The Teddy Balaclava

The Teddy Balaclava

A step-by-step guide to knitting the Teddy Balaclava

THE TEDDY BALACLAVA IS YOUR ULTIMATE WINTER SIDEKICK THAT’S AS COZY AS IT IS COOL. THIS ISN’T JUST ANOTHER ACCESSORY; IT’S A WARM HUG FOR YOUR FACE AND A STYLISH SHIELD AGAINST THE CHILL.


Even if you've never knitted before, we'll take you from zero to hero in no time 🦸‍♀️

When it comes to knitting, practice makes perfect

Before we get started on the pattern we suggest you spend a bit of time learning the basic stitches you’ll need to complete your scarf.


The Teddy Balaclava uses just two stitch types- the queen of the knitting world, the knit stitch, and her friend the purl stitch. We put these two stitches together to create a stitch pattern called stockinette stitch and a half twisted rib stitch. 


You'll want to be confident with both the knit and purl stitches before you start 🧶 You'll also want to get a hang of tying a slip knot and casting on your stitches which is the first step in any knitting project.


You can use the yarn that came in your kit to practice with. Once you've got these mastered you'll find the pattern a cinch!

Knitting double strand

We knit our balaclava double strand. This means you have two strands on the go at once. To do this, we suggest you work with both balls at once.


🚨 Now, a little word of caution when knitting with two strands. It's much easier to put your needle through your stitch in the wrong place, and if you do this you'll end up with more stitches on your needle than you've cast on 🤯 We recommend counting your stitches every few rows as you knit to make sure you haven't added any rogue stitches. If you have, and it's picked up quickly, you can knit two stitches together on the next row to return to your correct number of stitches for the piece. 

Total beginner? 👩‍🏫 


 

For a more comprehensive lesson on the basics of knitting visit our LEARN TO KNIT Page.

 

📏 Test your tension

While we're practising and before you start your project, you'll want to make sure your tension (how tightly or loosely your knitting is) is juuuust right 🥣 We do this by making a “tension swatch”. It's a bit like Goldilocks, if the tension is too tight, your piece will be too small, and if it's too loose it may not hold its shape and might be too big. 


GAUGE: IF DONE CORRECTLY, YOUR 10X10CM KNITTED SWATCH SHOULD BE 9 STITCHES WIDE AND 12.5 ROWS HIGH WHEN KNITTED double strand IN stockinette STITCH ON YOUR 10MM NEEDLES.


TO TEST THIS, JUMP ON YOUR NEEDLES and CAST ON 12-14 STITCHES, THEN KNIT IN stockinette STITCH (KNIT ALL STITCHES IN one row, then purl all stitches in the new) FOR 14 ROWS. THEN MEASURE A 10X10CM SQUARE AND COUNT YOUR STITCHES AND ROWS WITHIN THAT SPACE TO MAKE SURE YOU'RE KNITTING AT THE CORRECT TENSION.


IF YOU'VE GOT MORE STITCHES OR ROWS THAN THE INSTRUCTIONS SAY YOU SHOULD HAVE, YOUR KNITTING IS A LITTLE TOO TIGHT, AND IF YOU'VE GOT LESS YOUR KNITTING IS TOO LOOSE. ADJUST YOUR TENSION BY HOLDING THE YARN A LITTLE MORE TIGHTLY/LOOSELY AS YOU KNIT.

TIME TO SWITCH OFF. STITCH ON. AND WHIP UP YOUR COSY BALACLAVA.

⚡️What you'll need

Your kit comes with everything you'll need to make your masterpiece. In your kit you'll find;

  • 10mm needles
  • 2 balls of Cardigang Alpaca Yarn
  • Stitch marker
  • A darning needle
  • Made by me tag

You also want to have a pair of scissors handy. 

💪 Remember learning a new skill can be a little challenging at first, and you’re bound to find yourself making some mistakes along the way. But as with learning anything, your brain and your hands slowly start to get the hang of it, muscle memory is created, and soon the thing you found tricky/daunting/scary is like second nature! 


STEP 1

First thing first, cast on your stitches. Using two strands, make a slip knot to get started and then cast on your stitches.


Remember you're working with two strands. This gives us a thicker and more full balaclava.


💭 Casting on, like many things in knitting, can be done in a number of ways so if you don't like the technique we suggested, you can pick any that’s right for you.

STEP 2

We’ll knit in a rib stitch now. To create a rib pattern, we knit 1 stitch, then purl the next, then knit the next, then purl the next and repeat.

🎬 Watch How To Rib Stitch


🚨 Now the trick here is we're making a half twisted rib stitch. The only difference between this and a standard rib stitch which is we insert our right needle into the back loop of the stitch as we complete the knit stitch. Then we purl as normal.


🧶 Make sure you’re moving your yarn tail from the back to the front of your work between each stitch (bring the yarn in through the middle of the needles) to ensure the rib is executed correctly.


One final technique you need to master in this step is knitting in the round.


🎬 Watch How To Knit In The Round


IT'S SUPER IMPORTANT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR WORK DOESN'T TWIST WHEN YOU'RE WORKING IN THE ROUND. SO JUST DOUBLE-CHECK BEFORE YOU BEGIN EACH ROUND THAT EVERYTHING IS STRAIGHT.


Make sure you're using your stitch marker to mark the first stitch in each round. You'll move it from your left needle to your right each round. 


STEP 3

In this round, we're going to knit in rib stitch until you're 3 stitches from the stitch marker. 


Cast off your last 3 stitches. This spot is now the middle front of your balaclava. From this point on we are going to knit flat.


🎬 WATCH How to Cast off

STEP 4

Olay, that's the hard part done! Knit every stitch in this row. Use your stitch marker now to mark the middle stitch in the row.

STEP 5

We make the hood of our balaclava in stockinette stitch which is created when you alternate knit and purl rows. We knitted that last row, so for this row, we're going to knit in purl stitch. 

STEP 6

Let's get straight into it with the increases. An increase is where we turn one stitch into two stitches, thereby increasing the width of our piece.


🎬 Watch Increasing stitches

STEP 7 to 11

Repeat the sequence as instructed. Use the circles in your pattern to mark off each row you've completed. 


Just keep knitting… DID SOMEBODY SAY WINE TIME?! 🍷

STEP 12

We're introducing another technique in this step. It's another way to decrease stitches and we call it slip, slip knit. We change the technique depending on the angle of the decrease.


🎬 Watch how to slip, slip knit two together

STEP 13 to 14

Continue following the pattern. 

STEP 15

Yay! You're almost done! 🔥


✔️ Time to cast all your stitches off your needle.


🎬 WATCH How to Cast off


When you cast off the second last stitch you'll be left with one stitch on your right needle. Cut your yarn from the ball (give yourself about a 25cm tail) and thread the tail back through the last stitch to secure it.

STEP 16

Finally, we're going to seam the top of our balaclava together to complete the hood. 


🎬 Watch how to sew together cast off edges

D.O.N.E! You've finished your balaclava, well done! Epic work 🤩 If this was your first-ever knitting project or one of many, we hope you had a blast click-clacking and making your masterpiece💥❤️

Can't get enough Cardi? 
Join the Cardigang Click on Facebook and connect with other knitters, ask questions and share your masterpiece.

In a bind and need a little more help?

Email us at stitchup@cardigang.com.au and we'll be able to help! Whether you're just starting out, or you've got a specific question or problem (dropped a stitch, no stress!), we're here to get you out of a bind.