Science Doll

(Or, Hey, Look, There’s Some Knitting on the Supposed Knitting Blog!)

This is my friend, Sarah:

Well, a toonified representation of her alter ego, Science Doll, anyway. She’s smart as a whip, and you can follow her at her her site or her twitter feed.

I’d wanted to make something for her for quite a while, but I wasn’t sure what to make. And then I heard about the Stitched Selves that went on display in London last summer. How could I not make her her very own Sci Doll doll?

Sci Doll

Project Specs:
Pattern: Stitch Yourself (Knit) by Whodunnknit
Yarn: Cascade 220 in Natural for the body; Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight in Thraven for the shoes, and a bit of some alpaca blend for the hair.
Needles: Size US4 bamboo DPNs for the body, size US1 bamboo DPNs for the shoes

I made her a little skeleton of chenille stems (what we used to call “pipe cleaners” when I was a kid) so the arms and legs are poseable and attach to a spine that keeps the head from just flopping over. Her skirt is made of wide wired Christmas ribbon that I folded in half before bending it into the pleats. It’s sewn in place, right onto the body. The shirt is made of white felt, cut and sewn on. I made the hair by looping a length of yarn around and around a little toy beeper (it was the right size), sewing through the middle, and cutting the loops on either side, then sewing it to the top of the head. Finally, I embroidered the face.

The knitting itself was super quick. The clothing was a little trickier. I would have liked to give her some knee socks, but couldn’t quite get them scaled right.

When I handed it to her, she said, “It’s a little me!” The best reaction I could have asked for, really.

Lil Miss also really liked the doll, so I’m going to have to knit up a mini-Lil-Miss for her.

Meet the Mantis

Now that the Knit Picks catalog for March has arrived, I can show you all my favorite recent knit for them, the Praying Mantis, from Amigurumi Knits.

Closer Shot of Mantis on a Wall

Clearly deep in contemplation, she’s a thoughtful one.

Also, being an outdoorsy sort, she can’t resist climbing a nice tree.

Mantis in a Tree

But she didn’t mind hanging out at work with me, either.

Checking out my Cubicle

She found that Piggie, who regularly appears as my Ravatar image, is a very good listener.

Mantis and Piggy

But then she seemed to be getting just a little bit too close for comfort, so it was time to send her off to Washington for her professional photo shoot.

Mantis and Piggy

Knit from Wool of the Andes in Green Tea Heather and Fairy Tale (which is a really nice shade of purple) with two sets of bamboo DPNs.  Chenille stems down the legs and in the thorax keep her upright, and fiberfill in her abdomen and head round her out (so to speak).

I really, really like knitting toys. I’m going to have to knit a Mantis for myself.  With the right colors, I could totally make myself a little N’Grath.

Not Another Hobby

Last night, while watching Night at the Museum II, I put the final touches on the not-a-surprise jackalope for K.

Jackalope!

Isn’t he cute? He’s so cute, in fact, that Little Miss keeps grabbing him and telling me that “the rabbit” is her “favorite animal”.  It’s a good thing I was already planning on making a second one.

Jackalope!

I love Hansi Singh’s wacky patterns from this book. They’re just so much fun! I think I found one tiny error – a line that reads “K1, K23” (actually, it’s not 23, but I don’t remember the number) instead of “Sl1, K23”, which would make a lot more sense.  There are a few fiddly bits in the pattern, but it’s so worth it. And, wow, these amigurumi knits really are a good way to practice things like various increases, picking up stitches, and kitchener.

Jackalope!

The Details:

Pattern: Jackalope, by Hansi Singh, from Amigurumi Knits, but she’s also had the pattern out separately in her Etsy shop.
Yarn: Cascade 220, something less than 2 skeins, plus scraps of NatureSpun Sport for the face embroidery. I dyed one skein of white Cascade 220 brown with tea, and a small amount red with strawberry Kool-Aid.
Needles: Crystal Palace bamboo DPNs, size 4, two sets.
Started: November 11, 2009
Finished: December 19, 2009

I’ve already started on a second one, actually, in thinner yarn and on smaller needles. A baby jackalope.

After doing the jackalope’s photo shoot in the back yard, I started tidying my desk. I decided to put some Disney pins that were hiding in my drawer out to be seen.

