Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Apples for the Teacher

Last week it was Teacher Appreciation Week, and I was trying to think of something unique to give to my daughter's teachers. I thought, maybe I could make a shawl, or some flowers, but that didn't seem quite right. One of the craft projects they asked parents to help children make and bring to school was a flower. After a couple of days the thought just popped into my head: an apple for the teacher! Great idea! So I set to work on them straight away, since I had to make 3 of them. I decided to just wing it without doing much research on how other people had knit apples. I figured it wouldn't be too hard to do on the round loom, but how to make it look like an apple and not a red pumpkin or tomato? The challenge was on.

After a little trial and error, here's the pattern I came up with:

I blurred the names of the teachers except for part of one name so you could see how the letters looked.

The apple: Using the round blue loom, do a one over one drawstring cast on with red yarn (I used Red Heart red). After casting on, e-wrap all pegs 1 over 2 and knit off 20 rows. Cinch the drawstring but not completely closed. Then knit off another 8-10 rows and bind off.

Stuff the apple with batting. I used a little bit at a time, filling out the bottom of the apple and shaping it as I filled it. I also filled it in a circular pattern, leaving a small circle about the width of my finger in the center of the apple, so I could pull the drawstring tail up through the apple and out the top. This helps to create the indentation at the bottom of the apple.

After stuffing the apple to the top, I cinched the top, leaving space to pull the bottom drawstring tail through the top hole. Once I pulled the bottom tail through the top hole, I pulled the top tail through the bottom hole, so that both top and bottom of the apple would have the indentation. Then I sewed the holes shut and set aside the apple.

Detail of top of apples.

The leaf: Using Red Heart Paddy Green yarn on one side of the pink loom I cast on 2 pegs using a 1 over 1 stitch and knit off 2 rows. Then I increased by one peg on both sides of the 2 pegs, so that I knit off 3 rows on 4 pegs. Then I increased by one peg on both sides of the 4 pegs, so that I knit off 15 rows on 6 pegs. Then I decreased by one peg on both sides of the 6 pegs, so that I knit off 2 rows on 4 pegs. Then I decreased by one peg on both sides of the 4 pegs, so that I knit off 2 rows on 2 pegs. Bind off, leaving a 4 inch tail. Shape and knot the top of the leaf, weaving the tail down through the leaf or snipping it off.

Using the tail on the stem part of the leaf, sew it onto the top of the apple in the center. If desired, curl the leaf a bit and then sew the leaf onto the apple on the curl.

The stem: Using Homespun Wild Fire yarn on the pink loom, I created an I-cord using a 1 over 1 stitch, knitting off 40 rows. I tied the two tails together and sewed them on top of the apple.

The names: Originally I was going to write each teacher's name in glitter on the apple's leaf, but that didn't work out as you can see:

So I decided instead to get some sticky letters fro the local craft store and stick them onto the apple. That worked fine. And they were done!

The apples were a big hit, and I was told that the other teachers were jealous! Of course, that wasn't my intention; I'm just glad they liked the apples, and that they actually looked like apples when I was done working on them.

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