Domenic Duck KAL - Joining in the Round, KFBs, and Building a Base

Domenic Duck KAL

Want to join in the fun? All kits (knit and embroidery) are 25% off now through April 4th with the code SPRINGFLING.

Today we're kicking off the KAL by starting at the bottom and building a solid base.

Circular knitting: some swear by magic loop, other prefer two circulars and still other like the old fashion simplicity of double-pointed needles (dpns). As for me? I think they all do different things really well, so it's about matching the method to part of the project. So while the majority of this KAL will be shown using magic loop, I'm going to start on dpns - you can, of course, use whatever method you prefer. :) 

Note: Click any photo in a grid to bring up a larger image.

Joining in the Round 

When it comes to a very small number of stitches, I find dpns the easiest to handle, rather than constantly shifting around a circular cord. To join in the round, my favorite method is a follows:

  1. Spread your stitches evenly across 3 dpns, making sure that the stitches don't get twisted at the needle breaks (Check to make sure the loops/bumps under the needles all look the same). 
  2. Shift the last stitch on the left hand needle to the right hand needle.
  3. Pull the stitch that is second-most to the left on the right hand needle (the first stitch you cast on), pull it over the stitch you just shifted and place it on the left needle. 
  4. Now you're joined your stitches and can begin knitting in the round.

Increasing with KFBs 

All of the increases in this pattern are KFBs or knit into the front, then back of the stitch. This increases one stitch, and leaves a rather visible bump or bar on the left at the increased stitch, with a smooth line on the original stitch. You'll want that line of the original stitch to continue unbroken up across series of increases.


  1. Insert your right-hand (RH) needle into the first stitch on the left-hand (LH) needle and knit as you normally would, but do not remove the stitch from the LH needle yet. 
  2. Shift your RH needle so it goes through that same LH stitch, but through the back of the loop. 
  3. Make a knit stitch and slip off the LH stitch off the needle. You'll have increased 1 st.

Changing from DPNs to Magic Loop

Because you'll be stuffing the duck as you go along, having the flexibility of a circular cable can be helpful, so once I reach a solid number of stitches on my dpns (about 10 per needle or more), I'll switch to using the magic loop technique. Two circular needles can accomplish this too.  

However, when you're on dpns it's easy to use the needle breaks in lieu of stitch markers (and I try to design my animal patterns to make sense along those needle breaks), so you'll need to add them when you switch to the circular(s).

To switch, simply put down that 4th dpn you've been knitting with and pick up your circular and start knitting as usual, putting a stitch marker at each needle break.  

Keep increasing (and keeping those increase lines nice and straight!) and next time we'll look at wrap and turn short rows for making that adorably curly tail.

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Don't Think I'm Gonna Make It

Andersonville Socks

I've been participating in an Sock UFO (Un-Finished Object) Knit-A-Long in the Maine Knitters group on Ravelry. It was the KAL for the Month of March. I don't think I'm gonna make it by the end of the night....

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Turning New Leaves

Annual Calendar Switch

Last night after work, I picked up my 2010 calendar for the home-front (think I have a thing for sheep?), along with a new comic book and sewing book. It was a good night.

Jan to Jan

So this morning I did the annual shift of birthdays, etc. to the new calendar. I always love going back over the prior year's pages and seeing what I did - things like a Pink Martini concert, a trip to New York, and a lot of rehearsal days.  I used to just tear out my favorite pictures and recycle the rest, but now I like to hold on to the calendar as a simple momento of what happened that year.

Mountains of Purple!

In other news, I think I've officially shifted from a blue-green phase to a purple phase. (I'll be casting on that dark purple Eco-Wool later today for a Vivian knit-a-long I'm doing with my friend Maggie.)  Does anyone else do this? Get obsessed with a color, then move on to another, and so on? My phases usually last for about 5-6 months, then I ban myself from buying the shade for a while and then I'll usually come back to it again. (My last purple phase was Oct 2007-May 2008) Maybe I can talk myself into a yellow phase next.

In other other news, I got my 400th comment on my last post, from the lovely Jen at Pretty Little Pictures. I always love hearing from my readers, so thanks to you all for brightening my day 400 times!

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