Norah Gaughan, design director for Berroco Yarns, earned her degree from Brown in both biology and art, and is known in the knitwear industry for her incredible patterns inspired by nature and geometry. Norah has been working in the handknitting industry for more than twenty years and we’re thrilled to welcome her today as our guest blogger. Please give her a warm, Knitting Daily welcome!
The Dodecahedron, a.k.a The Star
What is this thing? Ok, I know, I'm a bit of a geek, but I had such a blast designing and knitting Celestine, my first stellated dodecahedron. As one five-sided cone was added to the next, my imagination ran wild. When you make one, I bet you'll see the possibilities for cartoon hair hats, egg cozies, and myriad things I haven't dare thought of.
In simple terms, my star is twelve elongated pentagons knit onto each other. To make a flat pentagon I decreased one stitch each end on each of the five triangular segments every second round. To make each pentagon into a cone I decreased every fifth round, creating a more mountainous silhouette. (If you are thinking of felting a Celestine, consider adding more plain rows between decrease rows, as most of the shrinkage will happen in height.)
Although you'll notice the instructions say to use four double pointed needles, three to hold stitches and one to knit with, I prefer using six: one for edge side and one to knit with.
When you are about half way through the last elongated pentagon, it’s time to stuff your star. Stuff the star almost full and add the last little bit of filler right before you close 'er up.
Ah, my little dodecahedron star is ready to take on the world! We used it as a tree topper and I've seen other people use it as a toy for young children.
Download the free pattern on Knitting Daily here.
Since knitting the first star was so much fun, the design team at Berroco ended up making variations—one knit out of sock yarn and a second one that we crocheted.
I recently appeared as a guest on public television's Knitting Daily TV and in this video Interweave Knits editor Eunny Jang and I talk about my affection for geometric shapes, which leads into a demonstration of how to knit this star. You can watch the video now:
(If you experience any problems with this video, try this lower-resolution version.)
This design has certainly caught people’s imaginations—between Celestine, Celestine Sox, and Celestine Crochet, over 500 (some wild and crazy) of these stellated dodecahedron projects can be found on Ravelry. Please don't be afraid of this project. Celestine may look complex, but it's really the same triangle worked over and over. As far as using the double pointed needles, if you can knit a sock, you can definitely conquer a star.