This is designer Annie Watts’s Sputnik the Magnificent, a “floppy huggable” cat. Pleasantly floppy. Huggable for sure. And endearingly cartoonish.
I knit my Sputnik in a light fingering weight (Purl Soho Line Weight) left over from my Library Blanket. This character’s colorwork is obviously what convinced me to break my (new) rule about not knitting critters that turn into sewing projects. The sewing was all easy stuff though. The head and body is all one piece knit in the round. The ears and limbs are also knit in the round so it’s just a matter of sewing the end of the “tubes” to the body. The pattern is spot-on correct and clear.
Sputnik even looks magnificent from behind. To create a pelt that won’t show the stuffing, I knit Sputnik on US size 1 needles.
Sputnik definitely needed a companion. Strelka the Valiant fit the bill. Watts writes that Strelka “may be small but he’s brave and scrappy.” Brave and scrappy helps Sputnik feel more confident. In fact, the two have become constant companions.
Strelka is also knit in Purl Soho Line Weight. The construction is exactly the same as Sputnik’s. Strelka is just a bit thicker through the body and shorter.
The back sides of these critters are totally well thought out and totally cute.
You probably want to see them together.