Ravelry Monday: Wren’s Trio of Properties, Dog Tea Cozy

First Pick: Wren’s Trio of Properties, by Faye Kennington ($4.95)

At first glance, I thought this was a pattern for eyeball ornaments — maybe something Cthulu-esque?  But instead, they are felted birdhouses: at once more mundane and much more interesting. The designer based them on something she’d seen in a garden magazine, and that birds actually like them — so they are useful and decorative.

Second Pick: Dog Tea Cozy, by Rian Anderson ($4.00)

He may call this a “dog” tea cozy, but we all know which wonderful claymation dog he means: Gromit!!

I named my Border Collie “Gromit” because I love the show so much.  If only I drank tea out of pots, I would be making up this tea cozy in a heartbeat!  Maybe I will get the pattern anyway, and see if I can transform it into a soft toy …

Third Pick: Persinette, by Erica Lynne ($1.50)

Two clever headband patterns, knit icord-style over elastic! The flower is a perfect place to show off a beloved singleton button, too.

FO Friday: Toy Gromit

1541 toy Gromit

Introducing …. my very own toy Gromit!  I stayed up (too) late Friday night to finish, even though I had an agility trial the next day (which means rising at ungodly early in order to drive two hours to the trial, arriving there by 7 AM). The satisfaction of leaving this sweet little toy dog completed instead of in parts was well worth the delayed bedtime.

1539 toy Gromit

Pattern: Border Collie

Designer: Joanna Osborne and Sally Muir

Available: in Knit Your Own Dog (available for $8.49 on Amazon)

Yarn: Knit Picks Palette (leftover Cream, Merlot Heather (I think), plus tiny scraps of Semolina, Edamame, and Ash)

As I mentioned in my review of Knit Your Own Dog, the pattern is made up of a billion tiny pieces, all worked flat.  After I seamed and stuffed the first leg, I thought it would be fun to show the bits that go into a toy Border Collie.  Right next to the penny is the left rear leg.  Above the leg, you can the top of the head.  The rest is just a big muddle!

1534 KYOD Border Collie bits

In this photo, the legs and body are all seamed and stuffed. I used pipe cleaners chenille stems to provide structure for the legs.  (I learned from making some cool amigurumi last year that this is absolutely necessary.) The ears are still waiting to be sewn on, and the original tail is looking awfully big … I ended up chucking it and making a smaller version than called for in the pattern, to better match my dog. I’m very impressed with how the designers achieved a very dog-like shape.  Often knit toys approximate real shapes with blobby shapes and imagination — but this one looks like the real thing!

1536 KYOD Border Collie (in progress)

For the eyes I pulled apart two strands of Edamame and Semolina, and re-plied some of each into a single strand of greeny-gold yarn to match Gromit’s eye color.  Simple French knots make surprisingly convincing eyes.  I embroidered the nose with satin stitch … I’m still not 100% satisfied, but I have decided to call it done after cutting out the stitches once or twice and starting over. The collar is made out of Ash — again, to match the real Gromit’s awesome collar (a D Dogs Designs original).

1546 toy Gromit

1547 toy Gromit

1545 toy Gromit