My big achievement of the week is a toy monkey for a baby in the family. I used the pattern "Tucker the Monkey" from Toys to Knit by Tracy Chapman. Though it's not my design, I really think I outdid myself, especially with the mattress stitch seams and the fancy endless scarf:
I set out determined to follow the pattern to the letter for once (something I never do), but at the first line I was already making adjustments. These were the critiques I put on Ravelry.com:
- The pattern called for using worsted-weight yarn doubled and US 3 needles, which seemed unnecessarily time-consuming and difficult; I used a single strand of worsted-weight yarn and US 4 needles, and the toy came out just as nicely, I thought.
- The whole pattern was designed to knit the pieces flat, then sew up the seams. That was fine, but certain parts - like the legs - could have been worked in the round just as effectively, taking less time in the process.
- The tail is made using a 7-stitch i-cord, which I find near impossible to do in a way that looks good. I had to use 3 dpns for it.
- This is really nit-picky, but it calls for the hands and feet to be knit separately and sewn on later, when you could just pick up stitches right off the arm or leg and knit them. I just hate unnecessary seams.
I don't mean to be overly critical, however. This is a pretty easy pattern that makes a very cute toy, and I'll probably knit it again someday, with the adjustments.
And it's kind of dark, but here is a picture of the five bears assembled this week: