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 that...an 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