Hobbyhorse for Patrick

So this present is already a hit, although not always in the way I had anticipated.  It’s a hobbyhorse, made from a plain sock pattern in Lamb’s Pride wool yarn and then felted in the washer.  It turned out PERFECTLY, and I had wondrous Mom-visions of Patrick neighing around the apartment, pretending to be a cowboy while I sipped lemonade and laughed jauntily at how imaginative my little man was.   Or something like that.

But he plays with it traditionally only half the time.  This half is extremely rewarding, and totally worth all the “hair plugs” that make up the mane of the horse.  (For the mane, I had to cut an insane amount of 6 inch pieces of yarn, and then thread each one into the felted material with my yarn needle — the powers that pattern wanted me to use a crochet hook, but that proved nigh on impossible.  So I improvised, but it was still putzy and the most time-consuming part of the whole thing.)  The rest of the time, he puts the reins around his neck, and drags the horse around behind him, saying, “Horse coming!”  I’m not sure what kinds of crazy Westerns he’s been watching, but whatevs.  The main point is that he likes it.

I sadly don’t have a picture of him riding it yet — every time he takes it out, we’re not camera-ready, and he’s put it away before we can capture the moment.  But my intrepid mother-in-law caught an adorable shot of him on his pony, so perhaps when I get my paws on that, I’ll update the post to include it.

On a partial side note, since this was a present for his second birthday, I can’t believe he’s 2.  Nuts!  He’s so old!  Totally old enough for a pony.  Now he just needs a cowboy hat, and he’ll be out on the range in no time.

 

Baby Bear for family

Stuffed animals might be my favorite thing to make right now.  They are so quick, and fun, and lovable when they’re all finished!  Patrick is still not super into Tippo the Hippo (don’t worry, I know he’ll love him later), but I made the mistake of leaving this little bear out after he was finished, and he actually squealed with delight when he saw him.  For real.  Of course, I think on some level he knew that this little bear was not for him, and therefore the forbidden aspect of it was too exciting.

This baby bear pattern is from Itty Bitty Toys by Susan B. Anderson.  I made him with a striping sock yarn and filled him with only fiberfill — no beans this time.  He’s very light-weight, and will be a perfect companion for a baby — hopefully perfect for the baby I made him for!

My favorite thing about making toys for new or older babies is that they are so quick.  It could be that they just seem quick because of the order you make them in — torso first, which is the biggest, then head, then arms, legs, ears, and little tail.  By the time I’m making the ears and the tail, it takes less that 10 minutes to make a little piece, and voila!  The bear comes to life before you!

I haven’t given this one a name yet — that will be up to his/her new owner.  But if I could name him (and since he’s mostly blue, I do think of this little guy as a “he”) I would call him Cedric or Sir SuperStripes.  Maybe Sir Cedric SuperStripes — although then it should really be spelled “Sedric” for continuity’s sake.

I’m working on two projects right now — one of them as another gift and the other as a commission for my mom.  I reorganized all my yarn and half-finished projects this summer, so I have a very clear idea in my head right now of what I have and what I should be finishing.  It’s nice — after I finish these two projects, I know what I’m moving on to next, and I have a long line up after that.  The only downside is that knowing about all these projects makes me think I can finish them quicker than I actually can.  I have a beautiful black lace sweater — front and back completed — that I remembered on Thursday.  I had a few days where I thought it would be perfect t0 wear to the wedding we’ll be attending soon, and thought I had time to finish two sleeves, a neckline, and piecing.  Yeah.  After about 5 rows of one sleeve, I realized my mistake.  My confidence had overpowered me for a moment, but now “yarn reality” has set in, and I’m back to my more reasonable target of the next two projects.  Once again, clear thinking saves the day!

Baby Elephant Vest for Patrick

I haven’t been getting my Knitters magazine since we moved, but I think I’m not going to worry about it anymore now that I’ve found Interweave Knits. My lovely aunt, Jane, has this magazine, and this spring when we were at her house, I picked it up for a look. The patterns are all beautiful, but with only one or two simple embellishments or focuses. The patterns in Knitters lately have been growing in complexity and garishness for a few years. Time for something new!

This is the first pattern I’ve tried from Interweave. It’s called a Baby Elephant Vest, which made me sing Baby Elephant Walk so many times while I was knitting this piece, I think Drew was ready to let a Mama Elephant step on me, just to make it stop. It’s still stuck in my head…little elephants bouncing around the savannah…giggling and tumbling.

Anyway…

It’s for Patrick, and the yarn is a light, sport weight yarn in a smoky navy blue. The elephants are in the lace pattern. In case you can’t see them in the big picture, try looking at this close-up:

You can see the legs go up into ears, and the trunk in the middle, with two little eyes peering at you. Cute, huh? It’s a little big right now, but I think he’ll be wearing it to a wedding we’ll be at in October. And then again whenever I can convince him. The pattern was fun, but not really one you could memorize. The needles were size three, also, so it took quite a while. I started it at the beginning of the summer, and just finished two weeks ago. I’m glad it wasn’t an Adult Elephant Vest, or I’d still be working on it! (Ka-pow!)

Here’s my little baby elephant in his vest. What I like best about this vest is its gender flexibility — in the world of kids’ knits, sweaters and vests are so polarized. But I could make this again, for a girl or boy, and it would be just as cute. Hard to believe that when I started this vest, Patrick could only toddle about 5-10 steps, and now he’s running. He only knew a few words (duck, mama, dada, banana) and now he’s doubled it, adding night night, box, ball, shoe, that, and others I can’t remember right now. Someone should remind him that the song is called Baby Elephant WALK, not Baby Elephant RUN.

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