Thursday, January 12, 2017

Christmas FO: The Big Pencil

I always try to ask my younger brother what he would like me to make him for Christmas. He's really into tall socks right now, but there was no way that was going to happen before Christmas, so I asked him what else he would like. He really loved my Giant Roly Poly that I made a while back and asked me to make him a giant animal of some kind too. Easy enough, right? I just pulled out my copy of Hue and Huggable Mochimochi by Anna Hrachovec and consulted my stash of big yarn to see which pattern options I had to choose from. I don't tend to use bulky and super bulky weights often, but I have been known to buy up a bunch of yarn if it's super on sale (especially when I first learned to knit, but didn't yet know about types of yarn) and I had quite a few skeins of Lion Brand Hometown USA in different colors from Walmart clearances. I wanted to make him a Capybara at first, but then I noticed it used just regular bulky yarn and I only had super bulky on hand. Bummer! That left me a bit dejected since my only remaining options I felt I had the yarn for and could tackle in time were the tooth brush and the pencil. I thought the tooth brush might be seen as a sarcastic jab (he is a teenager, after all, so the command, "go brush your teeth" needs to be given on occasion), so I decided to go with the pencil. Meet Arthur :)
Arthur is actually the only pattern from the book that is also available for free on the Lion Brand website, so follow that link should you decide to make your own giant pencil. This ended up being a far quicker knit than I anticipated and I finished it in about 3 or 4 hours. Pretty crazy!
Can you believe I had all the right colors of the recommended yarn in my stash already?! I know! lol. The only yarn I didn't have was the pink for the eraser, so I just doubled up and knitted with 2 strands of Red Heart Super Saver in the Perfect Pink colorway and it worked ok. I find that doubled up thin yarn tends to stretch more than the thicker yarn does, so you can see the channels between the stitches a bit more in the pink area, but it's not that bad and I doubt any non-knitters would notice.
I love hoe nice and orderly the top of the pencil is :) You start on the eraser and work your way down, which I was happy about since my decreases never turn out as tight as my increases on amigurumi - I'm still trying to figure out why that is.
The metal band under the eraser is the Dallas Gray colorway, the yellow is Pittsburgh Yellow, the wood tip is Virginia Beach, and the top is Okaland Black. The Virginia Beach really is just the perfect color for wood, don't you think? I love how the colors turned out. There are 2 rows of color work where the yellow and brown meet, but it was ridiculously simple to do. It gives that zig zag edge you get when you sharpen a pencil, which was a nice touch I thought.
I had quite the time keeping the pencil straight looking while stuffing - and man, did this thing take a lot of stuffing! I'd stuff in a huge wad of batting only to have it obviously need more, so the different wads became a bit complicated to smooth out. We got there in the end though. Also thebook recommends 15 mm eyes, but I used a pair of 18 mm eyes because I liked the look of them better. This gives a closer together look than the 15 mms in the example, which I tend to think looks better. Just my opinion though. And it was my pencil, lol.
And the back view. You can see a bit of the color jogs between rows, but it's not bad. This really turned out as a nice pillow size. I used it to lean on while I laid on the couch after finishing it, and I was perfectly comfy :) It's also a great size for a lumbar pillow or a neck pillow, so lots of practical uses for this seemingly ridiculous knitted creation, lol.

Completing this guy also inspired me to do a little photo shoot for the Mochimochiland Annual Photo Contest before I gave him over to Briggs for Christmas (look for a post on that soon too!) and he;s pretty fun to play with. My family all had the idea that I should've put an actual pen in the tip so it would really write, lol. Maybe on the next version.

So that was Brigg's Christmas gift :) He seemed to like it, so that's another win I say. Soon to come - more Christmas gifts! lol

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