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 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.


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.

Hippo for Patrick

Last project of the summer!  I finished this cute little hippo a few weeks ago.  He is everything I wanted him to be.  The yarn is Lorna’s Laces — a donation from Aunt Jane — and I thought this would be the perfect yarn for a hippo.  Turns out it was the perfect yarn for a tiger, but rather than start all over again (lame), I named him “Tippo” and called it even.

He’s also from Susan Anderson’s book, “Itty Bitty Toys,” and, once again, I love that book.  So many fun patterns, so quick to knit up, and so satisfying in the end.

Instead of filling him with fiberfill only, I wanted to give Tippo a little more heft…he is a hippo, after all.  They are not known for being lightweight.  I tried to put some poly pellets in cheesecloth, figuring I would stuff that in his tummy and fill the rest out with fiberfill, but poly pellets are a mess and a hassle.  If I had known that, I would never have purchased a bag.

So there I sat, feeling defeated, staring at my little empty hippo tummy just waiting to be filled.  Then, Eureka!  Beans!  A few months back, I bought a bag of Pinto beans in a flash of excitement to make for Patrick.  After reading the instructions on the back of the bag, once I was actually home, purchased beans in hand, of course, the amount of time and work beans took to cook overwhelmed me, and they sat in our pantry, were packed up for the move, and have sat in the pantry here.  Waiting.  And waiting some more.

They worked beautifully!  You’d think others would have figured out that beans make great toy fillers — I’m probably the first one ever.  (Ha!)  So he has some beans in his tummy and beans are the filler for each hand and foot.  Everything else is still fiberfill.  It’s a great combination, giving him the heft and solidity I wished along with the lightness and flexibility from the fiberfill.

So far, Patrick hasn’t paid much attention to him…which makes me a little sad.  I’ve tried placing him in conspicuous places, hidden places, right in the middle of the floor…  A few days ago, he picked Tippo up from the coffee table, and gave him a big hug and kiss!  My heart soared…success!  And then he threw him in the toy bin with everything else.   

Here you can see Patrick ignoring Tippo to watch one of the cats get clean.  Maybe if I got a live hippo…

Leprechaun and Pot o’ Gold for Patrick!

For St. Patrick’s Day (Yikes!  Late!), I made a little leprechaun for my very own Patrick.  I took the Santa pattern from my “Little Toys” book, and just changed the colors around to make it a bit less Christmasy and a bit more Irish.  I’m really pleased with the Leprechaun, but I’m not as excited about the pot o’ gold.  It looks like a bag o’ gold, which I guess still fits, but I wish I had given it more of a structure.  Luckily for me, there’s another year around every corner, so soon I can redo the pot o’ gold to make sure it fits with what I want.  Enjoy!

Watch out for that fourth wish...

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