Matoki Pt III: Shishimato

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Shishi before I taped his ears to the chair

Hello, and welcome to the third post in the matoki series, this time featuring a healthy dose of coincidence. B.A.P’s newest album—Noir—dropped yesterday, along with the M/V for the title track—Skydive—and I swear I didn’t plan this. This also casts a bittersweet overtone on today’s post, as Bang Young Guk, the member Shishimato represents, will unfortunately not be promoting this album with the rest of the group, as he has been diagnosed with anxiety and is currently being treated. (Get well soon, Yongguk. We love you.)

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Shishi after I taped his ears to the chair

Making Shishi provided it’s own unique set of challenges, most stemming from the fact that he’s camouflage instead of black. I found the right yarn to compensate for this easily enough, but it turned out to be slightly thinner than the yarn I use for the other ones, which made the initial prototype significantly smaller than I like them to be. Not to be deterred, I upped the size of my crochet hook, which made him slightly bigger than the other two—and significantly squishier.

I also discovered that a significant factor in getting Dada’s ears to stay up when I put pipe cleaners in them was that they were stiff to begin with, due to the tightness of the stitches. Shishi’s ears, being significantly looser to begin with, refused to stay up with the same trick. I attempted to fix this by reinforcing the pipe cleaners, but when that proved futile I cut my losses and let his ears droop.

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Shishi next to Dada (for size comparison)

The other major challenge in making Shishimato was his mask (it’s a gas mask, in case you couldn’t tell). It turns out, felt doesn’t particularly like being placed at 90 degree angles from other pieces of felt, and won’t stay that way without reinforcement. As such, Shishi’s mask is primarily held together with hot glue. A LOT of hot glue. It kind of turned into a gluey mess, and if I ever get the chance, I’d like to see if I can make a better one, but overall I think it looks alright.

In sum, making Shishi taught me that all yarns are not created equal, and that hot glue dries really, really fast. I do like the way he turned out, and his squishyness makes him the most huggable of the matoki so far, which is a plus in my opinion.

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