2018 Geek-A-Long: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

2018 is well under way, and I am loving it so far. You can catch the very first square, Monty Python’s Killer Rabbit HERE.

Every year in January, I try to think about where I want my year to go and what I want it to look like, both personally and professionally. This year I am going to focus on my first yarny love: designing. So you can expect to see a lot of new patterns from Lattes & Llamas. We’ve made some new resolutions on the Geek-A-Long too! In addition to putting you in charge of picking the square themes (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out THIS post), we’ve taken some of the restrictions off of our design process. In years past, we only put out GAL square designs that called for two colors at a time. This year, we are throwing caution to the wind and allowing ourselves free reign to use as many colors as needed to make the square look exactly as we imagined. There are a few ways you can go about that, but my favorite option is adding additional colors with duplicate stitch after the square is knit. At the bottom of this post, I’ve got a picture tutorial to walk you through the process.

You casted your votes, and the top scoring fandom on Monday was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I am a hard core Harry Potter fan. Seriously, I spend money on things I absolutely do not need when people slap Slytherin crests on them. Have you seen the Portlandia sketch: “Put A Bird On It”? For me, basically, put some Hogwarts on it and you can just shut up and take my money.

I am typing this while wearing Hogwarts slippers.

I have an unending amount of Slytherin pride. I know it’s more PC for a girl such as myself to be a Ravenclaw, but frankly, Pottermore takes one look at me and just starts screaming:

SLYTHERIN SLYTHERIN SLYTHERIN SLYTHERIN

I own it. Anyhow, I was really excited to see some Potter goodness on the leaderboards. There is a running joke between Jac and I that we could make blankets every year that are just Firefly and Batman and most people would be happy. But that’s not really true. It would need some Harry Potter too. ;)

Rocketfairy nominated Fantastic Beasts to the 2018 blanket:

Fantastic Beasts and where to find them

  1. The Harry Potter Universe in general is under-represented in your current squares.
  2. It has been a standard book at Hogwarts since it was written in 1927
  3. Super cute beasts
  4. They are currently filming the second movie
  5. I’m am 100% sure there are many more reasons as to why you need to include this in the 2018 GAL

I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’ve been under represented. Gryffandor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin each got their own square on the 2014 blanket. BUT, I do think it’s fair to say there can never be enough Harry Potter in the Geek-A-Long. So this week we give you my favorite creature from Fantastic Beasts: The Niffler. To make the Niffler, you’ll need three colors instead of the standard two. (We used Fandom Yarn  in ‘Asylum’ for the MC, ‘Cyborg’ for the CC, and ‘Game Master’ for this wittle hands, feets, and bill.) I added my third color with duplicate stitch.

If you have never done duplicate stitch before, do not start with double sided duplicate stitch. Make a swatch and get used to doing one sided duplicate stitch. Then move on to double sided. Here is a handy tutorial:

Double sided duplicate stitch works the same way as single sided, but every two stitches you will switch sides. This is important. I can’t over stress this: DO NOT PLAY YARN CHICKEN WITH DUPLICATE STITCH. IT ISN’T WORTH IT. HAVE AT LEAST TWICE AS MUCH YARN AS YOU THINK YOU’LL NEED.

  1. Knit the square with just two colors. I knit all the stitches that would be made orange (Game Master) in my contrast color (Cyborg).

  1. Start by threading your yarn onto a tapestry needle. You will be running the needle between the two sides of the fabric most of the time, so take care not to plunge it all the way through both layers unless you are switching sides. Leaving yourself at least a 3 inch tail, start four or five sts away from the stitch you want to stitch over and run the needle between the two layers of knitting and up through the bottom point of the “V” of the stitch you will duplicate.

  1. Bring the needle and yarn up through the point of the V, and then run the needle under the bars (the top of the “V”) of the stitch ABOVE the stitch you are duplicating.

  1. Bring the pull the needle/yarn through under those bars, and then bring the needle back down though the point of the V. Here, you are going to switch sides, so bring it all the way through both layers, taking care to turn the square over and check that it’s coming through the point of the V of the same stitch on the other side.

  1. Now, you’ll repeat the duplicate process on the other side. Come up through the point of the V, and under the bars of the stitch above. Now, start working 2 stitches per side before moving back to the other side. Instead of bringing the needle down through the point of the V, slide it in through the point, between the 2 layers, and up through the point of the V of the next stitch you are going to duplicate. Slide it under the bars of the stitch above, and then down through the point of the V, bringing the needle and yarn through to the other side.

  1. Continue this process, working 2 stitches on each side at a time, and then, when all stitches are completed bring the yarn through the point of the final V and between the 2 layers. Bring the needle up through the point of a V on a stitch that is 4 or 5 stitches away from that final stitch. Use a crochet hook to pull the tail from the first stitch between the layers and up through the same point as the tail from the last stitch. Loosely tie the tails in a knot, and use the crochet hook to pull the knot between the 2 layers.

Now you’re all set to do double sided duplicate stitches! I strongly recommend starting with the video at the top of the tutorial, and being very familiar and comfortable with single sided duplicate stitch before you tackle double sided.

Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Fantastic Beasts – Niffler pattern here. Instructions and charts for both knit and crochet are listed in the pattern. When you’re finished making it, don’t forget to Instagram your squares at us @lattesandllamasyarn with the hashtag #geekalong!

If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and a tutorial on crochet here. Want to hang out with other people making the blanket? You can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here.

~ Megan-Anne
I’m a big fan of The Magicians on SyFy. (Not so much the books, but that’s a story for another day.) Everytime I see “niffler” in print I read it as Niffin, and think of Alice. 

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider making a donation to Child’s Play Charity. Here is a direct link to our official donation widget benefiting the charity. Please help us raise $1,000 this year. No contribution is too small! Wanna make your donation go even further? Lattes & Llamas will donate $1 for every skein of Geek-A-Long Yarn purchased. Ask your local yarn store to carry GAL Yarn or get it through our website.