Monday, December 16, 2013

Chirphead's Woobie Zebra

As soon as I saw the Woobie Zebra knitting pattern, I knew that I wanted to make it for my first child.  When I found out Chirphead was a boy I needed to order some yarn to make some new projects.  I'm so thrilled that over half the projects I wanted to make for my baby boy could be accomplished out of my existing stash.  However, some projects like the following woobie required that I purchase some yarn. 

I started with the inner ears to find out whether I needed to order more pink yarn.  It turns out that I had enough!  

This project was knit on size 3 (3.25 mm) knitting needles on KnitPicks Shine Sport yarn in Black (139 g, 306 yards), White (51 g, 113 yards), Cosmopolitan (2 g, 4 yards), and French Blue (7 g, 16 yards).  I learned a lot of helpful things when I created the Tiger Woobie for my close friends' baby on the way, including to count my stitches carefully.   (Check out that post for more in progress photographs.)  

Notes from Construction
  • Instead of a provincial cast on, I cast on with the long tail method.  I will pick up stitches to create the picot edge when the time comes.  (This worked well with my previous woobie.)  
  • There are a few mistakes with the stitch placement.  For example, on Round 13 it says "K82, cdd, SM...."  but later on it says that you should knit until 2 sts before the last marker to make the cdd and slip the marker and put it back after.  The added decrease Rnd 1 also needs some adjustment to keep the additional cdd's spaced similarly in each round.  
  • Black Ball 1 finished in the towards the end of round 14.
  • Before folding for the picot edge, I counted to double check my stitch count.  Wahoo!  75, 75, 75, 75.  
  • Picking up the stitches was a little hard because of the black stitches, but I think that it went pretty well overall.
    Wrong side of the folded edge
  • Before the decrease stripe of black stripe 4, I counted sts as follows: 61, 61, 60, 60.  It looks like I probably had an extra cdd at some point, sigh.  I actually found where this extra CDD is located, but it wouldn't be noticable to anyone but me.   I'll keep going and adjust my stitch counts when adding the additional cdd's as I did with the tiger woobie.  (I'm afraid that skipping a CDD to adjust the stitch number now will be more noticable than adjusting hte beginning of the additional decreases.)  
  • Black Ball 2 finished mid way through the first round of black stripe 6 (the border doesn't count as a stripe.)  This is much earlier than the equivalent MC in the tiger, so I am a little concerned about running out of yarn... but not TOO concerned.  
  • After black stripe 10, the counts are as follows: 35, 35, 34, 34
  • Next decrease round (CC row 11):  K15, CDD, PM, K15, CDD, K14, CDD, PM, K15, CDD, K14, K2tog, PM, K15, CDD, K14, K2tog, PM, K15, CDD (with first st of previous round.)  As with the Tiger, there should now be 124 sts and evenly spread between the original markers (31 sts - alternating 15 or 16 sts between new markers.)  Continue the instructions as written.  
  • At the end of the 14th CC stripe, I hit 28 sts.  I switched to the MC (black) to knit the one round even before the "next round" decreases and continue to the crossing of stitches for the head closure.

  •  White Ball 2 finished in the short rows of row 7 of the zebra head.
  • The embroidery went surprsingly well.  Like I did with the tiger, I am going to secure my stitching with a bit of non-toxic elmer's glue.
  • The Mane - Woa boy, I was not quite sure how to start with this one.  Shine sport is a yarn with a lot of drape, not the best for making a mohawk.  I started by securing a row of fringe that was 3 strands x 7 deep.  I then realized that it was slightly off center, so my second row of 3x7 strands seemed to fix that.  Therefore, I decided to do without a third row of fringe as was suggested in the pattern.
  • To finish up, I trimmed the mane a bit to be closer to a 1.5" length rather than a 3" length that we started with.  There is still some floppiness, but then again, what horse has a mane that stands up unless they have a buzz cut?  I'm having extra fun with this trim because I got my own hair cut earlier today!  

    Chirphead snuggling with the in-progress woobie!
In the end, this project consumed 112 yards of White, 306 yards of black, 16 yards of French Blue and 4.5 yards of Cosmopolitan Knit Picks Shine Sport yarn. I am so thrilled with the way Chirphead's woobie turned out, and I know that I will be making more of these in the future.  Can't you see that the tiger and zebra are already best friends?