Strelka the Valiant


I am quite proud of my Strelka the Valiant. He’s knit from a pattern by the talented designer, Annie Watts, of Wattsolak Designs.  Watts blog here, where her pattern is available for purchase. And Strelka is also available on Ravelry. My Strelka is knit in Big Bad Wools Pea Weepaca, a half ‘n half baby alpaca/merino fingering weight mix. As with any stuffie, Strelka needs to be knit at a tight gauge, so break out your size one needles.

Watts says that Strelka “may be small, but he’s brave and scrappy.” Just so. But not that small. He stands a tad over 13 inches.

Here’s Strelka from the back.


All together now….”Great tail!” (That’s a version of what just about everyone says when they see his backside.)

Strelka is protesting that the next photo is just too frightening for this blog. But, here’s Strelka in pieces.


This is a great pattern that’s totally error-free. I’ve already knit Watts’s Sputnik the Magnificent. But Strelka the dog is better than Sputnik the cat because this time I made a sensible colorway choice. The pattern needs a strong contrast between the two colorways. Subtle doesn’t work too well.

Sputnik the Magnificent


Meet Sputnik, the Magnificent. He’s designed by Annie Watts of Wattsolak Designs. Next time I knit him, I will choose more contrasting yarns. My Sputnik is a little more subtle-featured than is ideal. He’s knit in fingering weight yarn on size one needles, so at times the work is a bit fiddly. But what a hoot to see his stripes and especially his face emerging from the colorwork.

Watts has a wonderful collection of patterns of all sort, but I’m totally drawn to Sputnik and her toys. When I next have time to knit a stuffed buddy, Strelka the Valiant just might be it. But Watts’s Izzy Gator is also in competition for my knitting attention. Such clever designs!

I’ve learned something about something about something about, hmmm…might it be color temperature?  Anyway, who would have thought that these two colorways would melt into each other the way they do? It was news to me. I work under an Ott Light, where a yarn’s true colors stand out. I was quite far into the project before I realized I should have chosen a different set of colors.



I am still very fond of Sputnik, though. He looks magnificent sitting under the Christmas tree. Here he is, showing off his tail.