Tag Archives: wattsolak

For the dogs

A year later, and for another child than the one originally intended, Strelka the Valiant finally came together.


I started him for a kid whose favorite color is yellow, but I missed two holiday deadlines, found that knitting it on dpns was stupid, packed it away for the move, misplaced it, and then realized that the original kid has aged into the universe of building stuff instead of a semi-stationary snuggly one.


I considered making clothing for the new baby brother of the kid, and actually made one very odd sock that might have fit a waterfowl, a very strange hat that will only fit for perhaps a week more, and I bought what I thought was enough superwash yarn for a little vest, but it wasn’t, or at least it wasn’t for the actual size the baby is now through the end of winter.  So I unearthed poor Strelka for a speedy revival (though knitting the vest and waiting for more yarn to come might have have been faster).


We were leaving for our holiday festivities on a Tuesday, so I wanted to have him soaked and blocked by early on Sunday so there would be enough time for drying and stitching up…

On Saturday, N said “there’s no way you’ll finish… you have a hat anyway.”

Those were not meant to be words of encouragement, but they were for me (that hat was really questionable).

(And this pattern is really fantastic, and fairly speedy, especially since I knitted it in worsted weight yarn rather than fingering, but as with any toy, it’s a bit fiddly from making various pieces and not just straight ahead fingers-become-machines knitting.)


But lo and behold, I made my Sunday deadline, albeit at the end of the day.

You can see the wonky ear on the left that I made with dpns, which I do not recommend at all for this guy – it’s magic loop or bust.

(I didn’t have time to make another ear, and unsymmetrical is more natural, right?)

And I was a little tight with the magic loop on the face – he’s got some flat outer cheeks instead of rounded ones, so I sewed the ears more forward to cover them up.

And I generally prefer mutts, so I went rogue with the pattern on the legs and arm/legs.

And yes, I didn’t make the toenails – I am unable to successfully execute that part of the pattern and I didn’t have the time or patience for duplicate stitch later on – he’s still dog-like enough without them.


He is quite charming, but I was afraid he might scare the baby…

But the baby seemed to approve, and gnawing on wool must be pleasant on the gums.

I not a big fan of knitting toys – I’d rather sew them – but it was fun to have this guy on the needles, and maybe I’ll make another…



Filed under knitting

Knight of the Deep

The Noble Hero balaclava pattern by Annie Watts of Wattsolak has just been released!

Last year I test knit this fun to knit, and to wear pattern.

Noble Hero-Close Up

I finished it while on a bizarre early summer week-long vacation in the White Mountains that started off with a snowstorm and ended with temperatures in the high 90Fs, so it was too icy and cold to hike in the beginning, and too hot and humid by the end.

But it gave me more knitting time.

Though it would compliment and complete your awesome new space suit, I thought it also looked like a knight’s chainmail coif:

Noble Hero-Knight

Or a deep-sea diver’s helmet:

Noble Hero-Deep Sea Diver

Either way, I really enjoyed knitting the piece, learned a new technique, and N has taken it and enjoys wearing it, so I’ll have to make another for myself!

The pattern is well-written and was very clear even in the testing stage.  I had gauge and made no modifications.  The only thing I’ll keep in mind for next time is to loosen up on the applied icord, or go up a needle size for it – I learned how to do it on this project and I started out a little too tight.

This was also my first time knitting with Quince & Co., and I liked it – I chose these muted colors because I’d love to have a larger garment made from one of them at some point, and wanted to see the colors in person.

Now to think of colors for a Noble Hero for myself – perhaps handspun…?


Filed under knitting, travel