Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Small Clanger for a Small Boy

Amidst my mountain of Christmas crochet and knitting came a request I just had to fulfill. Carolyn asked me to knit her a Clanger for her lovely son, Ruaridh - isn't that a beautiful name. It's Gaelic, as Carolyn is Scottish, and translates as 'red-haired king' and is pronounced rueri or roory.

For those of you who haven't heard of the Clangers they were an animated children's TV series from the late 1960's early 70s. They were super-cute and I loved them! The characters have been re-vamped and a new series was aired in June this year and has captivated a new audience of young viewers.

It was easy to get a basic pattern for the Clanger as I still had a paper copy of the original which the BBC issued at the time. We established which character was Ruaridh's favourite ('Small' Clanger) and so I searched around to see what changes had been made and then contacted the production company to confirm - it appeared that his costume had been modified but there were so many variations of it on-line I had to just use an old template and update the colour and embroidery. What shocked me was the number of people who were offering photocopies of the pattern for sale which surely must be an infringement of copyright?

This was such fun to knit even though a tad fiddly and I really enjoyed putting the pieces together and creating the character of Small Clanger. I can see why people get addicted to designing toys!

Here he is in his various stages:

Starting at the tip of the nose, short-row shaping is used to create his head

Short-row shaping is neat and doesn't leave any gaps 

Starting his body section. The sheep stitch marker is to identify which row to join.

The holes for his legs - safety pins, rather than stitch holders, are handy for tiny stitches and don't get in the way (note my snowman PJs!)

Clanger central. My Christmas projects took over the whole house this year as Mike pointed out - gloves and a scarf in the lounge, 2 x lap blankets in the Dining Room, cow stuff in the kitchen, Sue's cowl in my office (along with a couple of secret things he didn't spot which were in the spare bedroom!!!)

His nose and head were sewn together with mattress stitch and then I put plenty of stuffing in before sewing up his tummy and then filling him again to get a pleasing shape.

You can see the shaped bits where his legs were attached

Having stuffed his legs I added his feet (there's a template with the pattern) made of black felt

Next were his ears which are edged with teeny-weeny i-cord which really neatens the join between the outer ear and the inner section which is made of pink felt. I used the photos as a guide when placing his ears and then stitched them in place using wool for the outer ear and cotton thread for the inner ear.

There were several clever touches to help bring him to life such as inserting 2 stitches to help accentuate the line between his face and neck

The end of his snout is finished with a tiny circle of pink felt for his nose - he was starting to look cute by this stage!

Then his front legs were added and I took quite a while making sure they were in just the right place so his costume would fit well.

Look at his teeny-weeny fingers! Some patterns use felt but the original ones were knitted.

I positioned his eyes using pins to make sure I liked how they looked. I didn't have any semi-circle eyes so used some black beads from an old necklace and then drew them in so they were slightly indented (this also gives the face more character)


I took some mid-brown felt and cut wedge shapes out to create his hair and fringe.

"I'm feeling a bit naked…….please make me some clothes!" OK Small, will do…...

The updated version of Small has a different set of armour but I stuck with the original and chose the shade of felt closest to it. Then I did backstitch all round the outside edge of each piece using sparkly silver thread.

"Thank you"

His clothing is sewn onto the body using mid-brown wool.

I emulated his new logo as best I could - the updated version is machine-embroidered

Then he was all dressed up and ready to go his new home.

I was relieved when Carolyn told me that he'd arrived safely and delighted when she sent me this lovely photo of Ruaridh holding him. Even better, he told his grandma that Mrs Claus had knitted it for him. A perfect result!

Happy Christmas Ruaridh. I hope you and Small have lots of adventures together.

I must just add that Ruaridh has been accompanying Carolyn to their local parkrun and yesterday he completed his 50th run - and he keeps getting faster and faster. Well done Ruaridh.


Anonymous said...

You have made small clanger beautifully! Makes me want to make a toy - which I never have, not a knitted one anyway. Who wouldn't love it? Brilliant, you seem to have got all the details just right and done everything so nicely, no lumpy stuffing or anything. I love it.

Susie Hewer said...

Thanks Sara! I haven't made many knitted toys but they are incredibly absorbing so I urge you to have a go using whichever medium you prefer. Susie x

Lowcarb team member said...

Hi Susie ... and a Happy New Year
I've just spotted your blog from 'Old Running Fox' blog ... and thought I'd hop over and read.

Alzheimer's is in our family, I lost both my dear Gran and my Dear Mum to this most cruel of diseases.

My husband is a Type 2 diabetic (diagnosed seven years ago) and since that time we have done a lot of reading about diet / lifestyle.

We now both live the LCHF lifestyle ... eating lower reduced carbs, higher healthy fats and moderate protein. Add some regular exercise and a good sleep pattern too! We've found that his blood sugar levels are excellent and I also think it may assist with Alzheimer's / Dementia because this disease is now sometimes referred to as Type 3 Diabetes.

Reading through your blog, you have done so brilliantly in helping raise awareness and funds.

So thank you.


In relation to the Clangers, it was such a popular series and so many are pleased to see it back on our screens ... I just love the clanger you've knitted.


I'm sure I will be back to visit your blog again.
In the meantime may 2016 be a good year for you and yours.

All the best Jan

Susie Hewer said...

Hi Jan,

Thanks for dropping by from Gordon's blog and for your kind words. Sorry to hear that you have experience of dementia. You will understand why I'm driven to help change attitudes about it and fund more research to prevent/control it.

I was interested to read about your experiments with a LCHF diet as a means to control diabetes. I reduced my carbs a lot last year and my running didn't suffer so this year I'm going to continue. For me it's a case of trying to lower my increasingly high cholesterol (familial) level which does not respond to so-called cholesterol lowering foods such as porridge/Benecol etc. I am vegetarian so am careful to get enough protein from non-animal sources too.

I loved The Clangers when I was younger and I too am glad they're back for another generation to enjoy!

I hope that you have a happy and healthy 2016 too and hope you do pop back occasionally.