This is a long and picture-heavy post, but I'm not going to apologise because this guy was a monster of time and effort. He's less knitting project and more work of art!
The pattern is from the Knitted Clowns pattern book by Jean Greenhowe. I scored my copy for £1 in a charity shop in Ayr, thought he'd make a good birthday present for my father-in-law and pretty much started knitting him within a couple of days.
He took a little over two months to knit and wound up not being done in time for the birthday, so he was two weeks late, but finished in time for Father's Day (by less than about twelve hours)!
This is honestly the largest project that I've ever attempted. There are so many different parts to him that it really was a labour of love. I had all of the colours that I needed (though at one point I was running a little low on the light grey in the watering can). And I must've used about two bags of stuffing!
He stands 19" tall; 22" if you count to the top of his mushrooms. And it's the little details that really make him. His body knitted up very quickly and once he had his face he developed this wonderful character.
The pattern is so simple. If you can knit, purl, increase and decrease then you can knit this work of art. The sewing up took rather a long time, but I actually came to quite enjoy it. I loved watching him take shape.
I only made two modifications. The partly because of the pattern calling for twisted cords on the daisy chain and the string in Bertie's pocket. I cannot get the hang of making decent twisted cords so I just plaited it. A four-strand braid looks just the same as a twisted cord.
The other modification was the daisies themselves. The pattern called for a technique which just didn't turn out the way I wanted. It didn't look even enough for me, but luckily my Mum had sent me the Scarecrow Family pattern book. Sally Scarecrow has flowers on her hat so I adopted them for Bertie. They came out slightly larger than the ones in the original pattern, so I didn't need as many. They look great though.
Bertie stands up on his own two feet and my dad-in-law was thrilled with him. I'd thought that perhaps he could hang out in the greenhouse to keep him company out there, but my mum-in-law fell in love with him too and wouldn't hear of it. So he lives on the desk in the living room instead. It makes me smile every time I'm in there and they're determined that I should enter him in the local Horticultural Society Show.
And will I attempt another pattern from this book?
But maybe not for another year or so!