Tuesday, September 01, 2015

I'm not entirely happy:

I wanted this to be the perfect dog, for our friend. I think it may be only the third stuffed toy I've ever knit. The first was a mermaid, for Hellie when she was a little girl. She loved it, eventually to death. Then Sam the Ram – and look what happened to him! (He now lives on Loch Fyne, in good condition.) But this dog seems clumsily knit. I fear the stuffing will show through.

Perhaps he'll improve after another session.

(Again, I was unable to post the picture from the Windows 10 computer, and have had to rush over here to the Mac. Odd.)

I have sewn the legs and tail and muzzle, and am now struggling to attach the tummy strip (remembering to start sewing at the nose-end). The instructions said to stuff the tail with yarn-ends but I couldn't get them right down to the tip, so I stuffed it with stuffing. Similarly, the instructions say to leave a slit in the tummy-strip-attachment process through which to insert the rest of the stuffing. I think it might be better to stuff the legs now, before proceeding further. Then there's the question of the pipe cleaners.

I am afraid I failed with mattress stitch, although I am still looking forward to doing it with some nice flat knitting, preferably with a selvedge. The Sous Sous should be perfect. I tried to mattress-stitch the first leg. I gave up at that point, and retreated to a nice YouTube video about whip stitch.


I am anxious about the way the press is anticipating the day, now less, I think, than a fortnight hence, when the Queen will become the longest-reigning monarch in British history, counting back to William the Conqueror, and beyond if you like. The current holder is Victoria. Our Queen has already won the title on points – she was several years older than Victoria when she became Queen, and she has reigned energetically ever since. Victoria withdrew from the world for years after Albert died, and again in old age.

But God has a wicked sense of humour, and it doesn't do to count chickens. The Queen doesn't want a fuss to be made, but has agreed to break her annual holiday at Balmoral to open a branch railway or something of the sort, so as to be seen in public that day. There are big plans for her ninetieth birthday next summer, but that's another matter.

My husband continues as before, keen to get home. I didn't mention the anniversary to him yesterday, but thank you for your good wishes. Now that we're in September, I can begin to wonder whether he will still be incarcerated on the 19th. If so, I can go to the wedding. 

I've booked myself a tentative place in our niece's car. My sister and her husband will be staying in the b&b carved out of the Laird's house, Ardkinglas itself. (Alexander and Ketki's house, where the wedding party will be, is on the Ardkinglas estate.)  And, for some reason, they will have an empty bedroom. Their son Theo is staying in Inverary across the loch.

We shall see.


  1. Anonymous12:18 PM

    I think the pooch is looking very good, and will doubtless improve as you continue sewing and stuffing. And will you also embroider on eyes and a nose? If so, that will be what gives him his character.

    It would be lovely if you coukd go to the wedding and see your pocket squares in action.

    Beverly in NJ

  2. I am probably a bit late with the suggestion but have you tried stuffing the tail with yarn scraps using the blunt end of a crochet hook?
    Whatever you do though it will be better than I can do. I am hopeless at stuffed toys!

  3. Echoing catdownunder's comment about being too late, but have you tried a wooden chopstick? I had some success using one to stuff a knitted Eeyore with hard-to-handle legs. The wooden surface seemed to help in wadding down the stuffing and there is a thicker end and a thinner one. The Eeyore was the most difficult thing I have ever made, using four needles to knit in the legs as the body grew longer. I was 'customising" a horse pattern, and the experience was dreadful.