the armadillo collection

Somehow or other, armadilloes became decidedly in vogue this spring – or at least in my house they did. Due to no particular reason, I found myself embarking on an armadillo-themed, three-part birthday present, consisting of two matching (but different) pillowcases, and a fluffy little woolly armadillo to go with them. I never intended to make it a present of three instalments, but when I saw that I wasn’t going to make the deadline with the first pillowcase, I started on the woolly version. And then of course I didn’t finish that on time either, so ended up giving all three parts away late. Very late. But now I proudly present to you the finished collection:

Pillowcase the First: I think I got the idea for the zig-zag pattern from a book on Indonesian embroidery originally, though I can’t properly remember now and in any case you certainly wouldn’t know it from seeing it here! As for the armadillo itself, I made a pattern for it, and will upload it shortly to the cross-stitch designs page, for the unlikely event that anyone else finds themselves in desperate need of an instant armadillo cross-stitch pattern!

Pillowcase the Second: as you can see, these pillowcases are far too finely woven for even my youthful sparky eyes to count the threads, so I had to use waste canvas to keep my stitches neat and tidy. No matter how many times I stitch on waste canvas, I can never get over the surprise that comes when you pull all the threads out, and the huge difference in the way something looks, once the canvas has been removed. Now finished, it reads: ‘Be my darling armadillo all the day!’, followed by another armadillo, in purple, facing the opposite direction to the first. The keen Flanders and Swann fans among you will recognise this line from their Armadillo song, and will know just how appropriate it is for it to feature on a pillowcase, given the two preceding lines: ‘Be my fellow on my pillow / Underneath this weeping willow’. If you’re not a keen Flanders and Swann fan, then I strongly recommend you go and listen to this song straightaway, with a hanky at hand, to dab away the inevitable tears. Now whenever I look at this pillow, or any photos of it, I always, without fail, end up with this song stuck in my head.

And finally, part three, this snuffly little cutie (now christened Beatrix, or Trixie for short/to her friends) came about. I found this awesome pattern for a knitted armadillo quite some time ago now, and I’ve just been waiting for the occasion to present itself when I could start knitting it. (I knew such an occasion would come, and sure enough…) One of the coolest things about this armadillo is that her shell is big enough that you can pull it over her head and tail, and she can curl up in a little ball to make her quite the cutest thing I’ve seen in a long time. I’ll put more photos of her, and her two embroidered friends, up on Flickr soon. So there ends my armadillo collection! An accidental, yet pleasing trio of beasts!