Monday, 9 September 2013

Skelly Fish!

I have a small stock of projects in the back of my mind, ideas I'm saving for a rainy day. Quite often, the reason they're in the back of my mind and not in my hands being made is because they're still not quite perfect. I like to give them a mental prod from time to time, but usually they stay in my mind.  This weekend, one of these projects - a catnip fish - escaped and made it into the make-y pile.

This project has been swimming about in the recesses of my mind for a while now. The problem - too many fiddle-y bits. Many bits mean many joins and many joins make a project impractical to stock and sell. It's a delicate balance between cost and price, and time is what swings things one way or the other. Lots of fiddle-y sewing (and therefore sewing-in) takes time and so I either sell at a loss by under-pricing my time, or I don't sell at all because they're too expensive.

My problem with this project was the spine. All those joins. I spent ages turning it over and considering how to make it. Finally, I hit on the idea of tying it together with knots. There are still lots of bits to Skelly Fish, but the assembly is quicker which makes it a feasible product to stock. As you can see in the top picture, the tail is a flat piece of crochet. I decided I didn't like that, so Skelly Fish II had a more robust tail.

Better. But the knots... I dunno... hmm...

Then I doubled-up the yarn on the spine so that one knot would be big enough to separate each rib.

Behold, Skelly Fish III!

The head is stuffed with a catnip insert (more time - I've sewn the catnip into a muslin pouch to try minimise fallout), the tail is perfect to sink claws and teeth into and the ribs are equally nice to chomp. The knotted construction means that Skelly Fish is a little bit flappy, as you might expect from a dead fish.

Cat #2 obligingly put Prototype Skelly Fish through its paces, checking for catnippiness, bitey-tuggy-fun and claw-resistance...

 ...And then gave it the seal of approval

And so, Skelly Fish is now in production and will be available in a range of colours. Look out for them if you're coming to Yarndale, but if you'd like to get your paws on one sooner, stay tuned. There may be a giveaway in the offing...

1 comment:

  1. I can just see my cats doing the drooling-cat-nip-killing-fish-thing as I type! Love the design