17 March 2010

Can't have enough dodecahedrons

After finishing my new favourite socks, I found myself with two partial balls of rainbow Regia sock yarn in addition to the extra ball I had originally bought. Clearly that meant that I had to make another dodecahedron. Especially since I wanted to see if there was enough yarn in each stripe for one point. Turns out there is! With maybe a half a metre left over before the next colour change.

As you may have guessed, I really like this pattern. Though there's no crazy folding, I find it's the closest equivalent to origami in knitting. Precise stitch numbers, decreases and division of stitches gives you a perfect geometric shape—very origami-ey to me.

I wasn't too sure about this dodecahedron as I was working on it's deflated self. The idea of knitting a rainbow child's toy seemed brilliant to me, but really in practise it seemed like I was recreating any generic toy available at nameless-giant toy store. It wasn't until it was stuffed and finished that the magic really happened.

Pattern: Celestine
by Norah Gaughan
Materials: Regia Nation Color 5399
Start Date: March 6, 2010
End Date: March 11, 2010

Instead of working as stated in the pattern for the last point (stuffing the toy, picking up stitches along all sides of previous points and knitting the last point), I cast on 11 provisionally, picked up stitches along the 4 other sides of the previous points and knit it un-stuffed. Trying to knit something already stuffed was no fun last time, so I thought I'd try something else.

This worked out pretty well. One side gives a decent enough gap to stuff, grafting's not such a big deal as it's not such a big seam and it's kind of like when sewing a stuffed toy where you leave a little gap to stuff through and stitch it closed after. I dare you to try and find the grafted seam. Actually I don't even remember where it is any more so if you think you've found it, I couldn't tell you if you were right or not.

The biggest challenge working with a rainbow of colours was making sure I didn't end up with two points of the same colour next to each other. Originally I worked in the usual rainbow order: red, orange, yellow, etc. But when I got to the 3rd level of points, I ran into trouble. I ended up knitting and ripping 3 or 4 points before finally figuring out on paper what colour should go where. And at this point I switch to reverse rainbow sequence (purple, blue, green, etc) to get things to work out properly. This yarn has 7 colours in its rainbow, so there's only one red and one purple point. It's still sufficiently rainbow-ey for my tastes.

I'm not sure exactly how this worked out, but somehow the points on this dodecahedron are quite noticeably pointier than the first one. It could be that my stuffing skills were better this time around. I really spent time stuffing each point individually before stuffing the center of it. Or it could just be a gauge thing. The Regia is quite a bit finer than the Opal I used before.

Have I mentioned yet that I have a bobbi bear in mind for my next toy project? Who wouldn't want (to make) a 2 foot teddy bear? I think it would be fun in some Cascade Eco Wool...

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