Thursday, 14 February 2013

A Lonesome Cowboy No More

Well, hello there cowboy. This is Obadiah. He was Gary’s Valentines Day present a couple of years ago. He was actually started to be his 30th birthday present but life was hectic and I didn't finish him in time. He received him on the following Valentines Day instead.

Obi, as we call him, is the opposite in process to what SomeBunny (who I posted yesterday) was. SomeBunny was created from a flash of inspiration; he was made quickly and without great detail. He was a gesture of a feeling, a little bit of humour and love to brighten Gary’s day. I really like him for this reason.

Obi is the opposite because I was very considered in his creation. Gary had spotted the pattern for a cowboy doll in the ‘Dream Toys’ book that I also mentioned yesterday. He loves toys and continues to be very connected to the five year old within himself. He still gets toys for Christmas and loves looking at them. I think it’s the animation/cartoon obsessed part of him, fascinated by this form of creativity.

He had dropped a couple of hints that a cowboy might be kind of nice to have around the place. I made all the necessary noises about being too busy to possibly make anything as time consuming as a knitted cowboy for him, to throw him off the scent.

I secretly got to work behind his back. I got the wool I would need and I bought felt and the little buttons for his jumper too.

I knitted while Gary was in work and never pretended once that I was doing anything special for him. For once I followed the pattern obediently. I had never really made anything like this before so I wanted to make sure I got it right.

I printed out the templates for his hat, trousers and gun. All the clothes and accessories are hand-sewn. I deviated from the finish in the book in two ways. Firstly I knit a piece the same size as his head with a strand of dark plain wool and a strand of that hairy wool I have used in other projects. I wanted him to have a full head of hair and in the book the doll just had strands of wool sewn into place. Secondly, I gave him a much more detailed face. I gave him eyebrows, buttons for cheeks and a felt beard. I love a man with a beard and I wanted Obi to slightly resemble Gary.  I cut a square of blue patterned fabric for a neckerchief and tied it around his neck.

His chaps are made out of denim (always worthwhile keeping that old pair of jeans) and maroon felt. I knit his miniature jumper with relish; I don’t think I have ever knit a real jumper before, never mind one for a doll. I love how it turned out.

It seemed to take an age to make all the different elements and to pull them together into the cowboy you see before you. I can’t imagine setting about making one every week or even every month for that matter. I think that is what makes him so special. You have to get involved with him; you have to commit to the process.

Gary received him with great surprise and Obi sits beside his drawing table in his studio to this day. We had great fun taking him out and photographing him for this post. Happy Valentines Day everybody, Obi and I send you warm wishes of love and friendship.

No comments:

Post a Comment