Thanks for coming back for part 2 of The Very Hungry Caterpillar series! If you missed part 1 you can read it here.
So I had chosen my yarn and I had an idea of sizing, the next thing was to figure out how best to knit the design I had in my head! I already knew that I was going to knit the body in the round, just like knitting a hat, as then I could easily change colours and resize as I went. The tricky part was going to be creating the bumps for each coloured part. This is the idea I had in my head for the main body:
I wanted to use moss (seed) stitch to get more of a textured look but I really struggled to decrease and increase my stitches whilst keeping the pattern cohesive and correct. My design book turned into pages of scribbles which barely made sense to me after a while…
I took a bit of a break from the project and came to the realisation that this was my design, and if it wasn’t working for me then I could change it! I decided on garter stitch instead of stocking stitch as this would still give me a more textured look and it was closer to my original plans. This did make it slightly more time consuming as when knitting in the round, you need to alternate knit and purl rows to create garter stitch – when you’re knitting on straight needles, garter stitch is created when you knit every row.
I cast on, then I increased stitches at regular intervals on alternate rows for the first few rows to create the bump effect. I knitted this larger number of stitches until the section was about 3.5 inches long, and then I decreased the stitches on alternate rows until the end of the section. I then changed colour and repeated these increases and decreases for each coloured section. This is the first project for which I decided to use stitch markers, I knew that for the design to work I couldn’t forget to miss an increase or decrease stitch as it would throw off the pattern quite a lot. I don’t actually have any stitch markers so I used some of the purple yarn to mark the intervals where I would increase or decrease stitches.
I kept going with the same number of stitches for the first two coloured segments, then at the end of the third segment I decreased a few extra stitches so I could start shaping the tail so it narrowed to a point on the last piece. This was quite tricky as I had to work out the best way to increase and decrease each segment, creating the bumps, but still ensuring that overall there was a decrease across all of the segments.
If I were to make this piece again I’d definitely increase the number of increase and decrease stitches to make the bumps more prominent, but overall I think it turned out well.
Look out for the final part of the series where I’ll be explaining about how I designed and created the head of this Very Hungry Caterpillar.