February critter call

This trio gave me the giggles at every step of the knitting. They are Cheezombie Garden Slugs. I splurged and knit mine in Noro Silk Garden. I love the resultant color-changing nature of their skins–or whatever is the proper name for a mollusks’ outer gelatinousness. Their donut lips and eye stalks are knit in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted. The three bodies together used less than one skein of Silk Garden.

Think of all the gardeners you know, or all the people who don’t garden for that matter, and that’s who’d likely get a kick out of these guys. Their bodies are knit all in one piece. One seam. Sew on the lips. Done. No fiddly little bits to deal with.

These slugs tend to fall on their faces and take a bit of a nap unless you weigh down their tail ends with something. I broke down and bought a small bag of polybeads to bolster this trio. The beads worked well. Except for the part where static electricity took over and stuck them in all the wrong places as I stuffed them into the tails. I was picking up beads from the floor, the table, and even my shirt for a few days.

I gifted this trio of slugs to a trio of sisters, my nieces. They were delighted. My nieces that is. Maybe the slugs were delighted too I suppose.

Next up. Another Annita Wilschut Olivier. Knit in worsted weight this is a large pup.

I’ve knit Olivier twice before, check them out here and here. He was basically a scrap yarn pup in my first knit and turned out super cute even though not all his limbs ended up precisely the same size. Knitted critters can be quite forgiving of that. So can children. The next time I knit him in super colorful Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride worsted. It’s a great look.

This time I used Jamieson’s Shetland Heather, an Aran-weight. A good friend gifted me six 50-gram balls. Olivier consumed just over 200 grams,

His color scheme worked out really well. He’s been gifted to an adult and she couldn’t be happier with him.

The goofy little tail is probably my favorite body part.

There’s finally been a few sunny days here in southwest Michigan. Thirty one days in January and the sun shone on only one of them! Sunshine makes a knitter think spring. So do Claire Garland’s Sitting Hares. I knit mine in DK Schachenmayr Merino Extra-fine 120.

Sitting Hare is an easy garter stitch knit. Just a touch of short row shaping give them a subtle hare-like gesture. A quick fun knit.

How about one more look at that slug trio?

Some knitters knit these slugs by the basketfuls. I may need to knit a great big glob of them in a bunch of sizes. Changing the weight of the yarn and the needle size would do it. Maybe I’ll even knit a few slime paths to trail behind them. Such silliness. Critters definitely bring out that goofy inner child in a knitter.

Jutta and Olivier

I am totally tickled with MY Jutta. Yep, I’ve decided I’m keeping her for me. My plan is to fill my new craft room with creations that make me smile. Jutta, another Annita Wilschut design, definitely fits that bill.

I knit Jutta in a mix of yarns, maybe the most prominent being Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash Solid in the creme shade I used to knit Jutta’s body. I likely shouldn’t have used such “soft” superwash for the body though. A more rustic or at least a non-superwash would have been better. Despite being knit at a tight gauge the stuffing emphasizes all the increases and decreases and even made the head a little too heart-shaped. She’s still super-cute though. And her clothes cover a multitude of knitting sins.

Now that I think more about it, possibly Jutta’s most prominent yarn is the Adriafil KnitCol that I used for the more colorful strands of her hair. The hair is a mix of KnitCol and Schachenmayr Merino Extrafine 120 (the brown strands).

The directions for how to knit the I-cord hair strands are excellent, complete with photos. It’s quite an unusual technique that allows you to knit multiple I-cord strands direct to Jutta’s scalp. No sewing. If you’re still puzzling over the technique, maybe this will help:

The scalp is covered with rounds of staggered sets of 3 purls and 1 knit stitches. You take a small sized double-pointed needle and pick up a stitch in each of the 3 purl bumps, say for about 8 sets of bumps, all at the same “level” in the scalp rounds. Cut a length of yarn about 10 feet long (or longer). Fold the yarn in half.

