What’s going on in my neck of the woods? well there is always a little knitting going on. I decided to participate in Ravellenics. I wanted to knit my wool hap shawl from the barenaked knitspot club. It is going to be a nice warm wooly scarf for me. well technically it is still a shawl but I tend to wear them wound round my neck in the winter more than I wear them draped across my shoulders. But before I could work on this shawl in earnest I had to finish my month of toys. I cheated only a little and cast on my shawl while watching a bit of the opening ceremonies a week ago.
But then I behaved myself and cast on my last toy. I have had this toy in mind for a long time- gently simmering on a back burner. Slowly I have been collecting the ingredients- weird odds and ends that didn’t seem to go together with the yarn.
The head is a tennis ball sized cat toy-a plastic cage with another little ball inside with a jingle ball inside of that. I knit around my ball and as I enclosed it in yarn it jingled and chattered with each stitch. As I decreased my stitches and started on the long tube that would be the body I stuffed it with some rope batting that I picked up at Ben Franklins in a remnant bag. I always check out the remnant bags in the fabric department and grab bags full of ribbons and ric rac and this rope batting was in one of the bags. At the time I had no idea how or what I would use this for but I squirreled it away in a bin. I liked the way this worked out for my chatterpillar – its a nice firm thick body(which the fish tickler saw and questioned my sanity cause if you’re mind is in the gutter it looks like…. well I am not going it to say here). I quess that the real use for this rope batting would be handles for purses. When I decided that the body was long enough – I knit two long i-cords for the tail and cast off. Actually if I had planned better I wouldn’t have started with the body I would have knit the rings first because I made the body too long and had to shorten it. But then I needed a body to know how big to make the circles.
The rings were easy to knit they are just tubes stuffed with fiber fill. I could have just knit the tubes and and then sewed the ends together in a circle shape but after the snake experiments I decided to use what I learned and shape the circles with short rows. So I used a provincial cast-on and knit a tube with short rows added in. There are 10 of these rings so I got very good at the provincial cast on and the kirchener stitch I used at the end to make my circle look like they were seamless. I got so good that I didn’t even have to refer to a diagram each time I cast a ring on and off . I even figured out a way to make the provincial cast on with out a crochet hook because I was too lazy to get up and look for a hook one evening. You might say I started to get a big head. And that is always a knitter’s downfall. A swollen head leads to trouble and on the very last ring I kirchenered my way around the tube only to discover I some how twisted the stitches and my ring was wonky. But my 10 rings were finished – 9 perfect and one slightly wonky which I soon discovered would be hidden with the addition of 20 little legs.
As I worked on the 20 little feet I thought about the antennas my chaterpillar was not looking a lot like the caterpillar that inspired my knit. The body was black and the tail end of the bug looks a little like the monarch caterpillar but the black, yellow and white yarn I bought for the toy seemed boring so I rummaged through scraps after doing 2 yellow rings and came up with some bright additions. Since I had already deviated from the original idea so much I figured the antennas in front didn’t have to look like the ones in back. So while doing the legs I came up with a method to make green horns that stand up nicely without the pipe cleaner I originally though I would add.
I made another stop at the fabric store hoping to find something to keep my rings on the body. I though I could find a very big button. But nothing had big enough holes to work. Then I thought maybe I would cut a slice off a branch and drill holes in it but since I am donating this toy I wanted something cleaner. So back to Ben Franklins- this is really a great store. When my kids were little I took them to a Ben Franklins in town – it was more of a 5&10 store with goldfish, toys, clothes and hardware. They loved to browse and walk out with treasures bought with their allowances. The Ben Franklins in Oconomowoc has toys and crafts and unusual gifts. It is a destination store for quilters – they have a beautiful selection of fabrics and always have a wonderful array of quilts hanging in the store. There is a beading department and flower arranging supplies and they are expanding the yarn selection. But I knew I would find something in the wood craft section. I knew I could find a blank disk that I could turn into a button. And I did –but even better –I found a heart shape and took it home for only 59 cents. After all is said and done I like this toy. I think a tot can have fun with this cuddly bug. It can be taken apart and the rings sorted into pairs of colors or toss the rings around. A kid could count to ten while threading the rings onto the body and then learn to tie a simple knot. (by the way how do you like the way I snuck to rings into my olympic toy toss ; )
There is a week to go in Ravellenics and have competed in the toy toss and charity rowing. I am almost at the finish line with my shawl event. And no I haven’t even started WIP wrestling vest for Ravellenics and…… oh well I swear it will be my next project. I may not finish it before the Olympics are over but I will finish it before summer is over …or I will frog it and start again!
Phew it has been a busy week! What’s new with you?