Sometimes Owls Turn Into Rats
On the back of the bags of stuffing that Dala purchased (that we’re still working our way through) is a template and a design for making your own owl. Feeling like two rabbits is more than enough and wanting to give something new a try, I figured I’d give this a shot. After all, how hard could it be? It’s really three core pieces, a few buttons, six or seven steps, and in the end, you should end up with something that resembles this . . .
So, I gathered up some of the off white twill I had, found an old shirt that matches it quite well, and went to work. A little tracing and cutting here, a little sewing, unsewing, and mild cursing there, and about half a day later I ended up with a perfectly good owl . . .
That looks nothing like an owl. Nothing at all. In fact, it looks more like an earless, tailless, rodent with a crooked nose and wonky eyes. Now, I could try to work with the nose and the face some more, undo and redo some sewing, but I won’t. Partly because what’s done is done and a finished thing is finished whether it’s flawed or not. More importantly though, one of my friends absolutely loves it and has called dibs. So whatever I think is wrong with it, someone else finds it to be perfectly alright. Who am I to go change things around if they want it as is?
Sometimes Second Rats Don’t Get Their Tails
Figuring that I think it would be fun to intentionally make a rat the second time around, I decided to make another one. So I went about creating a template for ears and a tail. The ears I promptly ditched on the grounds that I didn’t know how to attach them to the head properly without finicking with creating slits and doing who knows what else, so I figured it’s best to keep it simple. As for the tail, it was gonna have a lovely tail. I said was, because it turns out that a narrow tube made of two layers of thick twill will not reverse no matter how hard you try. I tried the stick method. I even went as far as to borrow one of Dala’s crochet hooks to try and fish it right side out. It’s not happening. The thing is s-t-u-c-k, stuck. Which is a shame. At least I can take comfort in knowing that my backstitch is getting better and more even.
So this next rat thing will be like the first, earless, tailless, and more than likely, with a crooked nose and wonky eyes. But all’s not lost. As I learned a ton with my first rabbit and was brave enough to try new things with my second rabbit, here I’m working on learning new things as well.
Lessons Being Learned
In case you can’t tell what you’re looking at, this is the inside of the body. I’ve worked a running stitch going up one and down one side, and with a back stitch every two stitches, and did the same to the other side. I’ve learned that, as time efficient as it is, I hate the running stitch and I’ll probably avoid using it as much as possible. Part of it is because if the thread is pulled too tight, the fabric bunches up like the top of a drawstring bag being closed. Which is, honestly, annoying. But the real reason I don’t like it is because it’s so fast, I find myself instead of patiently sewing by hand, I’m sewing impatiently. I’m rushing to finish and I’m not enjoying the process. I’d rather take a leisurely hour doing careful back stitches, even if they’re unnecessary, than I would rushing through ten minutes of running stitch. What’s the point of saving time if the time you’re trying to save turns out to be time you were enjoying?
While there’s no picture of it, I have discovered that I hate knots. Not because they’re really all that bothersome (unless they’re so bad I have to cut the thread and start things over), but because working to undo them takes me out of my groove. If there’s one more reason to be more slow and steady, it’s to avoid knots.
Lastly, I’m trying a new over stitch on this doll. The blanket stitch I used for the second rabbit and the first owl/rat is nice, and I look forward to using it again, but it’s a bit plain and honestly, well, plain. So I’m doing something else. Is it a cross stitch? Is it a herringbone stitch? I don’t know. All I know is that I’m crossing my thread over itself with every other stitch and there’s always an x. Sometimes it’s on the front of the seam, sometimes it’s on the back of the seam, sometimes it’s on top of the seam, and sometimes the cross over is so subtle it’s almost hard to tell if it’s there (it is). But I like it. I like the look of it, I like the process of making it, and I like how it makes a nice, sturdy seam.
I look forward to finishing this guy and seeing what the end results look like. Hopefully I can find a home for him too. I guess we’ll see.
I hope you’re all doing beautiful Hubski. Have a great rest of the week.