Tips & Techniques for Knitting theknittycat's Peeps and Other Toys

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Animated Amigurumi Peeps - Stitch (but no Lilo)

FINALLY!!! A very belated gift for Tony's April birthday (yes, APRIL! I'm so behind!)
  Update: Pattern now available!  See the following post (link to the pdf is on the patterns page):

- Stitch -
the little blue alien from Lilo and Stitch

Oh did this guy give me trouble!!! He's much larger than my usual, and with that huge head, it was like wrestling with a fat blue baby!! :o) Four arms, 16 claws, 8 toenails, 16 big TEETH!! Whew! He took me AGES! I started him in February, and just finished him last week!!! (okay, yes, I did make a lot of other peeps in between, but he was so exhausting for me to work on, I had to keep putting him aside!) But he's finally done and Tony really really loves him! So it was all worth it! Well ... now that it's done, it was worth it!! ;o)

I'll never do it again! I've sworn off making large peeps and I'm sticking to small and tiny ones! :o) Okay, my friends say they've heard that before... but this time I MEAN it! Really! Honest! heh heh

I knit Stitch from the bottom up. His body, arms and head are knitted in one piece with the medium blue yarn, and his legs, ears and nose (and color patches) are grafted on.

here he is with some of my photo references

Aren't those marvelous buttons for his eyes?!
I tried sooo many different things and was not happy at all, then my dear Hubbard came home one day with these beauties! :o)

and here with more photo references

and from the back showing his tattoos(?) Well, his dark blue markings.
I'm not sure what exactly they are.

Did you know that Stitch had a little nub of a tail? I didn't till I started researching photos! :o) I forgot to take pics of the bottoms of his feet, but they have blue circular patches (you can see them a little bit in this pic above) - knitted in, not sewn on, since I could do them in the round while I made the circular bottoms of the feet.

And so you can see his relative size - here he is in my hand and from the side
(see the notch in the top area of his ear?)

    Just for reference... this is the size of
    peep that I like to make!  :o)

Cookie Monster in My Hand
Cookie Monster Peep

Restraining his enthusiasm!

(and another notch, in the bottom area of this ear)

You can kind of see in this picture that he's nice and squishy.
Nice and cuddly, except for his giant button eyes! :o)

With two layers of knitting and curled around at the bottom, even as large as they are, the ears came out surprisingly poseable. :o)


heh heh

Something about his big open mouth seems to fascinate people. :o)
Everyone wants to stick their hands in it! heh heh

including ME!

I told Tony that Stitch is like that wall sculpture in Rome (Boca Della Verita - the Mouth of Truth)...
If you tell a lie while you have your hand stuck in his mouth, he'll BITE it! ;o)

Almost a Pattern
I don’t have an actual pattern for Stitch (and won’t be writing one), but I did discover, just last night, that I made LOTS of notes as I was knitting him, which I had totally forgotten doing. I wrote out nearly everything I did, but not quite - there are missing bits. I did not complete the head decreasing instructions, and did not note how I made the patches for his tummy and back. (Frankly, I didn’t do such a great job on those patches anyway - you could do better, I'm sure.)

I may make my notes available in a pdf later, if folks want them.   
UPDATE:  Pattern now available. See this post for pattern information

Color Patches
As you can see, there are a lot of color patches on Stitch. I'm dreadful at knitting colorwork! I just hate doing it, and it never looks neat to me, so I usually avoid it very carefully! heh heh But since Stitch had all these different shades of blue, I had to work out something. As usually happens, I try various ways of knitting the color in, and wind up chucking that idea, and making separate patches of the colors and grafting them on. :o/

Weeks after knitting Stitch's color patches, I recently was working on Snorlax for Matt (see next post for Snorlax and Jigglypuff) and came up against my nemesis again... colorwork! I made a determined effort to find a good way to do intarsia in the round, since I always work in the round (intarsia worked flat is not such an issue). So I did a bunch of research, and tried a few things out, and was - again - very dissatisfied!! Well, in my opinion, it seems there isn't a "good" way, just work arounds. Gave that idea up and relegated myself to another set of less than satisfactory patches to stitch on. But then I came up with a better way to make the patches! I was very pleased with the outcome on Snorlax and wish I'd discovered the idea while I was making Stitch. But better late than never, I guess. And I'm less disgusted at the thought of making another peep with color patches again! But I'll still avoid it when I can!! ;o)

