Dr. Quackers is a cuddly, striped duck. He was inspired by a rather disastrous outing, when we introduced my daughter to "Santa" at the Yankee Candle store in Deerfield, MA, and she promptly burst into tears. To make her feel better, I allowed her to play with a plush duck toy that was on sale while we walked around the store. She loved the duck so much that I wanted to buy it for her, but my stingy husband said it was too expensive. So, I decided to make her a duck based on the one she had befriended that day.
Dr. Quackers is now my daughter's favorite toy, and sleeps in her crib every night. The striped texture is great for little babies to touch, but he's still soft enough to cuddle at night (or to calm one's nerves after the trauma of meeting Santa). Ironically, the yarn for the many attempts at designing Dr. Quackers cost more than the original plush toy; my husband should have just let me buy the stupid duck!
Instructions for working short rows can be found here.
Pattern stitch: Knit 3 rounds, purl 3 rounds.
Throughout the body, head, tail, and arms, the piece will be worked as alternating triplet rounds of knit and purl. Increases and decreases will be superimposed onto this pattern.
M1: Use the backwards loop (e-wrap) method to make 1 stitch.
The body, arms, and head are worked from the bottom up. The legs and feet are knit as one piece and worked from the top down. The beak is worked sideways.
When stuffing the head, body and arms, don't overstuff. The ribbed texture stands out best when only moderately stuffed. The feet should be only very lightly stuffed (if at all), while the legs should be stuffed quite firmly.
Using the long-tail method and MC, CO 9 sts. Distribute sts across your needles as you prefer and join for working in the round.
Round 1: [K1, m1, pm] 9 times. 18 sts.
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: [K to m, m1, slip marker] 9 times. 9 sts increased
Round 4: P.
Round 5: [P to m, m1, slip marker] 9 times. 9 sts increased
Round 6: P.
Round 7: [K to m, m1, slip marker] 9 times. 9 sts increased
Repeat Rounds 2-7 twice more, and then work Rounds 2-3 again. 108 sts.
Purl 3 rounds.
Knit 3 rounds.
Begin decreasing 9 sts every third round as follows: Round 1: [P to 2 sts before marker, p2tog] around. 9 sts decreased.
Rounds 2 & 3: P.
Round 4: [K to 2 sts before marker, k2tog] around. 9 sts decreased.
Rounds 5 & 6: K.
Repeat Rounds 1-6 once more. 72 sts.
Round 13: [P to 2 sts before marker, p2tog] around. 63 sts.
Round 14: P.
Round 15: [P to 2 sts before marker, p2tog] around. 54 sts.
Round 16: K.
Round 17: [K to 2 sts before marker, k2tog] around. 45 sts.
Round 18: K. Round 19: [P to 2 sts before marker, p2tog] around. 36 sts. Rounds 20-21: P.
[Knit 3 rounds, purl 3 rounds] three times.
Stuff 90% of the way with batting.
Round 2: P2, m1R, k1, pm, p2, k1, m1L, pm, p2, k1, M1R, k6, M1L, k1. 20 sts. Round 3: (P2, k2) twice, p2, k10. Round 4: P2, m1R, k to first marker, p2, k to second marker, m1L, sm, p2, k1, m1R, k to last st, m1L, k1. 4 sts increased. Round 5: P2, k to first marker, p2, k to second marker, p2, k to end of round.
Repeat Rounds 4-5, twice more. 32 sts. Work Round 4 seven more times. 60 sts.
Using the long-tail method and CC1, CO 6 sts. Do not join. Beak is worked in rows.
Row 1 [RS]: K1, m1, k1, pm, p2, pm, k1, m1, k1. 8 sts. Row 2 [WS]: P3, k2, p3. Row 3 [RS]: K1, m1, k to first marker, p2, k to last stitch, m1, k1. 2 sts increased. Row 4 [WS]: P to first marker, k2, p to end.
Repeat Rows 3-4 three more times, to 16 sts.
Row 11 [RS]: K to first marker, p2, k to end. Row 12 [WS]: P to first marker, k2, p to end. Row 13 [RS]: SSK, k to first marker, p2, k to last 2 sts, k2tog. 2 sts decreased.
Row14 [WS]: P to first marker, k2, p to end.
Repeat Rows 11-14 four more times, until 6 sts remain.
BO all sts.
Using a tapestry needle and the CO tail of yarn, close the holes in the head and body at the CO edge.
Add attached I-cords to feet and beak as follows: Position feet upright with toes pointing away from you.
With a double-pointed needle and CC1, pick up three stitches from knit row before center purl sts (shown as pink).
Knit the three picked up stitches, and slide all stitches (shown as green) back to right-hand-side of the needle they are currently on, which will be called the static needle. **Slip the first stitch (shown as green) to the other needle, which will be called the active needle. With active needle, pick up the first of the center column of purl stitch bumps (shown as blue), and pass it to the static needle.
Knit the picked up bump onto the active needle, and pass the slipped stitch over it. Knit the next two stitches from the static needle to the active needle. Slide all three stitches back to right-hand-side of what is now the static needle**, and repeat from ** to ** until the entire center column of purl stitch bumps has been incorporated into the I-cord.
When the last bump has been knitted into the I-cord, BO all sts leaving a 6-inch tail. With a tapestry needle, whipstitch the BO sts to the knit stitches below to create a neater interface between the foot and the I-cord.
In the same manner, add an I-cord to all three purl columns on each foot, and to the beak.
Stuff legs until firm, leaving feet unstuffed.
Attach arms, legs, tail, and head to body using main photo as a guide. Using photo as a guide, fold the beak in half along its width. Using a tapestry needle and CC1, whipstitch the beak closed. Attach beak to head.
With CC2, and tapestry needle, darn eyes onto head, using photos as a guide.
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
Elizabeth lives in the Chicagoland area of Illinois with her husband, their beautiful daughter who now loves Santa Claus, and a very mischievous little cat named Panthro whose raison d'etre is to destroy his arch nemesis: the knitting machine in the basement. In her free time from knitting, crocheting, and designing, Elizabeth works as a variant curation scientist and a DDP Yoga instructor...but she'd rather be knitting!