I started out knitting a 50 stitch tube on US6 DPNs using Elann's Peruvian Collection Highland Wool starting with orange and alternating with a yellow stripe every 10 rows. After 9 stripes (ending with an orange stripe), I put 25 stitches on a holder and worked back and forth in stocking stitch with the orange on the other 25 stitches casting off stitches on the either side as follows: *cast off 1 stitch on either side of rows 11, 14, 17, 19, 21, 22 and 2 stitches on either side of rows 23 and 24. Cast off remaining stitches.* Repeat with the 25 stitches waiting on the holder. Using red yarn, make 2 semi-circles for the inside of the mouth by casting on 25 stitches for each and following the instructions between the asterisks above. Make 2. Note that I knitted in a tongue one on of the red mouth pieces using the intarsia method. The tongue is basically an upside down heart with a rounded bottom. I totally winged it. Then I sewed it all together and ended up with a 14 inch long Slimey hand puppet. Easy peasy!
Now for the fun part, I decided to try my hand at felting. I filled a bathroom sink with piping hot tap water and some dish soap and let the puppet soak for a minute or two while I raided the kitchen for impromptu tools to help with the felting process.
I found two winners! I was really impressed with how well the inside on the salad spinner worked. Ours is made by Oxo and has rounded plastic circles that don't snag the yarn but have great felting ability. I rubbed the wet puppet on it repeatedly for about 30 minutes. The other winning tool is the strainer perfect for the inside of the mouth and other smaller bits or when you get tired of using the salad spinner insert.
Every once in a while (when my hands got tired, I would wring the puppet and put it in the other sink (having two bathroom sinks is great for felting!) which was filled with ice cold water (and ice!) to shock it. I have no idea if this made any difference in the felting process but it did give me poor hands a bit of a rest every once in a while.
Tada! It's a Slimey! And it actually looks like Slimey! But it's a tad too small. It works fine but would be a little more comfortable for daddy if it was a tad larger. I made the eyes by casting on 14 stitches of worsted weight black yarn (I used acrylic for extra shine) on the tiniest needles I could find (US 2) using a provisional cast on. Knit 9 rows of stocking stitch. Cut the yarn, weaved it through the stitches with a needle and pulled them tight, seamed up the side, pulled out the provisional cast-on and weaved the end through those loops as well, filled the eyeball with as much black yarn as possible for a nice round sphere, pulled the end really tight to close and sewed it on to the puppet. Repeat for the other eyeball and voila!
PS: Ever get a Sesame Street song in your head but don't know the words? If you're like me, you need to learn the words to get the song out of your head so here's a great resource and sanity saver for you: Sesame Street Lyrics ;0)