finished projects on Ravelry) and find the shape you like. As you stuff, you will want to keep that shape in mind.
To start I want to make a nice flat "base" of stuffing to flatten out the bottom of the dino so he will sit flat when I am done and not roll all over the place. I grab a good chunk of stuffing that looks like it will fill the base to start. (Oh and I know this is kinda a crummy picture since it is hard to see how much is there, but you try photographing stuffing!)
Then I smoosh it across the bottom
Then I grab another generous chunk and stuff that in too
Throughout stuffing, I periodically smoosh and moosh the critter from the outside to arrange the stuffing
And I will stop and moosh some stuffing down to the bottom of the middle to fill out the body.
That's how I do it! Add stuffing to the front, back middle, and keep looking at it from a distance to see where more stuffing is needed. I will even check the bottom to see how it looks, that I am getting the shape I want, and see where it needs more stuffing.
Make sense? If I see a crater, I add a small piece of stuffing. If I see a lump, I moosh it down with my hand. All the while, I add pieces of stuffing to shape the body from the sample I have chosen. This takes me FOREVER, by the way, so don't feel like you are taking too much time. The stuffing makes the finished item. You are sculpting your dino's personality right now!
Learn from my mistake.... With this project it might be a good idea to put point protectors on the ends of you dpns as you stuff. I didn't and managed to slip to 2 sts. Ugh.
This is what my dino looked like before I started on R52:
Ok, let's get started with Round 52. Knit those first 15 sts. Mine are on that front needle there.
Thread your tapestry needle with a piece of scrap yarn. The scrap should be like 12" or so, I think mine was ridiculously long. Then just slip those sts you just worked purl wise (so you don't turn then are you go) onto your tapestry needle.
I go in bundles, once I get 3-5 sts on my tapestry needle, I slip them onto my yarn and start on the next 3-5
Tah-dah! First 15 sts on my waste yarn
Voila, sts on waste yarn. (I always tie my waste yarn in a little knot since I am paranoid the sts will slip off the yarn. This is ridiculous, they are not going anywhere. And when the sts could go somewhere, like when stuffing on my dpns, I did nothing. Go figure.)
I went ahead and placed makers after the 20th stitch on both my front and back needle so I know how far to kitchener.
And then I got to town kitchenering. Knit, slip, purl. Purl, slip, knit. I just repeat that in my head the whole time. (Here's a video on Kitchener stitch if you need help.)
Here's a trick! Generally when I am finishing I just stitch shut any hole created by knitting this in sections like this. But, you can minimize the hole. When you have one stitch left to kitchener, knit it and slip it as usual
Again look for lumps, or craters, or places that need it. I found one here, see the ripples since there isn't enough stuffing in there? Do you like that I am pointing at it?
I keep doing this (obsessively) until I am happy with how it looks. Here's mine ready to move on to the next step!
Phew! That was quite the post. I will go over more tomorrow! Let me know if you have any questions on this.