Sunday, September 23, 2012

Will's Knit Birthday Present! Mama Duck and Ducklings

Will turns two next week!  I've been getting my ducks in a row ;)

Growing up, I was lucky enough to have a prolific knitter for a mother.  Every year, we were showered with hand knits in our favorite colors, and if there wasn't a pattern for our request, she'd pull out graph paper and start charting sesame street characters to knit onto the front of our next pullover.  

I'm not that good, but I would like each of my boys to receive a hand knit gift from mom for their birthdays and Christmas every year!

This year for Will's birthday, I decided to make him the adorable duck pull toy from Susan B. Anderson's "Itty Bitty Toys".  (The pattern is called "Mama Duck and Ducklings").  I've paired it with two board books about ducks, Gossie and Gossie and Gertie by Olivier Dunrea.  I've also been bringing him to the duck pond near our town hall more frequently to get him excited about ducks ;)

I am super excited about this knit, because toddlers LOVE pull toys, and I think Will is going to get a lot of use out of this toy!  Plus, it's breathtakingly cute.  

Can't wait for Will's birthday!

Notes for other knitters:

Woodwork: The woodworking requires you to be able to saw a dowel, and use a drill to drill holes in the dowels for the axils to go in.  

It's not too difficult, but it required some fidget work because the only wooden wheels we could find at the craft store (we looked multiple places and finally ended up with a set from A.C. Moore) did not have uniformly sized holes, so Greg had to drill some of the wheels in order for the axils to fit in and for the wheels to turn.  Make sure you check this BEFORE you start applying glue.  (Yeah, that was me.)

Attaching the wheels to the ducks: The orange i-cords you knit for the duck "feet" are not actually how you attach the ducks to the wheels.  You fasten those in place with extra strands of orange yarn, and then put the i-cords in place over them so that it looks pretty.  This is the only way to get them firmly attached, and the i-cords really do make it look much nicer.  After getting annoyed with the number of ends I was sewing in, I smartened up and passed the orange through the duck body to the next point where I'd be sewing the dowel to the duck, and used just one long string of orange yarn for each of the duckling bases.  If you're not careful to attach the dowels with just a few strands coming through the same points in your knitting, you may see orange strands sticking out from under your i-cords, and have to decide whether it's worth redoing.  (For me, the answer was no!  Will is going to love it as is.)

My less than ideal finish-work.

The pattern in general: Susan B. Anderson is yet again logical in her pattern writing - it's easy to follow, the shaping yields adorable results, and it was fun to knit.  There's a lot of repetition when you're doing that much icord, three beaks, six wing pieces, etc., and a lot of starting and stopping different sections, so it's not a mindless knit for a movie or car ride per-say, but the end result is adorable and worth every second.  Great for knitters who like to feel progress, since there are many steps to complete!

No comments:

Post a Comment