Monday, November 23, 2015

FO: Zhixin the Fuzzy Mitten Mystery Red Panda

I always love participating in the Fuzzy Mitten Mystery Knit Along. I first learned about it back in 2014 (the first one apparently), and I've been hooked ever since. The original one took place in the spring of 2014 and we made Kangaroos. This year, the previous times had been so popular that Barbara (designer of Fuzzy Mitten patterns) decided to have 2: one in spring, and one in fall. I hadn't been very active in the group the past few months, so imagine my surprise when I opened up the Ravelry page and saw that another mystery KAL was going on. I was so bummed I hadn't heard about it before! They were already 3 weeks into the clues when I began, but I was determined to catch up and participate. I finally caught up a few nights before the final clue was released, and then I devoted a little time this weekend to the final clue ... and here is the finished mystery!
It's a red panda! Isn't it so cute?! I love how Barbara managed to design the colorwork on such a complicated looking animal. I think the odd bits of color are why there aren't so many red panda patterns available actually. This pattern, as is always the case, is fantastic and yields an adorable toy that is still easily recognized.
I made my red panda out of all stashed Vanna's Choice yarn - the brown is Toffee, the orange is Rust, and then there's black and white. I used Baby Bee Sweet Delight yarn in Angel (white) for his outfit - the pattern calls for fingering weight white yarn, but Barbara said to err on the side of too big rather than too small. I don't have much fingering weight yarn, and not really any at all that is truly white (I have some wool but that always looks creamy), so I just picked what seemed like a sport weight that I had on hand. My outfit is definitely too big, but not too bad. Kimonos are supposed to be loose anyway, right? The head is the only intarsia section of the pattern, but because no one will ever see the inside I just cut and tied the yarns together to secure them. Easy peasy :) And just look at his little ear tufts! Love them!
Just like all Fuzzy Mitten toys, this guy has jointed arms and legs, so he is pose-able. I love that these toys can sit or stand, plus they all come with a cute outfit. What's not to love?! I added a little bit of "soft sculpture" to the white area of his face. This is a technique I learned from one of the other Fuzzy Mitten Knit Alongs where you just sew between the stitches to pull in certain areas. His face was looking pretty round before I did this, so now he has some facial definition. Also, how cute are those eyebrows?! They are cute and functional since that tiny patch of white makes placing the safety eyes a no-brainer.
This picture is solely to show pride - yes, people, there is a seam down the middle of the tail in this picture ... but it's completely invisible! I couldn't believe how well the seaming worked out here - even I had to feel where the thicker area was when I sewed it on so the seam would be on the bottom - I couldn't tell otherwise! Mattress stitch is amazing.
I did have a bit of a brain fart on reading the directions. The pants and top were from Clues 1-3 and I mainly focused on getting the body parts done first, working on the outfit after and in a hurry to catch up for the final clue. As I was sewing up the pats pieces I kept thinking, "where does the tail go in these pants?" but I didn't read the directions closely enough to see that I was supposed to leave a hole in the butt seam. Yeah. I totally knew it would need a hole, but didn't bother to investigate further and I sewed the butt up. Once I put the entire toy together for the final clue, I asked Barbara if the pants should have a hole and she enlightened me, lol. I was able to just unpick that half of the pants seam and redo it with a hole. No problem. 
So there you have it - another adorable mystery animal! I had to sign off this post with his, "Hi-yah" pose, lol. I always enjoy these knit alongs with Fuzzy Mitten and I'd highly recommend the next one to any toy-making fan.

1 comment:

  1. This little guy is so dang cute! My favorite part is his tiny uniform. Adorable!


Thanks for joining in the conversation!