Update: you can see how I made his teeth and claws in the pattern, which is now available.  
See the next post (the link to the pdf is on the patterns page):

In case you're wondering how I made Stitch's teeth (all 16 of them!!) ... since I reeeeaaaallllyyy did NOT want to make sixteen little pieces and sew each of them on (YUCK!) I tried a few different ideas and settled on knitting them from side to side (actually in the round so they'd be 3 dimensional) in a long strip, using short rows for the shaping (details in my notes). That worked fine! :o) They're two strips of teeth, which I later sewed into his mouth. After grafting the teeth in (using kitchener stitch) I still felt there should be some overlap of his blue lip onto his teeth so I went around his mouth, pulling the blue fabric over the teeth and stitching it down. Yes, it was tricky with that big blue head attached to the big blue body hanging off of what I was sewing!! heh heh My hands still hurt!!!

For his claws and toenails I knitted short I-cords and pulled them in between the stitches of his paws and feet. For the toenails I used one I-cord for each foot. For each foot, I pulled the completed cord through every couple of stitches, over and under, horizontally. For his claws I made one I-cord for every two claws (two for each paw, making four claws per paw). I pulled the finished cord into one stitch and out another, a couple of stitches over, and stitched them in place to ensure that they wouldn't pull out. That worked extremely well, and I used the same method for Snorlax's teeny claws (see next post).
One last note:
Today is's last day ... so goodbye to vox ...
and HELLO! to! :o) So far I'm quite happy with how well things work here! Yay!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cute Sackboy for Sale! & Oscar the Grouch ...

Or ... what to make when you're feeling grouchy ... Oscar of course!

Sackboy Peep for Matt's Birthday
Sackboy Peep on flickr
I get quite a few emails from folks asking to purchase a knitted Sackboy like the one I made for Matt, but considering the fact that my poor Hub is still (a year later!) waiting for me to make one for him, I don't think that's feasible - even if I would ever consider selling any of my peeps (wouldn't that be slavery??). As most of you know, I only make them as gifts of love, for friends and family.

But... I have found a solution for those seeking to purchase (rather than make), a Sackboy ...

Click here to go to the page where you can buy a Sackboy

Cute, huh?!  :o)

I had planned to make a Sackboy for my Hub's birthday last month, but life intervened and things have been kinda crazy for a while - so no Sackboy Peep yet. :o/   So when Matt mentioned seeing this little guy at I had to check it out. As is usually the case with thinkgeek, they were sold out by the time I got there, but I found them at!  Yay!

And, YES!  My hub now has his very own Sackboy!  - just to tide him over till I can make one for him - he still wants my peep version.  ;o)   Don't feel too sad for him, I've made him dozens of peeps!  Just haven't gotten to Sackboy yet. Someday I'll get caught up on my peep posting and you can see some of his collection. Okay...  That may never happen, but I can TRY!

This little Sackboy from is made out of knitted fabric but (sadly) is stuffed with something rather firm, and isn't soft and cuddly, but he's very cute for display!  We love him!

So what peep did my Hub actually get for his birthday this year?


Oscar the Grouch Peep

Oscar the Grouch
(The Muppet from Sesame Street for anyone who doesn't know him)
Or "Garbo" as I tend to call him when I can't remember his name.   ;o)

Oscar the Grouch Peep

I had to restrain his enthusiasm as he was so excited to have his photos taken.  ;o)  You'd think he'd be used to it, but he says that Elmo and Kermit and Cookie usually grab all the attention. 

He goes along with my Hub's other Muppet Peeps, Elmo and Cookie and Kermie, whom you've already seen all over the place, and Grover, whom I made for his last birthday, but haven't posted yet.

Oscar has a little friend, Bitty Kitty, whom he loves very much, and he's not grouchy with her at all.  :o)

Oscar the Grouch Peep

Bitty feels very comfortable and secure when she's with Oscar.

