This is my newest friend, Sheldon the turtle. Poor Sheldon is a little bewildered by the outside world.
... but things can go horribly wrong!
It's much better to stay safe inside with his friends.
The pattern comes from Ruth Homrighaus and is available for free on Knitty. This is one of the more challenging toy patterns I've made. Sheldon and his shell are two separate pieces. The shell can theoretically be taken off and washed separately, but I'm not confident that this will work for my Sheldon and he'll be happier if I don't try!
The pattern is fairly simple to follow until it comes to joining the parts of the shell together. If you're like me and tend to rush into a pattern without reading to the end first, you might find yourself having trouble with this step too. It took me several reads to realise that when crocheting around the shell attachment panel, the aim is to create four opening for the legs to poke through. You don't need to create an opening for the neck like I originally thought. This is done when you join the panel to the shell itself. And don't be tempted to skip the I-cord because this really brings Sheldon together and stops the shell from having slightly pointy corners.
I'd recommend this pattern to anyone who's mastered the basics of knitted toy construction. There are several techniques (I-cord and crochet) that would possibly make Sheldon a challenge for a beginner.