Tuesday, June 28, 2011

FO: Gus the Giraffe

Yesterday I put the final touches- or pompoms, rather- on Gus the Giraffe, and he's ready to go with only a week before the baby is due!
Pattern: Giraffe from Susan B. Anderson's book Itty-Bitty Toys
Yarn: 2 skeins of Brown Sheep Nature in "Impasse Yellow" and one skein of Cascade 220 in a bright orange.
Needles: Everything was on size 5, but my favorite part was that almost the entire giraffe was knit on my Grandma's old needles. Something cool to pass down to the little one :)
Time Frame: June 2nd-June 27th, 2011
Modifications: After knitting two Elijah elephants from the patterns by Ysolda, I've loved the idea of picking up the stitches for the limbs straight from the body. It's a mild pain for the first couple of rows, and turns your project into a very large traveling project, but in the long run means the kid has to really work hard to rip off any limbs. Therefore instead of casting on the 8 stitches per needle for the legs and arms, I just picked up the stitches from the body. Really wish I could have done that for the head and body, too... next time. :)
I also took away row 16 on the arms for the decrease in the hoofs, because it made the hoof less pointy. :)
Worst Part: Probably the anticipation of all the details, especially the pompoms. My last experience with pompoms involved much swearing and explosions of yarn (leading to wine), so I wasn't looking forward to it. Luckily, after some searching on the web, I found a great way to easily make pompoms that worked for me. And a couple episodes of TrueBlood helped in making and attaching all the spots.
Best Part: Definitely his journey in becoming the awkward huge giraffe that he is. :) Notice his potbelly in the front? Love it. I didn't stuff him too full, so he's super super squishy and perfect for lots of hugs. I also didn't really anticipate how huge he was going to be- he'll probably be bigger than the baby for the first couple years of the baby's life! It might sound silly, but I loved the guesses from observers of what exactly I was knitting while making him. At first, I got a gourd and a pear, and it evolved to a bear, a monkey, or pretty much anything but a giraffe until the last couple of days. I also loved how he turned out- it was a pretty detail-oriented pattern with lots of clever ideas (LOVE the drinking-straws in the horns to make them stand up idea!).
I have a lot of other patterns in that book to get through for baby presents, but I'll definitely cycle around to this one again for the right baby!

Today is my last day of work at VE before a day of packing and setting off on my adventure- getting nervous, but getting SUPER excited!! Yosemite, here I come!!!
Now to just decide exactly what knitting to bring... 4000 miles of driving means a lot of knitting time... :)

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