Friday, March 10, 2006

Who is that Cloaked Pig??

Pig in Sheep's clothing

I realize that this will come as a surprise to some readers, but there aren’t a lot of knitting patterns for pigs out there in the market. You can find patterns for dog jackets and cat thingies but I’m here to attest to the fact that pigs are more or less ignored in the couture clothing department. When Willie was a much smaller pig, my sister tried to made do with a large dog’s jacket. It didn’t fit and he quickly outgrew it. Pigs, it turns out, are NOT dog shaped.

Enter the OddBall and her knitting machine. My life doesn’t have enough wonky in it so I had to import some from my sister’s life. Armed with little more than a tape measure and a rough mental picture of what a pig looks like, and the trademark battle cry of Oh, what the Hell?, the OddBall flung herself into the project.

Well, for starters, let’s just say pigs aren’t the most patient creatures to grace the planet. The project started off on a slightly offbeat note at Christmas time when Kelly and I decided to take the pig’s measurements without the use of a measuring tape. I’d forgotten to bring my quilter’s tape and we were reduced to using hanks of string. Nevertheless, we were in the ballpark. Or something like that because I’m here to tell you, pigs do not like being measured.

It didn’t take to long to knit it up on the knitting machine because pretty much, it was 4 rectangles, sewn together along the long sides. I did do a bit of shaping at the bottom, back end, so that in the end we had a large, almost square with a rounded bottom section. The collar section was knit on to the piece after I had joined all the rectangles and I curved both collar pieces in towards the middle. As it turns out, I didn’t curve them enough -- something to fix in Version II.

Just for the record, I might add that it is somewhat easier to fit something when the model lives a bit closer than 440 kms to the south east. And I’ll confess, I’ve never really examined a pig closely for anatomical details. For example, I didn’t realize until now that the hind end of a pig is considerable higher than the front end. Instead of a straight sided rectangle, I’m going to have to taper those sides in a bit.

And the neck!!! Willie isn’t fully grown -- he has about another year of growth, making him the porcine version of a teenager -- with all the blessings associated thereof. As it stands, his neck/collar size is 36”.

I was all for taking at this with a pair of scissors and cutting down the front portions but my sister wanted to leave some growing room in it. He’s bound to get a couple of inches wider across the back which will naturally lift the front portion off the ground a little more. I guess we'll just leave this as being the full length, formal, pig cloak.

Happening Pig

I had knit a belly strap for the jacket, thinking we needed some means of closing it other than at the neck but I wasn’t sure of where to place it, so I just felted it separately and took it with me. As it turns out, it wasn’t needed. This is more pig cloak than pig jacket. It fastens only at the neck. Not wanting to waste the belly strap, we turned it into a snazzy scarf, complete with bow.

Does Willie like his new duds? According to my sister, he does. What he really doesn’t like this week is ME. At Christmas time, Willie had an unfortunate encounter with a flannel pyjama wearing, slipper swinging monster (not me for the record) but I got blamed for it anyway. And he still has a pout on for it. He’ll chill out. He just hasn’t figured out his OddBall Auntie yet.

Oh yes, and about the fitting tips for cranky little pigs that I promised in yesterday’s column…here’s the secret. You don’t. Pigs don’t do anything they don’t want to do. Learn to deal with it.

In the meanwhile, it was great to get down to see my sister again. The two days were a welcome break from knitting the Shawl from Hell border. I’ll be back at that little project today.

Talk to you’se all laters; thanks for reading. Oh yes, and before I forget, wishes for a very, very happy sixth birthday go out to my favourite little pirate in Halifax. Happy Birthday, Noah. Aunt Kate loves you lots.


At 9:16 a.m., March 10, 2006, Blogger jackie said...

Only you Kate. As is supported by the fact that there are no patterns for porkers. Hey, do I see a business opportunity?

At 10:02 a.m., March 10, 2006, Blogger Kate, the Odd Ball Knitter said...

My sister thinks there actually would be a (small) market for pig jackets. Hence the desire to finesse the pattern.

At 1:44 p.m., March 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have really outdone yourself! Oink! Oink! Although I was licking my chops thinking of bacon while I was viewing all of the pics of Willie!

At 1:20 p.m., March 13, 2006, Anonymous Willie's Momma said...

Noah was very excited to receive your birthday message via the internet! He says Hi and that he had tons o'fun with Oneida while she was here.

We had some miserable rain on Friday. Willie wore his cloak outside everytime and he loved it. By the end of the day, he waited at the door to get dressed before going outside. I told you he loves it!

He also sleeps on it (when he hasn't dragged the entire basket of clean laundry into his lair to sleep with -- grrrr. Do I smell bacon or is that just my vengeful imagination at play?!?)

At 7:05 p.m., March 13, 2006, Blogger dancingbarefoot said...

Adorable is the only word I can think of right now. What a cute pig! And lucky to have custom knits. :)

At 11:29 p.m., March 14, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

such dainty hoofs...neat! Ya! just wanna take it home to mama...


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