Wow it has been a very long time since I last had a post. I'd like to say I've been very busy but i can't think where the time has gone! I have moved house recently and I absolutely love our new place. It feels very country and I'm back home which I haven't felt for over a year! The downside is the commute to work which is about an hour now so maybe as I'm so late hone each evening my knitting/blogging has suffered.
I have been busy however clacking away on my needles doing a purely selfish project. I don't really knit for myself very often but this time I really felt I just needed this pattern in my life. Each month I go to the shop and buy Simply Knitting magazine. It's my favourite knitting mag and I love all the patterns abd stories about other crafters. And as my readers may know I love making knitted toys and each month there is a pattern by Alan Dart. Oh gosh how I love the Alan Dart patterns! I can't describe it they are just amazing. The characters are brilliant and although at first glance the pattern looks complicated once you get down to it it is simple and they are like works of art as well as a cute toy.
There are lots of little bits to each pattern but they really add to the design and the beauty of it is in all the little details. Anyway, I have been collecting a stash of Alan Dart patterns just to purely keep and my aim is to make them all! And then I got the April issue of Simply Knitting and the pattern was for a Jester. I haven't ever attempted the Alan Dart patterns before but this one I fell in love with immediately! I had to make it for myself!
So I wandered down to the local craft shop in my new 'local' town and bought the colourful wools I needed. I changed the colours slightly as the pattern calls for green, yellow and purple but I used red instead of purple, one because I thought it would be a great Christmas decoration in the end and two because the shop had a really nice scarlet red that I had to purchase.
It began with his face and as I have said earlier it is relatively simple just time consuming. I even had to knit the neck and nose seperately. The most innovative part of it was his hands. I found it confusing at first as I would assume you would start at the thumb and knit each finger in order but you start with the third finger and it all twists together somehow into perfect little fingers. The boots also had me slightly concerned but once they are stitched up and the curl in place then they look great. The body is knitted in green and yellow changing wools half way through so that when he is stitched up you get what I can only describe as a battenburg effect with squares of green and yellow. The legs and arms are made one green one yellow and the accesories all in red so he is very colourful.
Each little intracacy really adds to it like the little arm cuffs and the seperate points on each hood. The finishing touch is the many golden bells attached to him. Which also make a great noise all together. I had to go on a bell hunt all the way to Hobbycraft in Stockport which to be honest is an absolute wonderland for crafters I could spend days in Hobbycraft so it wasn't a hardship.
It took 3 evenings to completely finish, stuff and attach bells but then finally my jester was finished and I am so proud of it. I absolutely loved making it and for now I am keeping him out and looking for a place to display him properly. He isn't actually even finished just yet he has one or two more bells that need to be sewn on to him (as I ran out!) and a tiny knitted hand puppet of his own to make, but I have just had to leave him for a while and knit a simpler thing like a tie for my dad for my Dad for Fathers Day as I was craving something simpler after that.
I hope you like my April Fool, And seriously if you like knitting toys and figures like me you should keep an eye out for Alan Dart. He is a knitting genius!!
Lots of love