Reading a chart/increasing stitches

I’m trying to interpret a chart for the toy duck from the [U]Knitted Toys[/U] book by Zoe Mellor (p. 45, in case anyone has the book and would like to refer to it to see what I’m talking about). After I cast on the 8 stitches and knit the first row, I need to increase the second row to 12 stitches. This is where I’m stuck. From the chart, it looks like I need to add 4 stitches to my needle before I start purling the 8 stitches that are already on it, yet all instructions I have found for increasing stitches in a row use the stitches that are already on the needle to create the increase.

What is the best way to shape the duck? Do I just use the first 4 stitches that are on the needle with any standard increase method and then continue to purl the remaining 4 stitches? Or am I supposed to somehow cast on 4 new stitches before purling the 8 that are already on the needle?

Hope I’ve expressed my dilemma clearly and that someone can help with this. I’m making this as part of a gift that I am giving a friend who is expecting a baby in a few months!

Thanks for any help you can give!

Hi, you are probably right that they want you to add the 4 before you purl the 8 you already have. Heres how: After you knit that first row, put the needle with the stitches into your left hand like you were going to start your purl row, but instead knit into the first stitch and don’t take the stitch off the needle, but pull the new loop that you formed back up and put it on the left needle again. This is a knitted cast on. Or you can knit between the first and second stitches for a cable cast on. Repeat until you have added four and then purl across your 4 new stitches and then right on across the original 8.

Tip: When you pull up the stitch loop (for either cast on) to put it back on the LH needle, the way I think of it is that I am twisting the RH needle (the one holding the new loop) tip to the right, so that it twists a bit and then put the loop on the LH needle. The other way you could put it on the LH needle would be more direct but would not twist the two little strands that make up the new loop. I twist them. (Really you can do it without the twist and it will still work, just be consistent and either twist or don’t on all of them.)

There are free videos about how to do both of these cast ons right here in the video section. Here is alink to the page.

I hope this helped.

Thanks for the input and the video link. I’ll give your ideas a try and see how it works out.

Although I’ve knitted a few things before, this is my first time working from a chart and it was a bit confusing not to have printed instructions.

Oh, and apologies to the author of the book. It’s a toy chick, not a duck!:oops: