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Shiversome

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Shiversome adjective causing or characterized by shivers

Look, I have a somewhat complicated relationship with winter in general and with snow in particular.

There's a fairly outspoken seven year old inside me who thinks it's great. Snow days, snow angels, sledding...what's not to like? But there's also a very tired 40something in there who is really quite sick of shoveling the driveway and driving on slippery roads and worrying about the roof.

I'm trying to find the happy medium. Tucking up under woolly blankets with a new book, hot chocolate ready to hand, watching the snow while I am safely inside is actually rather lovely. And since winter is happening regardless of how I feel about it, I might as well try to enjoy what it has to offer.

But I'm definitely still working on coming to terms with the cold. And these little buddies help. Yes, they are snowmen. But they're the warmest, coziest, toastiest snowmen you'll ever meet. No cold toes or freezing fingers or wind reddened cheeks required.

The pattern is tremendously detailed and holds your hand every step of the way. The hardest part will be deciding which hat and scarf to make for your little buddy!

The knitting is easy, each snowman has about as many stitches as the foot of an adult’s sock, and the hats and scarves have fewer stitches than a self respecting gauge swatch. The knitting is mostly stockinette in the round with just a few carefully placed increases and decreases to give things shape.

You don’t need any special equipment to make them, just yarn, whatever needles you like for working in the round (circs or dpns as you prefer), and something to stuff them with (I used weighted pellets, but stuffing works great too).

And just in case you’re feeling a bit nervous, the pattern includes a lengthy photo tutorial to walk you through every step of the process (seriously, there are pages of step by step photos, it holds your hand the whole way through). There are all sorts of helpful tips on everything from how to cast on to what to fill them with to how to block them to when to weave in your ends. It’s almost absurdly detailed, but it really does mean you can totally make them!

Just to be super clear, the pattern includes instructions for the snowman body (in two sizes), three hats, and three scarves.

Because you're not aiming for an exact size, gauge isn't as important as usual. You just need to be working at a gauge that will give you a firm fabric for the snowman's body so your stuffing doesn't show through.

I held a couple of yarns together to make my snowman bodies. I like to include a fuzzy yarn in the mix because it helps your fabric be dense and firm without having to use really tiny needles, but it's optional. I worked at about 6 stitches per inch and got snowmen that are between 4 an 6 inches tall and between 4 and 5 inches wide. But you can absolutely use a thicker or thinner yarn and get larger or smaller snowmen. Each body took less than 150 yards of yarn (or of each yarn if I was using several yarns held together).

It's even more relaxed for the accessories. For the scarves, just go until it's long enough to wrap as far around the snowman as you like. For the hats, just try it on after you've knit a few rounds to check the fit (for something this tiny, that's quicker than knitting a gauge swatch, since the hat is smaller than a decent swatch). Each set of accessories took less than 50 yards of yarn.

Between the low yardage and the flexible gauge, this is a perfect pattern for using up leftovers from other projects.

These are perfect for you if:
  • You're trying to come to terms with the whole 'winter is happening, whether I approve of it or not' thing any way you can
  • You find yourself wanting to knit an army of snowmen, all bound to obey your commands, to carry out your nefarious plans (snowmen obedience not guaranteed)
These are not for you if:
  • You’re looking for a somber, serious project
  • You don’t like charts (the pattern uses charts)

You will get a PDF (2MB) file

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