Since the beginning of October, I've been participating in "Knit-A-Longs" over at Ravelry. These are not really competitions per se, but rather fun opportunities to knit up something in a selected category and show your finished objects with the chance to win some awesome yarny prizes in random draws. The topic of three KALs I have entered are all "toys", as many knitters are making stuffies for Christmas giving.
I wanted to see if I could modify the bear pattern I used to make my Hudson the Polar Bear and Oreo the Panda into different animals - and came up with the idea of a set called "Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!" (if you don't know, a reference to The Wizard of Oz). I drew out schematics with ideas of adding nose pieces, paws and tails to transform the bears into more feline shapes.
I also wanted to knit all three toys from my very own handspun yarn, so step one was to shop for fibre. Luckily our local yarn shop sells 100% Corriedale wool fibre in numerous colours by weight! So I picked out butterscotch yellow, grey, black and white.
I started with the butterscotch and spun up a ball of single ply yarn using my Turkish spindle.
It knitted up so nicely - and it was great to be able to spin as much as I needed! Here are the arms getting stuffed and sewn together to make paws.
Then I thought the raw fibre would make the perfect mane and tail tuft... so I used a crochet hook to weave it into my knitting.
Here's my first toy - Butterscotch the Lion! He was so much fun to do and I love the way the mane turned out.
The next toy I wanted to make was a tiger from the same bear pattern - but I had to figure out how to make him the right colour with stripes! I found this fibre online called "Tigger" (how purrfect is that?). I began to spin it up, but wanted more of an orange result than it first gave me...
So I pulled the fibre apart into separate colours and spun it up individually, using just the orange and brown. As I knitted, I added in a few stitches of brown yarn here and there to make the tiger's stripes.
So here is Raja! I also used the white fibre for inside his ears, behind his eyes, on his muzzle and paws. I also used the brown yarn for the tip of his tail and around the outside edge of his ears.
The last of my set need to simply be a bear so I spun up some lovely grey and more white wool fibre.
The result? Greyson the Bear; again heavily modified from the initial pattern with the addition of white inside his ears, white face, muzzle, tummy and paws. He also has a tiny little grey tail. All three toys also have movable limbs - something the pattern didn't feature.
So here they are together: My "Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!" set!
So much fun to create, and I love having them on display in my Studio knitting nook!
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