Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Knit Knack's Cabinet of Curiosities

We are approaching the first anniversary of Knit Knack's arrival into our lives, and this is a momentous occasion. We will be celebrating in various ways over the next couple of weeks, and today, I'd like to share with you Knit Knack's Cabinet of Curiosities.

Cabinets of curiosities (according to
Wikipedia.com) are encyclopedic collections of types of objects whose categorical boundaries are yet to be defined. I first became acquainted with these museums of wonder through the book The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

You've seen the basic
Sheldon pattern. My copy is quite dog-eared and goes with me wherever I go. Over the past year I've made many modifications to the original shell pattern and created a number of accoutrements to go along with the outfits. There's a link-list in my sidebar if you would like to refresh your memory. It shouldn't be a surprise, however, that not everything my turtle-addled brain comes up with manifests perfectly the first time. Or the second time, in some cases.

The first time I decided to stray significantly from the pattern was in March, for St. Patrick's Day. Wouldn't it be awesome, I thought, if I could make the whole shell a pattern of
tessellatedshamrocks? I think it was only a couple of days and a ream or two of graph paper later that I realized that you can't tessellate shamrocks. So instead I decided to chart them.

I posted this picture last February to show the mess I made one Sunday. If you look carefully in the upper right-hand corner, you can see the intarsia shamrocks that I started for the top of a shell. This has since been ripped out, since I discovered that knitting a flat shell instead of using the shaping in the original pattern makes for a piece of knitting that's the wrong size. (If you look carefully at the mess of pastel yarns just to the left of those shamrocks, that's my first attempt at the Easter shell. Nothing like working in advance, you know?)

The first time I decided to knit something for Knit Knack's feet was for the sheep shell from last Memorial Day. However, since Knit Knack lives three hours away from me, how would I know if his sheep feet would actually fit him? Solution: prosthetic leg.

Leggius Prosthesia is shown here modeling a keychain sock my friend Nicole made for me a while ago. It has tried on sheep feet, turkey feet, wings, tires, and more! It is a wonder that I can continue to find it when I need it.

For Tractor Knack, the key was really the tires. Tractors have little, skinny front tires and big, fat back tires.

Tireous Too Fatteous was my first attempt at a front tire. You can't really tell in this picture, but it is stuffed with fiberfill. Tractor Knack's front tires have a circle of cardboard in them, so they are very skinny. The hole in this tire wasn't large enough to fit around Leggius Prosthesia either, so it was relegated to the cabinet.

Tires : Tractor as Skull & Crossbones : Pirate.

However, Pirateous 1st Attemptus : Ugh. I didn't like it at all. It barely even looks like a skull, and in person it makes you just want to weep. The second attempt was MUCH better. I'd even say the skull I ended up with is cute.

The last item in the cabinet is from Knit Knack's Thanksgiving outfit.

Wingus Dingus isn't bad, per se, but it is very thick. It's a strand of Bernat Boa and a strand of Butterfly mercerized cotton held together and knit on US size 2 needles. Yeouch! My fingers hurt just remembering that one. The fabric is super tight and inflexible, and it just wasn't what I wanted. Fortunately, there wasn't a ton of effort that went into this one before I knew it wasn't going to work.

Stay tuned for more Knit Knack frivolity!


Barbara said...

Whew! I'm Tireous Outus just being curiositus aboutus your turtleous addle-braindeous instasia shamrocked sheep-feet prosthesis!!!

That is some blog stuff! I hope you can keep it all straightened out and keep knitting well-fitting and stand-up sitting shells for Knit Knack. He and I adore you!

KelInCal said...

Omigosh, you crack me up! Prosthetic leg - HA! You're just too clever.

You certainly put a lot of work into that little guy, don't you? It's completely worth it - Knit Knack rocks!

Mandy said...

Ha! You rock!

Annabelle said...

I'm still thinking of starting a Knit Knack fan club LOL. It is pretty cool to hear though that this is a lot of trial and error. I was beginning to doubt my knitting skills if I couldn't even get it on the first try sometimes :) You're still the Wonder Woman of the Needles with all these different designs!

Crafty Carolyn said...

All of Knit Knack's outfits are so cute. I think the Shamrocks are my favorite...no wait, the Pirate one... oh, maybe the Turkey one. I just can't pick, they are all fantastic and it really makes me want to knit my own little turtle.

Joy said...

I totally love the prosthetic leg! That's awesome!