Knit the first stitch at that half-way-point in the yarn. For the 2nd and 3rd stitch, knit them with BOTH strands of the yarn. For the 4th-6th stitches, do the same as 1-3 BUT with only one of the strands of the length of yarn you folded in half. You need one (folded) strand for each set of 6 stitches. Each half-strand is going to make a single 3-stitch I-cord. After you knit a row of as many pairs of 3-stitches as you can manage on your double-pointed needles, slide all the stitches to the ‘other’ end of the needle—like you would for any I-cord—and knit the next row on each cord, using the yarn that’s dangling from every third stitch to knit the first stitch of each set. Keep that up until you exhaust your length of yarn. Then start a new set of Icords. Very clever technique.

I couldn’t leave Jutta without embarrassing her with another naked shot. Love the butt! And here she is again, just to leave her looking more put together. I’ve knit Jutta once before.

Next up is Wilschut’s Olivier. I knit him in leftover oddballs of Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted. I knit Olivier once before and used a mix of worsted weight yarns, with the result that some of the limbs “took” the stuffing differently that resulted in some limbs not quite matching size-wise. Using all the same yarn solved that.

Olivier is such an endearing pup! I’ve seen versions of Olivier on Ravelry where folks knitted him in very dignified all-grays or all-browns. Totally sweet and maybe someday I’ll knit a 3rd Olivier and work him up that way. But I’m feeling very buoyant just now and I wanted a multi-colored Olivier.

Such a fun knit!

The tail is the cutest thing since…sliced bread? A bug’s ear?

I decided I’d show you how Annita Wilschut patterns work up, all in one piece, with no sewing.

I know. A bit scary. If Olivier could speak to you he’d be saying “No, don’t show me that way.” But, pre-stuffing, is a great way to see why Annita Wilschut patterns deserve your full attention, knitters!

Wilschut’s patterns make you smile even before you complete them.

Olivier is demanding I show you him put back together. He’s eagerly awaiting being on display in my new craft room. And, in case you wonder, any visiting children will be welcome to play with him.


Only a little bit ago I was, well, little bits. Now I am Olivier as designed by Annita Wilschutt. She-who-will-not-be-named says I used to be Dream in Color Calm, Dream in Color Classy, Kelbourne Germantown, Classic Elite Tapestry, Classic Elite Legend, The Fibre Company Cumbria, Swans Island Nature Colors Worsted, and a few other amnesiac balls of something-or-other. Pre-Olivier, I was a bunch of leftover balls of yarn.

Being a bunch of leftovers taking up space in a too-full closet is not a happy situation in this house. She’s listened to Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up audiobook. She’s even watched Kondo’s Netflix series. The leftover balls watched with interest while she folded her underwear in odd little packets and put them in new little fake bamboo plastic baskets. They muttered to themselves while she undid all those potato-sized balls of her store-bought socks. She tried to fold her T-Shirts into neat packages to stand them on their end. But her T-Shirts wouldn’t cooperate. That gave all the balls a good belly laugh. They stopped laughing after she listened to Margareta Magnusson read her book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death-Cleaning. When she started culling knitting books from her shelf, the balls knew this was getting serious.

Oh, here’s the back of me. Everyone comments that they like my tail.

You can see that the oddballs’ fears were unfounded. She didn’t dump them in the wastebasket. She didn’t bundle them into a fresh ziplock bag and donate them. She didn’t even ask her knit buddies if somebody wanted some leftover balls. Instead, she spread out a 2-gallon size zip-lock bag of worsted leftovers and started sorting through them.

The balls found themselves rearranged because, at first, she was looking for the tons of Classic Elite Tapestry she must have thought she had. There were 3-4 balls left, but not near enough. What the balls understood, from her mutterings, was that she was trying to find all the same yarn so I wouldn’t turn out kind of lopsided. Something about trying to keep to the same gauge, I think. She settled for finding the same yarn for most of the paired body parts.

In the end, she seemed to settle on working out colors that she thought would look right together. I told her I was proud of her because it worked out well. She can use some encouraging because she feels that her color sense isn’t always on-target. One of my legs is a little fatter than the other. But that’s true of her legs too.

This is my ballerina pose.

Here’s me trying to look up at her pleadingly. I probably knew then what always comes next when she writes these stories.

Every piece of me is knitted onto another piece of me. She didn’t have to sew me together. She just left a hole on the seam of my butt and stuffed me through that. It is a painful to remember this phase of me.

It, well, it sort of makes a body think. What was. What will be. What is.

I’ve been sleeping in Isaac’s bed lately. This is-part? It’s the best!