When is it okay to knit a tuxedo?

When it's for a toy seal!

The above picture is my submission for the Project Teeny Runway contest hosted by the lovely ladies at Mason-Dixon Knitting. This is undoubtedly one of the most pointless things I've ever made, but I had fun with it and I learned a few things:

1. Elann sonata (DK weight 100% mercerized cotton) is pretty crappy yarn. I had a couple skeins on hand that I think was originally intended for a baby project before I realized how stiff and cheap it feels (you get what you pay for). It was perfect for this kind of project because I didn't feel like I was wasting nice yarn, and the mercerized cotton had the right texture for a tux (if there can be such a thing, of course).

2. It's fun to knit on the fly and make things up as you go along. I am terrible at design sketches, so I didn't even try. I just measured the seal and cast on and held up the knitted piece every few rows and it worked out fine. There was surprisingly little frogging.

3. Not only is it hard to photograph something made out of black yarn, it's doubly hard to photograph something made out of black yarn worn by a white stuffed animal with a snowy background. I took a few dozen pictures outside and had to delete most of them because the white was totally washed out and the black was a blob. These shots are the best I could do (not that I'm a professional or anything).

The rules state that you can only submit one picture, so here are a few extras to show off some of the details.

Here is the seal's yellow bowtie, the impetus for this entire idea. The now-defunct show Arrested Development has a plot development in which a seal wearing a yellow bowtie bites off Buster Bluth's hand when he goes swimming in the ocean to defy his mother...okay, there's no point in trying to explain this whole thing if you haven't seen it. Just go rent the DVDs; you won't be disappointed. Anyway, a few months ago a little girl gave this seal to my son Daniel out of her own stuffed animal collection. I suspect her generosity was fueled by her parents' insistence that before she could spend her allowance on a large stuffed penguin, she had to reduce her toy stash by the equivalent volume. Ach, now I'm rambling. Just look at the bowtie: ribbed rectangle with an i-cord and hidden snap closure.

Do you think this seal pup is stylish enough to pull off tails? Yes, I think so. He's all ready for the Antarctic prom.

Last, the collar detail. This was the only part of the design that gave me trouble. It took several tries to get a collar that didn't look like total ass. This was the best I could do, and because it's st st, I had to sew it down so it wouldn't curl. However, the portions down the v-shaped front are done with shortrows, a technique I don't have a lot of experience in, so I'm rather proud of that.

This project took a few weeks, but mostly because I kept putting it down. It was fun and interesting, but I'm glad I'm done, partly because I didn't particularly like the yarn, and partly because I'm ready to knit exclusively for people again.


Glenna C said…
Brilliant! And of course it all makes sense with the AD plot. Great job.
Anonymous said…
Stunning! The bowtie is too cute!

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