Monthly Archives: February 2010

‘P’ is for Penguin

Late one afternoon last December, I was online (not an unusual occurrence) and happened to be keeping an eye on my Twitter stream in the sidebar of my Firefox browser.

It should be noted that having Twitter available in my browser sidebar is both a benefit and a curse – I see a lot more interesting tweets than I normally would otherwise, and start conversations with Twitter friends who happen to be online at the time. But productivity in terms of things like writing posts, reading posts, writing reviews, etc. tends to suffer immensely a wee bit as well. Still – I keep it there, and from time to time end up discovering something new and amazing. :)

That day a tweet just happened to catch my eye – from Amy Gaines, whom as I discovered, has a wonderful etsy store full of the cutest patterns to knit and crochet. The one she had just listed and tweeted about was for a knit penguin – clad in a striped hat and red scarf, all set for the cold weather this winter. I looked at the details – the materials and skills required, and realized that this was something that my beginning skills just might be able to handle. And it looked like a lot of fun to try.

So I purchased the pattern (thank you, Amy!) and over the next few weeks worked to gather the materials necessary. Yarn? check. Knitting needles? check. Felt? check. I even had stuffing left over from when I’d sewed pillows for my girls last summer. The only item that I could not find – at least not locally, were the size 6.00mm black Safety eyes. I eventually did find them at another etsy store but had to wait through the holidays for them to be shipped. So I worked on other knitting projects while I waited.

Then one day, I finally had everything that I needed. And as I worked, the magic of knitting occurred. A strand of black yarn turned into fabric. Which, when stuffed and stitched with black beady eyes added, became recognizable as a penguin – even without feet or flippers, or his white tummy patch.

KnittedPenguin_002

While I worked on him, something strange happened – that’s never happened to me before, during all of my years doing needlework, crocheting, and now knitting. This little penguin took on a life of his own.

I mean, who can resist that face, especially when it’s staring at you as you bring him to life?

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Now I’m certainly not a knitting expert by any means. This was my first foray into using yarn to stitch previously knit pieces together and it’s definitely not terribly pretty. But I don’t think that this little guy cares very much. He sat quietly by while I worked on his hat, waiting patiently for it to warm up his naked little penguin head.

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I think he looked much happier (and warmer) then, don’t you? But he apparently didn’t quite agree, because it was at this point where he finally grew impatient and decided to take matters in to his own hands flippers, where the scarf was concerned. I swear that I left the room just for a minute – and here’s what I came back to find!

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Wow, he’s quick, huh… After a short but firm discussion about who’s allowed to touch the knitting needles – and who’s not, I finished his scarf and wrapped it around this sneaky little guy’s neck. All in all, I’m quite happy with the results – and rather proud of myself as well.

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In total, knitting this little guy took me less than a week, even with the hat and scarf included. Of course, then I had three little girls begging me to touch and hold and play with the penguin – and it’s taken quite a bit of persuasion to discourage them. After all, he’s assured me that he is not a babysitter – or a toy (yeah, right!) – and wishes to be left to higher pursuits. Such as surveying the living room from the top center position on our entertainment center. It all sounds a bit boring to me, but hey, who am I to complain since he looks rather cute up there anyway. We’ll see where else he ends up once he gets his fill of the living room.  ;)

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I had so much fun with the penguin, that I went looking back at Amy’s store this week to see what else I could find to keep my fingers busy. With Easter less than a couple of months away, I was thrilled to see a pattern that included a trio of bunny, duck and sheep. So I bought that one and let each of the girls pick out yarn colors for an Easter bunny of her own. And in only two days (even before I’d written this post), I successfully completed Becca’s. I’ll post about that process – and let you see what colors they chose, once all three bunnies are done. Becca’s been playing with hers all day – it’s so incredible to see her that excited about something that I made for her.

Disclosure: No product or compensation was received for this post – I purchased (and made) every item myself. I was not asked to review or link to Amy’s store (and she doesn’t know I’m writing this) – I just want to share how fun, cute (and easy!) I think her patterns are. Because I like them.  :)