Finlay The Fish

I let my dad name him and he was very proud of it… Finlay… you know… FINlay… like fish have fins?

Okay so you might need to bare with me for this post, I know I’ve done plenty of posts about my knitting projects in the past but… this is a pattern I made up myself so… I can’t really do my usual run through!

So, Finlay is the very first of my Isle of Harris-inspired collection of toys!

My aim for these is to try to start making my own patterns up, inspired by the fantastic wildlife found here on Harris! To be completely honest with you, I wanted to start off with a bang and have a go at a seal right away but… fins are hard and I figured doing them on a smaller scale with a fish instead would be a good starting point

But I think I figured out how I’m going to do seals and dolphin patterns now so… stay tuned!

The other feature of all of these projects is that I want to try to make all of them with the wool native to the Isle of Harris – Harris Tweed Wool

The other feature of all of these projects is that I want to try to make all of them with the wool native to the Isle of Harris – Harris Tweed Wool

My lovely neighbour up here (henceforth known as Sock because she’s also teaching me to make socks like a legend) actually gave me a load of her off cuts of Harris Tweed Wool that she can’t use for her own knitting anymore, but are kind of perfect for my little animals!

As you can see, all the wool is hella funky and I love it all and if I could make socks I would be making some wacky as heck socks

This choice of wool, however, was another reason why I ultimately decided to start with something pretty small and what I thought would be a relatively simple pattern. I needed to be able to get used to using the wool as it’s a far cry from the usual textures and thickness that I’m used to

As it turns out, I love this wool so, so much – which is good, because I’m going to be using a whole lot of it in the coming months!

(But it’s also kinda quite expensive so… consider buying me a coffee?)

This wool is rather coarse and rough to the touch and yet as you knit with it it feels almost slippery to use? Once more making some very contradictory statements regarding wool but just trust me on this one?

Another thing that I adore about this wool is that because of how it’s made and its usual use, it’s not just one block colour, there’s a load of different colours in each ball which I think makes for some really, really interesting projects!

I probably will make a couple more of these patterns up using my good old faithful Snuggly DK wool to try to perfect the fish and with the other, more complicated animals, I will be 100% practicing the patterns on the various cheap off cuts of wool that I have lying around the house, too, so as not to waste too much of my wonderful gift from Sock

(once more I forgot to take a before shot of my wool and needles, but in my defence it was kind of a Norbert-acting-up-late-night decision to make a start on this project so… forgive me?)

As you can see, I knitted Finlay on 4mm needles – the same ones that I use to make all of my blanket squares so they were familiar to use, though I desperately want some wooden ones considering how much I use them at the moment!

I’m gonna indulge myself, watch me

I also picked a purple colour of Harris Tweed Wool – that was a decision I made mostly because I wanted to save the darker, tamer colours for my later projects (saving the blues for the dolphin I’m so excited!!!) and I actually think that this colour fish alongside a couple of others made from this wool if I decide I want to use more for the fish (I was thinking specifically at least the yellow and pink balls) they would look really cool as a decoration shoal of fish hanging somewhere

Just an idea that I might make real at some point, considering that this pattern was actually rather easy and it took me less than a day to complete!

Overall I am pretty pleased with how Finlay turned out considering that he was my first attempt at designing my own pattern! I understand that he may seem quite simple on the front of it but I actually tried out a couple of techniques that I’m not as confident in to try to prepare myself for later projects and it’s also helped me out a lot with my planning for the seal and the dolphin in particular as I now have a slightly better idea of how I’m going to do their tails!

I sent the second photo to my vegetarian Mum and in reply I got “Funny.” – I don’t think that she actually found it all that funny but on the bright side me, Dad and my siblings all did!

Also yes, Finlay now belongs to my dog, she stole him but I can’t even be that mad when she looks so sweet and isn’t actually trying to tear him to shreds, which is what I definitely thought would happen

But yes! This is the first of my Isle of Harris collection! I have a lot of plans for it but they’re going to be pretty slow updates in this department, however I’m also going to be blogging a fair bit about Harris in general – what I love about the island, where I’d recommend going, looking into it’s history a bit more and there’s for sure going to be a lot more dog photos if that’s what you’re here for!

I was also considering putting up this pattern on my Coffee page – of course it’s a relatively simple design already but if that’s something that you would be interested in then let me know and I’ll put it up on there!

I hope you’re all well, let me know what you think of Finlay and my dad’s awful humour!

Freddie 🐸

Published by Freddie

Hi! My name's Freddie, I'm 19 years old and use she/her pronouns. I use knitting as a way to healthily try and cope with my mental health (me and my friends call it Norbert). I mostly make animals though also have branched out into clothing (jumpers and hats mostly) and I thought that blogging about it might be a way to help others who have also been struggling!

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