Thursday, May 14, 2009

Knit Zoo

I started knitting when I was pregnant with my first kid. I am now quite proficient at it and love to make lots of random things. This project was a gift for a 2 year olds birthday last week. They are zoo animal finger puppets, and yes, you insert your finger where you might imagine...

The patterns knit up really quickly and I have found I can do two copies at once in most cases. That is why there are pairs of elephants and lions. When it came to the giraffe, there was a spot I had to pause on the second one to finish the first. So only one got made in time for the photo.

As I was finishing up the last of the knitting, I asked Curtis for a fun way to package them for the party. We had been watching Madagascar (for the 100th time with our toddler) and Curtis suggested using a packing crate, just like the ones the animals are shipped in during the movie. In less than an hour, he had a prototype box built up for me. The box has an easy sliding lid closure with a 'breathing hole' for the animals. In the hour before the party we added shipping labels, if we had more time, a coat of spray varnish would probably be a good idea to protect the wood and labels.

The animals are knit from patterns published by the Chesterfield Zoo, which I'm guessing is somewhere in the UK based on the wording in the patterns. The patterns were apparently sold as part of a kit at the zoo gift shop and I found about 8 different patterns online. Luckily, printed off copies, because I have not been able to find the patterns since. I used Red Heart yarn and my favorite size 7 needles. The animals are knit flat and then sewn together and details added.
The box is made of cedar and finished with paste wax.

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