Sunday, December 11, 2011

FO: Otto

Even though Rue, Melissa, and Claire constantly tempt me with baby knits, I'm standing firm on my 'no baby clothes' policy. I just have a gripe with how freakin' fast babies grow and I guess I'd rather knit them something they may enjoy for much longer than 2 or 3 months. Why yes, I can be a scrooge.

I've knit Elijah twice in the past and while I love that pattern, I did want to try some of Ysolda's other toys (though never fear, Elijah is still on the radar to be done for Julian as well). Otto in particular. Not just a bear, but a polar bear! Like Elijah, this pattern is detailed and easy to follow and produces a super cute knitted toy. And now that
I found a much easier way to cast-on (see this link), I don't fear and procrastinate the casting on process...and there are way less curse words involved. By the way...if you go to that link, it says it is a more time-consuming process than the way Ysolda suggests. However, if you are like me and simply can't seem to stop dropping needles during those initial 6 stitches (I really need some bamboo dpn's for that rather than metal) so it takes more than an hour just to start...well, this new approach actually takes less time!

While there really is nothing negative I can say about this knit, I would comment that I think I like the way Ysolda designed the legs on Elijah better. For that knit, you pick up stitches off a completed body for the legs. For Otto, the legs are knit as a continuation of the body and you do a crotch gusset (never thought I'd use those words). It's fine in terms of knitting for the first leg, but the second leg, until you get a couple inches, is a complete bear to do (oh, look at unintended pun). When I knit this again, I may do the legs differently...not sure.

Also, I wish there were more pictures/guidance on how/where to stitch up the nose. It turned out more difficult than I thought and I had to rip a couple times. The final version still isn't near as nice as Ysolda's but the best I could do.

Project deets on my Ravelry project page as usual...I would say that I used Knit Picks Organic Cotton and really enjoyed knitting with that yarn. The label calls this yarn worsted and the recommended gauge would suggest that it is. However, my Otto knit on size 6's was about 6 inches shorter than the pattern shows...much closer to the one knit in DK weight on smaller needles (size 4's). I honestly don't know enough about variability within the 'worsted weight' category to know if this was a gauge issue with me (though I actually tend to knit to gauge) or if this cotton is on the light side of worsted (in fact, the Ravelry page for this yarn actually calls it aran). For this project, it doesn't really matter but for someone looking at using this yarn in the future, it is something to consider (maybe swatching would be in order...gasp!).

I hope everyone is having a stress-free holiday crafting season (if those even exist for the crafter)!

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Now playing: Simple As It Should Be by Tristan Prettyman



cauchy09 said...

aw, cutie pie. sorry he was a struggle, but the result is adorable.

CelticCastOn said...

He's perfect and Ysolda would tell you there are no two Otto's alike and they each take on their own look.
Thats what she told me when I was having issues with getting Elijah's nose to look right ;)

Carie said...

He's so cute! I agree about the legs too - I've only done one Otto and I like the legs on Elijah so much more and he seems to sit better too. But maybe that's the reason why - bears shouldn't sit, they stand and roar!

melissa said...

oh goodness is he ever adorable!
you are the best auntie ever - julian will love him!!

(and you know what's funny? i would sooooo rather knit a baby sweater than a toy, i just think toys are so fiddly... i could crank out 3 sweaters in the time it takes to knit all those legs! but i'm certainly glad you like to knit them because they're adorable and i like getting to look at them!)

kate said...

Otto is very cute! But I want to know what he did to make him have a time out (the second picture) ;-) Between my mind seeing a naughty teddy and your comment on crotch gussets I just laughed my way right through this post (why yes, I do live with an 11-year-old boy and yes, it has rubbed off on me)!

kristieinbc said...

That bear is seriously cute! I have added the project to my Ravelry queue. Loved your pictures!

Jacey said...

I've only tried one knitted toy, a small bird. It was not a super pretty FO. Toy knitting is pretty intimidating to me, actually. Maybe that should be a goal in the new year, because they are awfully cute. I heart your Otto, and I appreciate your thoughts on the pattern.

Mr. Puffy said...

He came out adorable! Like you I also knit toys rather than cloths for babies and I'm thinking her doll pattern might be next on my list! Wishing you a stress free holiday season :)

Julie Crawford said...

what a cutie!! knitted toys are always so adorable, and even people who don't care much for handknits usually are crazy for them! this one is such a charmer.

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

So cool, and I love that you photographed him in the great outdoors.

Carrie#K said...

His nose is adorable! if he was a bit fussy. He looks well worth it.

LOL @ the unintended pun!

elizabeth said...

How sad is it that a completely grown woman (ahem, me) is dying for an Otto of her very own?!? So cute, you did a fabulous job!

Ann said...

Otto is so cute & you did a great photo shoot of him.

Rue said...

Adorable! I'm doing a birthday swap in a rav group in a couple of months and keep going back and forth on whether I want to do a toy or a sweater . . . or vest (since I'm planning to rework that turtle vest prototype). You keep tempting me with toys but I'm with Melissa on the "toys look too fiddly" bandwagon.

Convince me, please! How fiddly are we talking here. Full disclosure: I detest working with DPNs and would much rather do magic loop. At least if you drop one end of the circular needle, you've still got the other. (Did I ever tell you about the time I dropped a DPN in the middle of a chem lecture and it rolled all the way down to the front of the hall?)

Anyway, what is easier (or more fun - that counts, too) - a vest/sweater or a toy?

To put it another way - should I make a loch ness monster or a turtle vest?