Ta Daaaaaaaa! Finally got around to setting up an LJ account. I'm not intending to use it much except to comment on friends' posts (I know, just like everyone else).
I have also had time to do lots of craft stuff - yay for sleeping babies and maternity leave. Most of it is the kind that, as Saki would say, is "made at home and repented at leisure" but I must proselytise about the ingenious EXTERMIKNIT pattern from Penwiper (link below).
This pattern has some marvellous design features, including I-cord, very cool shaping of the base and seamlessness. It has been very cleverly made to involve virtually no sewing, especially if you use the knitting method for Kitchener stitch to join the final bottom seam invented by TECHknit http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2007/05/easier-way-to-kitchener-stitch-also.html
The sewing could be cut down even further if the stitches for the I-cord are picked up from the knitted surface rather than being cast on and sewn in place later. (Observation - appendages tend to come off knitted kids' toys after an astonishingly short time - but then my sewing is atrocious). A French knitting device made from a cotton reel and with 10 nails could be used to knit the blast-gun in the round too.
That said, I knitted my first dalek flat and sewed the seam down the back.
-Even tension, tight stitches all over so that the stuffing doesn't show through
-Much easier than small circumference knitting in the round (for me).
-Modifying the pattern so that every even row was worked from right to left with purl substituted for knit stitches and vice versa. A real pain to work out for the bobbles that fall on purl rows and the eyestalks, which already involve turns.
-Unless you use mattress seams and the equivalent for seamless garter stitch sewing, the top looks *very* phallic (round head, small drawstring hole at the top, seam line down from this to the neck if your seam is visible).
-Bobble attachments seem more visible than in the photo on the pattern
I have started a new dalek using 4 double pointed needles to knit in the round.
-No seams (did I mention my sewing is atrocious?)
-No pattern translation
-Inevitable ladders of loose stitches at each corner between the needles - solutions involving rotating the joins could fix them all being in a vertical row but still doesn't fix the variation in tension where the stuffing will show through.
-The horror of trying to keep the knitting on the needles with 2 curious kids, a baby, a cat and up to 8 live ends for the stitches to drop off. Urk.
Extermiknit dalek shown with Tardis moneybox for scale.
I have come across lots of wonderful geeky knits that most of you have probably already seen multiple times (don't you hate newbies finding stuff that is *so* last week/month/year):
Dr Who patterns from Penwiper - Tardis, Dalek, Cybermat
knitted 3D DNA helix
Art student knits life-size ferrari (video)