Saturday, May 2, 2009

Because every 'pandemic' needs some levity...

I had an exceptionally boring day at work. I mean, I cleaned everything, stocked everything, all that jazz... and still had time left over. So, I started working on a "funny project". And thusly, I bring the world, The "Swine-Flu Masque". The full pattern text is published here, but it's also available as a free downloadable PDF at the bottom of this post.

SwineFlu Masque
(flickr photoset)

Patterns: Swine-Flu Masque by David R. Castillo (aka GoGoDavitron)
Yarns: GGH Bali in pink, Cascade 220 in Jet
Needles: US2 straight needles, US3 DPNs for the Nose.
(I knit kinda loose, you might want US5-6)

Well, okay, it's pretty much a one-size-fits-most kind of thing. The part that will cover your face is about 8-9 inches wide and about 6-7 inches tall. You can adjust it while you're knitting if you need more or less.

6 sts/inch or 24sts/4inches in stockinette.

Approx. 100 yrds of your favorite DK weight yarn. I used GGH's Bali (not my favorite, but servicible). Appropriate needles, Sense of humor. Oh, and a little bit of black yarn for the nostrils.

Make It!

Top Strap:

CO 200 sts

knit 3 rows in garter stitch (knitting each row)

At the beginning of the next 2 rows, cast off 75 stitches.

K 1 more row.


Row 1: K
Row 2: K5, P to last five stitches, K5

Repeat rows 1&2 once more.

Short Row Shaping: Use your preferred short row method (wrap and turn or yarnover would be best) to work a total of 6 rows in shaping. I spaced them one right next to each other to mimic the folds in a real surgical mask. Here is the shaping method I used.

Row 1: K to last 5 stitches, turn work.
Row 2: YO, P to last last 5 stitches, turn work.
Row 3: YO, K to last 6 stitches (not counting YO), turn work.
Row 4: YO, P to last 6 stitches (not counting YO), turn work.
Row 5: YO, K to last 7 stitches (not counting YO), turn work.
Row 6: YO, P to last 7 stitches (not counting YO), turn work.
Row 7: K to end of the row (SSK the yarnovers and adjacent knits as you come to them).
Row 8: P to end of the row.(P2tog yarnovers and adjacent purls as you come to them)

To Finish the mask, knit as follows:

Knit rows 1&2 of "Mask" 4x
Repeat Short-row shaping.
Knit rows 1&2 of "Mask" 4x
Repeat short row shaping
Knit rows 1&2 of "mask" 2x

At the end of the last row, cast on (either backwards loop, cable, or knitted-on cast-on are appropriate) 12 stitches.

Knit across the next row, then cast on 12 stitches at the end of the row.

Knit 2 rows plain, then cast off knitwise.

Stitch the ends of the the shorter ties so that the form a comfortable triangle with the longer ties.


Cast on 40 stitches and divide between DPNs with 13 stitches on the 1st and 2nd needles, and 14 stitches on a 3rd.

K 8 rows
P 1 row

SSK the first two stitches on the needle, K to last 2 stitches, k2tog. Repeat until you can no longer decrease in this manner. Cut the yarn, thread through remaining stitches 2x and then pull it tight, weave the end in on the other side.

At this point, i whip-stitched the black nostrils on the mask. you don't have to, you don't have to use black... Whatevs! it's all good! You'll notice the nostril is slightly triangular, but the base stays kind of circular.

When i made the mask, i intended the cast on edge to be the top, but i carelessly stitched the whole nose down to the wrong side. don't make this mistake - it works better if your cast on edge is the top. Stitch the nose down to the middle, still keeping it approximately circular. It works really well if you just whip stitch it. If it's in the same yarn as you knit the whole thing, it doesn't really matter cus you won't really see it. Voila! Swine Flu mask! (don't forget to weave in your ends)

The pattern PDF is also available as a free download by clicking the button below. You do not need to be a Ravelry member to download from this page.


Mary Beth said...

okay I'm trying to convert this pattern to crochet since I don't knit. I love it cause we have two cases in my county & everyone is freaking out. This'll show them- HA.

elif said...

brilliant and absolutely creepmaster.

duly submitted to BoingBoing. how else will you earn your geek merit badge?

diyod said...

Absolutely hilarious!

Eileen said...


I love it! (And if DH makes one more panic-stricken remark I think I'll make him one...)

Kristin said...

That's great. Thank you :-)

cj- said...

This is absolutely adorable. I see this mask having more than the use of just for the Swine flu. Halloween, entertain sick children and playing around/dress up.

Missamite said...

Love it! Made of awesome, both of you.

Duchess said...

Perfect timing! Not only will we use it to express our concern here in Ohio for swine flu, but we will be at a conference in two weeks with a group called the Flying Pigs. These will be perfect! Thanks for the pattern.

Knitaholictoo said...

You are too funny! Huhhhhggggzz!

littlelixie said...

Brill! Just saw this on ravelry. Been wondering when knitted ones would start appearing.

Lindsey said...

this is hilarious, love it!

Angela said...

c'est superbe!

sarah Johnson said...

Fantastic!!! I love it!!!

Shirley Grant said...

Very Good! Would work great for Halloween too!

chris_wass said...

This is super awesome! Totally deserves to be Boinged! I haven't seen it up there yet, so I submitted it too!

Marlene said...

I love it! I wish I had the courage to actually wear something like that in public. I think this whole swine flu thing is blown completely out of proportion.

Anonymous said...

Wow I love that! Personally I think swine flu is just 'Elf n Safety scare of the week


Cakelet said...

Alot more fun than an "H1N1" masque! Thanks for the levity.

Esther said...

Hysterical! I just had to Tweet it.

Annie said...

AMAZING! seeing this made my day, thanks!

GinaTricoteur said...

Absolutely love made me laugh like crazy :)))
You are very clever Mr TricotChico...
yes...I like ur name too.

nck said...

Absolutely hysterical! Can't wait to make this one. Thanks for sharing.

maritza said...

This is the most awesome thing ever! Thanks for sharing the pattern.

carrym said...

This will make the perfect dust mask for Burning Man! Thanx! :)

Anonymous said...

*giggle* Hope you don't mind if I link to it.

weeblet said...


Anonymous said...

Very inventive. Its great. I think I may just have some pink wool...

slackrgirl said...

Very cute and VERY clever!

Linda said...

I think this would be a great help with the pandemic. If you wear the swine-flu masque, everyone will be so scared that they will keep a great distance away. Your chances of contracting diseases will be nill!

Flu Mask said...

Definitely the coolest flu mask I've seen.

n95 flu respirators said...

The pig mask is classic! Very original!

sara said...

This conversation is exploit no where. It’s wanting the expanse of a serious human to perversion the things to uprise out on ending.
wow gold

Tracie said...

I love this...too funny. I have now made it my mission for the day to convert the pattern to crochet so I will have an appropriate christmas present for my overly paranoid boss.

babe said...

Brilliant only just found it, as for the swine flu, no joke both me and my partner had it, he got it first, just like a rag doll with temp 102, got the tamiflu into him, down and out of bed towards the end of the next day, then I started coughing and feeling unwell. He couldn't go out had tamiflu delivered. so those of you who think swine flu was a joke it wasn't. This though is once again a brilliant idea.