Foxy Loxy!

The parade of projects I’ve made while absent from my blog continues!  I’d planned to post this last week, but working on exciting new things has rather got in the way….. but more about the first of those things tomorrow (I know, making you all wait, I’m such a tease).

A few months ago, Knit Now magazine dropped through my letterbox, with a fun little surprise…. a knitting kit!

Now, I’m not usually one for making stuff that comes free with magazines, because usually (wild generalisation alert) the yarn is not especially nice and I don’t particularly want to knit or wear anything made of acrylic when I have a stash of much nicer yarn, just waiting to be knitted up and more ideas than I have time to make (there’s no pleasing some people).

But this kit was different.

For a start the yarn was wool blend and actually quite nice!  and then there was the pattern (Finlay Fox by Barbara Prime), which was more cute than I could handle.  Also, I had some spare safety eyes and toy stuffing in my stash from making a pair of PG Tips/ITV digital monkeys way back when.  I’d just finished a big knitting project too (more about that next week) and wanted to make something quick and slightly silly so it was just meant to be!

First there was a body (knitted flat, with an intarsia patch for his pale tummy):

Finlay the fox kit

Then a bushy foxy tail, some cute pointy ears and little arms……

Fred-in-progress

I decided to sew each piece up as I went along, because although I don’t hate sewing up, or fear it at all, there’s always quite a bit of making up involved in toy patterns, so it doesn’t seem quite such a slog or a test of endurance if you space it out a little.

……. And before I knew it, he was done!

Finished Fred!

I’m particularly pleased with his expression.  Normally I spend ages sewing facial features on to toys, only for them to look weird, so I have to start again.  This process is repeated until either a) I’m happy with it, or b) I’m so sick of the sight of it that I don’t care any more.  I think it’s only been the latter once before, but I do tend to persevere, even if I’m pretty fed up with it, because I’m a perfectionist.  On this occasion I got it right first time!  Yay!

Then, inevitably, I had to name him.  Or, to be more precise, somebody did.  The task fell to my brother (the prospective owner), who decided on Fred, because alliteration is the best strategy for naming such things!

I even took Fred to work, so everyone could have a good gawp at him.  Here he is enjoying some lovely colourful yarn!

Fred at Stash

Isn’t he cute?  You can see Fred on Ravelry here.

Tomorrow, exciting new things…. all together now…. wooooooo!

Lottie x

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Meet Sidney!

Yesterday I said that the BAAAA sheep shawl would bring me rather neatly on to the next project that I have to share with you.

So, here it/he is, lounging nonchalantly next to some of my stash…….

Sidney the sheep!

Meet Sidney! (Photo Copyright Charlotte Walford 2014)

Meet Sidney the Suffolk Sheep (alliteration is always important when it comes to naming things)!  He’s knitted in Rowan’s lovely Purelife British Sheep Breeds DK (now sadly discontinued I think) in shades #780/Ecru Blue Faced Leicester and #781/Brown Blue Faced Leicester, so he really is all sheep!

Sidney had been on my needles for quite some time (Since April 2011 to be precise – pre-blog!) so he really deserved to stop being a WIP (work in progress) and become a finished sheep.

I’d finished Sidney’s body and head before he went into hibernation, which are cunningly made in one piece thanks to Janice Anderson’s clever pattern, but I hadn’t knitted his legs or ears.  Poor legless Sidney.

Sidney-in-progress

So, to avoid the tedium of having to do all the fiddly sewing up and stuffing at the end, I decided to sew up and stuff the body and head before knitting the legs, hoping that this would motivate me to finish him.  It worked!  Once I’d made something that looked more sheep-like I really wanted to get him finished.  I made the ears and sewed them on.  This did make him look a little like a rabbit, but I was informed by my brother (the intended recipient – there is a bit of a family in-joke that results in occasionally exchanging sheep related items – yes we are completely sane) that this merely gave him character and that I was therefore forbidden to change them.

Awaiting an expression!

Soon, the legs were done and sewn up.  This was a bit of a fiddle, as you have to sew them using mattress stitch and then turn them inside out (easier said than done on such a narrow piece of knitting) so the seams are on the outside of the leg.  You then have to turn up a sort section at the end of the leg to form cute little hooves.  The upside of this is that the legs are not stuffed, so less faffing there.  Also I think it adds even more character!

Finished!

Next, it was on to his facial features, so I tried to give him a mischievous expression to match those impish ears.  Feeling that he needed a little something extra, I decided to knit a jaunty little red neckerchief out of some leftover yarn, making it up as I went along.

Every sheep about town needs a neckerchief!

Every sheep about town needs a neckerchief!

His ears never did lie flat….

Lottie x