On a long (but duronto!) rail journey across the country, watching the sashaying bogies from the window as the train went along a curve, it was most appropriate that I was knitting a cotton train of sorts myself:
This is Nilu the Caterpillar. Adapted from Kimberly Chapman’s amazing set of free toy patterns. He is many shades of blue, hence, obviously, the name.
Pattern: Caterpillar by Kimberly Chapman
Gauge: 5 spi / 6spi for the navy
Needle: size 4 US (3.5 mm) dpns for the blue and purple balls, and 1 US (2.25 mm) dpns for the navy ball, and the applied I-cord edging
Yarn: Leftover little balls of cotton yarn, I’m not really sure what brands they were.
This is the simplest, quickest toy to make – cast on, join in the round, increase a few times, knit straight for a few rows, decrease equal number of times, stuff, repeat, and decrease all the way down in the last one. You can adapt it to any gauge, and also stuff as you go to see how large you want it. You can add or subtract the number of balls. You can even change the needles to keep to a similar size if you use different-weight yarns, as I did. I also ditched the legs and just made two I-cord antennae and sewed on eyes. Thank you, Kimberly Chapman, for a great free pattern, and lots of inspiration!
Nilu and M are already best friends. He is just learning to turn on to his side and fall on his tummy, and wraps himself around the toy, koala-bear style, as he does it. Generally, he seems to like long, tubular toys, so my mind is abuzz with pattern ideas for similar shapes. In the meantime, I hope Nilu is durable and patient, because it looks like he is going to get some rough treatment in the coming weeks.