Snowman Draught Excluder

I’d been wracking my brain for something to make for my (late) grandparents for Christmas 2018. Everything I’d tried so far, from a double-knit gingerbread house potholder to crocheted leaf-shaped placemats, was now in the frogged section of my projects (or deleted entirely). And then I found the perfect gift!

Part of the issue I was having was that my stash was at a point where nothing really matched up and most of the skeins I had were too small to use by themselves. So I kept going through my Ravelry favourites trying to find something my grandparents might like that I had enough yarn for, or that I felt I could play with to make the best use of my stash.

This pattern was on my original list but I decided it wasn’t quite right for some reason. When I saw it again, I took a look at the pattern and decided to go for it.

Project Details

PATTERN: Snowman Draft Stopper by Robin Allen

NEEDLES: 3mm and 3.5mm DPNs
SIZE: 99cm (39in)

MATERIALS: 

  • 90g (167m) Woolyhippo Aran (18 Cream, dye lot 05)
  • 10g (15m) Robin Bonny Babe DK (Black)
  • 15g (45m) Jarol Mini Saver (Black)
  • 5g (15m) Jarol Mini Saver (Royal Blue)

STARTED: August 25th, 2018
FINISHED: September 1st, 2018

25th August, 2018:

I started at the wrong end, but I’m not sure the white will go far enough for the full snowman so I decided not to start again from the right end. Instead, I’m going to use this pattern as a base and make it up as I go.

To that end, I knitted about half an inch in stockinette, then switched to seed stitch for three rows when I realised the tail was curling up, and back to stockinette when I had enough of a “border” to stop it curling any higher. (Seaming the tail end should stop the curling altogether, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have a bit of interest there.)

I plan to make the scarf separately, maybe using some of the smaller scraps I have left. I’m not sure if I’ll do the hat in black as part of the excluder, or if I’ll make a beanie separately.

27th August, 2018:

It’s coming on quite nicely. I switched from my 8” Addis to my 6” Drops DPNs, though, and it’s much easier.

Apparently, it requires over 1.3kg of dry lentils, though. That’s going to be far too heavy for an elderly couple to lift it regularly if they need to. I’m going to look at polystyrene beans or something instead (as in bean bag beans).

28th August 2018:

I finished the white tube for the snowman. I need to make a hat and scarf, then add buttons/embroidery and sew it up.

Polystyrene beads are too expensive for my budget this year, so I’m going to do as someone else did and mix lentils with stuffing. Tesco sells 500g bags of dry beans that I think will work well (the whiter ones are slightly more expensive but worth the aesthetic, I think).

30th August, 2018:

I finished the hat this morning (3mm needles for 2×2 ribbing, 3.5mm for the rest).

I’m not quite sure what I want to do for the scarf…

5th September, 2018:

I’m not sure why I stopped updating my project notes all of a sudden, but here’s what I can remember:

I wanted the scarf to be all black with a stranded border to match the beanie, but I attempted a tube scarf (because I couldn’t make it work flat) and ripped it out when I realised I just didn’t have nearly enough black. I settled for a colour block scarf instead; a couple of the stripes at the back are in navy because I was still playing yarn chicken, but the visible parts are in black.

As it turned out, I had enough black left over to make a pompom for the hat and still have some left over (but I keep telling myself it probably wasn’t enough for a full black scarf).

I accidentally sewed the buttons all the way through the tube, thus fastening the snowman’s back to his belly, so I had a whale of a time stuffing it. (Thank the crafting gods for metal rulers.) And as it happens, 500g of beans plus whatever stuffing doesn’t feel that heavy when it’s spread out across 39” or so of snowman, but I still think the 1.3kg would have been far, far too much.

Thoughts

I’m really pleased with how this turned out. I kind of wish I’d gone for the more traditional top hat instead of a beanie given my grandparents are in their 80s, but I had no idea how to knit that and didn’t want to break out the hooks for this project so beanie it was.

I used safety eyes for the eyes and mouth. The smaller ones sank into the fabric for some reason, but I quite like the effect it has. And I kind of wish the hat came a bit lower (or that I’d started the eyes a bit higher) but I’m still really pleased with how it looks.

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