If it’s punk rock knitted chickens, it must be Friday

Admittedly they can also be rather terrifying, like for example the Yo-yo Clown on the Wild Olive blog. I’m fully expecting that thing to start following me around in a nightmare.

Today, I was having a look at vintage patterns on Ravelry, because apparently I don’t have enough projects for this year with the 15 in 2015, and I struck gold. It came in the form of a pattern book from an issue of The Australian Woman’s Weekly from 1968, entitled ‘the Mod Menagerie’. The best news? You can get the pattern for free AND turn it into a PDF to download and print! The first animal to catch my (admittedly horrified) attention was this:

Knitted cat

This, apparently, is the ‘Cat of Super Colours’. So very 1960s. But then it got better. There’s the Carrot Power Rabbit…

Knitted Rabbit

Not just a toy, an encouragement to eat your vegetables. Either that or s/he’s meant to be some kind of vegetable activist. CARROT POWER!

There was also the hippie-potamus:

There’s nothing like a good pun, and admittedly that name is nothing like a good pun, but I love it anyway.

But the highlight, the thing that had me immediately looking at how I could fit in some more projects this year, was this- I give you…Mopsy Bird.

I remind you that this was in the Australian Women’s Weekly. All I can say is that Australian knitters in the 1960s must have been badass, either that or the designer was super-badass, because just take a look at this bird, people! That’s a motherf***ing punk rock chicken right there. It’s like a combination between Malcolm McDowell in Clockwork Orange, Sid Vicious, and Beyonce (no not the singer).

I am a lot in love with Mopsy Bird and now I need to make several and give them to people, and if they react with “what the everloving Christ have you made me?” I’ll be all “everyone needs a punk rock chicken in their lives”.

I shall of course also keep one for myself, because Geoffery Wildington Peabody III needs other chickens for company. Though I confess I am a little worried Mopsy Bird might lead her astray and I’ll wake up one morning and she’ll have an anarchy symbol spray painted on her chest, and Mopsy Bird will be stood off to the side covered in paint and trying to look nonchalant.

It wasn’t me, I swear!

Awwww, I can’t stay mad at you, Mopsy Bird.

Thinking about it, Mopsy Bird doesn’t really express who this chicken really is- do you have a better name for it?

 

Doll-making is weird

The Wild Olive embroidery-and-English-paper-piecing project wasn’t the only crafting I did in the Christmas break. When Spoonflower had free shipping (always dangerous) I got a plushie kit from Heidi Kenney- the Tattooed Sailor and Tattooed Lady.

I thought to myself, hey, I’ll make a couple of super-cool dollies. I can maybe give them to a couple of the little girls I know. What’s not to like? Since I can never, ever, leave a pattern alone (seriously, this will become increasingly obvious as I share more of them), I decided to do the tattoo embroidery on each doll in colours, rather than just blue. I even added some extra tattooing to the sailor’s chest because it didn’t look tattooed enough.

I was feeling very pleased with the results when I sat down to start sewing it all together.

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Ah, confidence.

First, I cut out the arms and legs for the Tattooed Sailor, folded them over and sewed them up, as per the instructions. Which then told me to ‘stuff them loosely with polyfil’. The problem is, the actual gap into which I was supposed to stuff the polyfil was smaller than my pinkie finger. A pencil and a missed bus later, I had the limbs stuffed, but not loosely.

I looked at the limbs. I looked at the doll. All I could think of was Rex the dinosaur in Toy Story 2- “look at my little arms! I can’t push the fire button and jump at the same time!”

It was around this point that, for no apparent reason, the Popeye the Sailor theme music started playing in my head. I guess that would help with the insanity plea.

But the limbs were nothing compared to the shenanigans that were to come. Pin the arms and legs in place, essentially as a sandwich filling, with the body of the doll right-sides in. Cue fun with folding the arms and legs so they would actually fit inside the bit they needed to be in so I wouldn’t sew them wrong, and then more fun with pinning than I had expected when my sewing machine decided to de-thread itself unexpectedly.

And then we came to this seemingly innocuous instruction: sew around the edges leaving a hole between the legs for turning through.

A hole.

Between the legs.

It was bad enough doing the tattoed sailor, who has blonde hair. I’m kind of dreading the tattooed lady, who is a brunette. Because I work on these dolls in the morning, before breakfast, and I have the feeling I won’t want any the day I have to repeat this process with something brown coming through that hole.

It was also fiddly as- the hole in question was smaller than expected (this could get very rude very quick, I am trying to avoid that. This is a family show, people. Well apart from the fabrics that look like vaginas… OK, maybe it’s not a family show, but still.) and getting the arms and legs through and then the head…yeah. Fiddly.

Popeye the Bizarre Sailor Man still needs stuffing and the hole needs to be sewn shut. Ahem.

ABM_1420754771

All I can say is he’s looking pretty smug for someone who just LITERALLY had his head pulled out of his ass.