Friday, March 26, 2010

Boats, Trains, and Automobiles

I contemplated making a toy car mat for my nephew this Christmas, and when no satisfactory pattern was found, I turned to the equally desirable volcano mat (documented here).

In January, a co-worker showed me the perfect knit pattern for such a delightful toy mat, newly released by Knit Picks. It’s a hefty size (four feet by four feet), but as cute as can be. To temper my excitement, though, it was observed that the knitting consisted of an awful lot of stockinette (let’s not focus too long on the area of sixteen feet, or I might grow faint). However, I was not dissuaded long-term. I like some moderately straightforward knitting now and again.

However, the cuteness factor of the toy mat was trumped when I learned there were vehicles that accompanied this pattern, and the kit was duly purchased and immediately cast on.

Let me introduce you to the newest members of my toy knitting.

Enter: Train.



Pickup Truck.

My only complaint is that the wheels called for on the vehicles are i-cord alone. No extra support, no padded wheels, just black i-cord that end up looking like flat tires since they’re sewn half-on and half-off the vehicle. I left them off the car and truck. I’m thinking children’s imaginations won’t mind concocting their own wheels, unless I come up with a more satisfactory solution.

Also, I should add the disclaimer that I didn’t take a close look at gauge – while I think I was pretty close if not right on, I was aiming for the proper density of knitted fabric to hide the stuffing. A couple of the projects had me running awfully close to empty when it came to yardage. My saving grace was that I had some leftover yarn in the same colors after finishing the collaborative Kristine blanket. If you aren’t so fortunate and are considering such a kit, I recommend an extra skein of red and yellow unless you’re very spot-on with gauge.

I’m afraid that I grew pretty attached to these items during the process. Unless I make some identical ones for my nephew, I have to confess these are now at home in my toy chest, or as I like to call it, “Aunt Faith sure has the best toys!”

Hey, if bribing is what it takes to get my family to visit me, so be it.


madalyn said...

I don't blame you! You have to find ways to be the "cool aunt"! :)

Jes said...

Got my kit yesterday! Can't wait to make the vehicles. I agree with you about the play mat. My sister wants to make it for our nephew, and i don't think she has any idea about the time and effort it would take to make that out of worsted weight yarn (she's newer to knitting). So far I've just placated her with "maybe for xmas we'll consider the blanket" giving us at least 4 more months to finish it if we decide to :)