Thursday, January 17, 2008

Inukshuk - free pattern


An inukshuk is a directional marker that signifies safety, hope and friendship. Used by Inuit, it has become a beloved symbol of all Canadians. My sister has had a passion for all things inukshuk for a long time, and I have created this pattern for her. For Kim who has never lost her way (for very long):

Yarn: Patons Classic Wool, Natural mix, Grey Mix and Dark Grey Mix, one 100 gm ball of each (although you only need about 25 gms of each so leftover scraps of worsted weight yarns would be fine) I like the natural, stone colours, but the choice is yours.
Needles: 4.5 mm straight needles.
Gauge: 20 sts and 26 rows = 4 inches
Other stuff: one foam cushion slab, 2 inches thick, cut into 8 pieces as per photo. Again, one cushion form would make several Inuksuit (plural of Inukshuk). Also you need a few pennies – you will see why below....

Finished measurement: 9 inches tall, 7 wide and 2 inches deep.

See photo drawing of pieces and cut foam to match, label with numbers to coordinate with the following knitted pieces.

Head (1): cast on 20 sts with Natural (beige) yarn. Work in stocking stitch (k right side, p wrong side) for 8 rows. Cast off 5 sts at start of next 2 rows. Work on 10 sts for 24 rows total from start, cast off.
To stitch this piece, place foam rectangle on the wide “T part” of the knitting, so the long part will wrap neatly around the foam and meet the top of the “T”, and the small tabs of the “T” fold up to cover the ends of the block. It shouldn’t be stretched too much, and should remain in a rectangle block. Sew all seams to close the block. Set aside.
Arms (2): Cast on 34 with dark grey, and work 6 rows in st st. Cast off 4 at start of next 2 rows. Continue on 26 sts until 24 rows from start. Cast off. Sew as above around foam (2).
Body (3): Cast on 18 sts with grey mix. Work 12 rows, in [row 1 K, row 2 P, row 3 K, row 4 K] repeat pattern,(this makes stripes of garter every 4th row). Cast off 4 at start of next 2 rows, then continue in stripe pattern until 32 rows total. Cast off and sew to foam.
Body (4): Same numbers as (3) but work in plain stocking stitch, and in Natural (beige) yarn.
Lower body (5): With Natural (beige) cast on 30. Pattern for this block is a form of seed stitch, row 1: (right side) k1, p1 across, row 2: (wrong side) P only, row 3: P1, k1 across, row 4: P only. Repeat these 4 rows. Work 12 rows on 30 sts. Cast off 4 on next 2 rows. Work in pattern on 22 sts, until 36 rows total. Cast off and stitch to foam.
Long leg (6): Cast on 26 sts, with grey mix, and work in st st for 12 rows. I put some random purl sts on the front side for fun. Cast off 6 sts at start of next 2 rows. Work on 14 sts until 40 rows total, cast off and sew to foam*** here I placed 5 pennies in the bottom of the foot between the foam and knitting, to add weight to ensure he stands freely.
Upper and lower leg (7& 8): Cast on 26 sts, One with grey mix and one with dark grey. Work in stocking stitch for 12 rows, cast off 7 at start of next 2 rows, then work on 12 sts until 40 rows total. Sew light grey as usual, and dark grey inside out (purl stitch on outside). *** remember to put pennies in base of lower foot.

To join, use a big sharp darning needle and yarn, and securely join 2 pieces at a time, traveling the needles through the foam (if it isn’t too dense) or around the edges, but try to keep under the edges, so out of sight.
You can rotate the pieces to please your eye, and also stretch the blocks a bit so they aren’t too square. Play with it, have fun, make a one of a kind inukshuk.


Anonymous said...

Nicely done! I can just picture the blissful moments rearranging my inukshuk and listening to my desktop fountain. Phone what phone? I don't hear any phone.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this pattern. My husband and I took our honeymoon in northern Canada and saw bunches of these. He had loads of fun building them as well. I'm sure he will enjoy this too. Thank you.

chris said...

Love that you love it! There is something peaceful and whimsical about the inukshuk. Sort of clunky and elegant at the same time! I tried it first with soft stuffing, but it was a pile of pillows (totally wrong), so be sure to use foam or sturdy polybatting, that holds a firm edge to get blocks. Enjoy!

Christy said...

Chris, this little guy is so cool! Wonderful pattern. I was directed to it from someone at Ravelry who saw my Inuit dolls and thought they should get married....

marliescohen said...

I love it. Very cute and original. I made an Inukshuk from old video tapes: for the same reason, I just felt drawn to it.

Linda said...

Wonderful inukshuk pattern, thanks for sharing. I'll be making one soon. I have an inukshuk made of bricks in my garden. This will be a perfect gift for my daughter in BC.

ChibyMethos said...

Thank you so much for this! It will be the perfect gift for my favorite American Archaeology teacher!

Snowbird said...

Thanks for this adorable pattern. We love all things Inukshuk! We have a stone one in our front garden at home in Ontario, and now that we winter in sunny Florida, we put one at our front path with a little Canadian flag :-)
I want to try knitting at least one of these.