I haven’t made very many stuffed animals, and I suppose I broke the cardinal rule. (Repeat after me: Do not overstuff.) The dog isn’t designed to stand on its feet. There’s no way that could happen unless you inserted some sort of rigid support system (at which point it stops being a stuffed animal and becomes a potential hazard to unsuspecting persons throwing themselves on the bed where the dog might be). But I stuffed the back legs so that they were pretty rigid. (Hey, I had the muscular Sam’s legs as a model. He never raced, he’s been a couch potato for four years, and he’s still got a nice, tight butt.) Then, when I sewed the back legs together, they stuck out at right angles. Attaching them to the body didn’t fix the problem. So I cut off the feet, unraveled the legs up to the knees, pulled out a bunch of stuffing (but maybe not enough: Do not overstuff.), recrocheted the legs and feet.
I left the front legs alone. The body has a flap that fits between the front legs, so they weren’t going to assume any flaky angles. But they’re undoubtedly fatter than they ought to be. Do not overstuff. For the body, I concentrated on getting enough stuffing in the neck area to make the head stay upright. It, at least, is not overstuffed. And I got the tail right: you put just a bit of stuffing in the top end so it’s not totally limp.
I love the ears, though. The designer cleverly has you crochet over a length of yarn that later works like a drawstring to give the ears their characteristic “curl.”
Sam was wonderful for the photographs. The first one you see here actually was the last one I took. Sam first came over and laid himself down on the throw and put his chin flat on the ground: his usual bored-with-photography pose. The pictures looked okay because I posed the crocheted greyhound around him, and Sam tolerated the head on his, etc.
But then I moved the greyhound away from Sam for some solo pictures of it. I laid it on its side and draped its tail up over its back leg. Sam looked at the greyhound, looked at me, and perfectly copied the pose.
(And in the background, Jacey moped: “No one wants to take my picture.”)
The greyhound will go with me to the SEGC meeting Wednesday night. I’ll hand it over to the people organizing Greyfest, and they can place him up for auction at the silent auction. Sam and Jacey will be happy to see him leave. As I was assembling him last night, they spent much of the evening dodging flailing legs. (It didn’t help that I had to redo parts of two already-attached legs.)
I’m moving on to a knitting project—one that doesn’t involve polyester fiberfill, shaped pieces, and a monster assembly operation. If I ever propose making another crocheted greyhound, I hope my LiveJournal friends will try to stop me by reminding me what a pain this has been.
And if you can’t make me stop, at least make me remember: Do not overstuff.
The pattern is available here. Greyfest info here.