Thursday, May 31, 2007

Here’s Sam, looking a good deal more three-dimensional. I’m now about half-way down his flanks. The tail-shaping is done; all I have to do is keep straight on with the Aran patterns – which are getting easier – until I get to the feet. He has turned out to be more fun than I expected.

And the Yahoo group, very quiet since I joined, has sprung into life with posts from people who shared my problems. That’s always a comfort.

I have started giving some thought to the filling. The designer used “polyester fibrefill”. I am on completely unfamiliar ground here. My Google search on this term, restricted to UK websites, took me into areas I didn't want to know about.
I could use roving, maybe.

Red (and grey) Squirrels

Thanks for the link to the article in the Scotsman, Dawn, and for the classification, yet-another-Ann.

I accidentally saw a television programme once about grey squirrels – they are astonishingly clever, just like rats. In one scene, two of them were operating a bird feeder that had to be opened from behind. They took turns, one of them holding it open so the other could feed, and then changing places.

I’m going to have my hair cut this morning, just like Annie Modesitt. High time, too.


  1. That eBay site is seriously strange. Seriously.
    I seem to recall buying polyester fibre to stuff toys from craft shops here; I found a UK eBay shop selling it ('Velcro and Fabric'). But I don't see any reason you shouldn't use wool. I think it might be firmer and heavier than the fibrefill when compressed, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I think polyester is popular because it's machine-washable and (possibly) non-allergenic.

    I'm about to succumb to the lure of Sam. The idea of knitting something small and extremely complex is very alluring.

  2. Anonymous12:23 PM

    I've bought polyester fibre (to stuff a rag doll, the one time I made one) at Kings Fabrics on Lothian Road - they aren't there now, I think, but that suggests it might not be that hard to get locally. I might have enough left for you, but I suspect not - it's surprising how much will pack into a small space.

    Another Jean in Edinburgh

  3. Anonymous12:56 PM

    John Lewis usually sells reliable toy filling or polyester fibrefill. It can be found in small bags in haberdashery or just material shops. It is also not that expensive. Online Opitec is very reliable and quick to despatch and sells a variety of toy fillings. Search for article 500.537 and one, that I have personally used and found very nice, of sheepswool, article 500.085 Both of these options will throw up some alternatives and you can also find out that Optitec sells Regia sock wool! Good hunting, from another Judith.

  4. Sam looks great! Hope you find the right stuff for him

  5. Anonymous2:30 PM

    What about a skeleton for Sam? Perhaps made out of an old clothes hanger to give stiffness and general shape--then wrapped in stuffing. He does look wonderful; let's hope the judges appreciate him.

  6. Anonymous6:22 PM

    I've used some of my coarser wool batts to stuff things instead of letting it sit unused or using the polyester. I also stuck a small pouch of lavender in with it for moth control. It somehow seems appropriate to stuff a sheepie with wool. I've noticed a trend in my area to going back to using wool batts and filling for quilting after years of having nothing but cotton and polyester as choices for stuffing or layering.

  7. Anonymous6:36 PM

    Back to squirrels again. . . dogs are appropriate predators, but they need to be determined and FAST (or sneaky), otherwise they spend their days chasing but not catching. Which may be enough, if your squirrel is afraid of dogs.

  8. Oh my goodness, you made me giggle. Wool would be a perfect substitute, but seems a shame to use it. Fiberfill is really just an artificial substitute for wool. The photo is accurate, however. Odd as it looks. I recall sacrificing a cheap stuffed animal (from a carnival) for a project. Worked well.

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  10. Just to say - Sam is looking mighty handsome, knitting up to be a fine looking ram.