Muppets! In! SPAAACE!

First, some brief backstory: My dad writes science fiction, and has been a Hugo’s voter since about 2013 or so. (Starting because he was reading a lot of the nominees for novel already and wanted to weigh in on his favorites, continuing because then the Puppies invaded and he wanted to make sure they wouldn’t win.) He and my mom are going to Worldcon this year. Mary Robinette Kowal is a writer and puppeteer who will be appearing at and is helping with programming at the convention. Among other things, she writes a series about lady astronauts and has attended Sesame Workshop. So we wanted to make a tiny Muppet astronaut for her.

The original pattern is Siempre Josefina’s Kermit the Frog, since I was already planning to make him. The head, body, and arms are pretty much as-written but in purple yarn, the feet were made with normal decreases rather than the flippers, and then the eyes were heavily simplified for space and the neck ruff omitted. (I think I did add an extra finger on each hand – five rather than four – but it still looks fine.) And then, oh yeah, there’s an astronaut helmet which I did without a pattern. I am so proud of that.

With the way her face is made, her mouth can be more or less open. The more open one looks like either the Kermit Flail or blind Muppet terror. So the main Muppet emotions are all represented. The top of her helmet has NACA embroidered across the top for the name of the space agency in MRK’s Lady Astronaut series (it’s an alternate history), which was done mostly by my mom. The helmet was made by chaining and joining the bottom first around her head, building up the back, doing some half-doubles and doubles for the curve on the top and then adding some edging on the sides. I started sewing the top part to her head as well, but we decided it looked better hanging loose and just sewed a bit in the upper corners. (Last night after everything was done I realized I could have done the body in silver and she could have had a full space suit. Hindsight is 20/20.) It won’t come off, but with Muppet head proportions I couldn’t have gotten it on her if it was made separately. Made the embroidery more difficult. Thanks again, Mom!

I actually have two Kermit patterns, because this one is more detailed (read: harder) and I didn’t know if I’d be able to pull it all off. And yet here I am, and have! I feel proud and accomplished.

Yarn was all medium weights – mostly Vanna’s Choice from Lion Brand since I have plenty, but the main body is Very Berry from Tempting Ewe Yarns, from a local store. Special gifts get the nice yarn, and it was appropriately Muppety-bright in addition to being super soft. (It’s also just the right color for a couple projects I have in mind later, now that I have it, but there’s quite a schedule right now.) I’m actually not entirely certain what color the helmet was made in, since when I got it I wasn’t keeping the labels. My guess is Vanna’s Choice Linen, but I don’t have my previous projects with that color to compare it to. Riddle for the ages. It was there and it worked, so everything worked out.

Tonberry is near-finished, but since Lady Muppet Astronaut had to be ready to travel first (and by Tuesday, because my parents are both traveling before Worldcon as well,) he was not properly accessorized. That will be fixed shortly.


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