Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Project: Squeaky Mule

Project : Squeaky Mule
Date : Winter 2008-2009
Materials : Yarn (3 types), fabric (2 types), 2 beads, pipe cleaners, stuffing, thread, squeaky bladder from cat toy
Tools : Crochet hook, scissors, needle, cat brush
Finished Product:
Squeaky Mule, sittingSqueaky MuleSqueaky Mule

Squeaky Mule, in progress

I don't remember much about this project. I think I just started going with the purple yarn, letting me head wherever. I made sure it had a large enough butt for a squeaker toy (purchased before starting the project) and that it was long enough for 3 pairs of limbs. I crocheted the main part of the torso in the purple, then continued on a bit with the darker purple.

I stuck simple pipe cleaners through the body to get a fill of the size and placement of all limbs as soon as I could. These worked as guides for the rest of the project and were very helpful. I then crocheted the thighs- brushing the patches that I could as I went.

After most the brushing (though I continued to do so all the way throughout), I cut basic tubes of cotton fabric and sewed them to the leg stumps. The folds at the joints are actually sewn in- this definitely helps with shaping. I capped the bottom of the feet with a sort of satiny fabric.

The head was the same satiny fabric (the lower jaw, I thought for some reason, should be crochet and so I extended a patch of the white down there prior to sewing. I cut the pattern pieces for the head as I went and hand stitched it all together very hap-haphazardly. Luckily, the head isn't many pieces- a lower jaw, a top of the muzzle, and then a forehead. I added the eyes and then cut tiny scraps and sewed them down for eyelids/eye shaping. Vital for finishing the piece.

Thoughts :
Far more "cute' then I was expecting. An easy, relitively quick for crochet, mindless project with good results. It can both stand (on sufficiently rough surfaces) and sit in a very adorable manner. The eyes are so soulful and shiny and tiny! For some crazy reason I thought of making the head a skull- hence the pealed back yarn from the face, but wimped out in the end and just did it fabric. However, several people have commented that it looks rather skull-like. This makes me very happy.
I know it's just a toy. A long coil of string that has been fashioned into a shape by my hand. It has no soul nor life inside it- it has only the stuffing and squeaky bladder I put in it. But... I am unreasonably fond of this creature. Purhaps it's the pile of limbs that it looks like when it sits. It's shiny eyes that reflect the bright points of light, no matter how dim or diffuse, have such emtion as they peer from the scraps of fabric I've fastened around them. It's just things I've shaped, but makes me want to coo at it, snuggle it, and protect it.


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