Teeny tiny terror

Isn't it funny how sometimes the smallest projects give us the most trouble?

My friend Catherine gave birth to an adorable baby boy on September 11, and I had planned out 3 gifts for him. Two were done, but one was languishing--Sheldon.

I picked Sheldon because Catherine and her husband are big Maryland Terrapins fans, and since you can customize the colors, I could make a pint-sized terrapin for the baby.

Don't be deceived, though, this project isn't as small as it looks. And certainly not as easy.

The body was fine, the legs were tedious, but easy.

And then I got to the shell.

Oh the shell.

You knit the top. Then you knit the bottom. Then you seam them together in some impossible fashion, using different methods for the top, bottom and sides because all the increases and decreases lead to messy edges, and you can't follow a single row of stitches to save your life.

And then, once that torture is finally over, you knit the Shell Attachment Panel.

Ok, the knitting part is easy enough. What's not easy is the Attaching part. At this point in the KNITTING pattern, the author suddenly expects you to know how to crochet.

(And this is an irrational pet peeve of mine. I don't crochet. I don't have time or the will to learn, and really, I have enough yarn, patterns and knitting needles to last a lifetime, I don't need to add another hobby. If 99% of the pattern is knitting, please don't suddenly through some crochet at me out of left field.)

So maybe this is easier if you do crochet, but as I don't, I had to improvise at this point and knit around the edge of the panel to get it to fold up into the appropriate form.

And then, finally, you use an icord border to attach the shell to the Shell Attachment Panel, which would again be a lot easier if the rows of stitches weren't disappearing into edges and generally refusing to line up.

But it is attached, and the icord border is quite forgiving, covering up all manner of sins.

Now I just need to attach the legs and send him on his merry way.

The saddest part is, there are all kinds of costumes I could knit for Sheldon, but I honestly never want to see another Shell Attachment Panel as long as I live.