Pins

That’s a shot glass display case there, mostly housing my Tacky Shotglasses of the World collection, a collection I discontinued a few months after Little Miss was born. The Half Marathon pin is from when I ran the race in 2007. The other three pins belonged to my grandmother and came to me after she passed away. After I put them out, I started poking around eBay for other pins. I really don’t need to start collecting Disney pins, right? Right?

Maybe I should go knit another toy.

The Deadliest… Finger Puppets?

I finished Crabby Crawl for Little Miss over the weekend, but I couldn’t resist playing with the pieces before sewing them up.

The Deadliest Finger Puppet

Creepy, aren’t they? I tried to get a picture of them curling around a door frame, but I couldn’t quite contort myself enough to get a photo of my own hand in that position. And the other members of my household may have had enough of my crab-leg-fingers after I put them on and waved them around eerily in the semi-darkness as we watched The X-Files: I Want to Believe.

Once they were stuffed and sewn onto Mr. Crabby Crawl, though, they were downright cute.

Deadliest Crab

Project Specs

Pattern: The Deadliest Crab, by Amber Allison, in the Summer ’09 issue of Knitty

Yarn: Cascade 220. The white is from a batch I bought at Stitches West a few years back; the orange is from The Loopy Ewe. It took just over half a skein of orange and about a quarter skein of the white.

Needles: Size US4 Crystal Palace DPNs. I went down to 4s, and you can still see stuffing through the stitches in some places.

Notes: The pattern is pretty easy to follow, especially now that the decrease error has been corrected. I also picked up the stitches for the bottom shell in the wrong direction – watch out for that, or you end up with a reverse stockinette belly! I don’t trust “safety eyes” in knitted fabric for the under-3 set, so I cut circles out of black and white felt and sewed them on with matching embroidery floss.

Deadliest Crab

Little Miss found him in the den on Monday morning and immediately exclaimed, “Crabby Crawl!” She proceeded to carry him around by one leg for quite a while. Ah, a girl and her crustacean. Is there a sweeter sight?

Uncursed

I gave the orange Cascade 220 another shot after I got home from work last night. When I once again found myself short a couple dozen stitches, I finally did the math. Literally. As in, 75-34 does not equal 63. It wasn’t my mistake at all, but an error in the pattern (which had been corrected by the time I looked at it last night). With the correct instructions, I managed to make a very small legless crab.

Crab in Progress

I think he’ll be awfully cute once he gets some eyes.  And a mouth.  And legs.  Don’t you?

It Might Be Cursed

I’m starting to wonder if this particular yarn is cursed.

Cascade 220

Looks perfectly innocent, doesn’t it?  Nice orange Cascade 220 all skeined up, waiting to be knit into a cute toy for Little Miss.  My plan was a carrot from Amigurumi Knits for my daughter’s play kitchen.  I popped the yarn onto my swift, wound it up into a ball, cast on, and happily knit away for several rows before realizing that I had miscounted somewhere along the line.

Off to the Frog Pond with the carrot.  Maybe I should try something else.  So, I cast on The Deadliest Crab and knit merrily away for several rounds, all the way through the first set of bobbles, and then I noticed that something was wrong.

Miscount.  Again.  A really big one this time, and I could not for life of me figure out what happened where.

Ripping out stitches can be so satisfying.

Is This Yarn Cursed?

I’m hoping the third time is a charm in this case.  If this one goes all wonky, I’m afraid this skein will be in need of a time-out, and I’ll just have to comfort myself with stringing another couple hundred beads for Entomology.

The Beading Continues

Gone Fishing

clownfish2

K went back to work yesterday, but I had the day off, so Little Miss and I stayed home to supervise termite inspectors and watch Mirrormask.I also managed to finish a project I’d had the knitting done on for well over a year.  Behold, the clownfish:

clownfish1

I bought this as a kit at a church holiday bazaar in 2005.  In the picture on the booklet, the orange yarn doesn’t have nearly so much red, and it looks a lot like Nemo from the Disney movie.  My fish, not so much Nemo-ish, even with the “lucky fin”.  There’s also a note not to use the “safety eyes” if the fish is for a child under 3, so I’m tucking this guy away for a while.

Pattern: Knit Clownfish
Source: Kit from JudyKits
Yarn: White, Black, and Hand-Dyed Orange cotton DK weight
Needles: size 6
Modifications: None