Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Knitting is Relaxing (aka Kelly vs. the Crocodile)

He's done!!!!


This probably doesn't excite you since you probably didn't know I was knitting Will a crocodile, but let me tell you, Greg and I are both QUITE relieved that this guy is finished.  Even my Mom is happy for me (ok, relieved), and she lives two states away from the endless seaming and finish work chaos that was this crocodile.  She's the one who suggested the cheeky title (Knitting is Relaxing) for this blog post.  Of course, the knitting WAS relaxing, it was the seaming and RE-knitting and re-seaming that wasn't so much fun!

The inspiration for knitting Will's crocodile - he loves pointing out the crocodile on his dinner plate!

The knitting pattern is from Sarah Keen's "Knitted Wild Animals" and it's an amazing pattern - just look at the detailed shaping.  The amount of thought put into designing this is incredible, and it looks fantastic. 

Love this knitting pattern book - the detail and shaping for the toys is fantastic. 

That being said, I did kind of want to tear my hair out by the time I was done.  The four feet were knit in eight pieces, then there were four legs, the body of the crocodile, two eyeballs, and two eyelids not to mention embroidery work.  That's SEVENTEEN pieces to knit for this stuffed animal.  Oh, unless you lose three of the feet pieces a week before Christmas.  Then it's twenty.  Unless you're a little tired one night and you knit one of the legs too short, then it's twenty one pieces.  Of course, if you lose one of the eyelids, then it's twenty two pieces and by now you've knit enough pieces that you're lucky you found those feet you'd lost even though you already knit replacements because now your should-be-sainted husband can unravel one so you can knit a new eyelid for Will's Christmas crocodile that you're finishing late January.  (Because of course, you've run out of yarn knitting all these extra pieces.)


Here are some suggestions in case you decide to knit your own crocodile, although many of these can be applied to knitting projects in general:

  • If it's less than a month before Christmas, you have two small children, and you're knitting several other projects, don't start a knitting project comprised mostly of seed stitch, over a foot long, and knit in seventeen pieces
  • If you do knit a project with that many pieces, KEEP TRACK OF YOUR PIECES
  • LOOK AT THE PHOTOS CAREFULLY before you start sewing on appendages.  Misplaced legs make for a very funny looking crocodile, and you'll be pulling them off and re-sewing them
  • Read all the instructions (I'm done!  Oh wait, I have to do the nostrils.  Greg, are you ok?)
  • Read all the instructions (Ohh, wait, it's chain stitch embroidery for the mouth.. I needed twice this amount of yarn... I need to pull the mouth out... Greg, are you ok?)

  • I found for the leg placement that lining up the gussets with the end of the seed stitch on the body and seaming halfway up towards the top of the leg from there gave me the most realistic looking crocodile
  • After seaming the feet, I lined the back of the foot up with the back of the leg (gusset side) just like a heel and whip-stitched around
  • Here's a great online tutorial for chain stitch if you're not familiar with it (I wasn't) 

The crocodile books I found to go with Will's crocodile!

"I'm going to eat Andrew's lovey! Arr arr arr arrr."

"Will's crocodile tried to eat my lovey, but I GOT him!  YAY!!!"


  1. It sounds as though yours turned out a little more successfully than mine but I can definitely relate to the stress. :)

  2. Hey! I'm in the process of trying to sort out the feet for this fun guy right now. Any advice on how to make them work out like yours? When I follow the directions I get a weird backwards toe (like a bird talon).