Friday, February 19, 2010

Details, details

I finished all the pieces of the HellSackboy last night, except for the head. Today I have to knit the head and buy a zipper, sew it all together, stuff it and embroider on some yellow eyes. Then knit a brown utility belt (probably just a narrow strip), items to go on the utility belt (small knitted rectangles for pockets, a tiny gun and rosary? I have no idea how I'll knit a rosary ...) and a tan overcoat. Then it'll be done.

So here's what I've done.

For the record: I'm using Alan Dart's Sackboy pattern. And it is great.

I started with the body. I knitted the lower portion with black -- about 9 rows -- to serve as part of his shorts. Then I switched to red and finished the body.

Then I began the legs. I worked the lower 6 rows in black for the boots, then 7 rows of red for his legs, and finished with another 5 rows of black for the legs of the shorts.

The tail is an i-cord of varying sizes. I started out with 8 stitches and worked 9 rows, then decreased to 6 stitches and worked another 8 rows, then decreased to 4 and worked another 8 rows, then finally decreased to 3 and worked 8 more rows. Decreased to 2, knit one more row plain, decreased to 1 and ended it. I'm going to insert a red pipe cleaner in this before sewing it to the body so it'll be poseable. (To make that more clear: the tail consisted of 39 rows total. CO 8, work even 9 rnds, dec-to-6 rnd, work even 8 rnds, dec-to-4 rnd, work even 8 rnds, dec-to-3 rnd, work even 8 rnds, dec-to-2 rnd, work even 1 rnd, dec-to-1 rnd, BO 1.)

The left arm was worked as specified in the pattern, except with red yarn. Easy.

The right arm was pretty fiddly. It started out as specified in the pattern. After the first 5 rows, though, I switched it up. Rows 6 and 7 were reverse stockinette, and on row 6, I increased every other stitch (using kfb increases, because that's what the rest of the pattern uses). On row 8, I switched back to regular stockinette, decreasing 3 stitches evenly across the row. Rows 9-11 were worked even in stockinette. Rows 12-13 were reverse stockinette again, and on row 12, I added back the 3 previously decreased stitches. On row 13, I decreased those same 3 stitches again and switched back to regular stockinette. (See what I mean? Fiddly. And I haven't even gotten to the worst part yet.) I cast stitches on and off for the thumb just as the pattern specifies, except I had more stitches overall at this point -- 18 sts, as opposed to the pattern's 12. I worked 2 more rows even, as the pattern specifies, then I completely deviated from the pattern when I got to the fingers. I needed 3 fingers, all the same size, and I couldn't figure out how to get anything like that from the pattern instructions. So instead, I split the stitches into 6 groups of 3 sts each (I only had 15 sts, so I did 3 m1 incs evenly across the row while I was splitting up the stitches) and worked them all separately for 5 rows even, binding off each group after the 5 rows. This gave me a LOT of ends to deal with, but fortunately, they'll be hidden inside the toy anyway, so I don't have to do a spectacular job of weaving them in. And when I fold the arm in half and sew up the seam, I'll match up the 2 opposite "fingers" and sew them together, creating 3 identical, blocky fingers.

Clear as mud? I'll write up my modifications step-by-step when I finish, in case anybody wants to recreate my HellSackboy for any reason. Right now, this is more or less me writing notes to myself so I can remember what I did when it comes time to write out the step-by-step process.

Anyway, yes, the right arm was a pain to work. But it looks pretty good.

Now, for the head. I'll mostly be following the pattern, but I'm making one change. Zane said he prefers to have a big, open-mouthed grin, like in the crocheted Sackboy here. I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to accomplish that yet, but most likely by binding off and then casting on stitches a row or two later. Like one big buttonhole. Then I'll work a mouth separately and insert it. I love that the girl on Craftster used a cd to make the mouth, but if that turns out too big or small for my toy's head, I'll just use stiff plastic canvas or something. I'll probably knit the inner mouth, though, instead of using felt ... I'll just knit it in black and then duplicate stitch the tongue on.

Then, I'll sew it all together, adding a zipper to the body and a pipe cleaner to the tail, and stuff. Embroider on eyes, knit the utility belt and coat, and voila. HellSackboy!

Zane better feel special, too. I don't go to this much trouble for just anybody.


JessicaRose said...

wow that sounds awesome. i can't wait to see it finished. How big is he?

Amie said...

I'm not entirely sure yet, because the head adds a lot of the height. The pattern makes a 10 1/2" tall toy, though. My gauge is slightly off, so mine should be a little smaller than that. I'm not sure how much smaller. I'm thinking 8 or 9 inches tall.