This tutorial is not about a knitting technique. It is about a simple way to make a cute greeting card that you can gift to knitters and non-knitters on any occasion. Plus, it is a great way to use scraps of sock yarn that will be wasted otherwise.
The card features a knitting sheep. The artwork is a fun project of a young artist Sasha Shevchenko, who happens to be my daughter 🙂 You can see her professional art pieces right here.
If you look at the artwork, you won’t see any knitting, just a sheep looking at its tummy. The image changes when we place a tiny swatch in the sheep’s hooves – the sheep turns into a knitting sheep!
All we need to do to bring our card to life is to make a little piece of knitting and attach it to the printed artwork.
This card works well for any occasion. To specify the type of greetings, make an inscription at the bottom of the artwork – “Happy Holidays”, “Get Well Soon”, “Thinking of You” are just some possible options.
Now, that we know the outline of the card-making process, let’s make a knitted greeting card and send some love to our friends and family.
If you are a visual learner, click here to watch every step in a video tutorial. Or, simply scroll to the bottom of this page to watch the embedded version of the video.
We can make this card with very few supplies. To print the artwork, we’ll need a sheet of a cardstock paper and a printer. The artwork is black and white so you don’t even need a colour printer, any basic printer will do.
To make the tiny knitted swatch, we’ll use a pair of 2.25 – 2.75 (US sizes 1 – 2) knitting needles, two toothpicks, a thin wool needle or a thick sewing needle and approximately 4 m / 4.5 yds of any sock yarn. It is better to choose a bright colour to make the card more cheerful.
We’ll also need scissors, a bit of white glue or a glue gun and a marker.
1.1. Download the artwork from the Library of Free Knitting Resources. There are two options to chose from – a template for one card (Single Greeting Card) and a template for two cards (Double Greeting Card).
The first template has only one card, the other one has two cards placed side-by-side to make it easier for you to print two cards on the same sheet of cardstock paper.
Print any of the templates. If you decide to use the template for two cards, remember to change the paper orientation to “Landscape” in your printer settings.
The card is sized to the standard measurements of an A7 card – 5 x 7″ or 12.7 x 17.8 cm. If you want to make the card bigger or smaller, tweak the settings of your printer to zoom the artwork in or out.
1.2. Carefully cut the card out along the grey lines. These lines are hard to see in the photo above but you’ll clearly see them when you print the template.
This step is all about knitting. The piece of knitting that we’ll give to the sheep sits on a pair of toothpicks, so technically we can knit our tiny swatch using toothpicks. In reality, I find toothpicks very hard to work with – they are short and too sharp to make knitting even remotely comfortable.
That’s why I suggest that we use fine knitting needles to make the swatch and then transfer the stitches to the toothpicks.
2.1. Cast on 14 stitches using a cast on method that forms a firm edge, like the long-tail cast on, for example.
2.2. Knit all stitches in every row for 18 rows until you make 9 garter ridges.
If you want to make your swatch more professional-looking, add a slip stitch selvedge at each side of the work.
Then your pattern row will look like this: slip 1 stitch purlwise with the yarn at the back of the work, knit to the last stitch, purl 1.
You can also make this swatch in any other stitch pattern – stockinette stitch, seed stitch or even lace. Plus, you can use several colours and make the swatch stripy or work in a Fair Isle pattern. Let your creativity have a say!
2.3. In the next row, knit 7 stitches.
2.4. Transfer each half of the stitches to separate toothpicks.
2.5. Cut the yarn and weave in both tails on the same side of the work – it will be the wrong side of the swatch.
In this step, we’ll assemble the card and sign it. In fact, we’ll sign the card first because the knitted swatch will add texture and will make it a bit tricky to write on the back of the card.
3.1. Turn the card over and write something nice to the person who is the intended receiver of this card. Let them know how much you love them and how happy you are to make this card for them.
Feel free to use any writing tool you like – a pen, a fountain pen or a marker. Choose a black ink or an ink that matches the colour of the knitted swatch.
3.2. While we are still in the “writing mode” let’s make an inscription on the front of the card.
Turn the card over and write a short greeting at the bottom of the artwork.
3.4. Now it’s time to turn our “simple sheep” into a “knitting sheep”.
Apply some glue to the wrong side of the knitted swatch. Aim for more glue at the top part of the swatch. Let the bottom of the swatch be loose for a more natural look. After all, when we knit, the bottom of our work is hanging freely while we hold the top part firmly in our hands.
Carefully turn the swatch over and place it on the artwork so that the toothpicks are sitting on the sheep’s hooves. Press the swatch slightly but don’t press it too hard – we don’t want the glue to seep through the fabric.
Leave the card to dry for a few hours to let the glue set and to make sure the sheep doesn’t drop her knitting when the card is mailed.
If you want to save time and skip mailing, send this cute sheep as a virtual gift card. It will be delivered to your friend’s email address on a date you choose with any message you decide to send along.