Darling knitted creatures!

My friend, Allie, of Eyedazzler Alpacas, now sells knitting patterns, on this site, Dazzler's Best.  She asked me if I'd knit a few of the animals, so that she's have something to display in her booth at Convergence, down in Alberquerque.  Maybe you saw her there?

These animals are so much fun to knit!  The patterns are very well written and easy to follow.  They are written for knitting on double points, but with a little figuring, you could easily knit them with two circulars, or with the Magic Loop.  They don’t use much yarn, so they are excellent for using up those bits and pieces in your stash. 

Since they are small, they make excellent travel projects.  Personally, I think that they make the perfect coffee shop knitting project - they are small, so you don't have to carry a big old bag, they are very oddly shaped, so you get interesting stares, and should someone gather up the gumption to come over and ask what you are knitting - well, nothing stops 'em dead like this response, "oh, I'm knitting a two headed alien..."  heh.

I especially admire the shaping on these darling creatures.  For instance, look at T Rex from the side

– see how she has a nice straight back, and a round, poochy belly?  That’s not due to manipulation of the stuffing, that’s due to cleverly placed decreases.  The patterns are written so that the animals really have personality, and from there, it’s easy to personalize.

I think that it would be lots of fun to needle felt designs onto the completed animal.  Let your imagination soar!  Flowers?  Initials?  Team-Jersey numbers? 

These patterns would be suitable for many levels of knitting ability.  While they would not be suitable as one’s very first knitting project, they would be a great way for a beginner to advance his or her knitting skills.  Each pattern set features detailed instructions for the various abbreviations used in the pattern, and you can visit the designer’s web site for written AND video demonstration of any techniques that you might not know how to do.  The online tutorials are very clear and well presented.

Another interesting point is that many of the techniques used in these patterns come straight out of sock knitting.  For example, T Rex has a perfect sock-heel head.  Triceratops has a short-row head.  If you are interested in sock knitting, then these patterns would be a fun way for you to learn the various techniques.

Please note that I knitted these animals with very different gauges.  If they were all knitted with the same yarn and the same needles, they’d all be just about the same size.  In other words, if I had knitted the horse with the same yarn and the same needles as for T Rex,

they’d be the same size, believe it or not!  Now, just imagine a menagerie of Tiny Dinosaurs, Safari Creatures and Aliens!  How much fun!

T Rex – knitted with one strand of Lamb’s Pride (wool and mohair), and one strand of  Broadway (acrylic, mohair, poly, metallic, nylon) held together, on size US 10 dpns, at a gauge of about 2 ½ stitches per inch.  Her eyes are made of Cascade 220, tripled and french knotted, with a french knot of black Wildefoote sock yarn for the pupil.  She’s a big ole gal who measures approximately 26 inches from her sharp teeth to the tip of her pointy tail.  I assembled her according to the pattern with no modifications, other than her head ornament.  Since she has no ears, being a dinosaur and all, her head seemed oddly bare.  She needed a hat.

She stands (sits?) about 11 inches tall, and isn’t she beautiful?

Triceratops – knitted with two colors of Cascade Jewel (wool), a thick and thin yarn, and two colors of stashbusting sparkley yarn.

I call him "Lamont," because I worked on him on our drives back and forth to Denver, to watch Grace perform as part of her stint at the Lamont School of Music (see my post of July 2).

It was great fun to blend the colors, especially since I wasn’t sure how it would all come together until he was all sewn up.  I knitted him on size US 7 dpns at a gauge of approximately ...ummm… let’s just call it a variable gauge, due to the thick and thin nature of the yarn.  Knitted at this gauge, he stands about 5 inches tall, and is about 17 inches long.

I assembled him a little askew in order to give him something of an inquisitive air.

In order to sort of sculpt him into shape, I assembled him by using dpns to prop up his neck and head in order to hold him in position while I figured out the proper angle with which to attach his tail.  It gives him personality, I think.

she is the darling of the bunch with her little diminutive self.  She was knitted out of Fino, a laceweight Alpaca yarn, on US 00 dpns, at a gauge of approximately 10 stitches per inch.  Her mane and hooves were made out of a little bit of Wildefoote sock yarn.

She’s approximately 3 inches tall, and she has a marble in her abdomen to help keep her from falling over.  She is made from the Zebra pattern in the Safari Friends collection.

Just imagine how much fun it would be to knit an Appaloosa, or a Clydesdale?  How about a paint or a Palomino?  What fun it would be to needle-felt a little saddle or make a bridle out of ribbon?  The mind boggles.
Gamma the Two Headed Alien – knitted with acrylic out of my stash, on size US 7 dpns, at a gauge of about 6 stitches per inch.

He and She measures about 9 inches tall.  I loved knitting the eyeballs.  After I attached the eyes to the heads, my daughter insisted that I leave the strings hanging, instead of hiding them.  I agree with her – it gives a cute moustachey look.

Gamma is from the Take Me To Your Leader collection.

I think that most of these Alien models would be able to wear doll clothes.  Imagine Gamma in a little vest?  I know that my girls would have dressed Gamma, were he and she knitted about 10 years ago!

Elephant – This model is my most favorite.

She is knitted with one strand of variegated mohair and one strand of Peruvian Tweed Alpaca held together, on size US 3 dpns, at a gauge of approximately 4 stitches per inch.  She sits about 7 inches tall. This elephant, with no legs, would make an adorable baby toy, too.  I moussed her ears to to encourage them to stay “outstretched – mousse works great with animal fibers.

Isn't this just the cutest thing you have ever seen?

These creatures are so much fun to make.  Give them stripes – give them sparkles – sew on decorations – needle felt onto the completed animal - Let your imagination soar!


fleegle said...

I'm really sorry, Rosemary, but your T-rex just isn't scary. Poor guy--he'll probably take a lot of guff from his toothier pals.

They are all adorable, though!

Katie K said...

These are too cute! Did you use a pipe cleaner for the trunk?

Rosemary said...

fleegle, you aren't paying attention. That is a LADY T-Rex, and even big scary dinosaurs want to be pretty, ya know.

Katie K - no, but that's a good idea, actually. The trunk is knitted from the face to the tip, and when I bound off the tip, I had a long piece of yarn, and I thought.... "I wonder..." and it worked! I duplicate stitched to get the yarn around to the under side of the trunk, then I went in and out of the ladders between stitches for a few stitches, then I pulled the yarn tight, then I duplicate stitched to anchor the yarn, then I moved around to the upper side of the trunk and repeated the process. So, there are two areas where I've basically gathered the trunk to hold it in this position.

However, your idea sounds like more fun. Too bad I didn't think of it. Maybe for my next one.... There WILL be a next elephant... she's too darling.

Thanks ladies!

Crafty Lulu said...

These are just too awesome!!! When is the next knitting get-together?

AbcHobby.it said...

wow... very nice!!!!
they are adorable!!

happy sunday
hugs from italy