The Big ‘Knit Your Own Zoo’ Sponsored Challenge has officially started!
Today is day 1 of my huge task to knit 10 zoo animals in 10 weeks, all without ever having knitted before! You can read all about the challenge, which is in aid of the World Wildlife Fund, in detail in my previous post, here. I woke up early, poured myself a tea, brought up a plate of ginger biscuits, & propped myself up in bed with my books on learning to knit & my new knitting-work bag full of my wool, needles & other bits. I need to learn everything; how to cast on, how to knit, purl, cast off, the lot.
The first pattern I’ve chosen to tackle from the Knit Your Own Zoo book is the Polar Bear, mainly because it’s all one colour & will therefore be easiest to learn. Looking at the pattern (which seemed rather like trying to decipher a foreign language) I saw that I also needed to learn to k2tog, inc, & st st.
But what of my knitted bear’s real life alter ego? Polar Bears have adapted to survive in cold climates & can be found living in Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Russia & Norway. Contrary to popular myth Penguins & Polar Bears never get to hang out. Polar Bears can be found in the Arctic circle surrounding the North Pole, whereas Penguins inhabit the Antarctic (which comes from the Greek meaning without bear) The biggest threat to Polar Bear’s today is climate change. Global warming is reducing hunting time, leading to malnutrition and starvation. On their website, the WWF say they are helping Polar Bears in two main ways –
“Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions responsible in part for the melting of the polar bears’ sea ice habitat &
Addressing the direct threats from shipping, fishing, and oil and gas activities, particularly in the Norwegian and Russian Arctic regions of the Barents Sea.”
I spent a long time watching YouTube tutorials, practicing how to cast on (why did I find the slipknot so hard to master?) & doing rows of basic knit stitch. Learning how to increase a stitch was particularly difficult & I won’t lie, I raged around my bedroom for a while after repeatedly getting it wrong. So, come this evening, I have the four legs of my Polar Bear knitted and I feel quite proud. I’m sure they’re very untidy, and with the odd mistake, but still it’s a start.
I am, however, completely stuck on what I do next. The pattern told me to ‘hold’ stitches on a spare needle for each leg (which you can see in the right picture above), which I’ve done, but now I don’t know how to use these ‘held’ stitches in making the right side of the body. Can anyone help?!
The bit of the pattern I’m stuck with says
‘Row 1: With fr, cast on 1 st, with RS facing k9 from spare needle of Right Front Leg, cast on 5 sts. (15 sts) Row 2: Purl. Row 3: Inc, k14, cast on 6 sts. (22 sts)’ Edit – All sorted now! Thanks for all the help!
Do you have two lots of yarn on the go? Do you cast the 1 st onto the needle where the 9 stitches are already on? I’m so confused! Once I get my head round this bit, I’ll start knitting again & I’ll be sharing more photographs of my progress on Facebook, Twitter, & in next week’s blog post about the Challenge! I hope you’ll all follow me as I undertake this project, in aid of the WWF, & if you feel lovely enough to sponsor me, you can do so on my JustGiving page.
This is the first Handmade Monday I’ve joined in with for a while, as I’ve been really busy, but I’m really eager to share this project with other crafty people, especially any knitters out there! I can’t wait to go & catch up on all the great craft blogs that take part! Hope you’ve all had equally busy, productive weekend’s!