When I asked my friend Judith what I could make for her baby son Rhoan her answer was a little surprising but great fun. I'd asked her to go look on Ravelry and she picked out a parrot. It's been a while since I've made toys but I had plenty of spare wool so got to work on Rian Anderson's Toy Parrot. It was an absolute pleasure to work something that knitted up in such a short time and was so well designed, the pattern is full of clever increases and decreases which give the parrot his lovely fat tummy. And because tension didn't matter I just knitted in double knit (8ply) weight wool, which meant two strands of the finer stash wools I had in my needle. This allowed me to play around with colour, the red for the head and tail is two strands of the same wool, but the tummy is one strand of yellow and one of orange held together which gave a lovely variegated effect. I expected it just to look like two strands but no, they blended and unblended to look just like an ombre wool. Before I knitted I did cross stitch and you often blend two different coloured strands of embroidery floss in the needle, but this was the first time it had occurred to me to try it in knitting. I decided to embroider on the eyes as Rhoan is only little and was pleased with how they looked. Even the beak has clever shaping to get the hook shape. The wings were knitted with this amazing fuzzy yarn I had along with a strand of Blue Sky Alpaca Silk #139 Peacock which was my maiden purchase from Dundee's newest knitting shop Wool & Co. I will just say that knitting with the novelty yarn was challenging and leave it at that, worth it for the effect but it was an experience! A perfect pattern for using up your stash.