Oscar the Grouch Peep

Oscar Loves wee Bitty Kitty and watches over her carefully

Oscar the Grouch Peep

Bitty Kitty is very very tiny

Bitty Kitty, Oscar the Grouch's dear friend

My Hub says I should show you the large photo as well, so you can get a good look at her.  :o)

Bitty Kitty, Oscar the Grouch's dear friend

Yep, Oscar's trashcan is a bit (!) small...  Duhh... I was knitting away without looking at his can (no pun intended!  Hee hee) and got a bit carried away with his size. He's knitted all in one piece, so the trashcan was bobbing about, below my needles, and still I never noticed!  Heh heh

Oscar the Grouch Peep
         "UGH!  Tight fit!"

Happily my Hub loves him, just as he is!  Yay!  And so do I.  :o)

Hope you've all had a lovely summer!   ;o)

You can find posts about the other Muppet Peeps here, and pics of lots of the peeps here:

theknittingkitty for theknittycat

Monday, September 6, 2010

Notes on moving a vox blog to typepad, blogspot and wordpress...


see the bottom of this post for more information

Peter & son Charlie after eating too much tomato & pumpkin brains

After the shock of the news of vox's demise wore off a bit, the concern over the task of moving my blog to another site set in. However, importing this blog to other sites was surprisingly easy!  Tweaking the sites to look how I want them to was time consuming (especially doing three at a time!) but the actual import was no problem.

Importing to typepad, with the automatic set-up that vox is providing, was glitchy at first (maybe because I was moving very soon after the notice appeared on our blogs and there may have been a lot of folks going at once), and I did have to restart it, but all the posts and pics moved over with no real issues.

Importing to wordpress was super easy and super fast!  :o). And from there I was able to import to blogspot.  Wordpress has an import choice specifically for vox. Click this and give your vox info and it's done.

Blogspot was less simple, since blogspot only has the option to import a blogspot export file. Hmmm. Not very good marketing strategy, is it. However, once imported to a wordpress blog, you can export your blog to a file from wordpress (too bad vox didn't give us this option), and then convert this file with this handy wordpress2blogger utility:

The only bad thing is that there is a file size limitation, so this may not work for large blogs. There may be another utility for larger ones out there.  This utility converted my wordpress file perfectly and I was able to quickly import it to blogspot.

Warning: I have discovered that importing to blogspot with the wordpress file will bring links to photos in your wordpress library, if the photos in your posts were previously in your vox library (and not at flickr, photobucket, picasaweb or another photosite).  What this means is that if you delete your wordpress account, the photos linked to in your posts will disappear.  :o/  If your photos were not in your vox library to begin with, this is not a problem.  Also, if you just keep the wordpress account, it's not a problem, either.  The solution that I will have to apply is to change the link manually for each one affected to point to the photos on  Since I have a very small number of posts (though quite photo heavy), this won't be as daunting for me as for many of you with hundreds of posts to go through.

I've spent a few days with the three sites and so far, I'm most pleased with blogspot.  Here are my thoughts on the three sites:


Though wordpress has the nicest looking interface for composition and design, it has some real problems with pictures. And since my blog is totally picture heavy (except for this post, of course), this isn't a good thing for me.  Also, it's difficult to change the size of your text. Other than some header options, there is no sizing button, or font button in their composer. You have to manually change the HTML!  Ugh!

While posting this to wordpress, the font sizes went all wonky.  I can't see any size tags in the html window, so ???  Like I said, there are problems with this one.  :o/


I wasn't pleased with Typepad at all. It's too restrictive. And I couldn't even have my own banner at the top of the blog. Their theme choices were very meager and allowed very little tweaking to allow you to make it better or even personalize it. Now this is a free account, so maybe there are more options for paid ones, but since I'm offering my tutorials, and patterns and hints as a service and gift for others, I'd like it to continue when I'm not around to pay a fee to keep the site, so I need a free site.  I didn't do much with this site since I disliked the look I was able to achieve there, so I can't speak as to it's functionality.

