Monday, April 14, 2008

Bartleby, the Baby Rat Creature (with free pattern)

Here's Bartleby, the third in my series of creations based on Jeff Smith's wonderful Bone series. He doesn't say much, but Bartleby is probably one of the cutest creatures in the series. I actually thought he was going to be the easiest to make, but he ended up being the most difficult. (So far! I still haven't tackled Smiley)

I was obsessed with making Bartleby look as much like the version in the comics as I could. As my boyfriend, who is both wise and witty, pointed out "You're trying to copy a two dimensional object in a three dimensional form, it's not going to be perfect." But then I pointed to my version of Nibbler and he agreed there was probably some room for improvement.

So in the end, Bartleby's head was taken apart and redone twice. I made three versions of his ears before settling on these ones. His hind legs were also made 3 or 4 times, and finally I had to remake the front legs because they were too long to go with the final version of his hind legs. Then there were the eyes...

The eyes are made from those flat marbles you find in the floral section of craft stores. I'd posted on Crafter looking for suggestions on how I could make the rat creatures eyes and I thought this suggestion made by Rio_Supreme was the best one. The red marbles I'd bought seemed too bright so I tried gluing some black felt to the backs of them to make them darker. This worked, but when I stuck them on Bartleby's body the felt made them stick out too far from his head. Then I tried painting the backs black with acrylic paint, but then they were too dark. Finally I just decided to accept the eyes as they were and glue them on as is.

Now that I've had a few day to look at the finished product I'm pretty happy with it. I would prefer slightly darker eyes, but there just aren't that many colours of flat marbles to choose from.

Bartleby's head and body shape are borrowed heavily from the Gumball Kitten pattern that can be found on the Quaking Aspen Blog. However, Bartleby's body is slighly narrower and longer. As always, if you see any problems with the pattern or have any questions feel free to use the 'comments' feature to contact me.



Bartleby Pattern

Materials
size G (4.25mm) Crochet Hook
two flat red marbles for eyes
Pattons Decor Worsted Weight Wool in “Pale Aubergine” (one skein)
fiber fill or other stuffing material

Head
6 sc into a magic ring
RND 1: 2 sc in each st around (12 stitches)
RND 2: *1 sc in first st, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (18 st)
RND 3: *1 sc in first 2 st, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (24 st)
RND 4: *1 sc in first 7 st, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (27 st)
RND 5: *1 sc in first 8 st, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (30 st)
For next 2 RNDs sc in each st around (30 st)
RND 8: 12 dec stitches then 6 sc around (18 st)
RND 9: *1 sc in first 4 st, dec over next two stitches* repeat around (15 st)
sl st into next stich, finish off. Leave long tail for sewing.

Body
6 sc into a magic ring
RND 1: 2 sc in each st around (12 stitches)
RND 2: *1 sc in first st, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (18 st)
RND 3: *1 sc in first 2 st, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (24 st)
RND 4: *1 sc in first 7 st, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (27 st)
RND 5: *1 sc in first 8 st, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (30 st)
RND 6: *1 sc in first 9 st, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (33 st)
RND 7: *1 sc in first 10 st, 2 sc in next st* repeat around (36 st)
For next 4 RNDs sc in each st around (36 st)
RND 12: *1 sc in first 4 st, dec over next 2 st* repeat around (30 st)
RND 13: *1 sc in first 3 st, dec over next 2 st* repeat around (24 st)
RND 14: *1 sc in first 2 st, dec over next 2 st* repeat around (18 st)
RND 15: *1 sc in first 4 st, dec over next 2 st* repeat around (15 st)
sl st into next stitch, finish off.

Tail
6 sc into a magic ring.
For 3 RNDs sc in each st around (6 sts)
sl st into next st, finish off. Leave long tail for sewing.

Ears (make 2)
Note: hdc = half double crochet
Chain 3
RND 1: 2 sc in third ch from hook (forming a ring) then 2 hdc in next two st (6 sts)
RND 2: 2 sc over next 2 sts, *2 hdc in next st* 4 times (10 st)
*sl st into next st* 2 times, finish off. Leave tail for sewing.

Front Legs (make 2)
4 sc into magic ring
RND 1: 2 sc in each st around (8 sts)
For next 6 RNS sc into each st around (8 st)
sl st into next st, finish off. Leave long tail for sewing.

Back Legs (make 2)
4 sc into magic ring
RND 1: 2 sc into each st around (8 sts)
For next 3 RNDs sc in each st around (8 sts)
RND 5: 1 sc in first 3 st, 2 sc in each of next 4 st, one sc in next st (12 sts)
RND 6: sc in first 6 st, 2 sc in each of next 2 st, then sc in next 4 st (14 sts)
For next 3 RNDs sc in each st around (14 sts)
RND 10: sc in first 3 sts, *dec over next 2 sts* 5 times), 1 sc in next st (9 sts)
sl st into next st, finish off.

Assembly
Note: use photos as a guide when stitching together pieces.

Stuff head and body to desired level. Do not pull shut, just whip stitch the two openings together to connect body to head. Whip stitch ears and tail to body.

Stuff back legs firmly in the narrow section and very lightly in the hip section. Attach to body.

Stuff front legs firmly and attach to body.

Use hot glue gun or other crafting glue to attach flat marble eyes to head.

Enjoy!

8 comments:

Crochet Diva said...

awe, cute. :)

Geek Central Station said...

He's awesome! I remember reading the Bone comics when I was little.

I can't believe that his eyes stay on by just gluing them! I would have never thought that it would stay. Great job!

Harvestar said...

wow! That's amazing!

Bone is one of my favorite things - I have most of the action figures. And converted many of my friends to the cause.

Two of them ended up naming their dog Bartleby - he's of a breed which leans up against people. :)

So now I've got to make them one. (and myself one)

So awesome!

amber said...

Havestar, I'd love to see your Bartlebys when you finish. If you post pictures online after you finish them, post a comment here with the url so I can have a look!

I'm glad you're converting more people to Bone. It's a really fun story, but so many people have never heard of it, even among comic book fans.

Amy B. said...

I kind of thought he looked rather furrier....maybe using some mohair would accomplish that?
I'll give it a try one of these days, and see what I can accomplish. :)

Bone is quite possibly more popular than any of the manga that my bookstore carries. Whenever I'm working, I see far more kids buying Bone comics that manga comics. And I certainly can't argue the idea - I've loved the Bone comics ever since I first read them in the Disney Adventure's magazine when I was a kid. I've been collecting the new coloured versions as they come out as well, such an awesome series!

Ruben said...

my email is zerezade69@hotmail.com

could you contact with me? i want buy you a Bartleby, the baby rat creature, if you want sell me one. Is for a gift and i can't find some toy similar. If you are interested, you put the conditions

Thank you for your time.

I'm waiting your answer

bye

Anonymous said...

is there smaller eyes for bartleby

Anonymous said...

show me a picture of bartleby with darker eyes please