Beth Khan (photo)
A shrunken trophy head is said to imprison the soul and bind it to its owner's will. Let this macabre bauble serve you well... to protect your treasures for a night on the town, or a heady way to preserve your sock projects.
This bag has the power to both attract and repel. Knit life into it one time, and it will be ready to do your bidding eternally.
Click here for definitions of difficulty levels.
Delve into your dungeon to select the remains of a previous conquest, or seek to capture a new fiber acquisition at the local yarn store. You must obtain all of these magical tokens before you can cast on and work your spell.
- Skin colored worsted weight yarn for face – about 50 yards
- Hair colored worsted weight yarn for hair – about 50 yards
- Dark colored worsted weight yarn for stitching on face (can be the same as the hair color)
- Red or other contrasting color worsted weight yarn for hair tie- about 10 yards
- Set of 5 DPNs, US7/4.5mm
- Yarn Needle
- Waste yarn
This is a gaugeless project, although four stitches to an inch will yield a purse that can comfortably contain a space that is about five inches high and about eleven inches around (about the size of a clenched fist).
This project requires use of short rows, cables, knitting into the rows below, joining by knitting on, and some simple embroidery. Simplified instructions are included when possible. The techniques are not too difficult, however.
es# Embossed stitch is worked by inserting the needle through the next stitch, and then through the top of the stitch # rows below (# will either be equal to 4 or 10 [es4 or es10])
rt1 Cable one over one: right twist by slipping the next stitch on the left hand needle off and hold it to the back. Knit the next stitch, then slip the held stitch back onto the left hand needle and knit it
lt1Cable one over one: left twist by slipping the next stitch on the left hand needle off and hold it to the front. Knit the next stitch, then slip the held stitch back onto the left hand needle and knit it
jtog Join together the beginning of your new row with the selvage stitch of the existing knitting. Like a knitted on border, you will pick up the 'v' selvage stitch, putting the 'v' on the left hand needle, picking up a stitch with your working yarn, and knitting that new stitch together with the first stitch in your new row.
round vs row this is a reminder to you that you are knitting in the round, or back in forth in rows. Both techniques are employed in this project.
swt slip the next stitch, wrap the working yarn around that stitch, slip the stitch back on to the left needle, turn your work (this creates an 'anchor' for short rows.)
Make your intentions for the project clear. After all, you are creating a talisman.
Base of head:
With waste yarn, cast on 5 stitches. Slide these back to the right side of the needle, knit them again (making a five stitch i-cord). Knit one more row with the waste yarn, and slide the stitches back for the next i-cord row.
Join the skin tone color yarn, leaving a 6" tail, and knit two rows of 5st i-cord, setting up the third row i-cord position.
Rnd 1: Inc in each st =10 st total
Rnd 2 (and all even rows of base of head): knit
(divide these sts on to two DPNs, knitting with the third)
Rnd 3: (Inc, k1) 5x, place marker =15st
(Rnd 4 add another DPN so you are now using four DPNs total)
Rnd 5: (k2, inc) 5x = 20st
(Rnd 6 add another DPN so you are now using all five DPNs)
Rnd 7: (inc, k3) 5x = 25st
Rnd 9: (k4, inc) 5x = 30st
Rnd 7: (inc, k5) 5x = 35st
Rnd 11: (k6, inc) 5x = 40st
Rnd 15: (inc, k7) 5x = 45st
Rnd 16: knit – this completes the base of head.
Chose either the simplified or detailed version.
Simplified Purse Variation, Face:
For a simplified purse, you may want to omit the following instructions and knit a 3 ½inch high, 20 stitch wide stockinette panel, after which you may use embroidery to complete the facial features. This yields a less dimensional version than the detailed purse variation) instructions. To make the simplified purse option:
Row 1: k1tbl, k18, sl1, thread some waste yarn through the remaining 25 (hair) stitches, and leave them for now.
Row 2: k1tbl, p18, sl1
Row 3: k1tbl, k18, sl1
Row 4: k1tbl, p18, sl1
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until the piece measures about 3 ½inches high, end after a purl row. Thread some waste yarn through these 20 stitches and leave them for now. Cut the skin colored yarn, leaving a tail for weaving in. This completes the face.
Thread a needle with 1 yard of contrasting color (you may use the hair color if you wish) and stitch the facial features. The facial features are an important part of this project, because essentially you are trapping the spirit of your intentions within, and infusing it with power. Remain mindful.)
Beth Khan (photo)
click image to enlarge
Detailed Purse variation, Face:
Row 1: k1tbl, k18, sl1, thread some waste yarn through the remaining 25 (hair) stitches, and leave them for now. The 20 stitches remaining on your needle are now worked back and forth to make the skin colored face.
