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manta ray hand puppet

I made a toy for my nephew's 3d birthday. Despite his getting a mountain of other gifts, including a doll house and an OLPC computer, he actually played with the puppet a few times without being prompted, which made me happy.

Here's the Ravelry page for those of you who have drunk the Koolaid:

It's based on Manta Ray by Brigitte Read on the roman sock blog.
Size G hook
Yarn: The underside is bulky wool handspun by kiyowaramiyuki. The topside is Plymouth Outback Wool, colorway "Multibright". Both were acquired at yarn swaps.

Pattern modifications:

* I embroidered on eyes rather than sewing on safety eyes (didn't have any safety eyes, and thought it would be safer for a 3 year old)
* I didn't use internal pipecleaners (again, thought they might not be entirely safe for a 3-year-old)
* The crochetwork was kind of open and I thought stuffing would show. So I made it into a handpuppet rather than stuffing. There is a side benefit that it is more interactive this way.
* I attached the two halves with single crochet rather than sewing. (I suck at sewing.)
* I crocheted the mouth piece rather than sewing in a piece of felt. (I suck at sewing.)

manta ray puppet

manta ray puppet being worn

manta ray puppet, bottom

This might be my last crochet project, since I discovered while doing it that I'm now faster at knitting than crochet.


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 1st, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
Apr. 1st, 2008 08:58 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure I knit faster than I crochet, but I tend to switch between techniques depending on the qualities I think the project needs. And I have to remember to join ravelry. I think I'm having problems about the user name thing.
Apr. 1st, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC)
Re: manta ray hand puppet
*nod*. same here; i knit much faster -- except when ii do complicated patterns. but especially when it comes to freeform, i prefer crochet by a large margin because i can make it up as i go along with each stitch instead of planning ahead.

cute manta ray! and i like the idea of making it a hand puppet.
Apr. 1st, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
Re: manta ray hand puppet
Thanks! Yeah, I won't give up crocheting altogether but if I am following a pattern that creates a flat piece of fabric, like this one, I will probably change to knitting.
Apr. 2nd, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC)
Re: manta ray hand puppet
i wonder about this one. yeah, if you were to stuff it, then knitting seems like the way to go. but as a hand puppet, the fabric really needs to be more stiff, no? and crochet will create a stiffer fabric from the same yarn. it looks like it has just about the right stiffness as it is now.

i love the tail, too. *heh*.
Apr. 2nd, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)
Re: manta ray hand puppet
Knitting creates a plenty stiff fabric if you knit tightly enough, but yeah.

I love the way the tail curls a bit. I didn't plan that.
Apr. 1st, 2008 11:19 pm (UTC)
I should have said something more like "Next time for a simple project that creates a flat surface like this, I will probably knit it instead of crocheting it." But yeah crocheting is better for some projects.

What do you mean about the user name thing?
Apr. 2nd, 2008 02:36 am (UTC)
It's a problem particular to me - I've sort of had two online presences, this one and my birthname, and I'm finding it harder to keep them separated, and I guess I've also got to decide if I want to keep them separated. Anyway, ravelry falls squarely between.

Oh, and now I've had a look at the original manta ray pattern, I think you improved it by making it a handpuppet. Very clever, and it really adds something.
Apr. 2nd, 2008 03:54 am (UTC)
I do understand about the online presences problem.

Thanks! I remembered how much I loved puppets when I was a kid and it seemed like it might work that way. If I were very clever, I would have figured out how to design it so you could operate the wings and mouth at the same time - with this shape and size, it's hard to do. Maybe next time.
Apr. 1st, 2008 09:39 am (UTC)
Who's a cute little manta ray? Who's a cute little manta ray? Yes, you are. Oh yes you are! :)

PS - Just noticed your journal's name change. :) :) :)

Edited at 2008-04-01 09:40 am (UTC)
Apr. 1st, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
Apr. 1st, 2008 10:40 am (UTC)
SO COOL. Also, impressed that you realise that playing with it without prompting is the key. That's a big deal!
Apr. 1st, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks! And yeah, I really was pleased.
Apr. 1st, 2008 10:56 am (UTC)
That is adorable! :)
Apr. 1st, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
Apr. 1st, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
Here comes the manta ray!
Apr. 1st, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
[*cue, um, manta ray theme music*]
Apr. 1st, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC)
I *love* that puppet!

I knit faster than I crochet because I can't crochet. Or I should say, haven't taken the time to relearn it, which I should do, since some knitted patterns have really cool crochet edging.
Apr. 1st, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I learned crochet first then switched to knitting because of the greater variety of patterns. It is helpful to know both.
Apr. 2nd, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
I always embroider features rather than sew things on. Kids are just too good at taking stuff off. That's a cute pattern!
Apr. 2nd, 2008 01:11 am (UTC)
Good point. Thanks!
Apr. 2nd, 2008 04:16 am (UTC)
That's so cute and cuddly and just nifty. :)
Apr. 2nd, 2008 05:49 am (UTC)
Apr. 2nd, 2008 04:35 am (UTC)
Very cute! Great gift for a three year old.
Apr. 2nd, 2008 05:48 am (UTC)
Apr. 3rd, 2008 03:06 am (UTC)
That's one cool, gorgeous manta ray!
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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