Monday, 3 February 2014

Meet Oscar Oswald Octopus

Okay, so he's not quite finishing in this photo, but he's very nearly done and I like to get my blog posts scheduled on a Sunday for the following week. It's also very unlikely that I'll have anything halfway reasonable to share next Monday as I'll be frantically getting my latest OU assignment finished, so I can share a properly finished photo next week.

Please excuse my tea at his feet in the photo, I took this last night:


Oscar comes from a Jean Greenhowe toy octopus pattern. It's designed to be a football mascot (with socks, scarf and hat in your team's colours) but has modifications for making it into a plain toy. I decided to make him in the colours of Mr Click's temperature scarf.

I even went so far as to adapt his scarf into a little mini temperature scarf (hence the blocks of colour with the black dividers, just like on Mr Click's). I couldn't calculate just how long I needed each colour block to be, so I started with dark blue and worked through them in the order that I used for the real temperature scarf. Once I got to the dark red I worked back the way this time to purple and then repeated it in reverse again. It still seemed a little bit too short, but since it's garter stitch it's very stretchy, and after a couple of little stretches it was the perfect length.

Obviously at ten stitches wide it was too small to put any lettering on like onto the original temperature scarf, so I used my 'Paintbox' yarn to make the fringes. Funnily enough I'd wanted to use this yarn to make a fringe on the real scarf but Mr Click wasn't keen, so I'm glad I've got to make a fringe out of it now.

One thing I'm really impressed about is how he stands up on his own. Most of the photos of finished ones on Ravelry have him lying down, so it came as quite the surprise to me when I plonked him down on the bed as I pinned all his legs on and found that he didn't fall over. He's basically a tripod with an extra five legs! He'll stand on virtually any surface.

In the pictures in the pattern the legs are right the way round his head/body, but mine didn't work out like that. I think I seamed them a little too tightly in a couple of places, so I centred them along his back seam, four on each side. There's a row of purl stitches which is used to mark where the legs should be attached and as there's a gap between his two foremost legs you can see it. The scarf helps to cover it up. In future if I was to do this (if I ever mention doing it again somebody stop me, eight is a lot of legs!) I'd probably not do the purl row as a marker, I'd just stick a bunch of thread markers every so many stitches on that row so I wouldn't have to worry about that happening again.

And as for his name. There's something funny about knitting toys. It doesn't happen with hats and scarves and socks, they might feel special but they don't develop characters in the same way. When I embroidered on his eyes and mouth onto the egg shaped head/body, suddenly he needed a name. Both Mr Click and I were thinking Oscar.

So I kept on calling him Oscar Octopus while I was knitting his half a gazillion, uh, I mean eight, legs. But once they were attached he didn't look quite so Oscarish anymore. And with the scarf he looked more like an Oswald. So he's become Oscar Oswald Octopus, which suits him much better than just Oscar or Oswald on its own.

Yeah, it's weird, but that's just the kind of knitter I am!

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Let me know what you think. :-)