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...