Jackalope (n): a fictional animal and a cross between a jackrabbit and an antelope, goat, or deer, and is usually portrayed as a rabbit with antlers.
Jeshalope (n): a jackalope made by Jesh.
Knitting this pattern was like some kind of ultimate test of a bunch of my knitting skills; short rowing, increasing, pattern reading, grafting, picking up endless numbers of stitches. Fortunately, I like doing all of these things, so it was an enjoyable challenge.
On short rows: I think the only part of the Jeshalope not shaped by short rows is the antlers. That’s it. Everything else—from the tail to the ears—has endless numbers of wraps and turns. Some Ravelers even recommended using nothing but the sharpest needles due to the fiddliness of it, but I managed okay on my Addi Turbos. Still, this wasn’t the kind of thing where I could glance at the pattern to get the gist of it, and then just go off on my own; I had to follow the instructions very carefully, to the point where I copied most of the directions into a desktop sticky note, and deleted them line by line as I worked through. This made it much easier to know where I was at all times, and it was very gratifying to watch the number of lines slowly dwindle as there was less and less to get done.
The one thing that did help a lot with the short rowing is that I knit backwards on all wrong side rows, rather than purling. Because I hate purling. But it also made it much easier to both see and pick up the wrapped stitches when I was always looking at the right side of the fabric.
On grafting: I love grafting. I really, really do. I wouldn’t recommend this pattern for anyone who doesn’t, or anyone who won’t even consider learning to love grafting. But honestly, it’s one of the most amazing things. To be able to take two different pieces of fabric and join them together seamlessly is nothing less than magic. And there’s a lot of magic in here. Each of the arms and legs are grafted along the bottom, as is the entire underside/belly, which creates a nice tidy seam along the bottom, and looks even better than it probably would have if the entire thing were knit in the round.
I think after this I could get into toy knitting in a big way.
(Would you believe that when I started this thing a month ago, it was the same size as Oolong? Now she is a monster kitten.)
(PS: Here for spindles? The shop is slowly but surely being updated, most likely for the last time before my big move. More details on that later this week.)