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Knitterly Engineering: (Or, How I Designed On the Fly and Came Up with Something Neat)

Posted by Miss Knotty on July 28, 2007

(Or, How I Modified a Pattern to My Own Nefarious Ends, and Got What I Wanted Instead of What was Advertised. Haw Haw!)

You remember my little skunk friend? Yes? Well, here are my mods, if you’re interested:I knitted the pattern as written, and made no (intentional) shaping changes (i.e. I might have done a few by mistake, but I’ll not admit to it. Would you want to tink that?) His body shaping is pleasing to me. That said, if I do it again, with intent to make another skunk, I’ll probably make his nose/face shaping a little more pointy and rodent-like (using a few more short rows along/in the nose section), as real skunks have pointy little snouts, and will likely do his paws in a more hand-like way (because little paws have more pronounced digits (the better for going through your garbage with, my dear). Yes, I looked at pictures of skunks. Lots of them. That said, if this were for a little kid, I would want the features to be softened somewhat, as real skunks are rather scary-looking, so the pattern shaping as written is perfectly adequate.

Mods: Color change: stripes knitted using intarsia method, started with 2 sts ea of white in 2 spots on top of the head, then incr. to 4 at the top of the back. Because the skunk will be felted, I angled the stripes outward in the 1st set of short rows, so that when the inevitable drawing-in of the felting process occurs, the stripes will appear moderately straight on the back, or will arc slightly outward. We’ll see.

Still working on a tail pattern. Pics I’ve seen of skunks show a very bushy, squirrel-like tail. I may make it narrower at the posterior region and then bloom it out at the end, a la Pepe Le Pew, continuing the striping down the tail (although real skunks seem to have more blended (and curled) tails, not as striped, or so the Google Images tell me). Will likely be stockinette in the round (garter/intarsia/in the round makes my head spin a little). I’m still working out the shaping; it will likely be short rows again. Any recommendations/ideas to this end would be gratefully accepted, mulled over, and then likely bastardized to meet my nefarious ends.

Body knitted in white/cream, little paws in black, ‘fun fur’ used was Bernat Boa and Lion Brand Tiffany (both Eyelash-type yarns). The Boa is a little shorter in length than the Tiffany, and so the stripes, along with being stark white (the Tiffany almost has a ‘shocking white’ quality to it, and has a little bit of a sheen), it stands up a little taller, like little twin mohawks down his back, and the Bernat has this lovely, lovely matte/sheen-ness to it. The color is ‘Raven’, and it’s well-suited.

Haven’t decided if I’m going to use hard plastic eyes or embroider the eyes and nose. Will cross that bridge once I’ve felted it.

(Edited to add: I’m doing a little zoomy-cropping of photos for this post; I’ll re-edit and pop them in once I’ve got them done.  Forgive the delay, but I didn’t intend to spend a whole afternoon on a post – I got things to do!)

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One Response to “Knitterly Engineering: (Or, How I Designed On the Fly and Came Up with Something Neat)”

  1. rhyde said

    We had a skunk crash our honeymoon in the Shenandoahs, its tail brushing my new husband’s arm as it reached over the fire and stole his marshmallow off his stick. Someday I’m going to be as brave as a skunk. But I gotta say, yours is cuter. By far.

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