Friday, April 11, 2014

FO Friday: Zombies and Turtles and Mysteries Revealed

This past week was filled with far too much knitting than is good for anyone, lol. I've had to promise my husband that I will cut back a bit just so the house doesn't get covered in funk. At least I got everything finished by the time I needed to :) I warn you - this post is very picture heavy. I look at it as the amount of pictures is in direct relation to the amount of time the items took to make. So without further ado ... I present the most complicated item I have ever knitted: Briggs' Birthday Zombie.
I used the Classic Zombie pattern from Knit Your Own Zombie by Fiona Goble. I just love that shot above, lol, I had a lot of fun with my little photo shoot.
The cool thing about the book is that the zombie pieces and parts are designed in a pick and choose fashion, so you can mix and match patterns at will. I stuck to the Classic Zombie pattern except that I added a brain and a brain pocket.
lol As you can tell - my photo shoot was a lot of fun especially when I realized that he would stand up on his own. The eye sinew will soon have an actual eye ball on it. I checked everywhere for an evil eye bead like the book uses, but in the end I had to order some online and they hadn't arrived by Sunday. I'll update with a new pic when it's on :)
And here are all the pieces I made. The brain is removable, as are the stomach and intestines. I made the hole in the torso a deep purple color (to keep with decaying body realism, lol). The pattern calls for velcro that matches the yarn color for the head and torso, but in a design decision to keep it gruesome I hunted down some red velcro instead. I love the effect of it! Much more gory. The arms have metal snaps to join them together so they come off as well. The arm and one leg have nasty wounds on them. These are made by actually knitting a red limb, then the green outer limb, sliding the red inside the green, then embroidering with a burgundy yarn around the edges of the wound to attach them. This guy also has toe nails and finger nails that are long black bugle beads. The rib cage is (again) embroidered. The pants were knitted like normal, then I embroidered around a spot I wanted to make a hole and then (gasp!) cut the knitting! It was a scary moment and it didn't really work out as easily as the pattern made it seem and I had to whip stitch around the edge to keep the knitting from unraveling, but the effect is awesome.
lol I love this picture with the nubby arm and the guts sticking out. So gross. The entire face is embroidered on - no easy feat, let me tell you. It took a lot of time, but I really do love how it came out. The teeth are more bugle beads. I decided to use the black instead of white like the pattern calls for because, duh, dead and decaying body!
And here are all the parts laid out. The body parts are all sewn as separate pieces and seamed - holy crap did that take forever. Then I had to embroider everything, sew on beads, sew on velcro, sew on snaps, and make clothes. I had knitted all the body pieces over the course of about a week and then used my day off to put it all together. I'm not kidding when I say that this is almost all I did all day! And I still had to make the clothes!
I had to include this shot ... because it's awesome.
My brother definitely loved his gift, which made it worth all the work :) We kept teasing him that he got a doll for his 15th birthday, lol, but it was all in fun because everyone had to agree that it was gross and awesome.

I am super proud of how this project turned out, I can't lie. It was a crazy amount of work and the pattern certainly doesn't help in that. I'm used to American patterns that include a certain amount of (sometimes unnecessary) hand holding. This British pattern did nothing of the kind, and I've now discovered that this is common with British patterns. For example it would just say, "Seam pieces together. Embroider rib cage.," and the like. No walking you through how to do it, just referring you to a one picture diagram at the beginning of the book. In spite of that and in spite of how sick I was of making this thing when it was done, I would not be opposed to making another. The response from everyone who sees it is really great :) And even though it's gross, it's just so cool that it 's interactive. Even my 1.5 year old nephew loved to take the brain out (in fact we had to force him to give it back, lol). So, I would say there will be other zombies in my knitting future :)

But my making didn't stop there! I was also participating in the Fuzzy Mitten Mystery Knit-Along and the final clue was released last Friday. Now that the mystery is over, I am left with a super cute ... kangaroo!
This was my first ever Fuzzy Mitten project and it did not disappoint. How cute are they?! When I finished them, my husband said that she should be named Charlene (only to be read with a heavy Aussie accent), so this is Charlene and Jake :)
This project was made over the course of a month for me (it was actually 6 weeks with 1 clue each week, but I came in late). I used Vanna's Choice yarn in Toffee and Beige for the body - both were in my stash and they seriously turned out to be the perfect colors.
The cardigan comes off and all the limbs are jointed, so I can make her sit or stand or put her hands up - so cool! I will say, she didn't really like to stand up without her tail on, but that's a non-issue now since she has a tail. The joey was part of the final clue and you want to know what is the coolest thing about him? ...
He's a finger puppet! This is pretty vital to the design because it makes it possible to shove this little guy into the mom's pocket. And the body is made all in one piece! No sewing on teeny little arms and legs - so cool! I'm now obsessed with the idea of making lots of finger puppets, lol. The joey has 6 mm safety eyes and the mom has 10 mm ones.
The obligatory back view :) I love that it's really a little play set. I imagine that I kid would love to play with these. And most of the Fuzzy Mitten animals have similar sized bodies, so you can mix and match their clothes. I would have been all about that when I was little.
The cardigan is made from Red Heart Pompadour in blue and Aunt Lydia's Iced Bamboo in Icicle for the white stripe (it has just a tiny bit of sparkle in it). The cardigan was the first item to make, but it sat unfinished because I was waiting on buttons. I had to order these from Joann's and they are 7mm size. At least now I have a bunch more for the next project. I love that the cardigan only has those two buttons at the top so it can be worn and still see the joey :)

I had loads of fun making this set! I really love the fun of a mystery knit or crochet along, and the Ravelry groups always make it 10 times more fun. I'm so glad I was able to participate, and I have already almost finished my next Fuzzy Mitten friend. I know that I will be making plenty more of Barbara Prime's designs!

And there's one more item! This wasn't really anything I had to make, but it was just too cute and I have a feeling it will be useful and fun at the same time. I've had Ana Paula Rimoli's book Amigurumi On The Go since my birthday last year and hadn't made anything from it yet! I had to remedy that :) So my nephew now gets a super cute turtle tote!
Isn't he fun?! This is made just like any other crocheted amigurumi - you just add a long bag part to the top :) The whole bag is just hdc and then you add the stripes. Originally I didn't know if I wanted to add the stripes since it looked cute without them, but I am so glad I did!
I think the stripes really take this bag to the next step and make it less homemade looking (not that 'homemade' is a bad thing!) I made my stripes in dark red, yellow, orange and gray - all yarns out of my stash. The green and blue are both Red Heart Super Saver. 
The top cinches in with the pull cord. The bag is much bigger than I thought it would be! He is 9.5" tall and  5.5" wide, but it fits a surprising amount of stuff. I hope that my nephew enjoys putting things in, and then taking them out, and then putting them back in again :) He likes to do this with other bags, so now he will have one of his very own that no one will mind when he unloads it, lol.
Phew! That's all my projects from the past week. Crazy! If you have endured this entire post, thank you! I know it was really long but hopefully the pictures were cute enough to stay interesting :) If you're still interested (lol), head over to Tami's Amis' Blog and see what others managed to finish this week!


  1. I mean, the kangas are adorable and so is the turtle bag...but that zombie is the most magnificent knitted thing I have ever seen in my life.

    1. Thanks so much :) I'm pretty ridiculously proud of it, lol. I just got the eye ball beads in, so he will soon have an eye too! I can't wait.


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