A Year of Techniques: Alex
So I'll admit, I wasn't so excited about Alex when I saw the pattern. Maybe for any of a number of reasons, but mostly because I didn't have a small person in mind who might want him (or her, she could totally be a her).
But I knit along anyway, because there were a couple of techniques I wanted to practice. This pattern uses the pin-hole cast on, which I first learned as Emily Ocker's circular cast-on. It also uses an applied i-cord edging to join the front and back pieces of the ear. It turns out, that was the novel technique I don't remember using before.
Now that he's done, I love him (or her, I mean, those eyes). And I realize I have a couple of options for giving him (or her) away.
The pattern is by Ella Austin, who has quite a few cute knitted toy patterns. It's not my favorite pattern. There were a few details missing, like when (or whether) to cast off the leg stitches, and I would have liked a little more information about how to sew the pieces on. But the finished toy is really cute, and just right for a real child to really play with. The size is right, big enough to be a friend, but small enough to hug and carry around.
My knitting isn't perfect on this either. The fair-isle (the purple and green triangles) on the body turned out too loose where I moved from needle to needle. You can actually see the white stuffing through the stitches in a few places.
But I do love that swirl at the back of the head!
I bought the yarn as a kit from Mason-Dixon Knitting. This Coop Knits Socks Yeah! is a very nice yarn. I love the tiny flecks of color within color.
I knit as written, except I think I swapped the green and purple, because I wanted the nose to be lighter, rather than darker (why? I now have no idea). Also, instead of buttons for eyes, I made lazy daisy embroidered flowers. Sewn or embroidered eyes are safer for little children's toys. And they're cute too.