Dorothy Jane the Door Hanging Giraffe and beads

Ever get tired of talking to someone and just wish a giraffe would hold up a sign that has everything you want to say?  Well, I don’t, since that’s kind of weird.  But if you’re one of few people that do, then I have just the thing!  Now presenting…

Dorothy Jane, the Door Hanging Giraffe!  This plus-sized amigurumi is not only adorable, but also serves an actual purpose!  I originally made it for store fronts, so small, mother-owned craft stores could have creative ways of telling their customers that they’re open, but I realized that DJ here has the neck to hold up pretty much any sign:  “Happy Birthday” for birthdays, “Merry Christmas” for the holidays, “Do not disturb” for hotel rooms, and even “In use” for bathrooms!  Here’s an action shot I got of her:

Now, onto the knitty-gritty about the project.  I based Dorothy Jane off of this picture of a knitted giraffe.  I know they look similar, but because I am too cheap to pay someone for a pattern, I just stared at the picture for hours and can now proudly say that this is a 100% original pattern.  See?!  Frugality does pay off!  The body was done in one piece, and then sewed together along the side.  The ears, arms, and legs were more difficult because of their size and I had to redo them multiple times so they were just disproportionate enough to look alright.  The hardest part, by far, was the muzzle.  Since the picture I based this off of shows the giraffe head on, I had no idea how protuberant the muzzle was supposed to be.  Here’s a profile of mine to show you how far out I made mine go:

 The lettering on the signs weren’t as difficult as they were challenging.  I have never tried to knit letters before, so this was a fun opportunity for me to use fair isle knitting to switch between white and black.  It’s actually quite easy to do, and it provides for a seamless color change between stitches that looks almost professional!

If you haven’t read my previous post (which I suggest you do), I am submitting Dorothy Jane into the Martha Stewart Crafts Challenge in efforts to win $1,000 worth of yarn.  Yes, you counted the zeroes correctly.  One grand worth of yarn.  The only drawback is whatever I make must be made out of Martha Stewart brand yarn, and that yarn is expensive.  How expensive, you ask?  Well, my original idea was to submit a nice fair isle knit sweater or vest.  After seeing the prices, I chose to make a 1 foot tall giraffe out of two colors.  But, to be fair, the quality of yarn is really nice, and I haven’t bought yarn in a yarn store in a very long time, so anything over $4 or $5 is a shock.

For those of you who are full fledged adults and have forgotten, this past week was spring break, which means I spent a lot of time at home with friends and family.  And it was during this time at home that I realized who I am destined to become.

My aunt has always loved beaded crafts.  Even when I was little, I remember going to her house and playing with her beads (until I got one stuck in my ear and had to go to the emergency room to get it removed).  And for as long as I remember, every momentous occasion in my life has been accompanied by a beaded toy.  At first it was only during Christmas, when I’d receive stars, snowflakes, and angels.  Then it became birthdays, with dogs on skateboards and tigers in kimonos.  More recently it’s been a dragon for Chinese New Year and a piano (bench included) for graduation.  Needless to say, I have enough material to construct a small (anthropomorphized) society.  Anyway, when I went to visit my aunt this past week, I discovered her newest craft: beaded containers.  They were everywhere, made of all colors and shapes.  There were butterflies holding napkins and flowers holding pens.  I even think there was a beaded container to hold her beads used to make more containers.  And right when I was about to call the amount of beads excessive, I thought of my knitted grocery bag, which is currently holding all of my yarn, and Tully the Turtle, who is sitting on my speaker, and my creepy rice-bunny, which is propped up on my desk at home, and now Dorothy Jane, who is lying on my bed with a smirk on her face.  That’s when I knew.  I am my aunt, just with a different weapon of choice.  And just like how I wonder why a tiger would ever wear a kimono, my kid will one day ask why a giraffe needs to be the one to say that someone is in the bathroom.

***Brazil is larger than the continental United States (that is, the U.S. excluding Alaska and Hawai’i) by around 500,000 square feet.

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