Here is another version of the mantis from Amigurumi Knits, which is absolutely my favorite toy pattern book. I could not believe how big that first mantis came out. It is just way too big. Also, I used pipe cleaners in the legs, and they are not strong enough to hold up the mantis body. You set it on the table and it collapses, you pick it up and it throws its head back, and it’s grabbing legs in the air, as if to say, “Party!” This little fellow is a vast improvement. As I look at him now sitting on the table, he looks alert and ready to spring. (Perhaps that isn’t what most people look for in a toy, but I like my inanimate objects to have a little personality.)
I used plastic covered steal wire in the legs, so they are much stronger and more ridged. Also that thin wire was almost too thick for the skinny legs, but it just fit. The other alteration I made was to work the last row of the eye with the main body color, giving the mantis pupils. I’ve included here a photo of the second eye under construction. It just looks so creepy, mantis eye surgery.
To make this mantis I used 000 needles and sock yarn. The brown is some yarn that I had left over from the snail socks from the first post on this blog. The green is some lovely variegated yarn I bought in a department store called Coop in Switzerland. It was sort of one of those “yarn in a department store, how novel, I must buy some” moments, but I’m so glad I did. It came out so buggy, and I always forget that I don’t have a problem with variegated yarn in stockinette stitch. I truly hate it, say, in the ribs of a sock leg, where it comes out so messy, but it looks very pretty here. Though I did end up bending one of my 000 needles during some tight knitting, I’m so pleased with this guy and he makes me want to make all of the Amigurumi animals on a small scale.
Also, a little side note. I had first discovered the designer of this pattern, Hansi Singh on etsy.com. She published a book of patterns last year, but many great patterns, including my favorite, the sea horse, were not in the book. After the publication of the book, her etsy store closed, and I often felt very sad about it. I love her patterns and want everyone to own them, but also, I hadn’t bought them all! Well, it turns out that she still has all her patterns for sale on Ravelry.com, a fiber arts social networking site. So, sheeps be praised, you can still get the patterns. I find that almost as pleasing as this mantis.