One of my goals for this year was to learn new skills. There are not many opportunities for an experienced sewer/knitter to upskill here in Perth, except through books and magazines – which are great, but sometimes it’s nice to feel that personal contact. This is where Craftsy has been a brilliant resource for me. I have signed up for a number of courses so far and have not been disappointed yet.
My first course was the (not so) Itty Bitty Giraffe by Susan B Anderson.
I have wanted to make a ‘softie’ after seeing the pattern for Rebecca Danger’s adorable hippo in the Fall 2011 Knit Simple. The only problem was I didn’t have the confidence to just go for it. I am something of a planner so I had to know the details going in. How does the stuffing not come out? What do you do about the eyes? If you substitute yarn, is the idea to knit at a tighter gauge? If so, how tight? How hard do you stuff the thing (given sewn items are normally stuffed rock hard)????? Argh, so many questions!
I thought doing the workshop would help me answer all these questions and more, and it did. As a bonus I ended up with a super cute toy for the baby, which I am really pleased with AND I feel like I expanded my skillset. Not only that, but the cream yarn I used for the body was from stash – another of my goals for the year!
This was not a difficult project and it was made easier by the video tutorials, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The only special skills needed are working with double pointed needles – but if you are a beginner it is explained well. For me it was about building my confidence in the more artistic aspects of the project – where to place the spots, how do you put the head on right and how do you stuff the toy? I worked it up over my Christmas/New Year holiday and it only took a few days, I would absolutely make this project again – much quicker than a blanket.
If you are interested in the technical details of the project and the modifications I made then visit my Ravelry page.
So what other new skills am I learning? I am currently working through the knit original toe up socks class(very challenging but enjoyable – and more stash used). In the queue are the lace shawls course, Susan Anderson’s other course – Wee Ones, the free Block of the Month series, fit your knits and I am also keen to do the Couture Dress and reverse engineered jeans course. I’m not sure quite how I will get through all this but it will be fun trying.
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