Row 2: k1tbl, p18, sl1
Row 3: k1tbl, k18, sl1
Row 4: k1tbl, p18, sl1
Row 5: (this row makes the bottom lip) k1tbl, k14, swt, p10, swt, k10, swt, p10, swt, k14, sl1
Row 6: (purl side row) k1tbl, p4, k10, p4, sl1
Row 7: (this row makes the top lip and is the same as Row 5) k1tbl, k14, swt, p10, swt, k10, swt, p10, swt, k14, sl1
Row 8: k1tbl, p18, sl1
Row 9: (lip definition row) k1tbl, k4, (es10, es4) 5x, k4, sl1
Row 10: k1tbl, p18, sl1
Row 11: (nose) k1tbl, k12, swt, p6, swt, k6, swt, p6, swt, k12, sl1
Row 12: (purl side nose row) k1tbl, p12, swt, k6, swt, p6, swt, k6, swt, p12, sl1
Row 13: (nose bridge) k1tbl, k6, lt1, k2, rt1, k6, sl1
Row 14: k1tbl, p18, sl1
Row 15: k1tbl, k18, sl1
Row 16: k1tbl, p18, sl1
Row 17: k1tbl, k18, sl1
Row 18: k1tbl, p18, sl1
Row 19: (eyelids) k1tbl, k7, swt, p5, swt, k5, swt, p5, swt, k14, swt, p5, swt, k5, swt, p5, swt k7, sl1
Row 20: k1tbl, p18, sl1
Row 21: k1tbl, k18, sl1
Row 22: k1tbl, p18, sl1
Row 23: k1tbl, k18, sl1
Row 24: k1tbl, p18, sl1
Thread some waste yarn through these 20 stitches and leave them for now. Cut the skin colored yarn, leaving a tail for weaving in. This completes the face.
Join hair color at the bottom left of the face panel, picking up one stitch from the side of the face as you do this. Put the 25 waiting stitches back on to a DPN.
Row 1: k2tog, k24
Rows 2-22: jtog, (p1, k1) 12x
Row 23: jtog, (p1, k1) 11x, p1, sl the last stitch as if to knit, pick up a stitch from the last face selvedge, slip both stitches back to the left hand needle and knit them together. This completes the hair section.
Crown of Head:
Working again in rounds, using hair-colored yarn, pick up the 20 waiting stitches on a DPN - 45 stitches total.
Rnd 1: k20, (k1, p1) 12x, k1
Rnd 2: (p1, k1) 22x, p1
Rnd 3: (k1, p1) 22x, k1
Rnd 4: [(p1, k1) 2x, p1, k2tog, p2tog] 5x [35 st]
Rnd 5: (k1, p1) 17x, k1
Rnd 6: (p1, k1 p1, k2tog, p2tog) 5x [25 st]
Rnd 7: (k1, p1) 12x, k1
Rnd 8: (p1, k1) 12x, k1
This completes the crown of the head section. Do not cut hair yarn.
Join the hair tie color.
Rnd 1: k25
Rnd 2: (keeping the hair color yarn behind the working yarn) p25
Rnd 3: (k2tog, yarn over, k3) 5x
Rnd 4: p25, break hair tie color, leaving enough to weave in. This completes the hair tie section.
Hair Top Knot:
Pick up the waiting hair color yarn.
Rnd 1: knit
Rnds 2, 4, 6, and 8: (k1, p1) 12x, k1
Rnds 3, 5, 7, and 9: (p1, k1) 12x, p1
This completes the hair topknot.
Locks of Hair:
(Note: If you have a circular needle handy, you may want to move the stitches onto it for this section, or put the stitches onto a waste yarn, because the DPNs tend to slip out of the stitches.)
Cast on 25 stitches. Cast off 27 stitches (the 25 newly cast on stitches plus two from the hair top knot). Put the last stitch of the cast off back to the left hand needle and repeat the casting on and casting off process all the way around the top knot section, ending cast off 28 instead of 27. At the end of the round, break yarn, leaving a tail to weave in. This completes the locks of hair section.
Hair Tie Handle:
Using the hair tie color, cast on two stitches and make a 14-inch long i-cord. Weave in the ends of the cord, and then thread it through the holes in the hair tie section, coming out the first hole you went in through. Tie the i-cord in an overhand knot close to their ends.
Weave in the ends of yarn, if you did not already do so. Thread a needle with 1 yard of contrasting color (you may use the hair color if you wish) and embroider the facial features. Fill the trophy head with cash and enjoy a night on the town with your grisly symbol of power serving as a hideous warning to those who might mistake your beauty for innocence.
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