Monday, May 14, 2007


My friend Shawn sent me this email:
Hey you know those stupid things old ladies have that sit on their toilet tank that are little crocheted (I don't know if that's correct, but it's the first way I typed it and spell check let it be so...) women that their dress covers up a spare roll of toilet paper? Damn, that's a long question! What with you being the master of the needles (are they called needles? Hell I don't know!), do you think you could make me one that's some kinda monster or something?

I just went to take a dump and didn't notice that there was hardly any paper left until I was "goin at it" and suddenly those "stupid things" didn't seem so stupid.
I was intrigued. Yes, indeed, those things are crocheted, and I do not crochet. I can't stand crocheting, and I don't plan to ever do it again. But I was convinced I could knit just such a toilet paper cover. I just needed some time to work out the pattern, or rather, assemble the bits I needed from other patterns I was familiar with and had worked for me in the past. I used leftover acrylic (my fave) and #6 needles because I wanted a close knit that wouldn't show off the toilet roll inside.

The first issue was the top part of the cover as it would have to be round and flat. I really enjoyed making the flower washcloths in the book "Weekend Knitting" by Melanie Falick. The center part is knit in the round with a lot of decreases to make it flat. I used that for the top part of the toilet roll cover. Once that was done, I picked up stitches all around the outside edge, then knit in the round to make a long stockinette tube the size of the roll of paper. To prevent too much rolling, I did three rows of garter stitch at the end (in the round, that means knit one row, purl the next) and then bound off.

Issue number two was his head. I decided I wanted a substantial head, about half the width of the top. So I divided the number of stitches I had cast on for the top in half, and I cast that many onto my straight needles. I knit three rows of garter stitch to give me something to attach to the top, then knit stockinette until I decided it was time to start reducing, about 2". I evenly spaced out some decreases (I think 3? Sorry, he's already been gifted.) to make his head sort of rounded. I cut the yarn and drew through the last few stitches. Then I embroidered his mouth and attached his eyes. The ladies in my craft group correctly pointed out that Godzilla has an angry brow, so I embroidered that and then noticed that he couldn't breathe, so I added some nostrils. Then I sewed up the back seam. I stuffed him with polyfill and attached the head to the "body."

The last issue was the plates down his back. I had made a friend's dog a dinosaur sweater that has plates down the back using the Patons pattern book called "Another Dog's Life." But those were too big for this project, so I made tinier versions and decreased the size of each plate as they climbed up his back towards his head. Also, I made them out of the darker green that I used for the eyebrow and nostrils to give him a little variety. Once those were done I attached them up his back, and here's what he looks like:He's so cute when he's angry! (In case you're wondering, that's a lenticular print of toucans that we have over the toilet in our Tiki Bathroom. That's why the birds look wack.)

I took a vote of the craft group on whether or not to give him tiny, useless hands such as the real Godzilla has. (That's right, I said REAL.) We decided we liked the way he looked as is. I also didn't want to get into making him a tail, and I felt that would be the next step after hands and feet. So I left him limbless. Once he finds out what his station in life is destined to be, it's probably best that he doesn't have them.

I'm pleased at the way he came out. Shawn was really pleased with the result, and that's all that matters. But I do enjoy a good challenge.

I haven't reproduced all my silly notes and stitch counts for a few reasons:
1. I never EVER get the same gauge that the rest of the world apparently gets;
2. My notes are boring and tedious; and
3. I kind of want to get across the idea of experimentation rather than following regimented patterns. If you're inspired by Toiletzilla, go forth and make your own knitted toilet roll covers using whatever tools and patterns you have in your arsenal. Experiment! Go nuts!

However, if you do really want to hear all my numbers, holla and I'll get them over to you. Just be forewarned that you might end up with a spare tire cover instead of a toilet roll cover, because I can't explain why I never get proper gauge. Ever. Not once.

I guess that's just how I "roll." Ahem.