While putting in this post, I have played with the tools a little and there are some nice posting features.  An option to go full screen, so you can see all of your post, instead of being restricted to a little box (wordpress has this option as well, but blogspot only has the option of making the fairly generously sized box longer, not wider), and some additional fonts, that the others don't support, including, Comic Sans MS.  As well as having Heading1,2,3 etc, it has a lovely array of font sizes in a strange little wheel (instead of small, normal, large, extra large on blogspot, and paragraph, Heading1, heading2, etc. on wordpress).  Presumably you can really tweak the sizes if you have the patience, since you cannot type a number into this box but must use ctrl-shift-uparrow or downarrow to adjust it.  My efforts were, however, not successful. I also see an "insert a file" button, that the others don't have, and that has an intriguing sound to it.  I'll have to check that out.


Although the interface at blogspot isn't as classy-looking as the one at wordpress, while playing around with it to set up what I wanted, I found it to be surprisingly functional!  I was able to do pretty nearly everything I wanted to do, and with minimal effort. And most importantly, everything WORKED!  This, of course, is a big deal!  :o)

I was delighted to find that I could not only set the size and font of what i was posting (with limited font choices), i could also change the size and font of the text across my entire blog with built in, and easy to achieve, customizations to the template.  And there are lots of other easy-to-do customizations of the look and content, so I can really make this look how I want it to look.

I was frustrated at one point with the site header in the theme that I chose, as it was forcing the text to be all caps in the name of the site, and I wanted all lowercase, but everything else was working, so I figured I'd live with it for the moment. But then I discovered that I could easily get to the HTML of the template itself, and modify it!  And it was simple to take out the instructions to force uppercase. Hurray!  :o)


If you'd like to take a look at the results on all three sites, they're here:

Leave a comment if you'd like to let me (and others) know your opinions of the sites, when moving your blogs. Of course, after the 15th of September you'll have to leave your comments on one of my other sites (I'd suggest blogspot since it looks like that will be the winner for my purposes), since we won't be able to do so on vox after that. :o(

Best of luck in your new homes, everyone!

UPDATE 09/17/2010 - 

Vox to blogspot

1. Sign up for an account at
    (yes, I did mean wordpress - you need to get an export file of your blog from wordpress
     because blogspot won't import from vox directly)
2. Import your vox blog to wordpress
    a. go to your dashboard by clicking the button at the top left of the page
    "my blogs" then "dashboard" from the dropdown list
    b. on the left side of the dashboard is a list of links, near the bottom is "tools", click this to open the box
    c. click on "import" in the box (below "tools")
    d. find "vox" in the list in the center and click it
    e. fill out the form
    "host name" is the name of your vox blog - mine was "knittycat" for
    "username" is the email address associated with your vox blog
3. Export your wordpress blog to a file and import it to blogspot following the instructions here:

Ta daaa! You now have your blog copied to both wordpress and
blogspot. Any photos that were in your library on vox are now in your
wordpress library and are being linked to by your blogspot posts.

(This online conversion program may not work for large blogs as the file size limit is 1meg. However an exported blog is all text with links to pictures, so may not be as large as you think. If your blog is larger and this app doesn't work for you, I can't help, but try doing a google search for other ways to convert a wordpress export file to a blogger import file.  In the meantime, your blog is safely copied to

If you have any problems, check the help forums on and, but I didn't have any difficulties with it.

Good Luck! :o)

Friday, September 3, 2010 has MOVED! is closing is closing!

Wow!  What a shock!  Bloggers at just found out that the site is closing in less than a month (September 30th, 2010,  and we have to move everything or lose it all!

I've just imported to,, and
(not to livejournal because lj does not allow importing from another blog for some sad reason).

I'll try each of them out and see what works best.  Maybe moving to another site will turn out to be a good thing.  We’ll see…

I'm just really happy that I was able to import my posts to other sites!!  Whew!  All those peeps ... nearly lost in oblivion... what a scary thought!

But now they have lots of room to play!  Alll over the internet!  ;o)

Obviously, this is a work in progress... getting the formatting fixed may take a while.  But at least the posts will survive... I HOPE!  :o)

Sadly, I'll be losing my site counter.  :o(

Today's count was:
vox site counter September 3, 2010
vox site counter September 3, 2010

I will cross post to all three sites for a while, to test them out, and let you know my findings.

A sincere thanks to all of you who have  followed my silliness on vox, and who have been so patient, waiting for me to come up with a pattern occasionally.  I hope to see you in my new home.  And to hear from more of you, since the commenting at each of these new places is open to anyone, not just members!