I was most excited when I spotted this Knitknack owl kit on notonthehighstreet.com. It came in two sizes -baby and cushion. My husband persuaded me that baby size would be best as my younger cat, Dexter, has a penchant for woolly cushions, especially alpaca ones. So, baby it was, costing £22.50.
The kit was complete in terms of providing needles, yarn, stuffing, buttons, and even a sewing up needle. It all came in a brown paper bag, which I always think is a lovely way to package knitting goods.
The owl was knitted on 6.5mm needles in two parts for the front and the back. The yarn provided was 100g of really soft chunky baby alpaca in a brown/caramel twist shade from a US company called Catalina. The front of the owl is mostly knitted in stocking stitch but with a clever moss stitch design to define the wings. The ears are also knitted in moss stitch.
The back of the owl is the same as the front minus the moss stitch wings. However, I did hit a bit of a snag that earlier in my knitted career would have sent me over the edge. I ran out of yarn just before the ears on the back piece. I knew it was touch and go as I'd weighed the yarn at the half way stage and only had 48g left. Anyway, a mental review of my stash revealed some Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds Chunky in brown that was the right weight and would just about blend in colour-wise. The backs of the ears would simply look a little more textured.
|Textured not odd|
Once that drama was over, I created the owl's face. The kit thoughtfully provides two crochet circles for the outer eyes. I don't like it when knitting kits assume you can also crochet, although I could just about manage a circle now. The circles came with yarn attached to the outer circle for sewing the circle to the owl and then the inner circle so you could sew on the coconut shell buttons for the pupils. Nifty. I then used the contrast yarn to make a simple V-shaped beak.
To make up the owl, I back stitched the two halves rights sides together with the Rowan yarn, leaving the bottom open. I think using mattress stitch for shaped pieces that will be stuffed is kind of a waste of time and you get a more secure result from the back stitching. Once sewn, I turned the owl the right way out and stuffed it with the toy filling provided. I then mattress stitched the cast on edges together at the bottom.
I do like to embellish, so the final flourish was a cream felt bow from stash, that I attached to one of the ears with a corduroy brad.
The finished owl is really squishy and huggable, but not so tiny at approx 14 inches high by 10 inches wide.
Now, where can I hide it from that pesky cat...
|Alpaca loving cat|