Carmen is modeling her new red dress with pink ruffles. I added more stuffing to her head and she is now better able to withstand her wardrobe changes. The dress was fun to knit, however, there were probably over 500 sts for that bottom ruffle, so binding off took a long time. When I knitted her limbs, I used this circular start from the Knit Picks website instead of the suggested backward loop cast-on in the pattern. I also did my best to hide the jogs that appear when changing from the tan to the brown yarns by using this technique. I placed the jogs in the center of the back of each limb. I had to be careful weaving in the ends and stuffing the limbs as the dark tails would show through the lighter sections. I find giving attention to these details important in making her look her best. Her wardrobe also includes a twin-set, a pink skirt, and even some panties, which I have not yet knit. I will be casting on for them in the near future.
I have completed Carmen and started knitting her red dress. I might end up adding some more stuffing to her head as it got a bit out of shape when I put the dress on her. The provisional cast on at the neck will become a pink frilly ruffle. There is also a pink ruffle at the lower edge. She also has a twin set/poodle skirt outfit in her kit. They are very cute, however, if I can not stablize her head well enough, that pretty pink yarn just might become a pair of Fair Isle socks. The red dress will be nice enough and she will look better longer without the wear and tear of extra clothing. I learned a lot about shaping small sections of knitting to create a knitted stuffed animal from this fun little project.
My friend, Laura, kindly sent me a Carmen Banana Kit after we discovered it in the Knit Picks catalog and thought Carmen was just too cute. We're having our own knit-a-long and here is my Carmen so far. I did re-work the pattern a bit. I started with the tail instead of the arms to give me some practice knitting small limbs in the round on one long circular needle (40" size 2.75 mm Addi Lace needle). I stuffed the limbs as I went along, trying to stuff them all evenly. I have more stuffing to do on her face. The instructions suggest tightly stuffing the lips and lightly stuffing the neck. I made her ears mirror images of each other instead of two ears exactly the same. I casted on the ears provisionally (leaving a long tail) and worked knit 1 below increases instead of knit 1 into the front and back of the stitch increases in row 2. I knitted the ear and worked the decreases like a sock toe and slipped the edge stitches over the next stitch on each side before grafting. I took out the provisional cast-on and then proceeded to purl the front and back of the ear sts together (the purl ridge shows on the back of the ear). I then pulled each ear edge stitch to the inside between the face stitches and then bound off the ear on the inside. So far, Carmen has been a fun knitting workout.