My new pattern has been a lot longer in the making than I had originally anticipated and I’m still not quite there yet, but progress is definitely being made. I’m making a cute and cuddlesome sloth. The lengthy and protracted timescale hasn’t been down to the deadly sin of sloth on my behalf though. In fact quite the opposite. I’ve put a lot of time into this particular design and I’ve made an almost annoying amount of changes to my initial creation. Oh dear, I truly thought I’d have this one sorted and all bundled up into a pretty PDF within a week. Not so!
So far the latest version looks like this…
No claws yet, but you can get a good idea of the finished look, though more adjustments have not been ruled out yet! When I began this project I honestly thought that all that would be needed were some minor tweaks of my Orwell the Orangutan pattern. A change to the face, obviously, and the famous three toes instead of those cute little ape hands, but it actually turned out to be much more complicated than that. In the end every body part changed a fair bit but I’m so glad I went the extra mile. One thing the last three years spent immersed in amigurumi design has taught me is that the details really matter.
The first face I made was sort of cute… but not quite the look I was after… on reflection, it did have that air of simmering evil that some sloths have perfected!
There are hundreds of sloth pictures on the internet so I had no problems doing a bit of research in front of the computer.
Apart from when Mojo came to pay me a visit, insisting on planting himself firmly between me and the screen. Yes, you’re just as cute as any sloth Mojo.
I had plenty of suitable yarns in a variety of sloth-like hues in the stash baskets. I chose some of King Cole’s ‘Moments’ yarns for the furry bits. It comes in a wide variety of animal inspired shades, and brighter colours too. I’m using a combination of ‘Squirrel (1612)’, ‘Beaver (497)’ and ‘Koala (499)’ this time.
I also fished out the all-natural coloured yarns I bought on my visit to the Toft Alpaca Farm. (If alpacas are your thing, you can read all about that in this blog post). These 100% natural yarns are so soft and tactile to use. They make a nice change from my usual acrylics.
They are just the right colour too. And Mojo sure loves the smell of that alpaca!
I’m eventually allowed to continue without further feline intervention.
When I was imagining the final outcome, I tried to boil down their essential slothiness into a way that could best be interpreted as easily as possible with amigurumi techniques. The main characteristics that set them apart are those dark downward eye markings….
The long, chopstick claws…
…and that look of having stuck their face in the peanut butter jar and eaten the lot, complete with quirky smile that says ‘so what if I have, it was totally worth it’!
I experimented with a couple of different shades of brown for the eye markings and the jury’s still out on which is my favorite. I’ll save that decision for after these two are assembled and finished off.
To my great consternation, the dark brown furry yarn has posed a bit of a problem for me… Can you see why?
Any of you out there with a huge spider phobia will have got it right away. Those little trimmings have the most terrible habit of curling up, and out of the corner of my eye they’ve made me jump on more than one occasion. (You really have to be a bona fide arachnophobe to understand!).
Just another reason to try and keep my desk tidy. I’m supposed to be using my trimmings jar to stop the bits getting all over the house but despite Norris’ help and encouragement I keep forgetting!
As a result there are now yarn trimmings in every room in the house and there was enough right down at the bottom of the bed to make a jumper when I last changed the sheets. I think they get stuck to my fluffy bed socks when I’m tramping around the house and then wriggle off at night! Note to self – must try and vacuum a bit more.
So as slow as progress has been with the sloth I have to say that it’s quite a fitting problem to have in this instance. As I said before, it’s not been for lack of dedication to the project but more a case of some painstaking trial and error. It’s lovely when a design just falls effortlessly off the hook, perfect first time around in all respects, but it can’t be guaranteed and in the end it’s more important to get things right than to rush at it. As a consequence he’s still a work in progress, with final tweaks to make over the next few days or so.
This is another early version of the sloth but Orwell doesn’t seem to mind his imperfections.
My baby orangutan is a lively bundle of energy and always up to mischief so his new friend might help to slow him down a bit. After all, life’s not a race, it’s a journey.
Lesson learnt – you just can’t rush a good sloth, so with that in mind he’ll be ready when he’s ready and not a moment sooner. Yup, and I’m totally chilled with that!