Welcome back to Nicole’s Knitting Corner! Apologies for my absence last week — it was a very hectic week, and I just couldn’t get a blog post out. I might make this feature every other Friday rather than every Friday. I don’t know yet. We’ll see.
Anyway, so in my last post I showed you how I started the monkey for my friend’s younger son. Very early this week, I finished him.
Here he is! I’m so happy with how he turned out. I even learned a new knitting technique: double knitting. I’ve always thought it looked terribly complex, though I also wanted to try it someday anyway. I read a comment made by another knitter who used this pattern that they used it for the monkey’s ears, and I thought that would be a great way to make ears that were brown on the one side and cream-colored on the other.
It worked perfectly, and I discovered that double knitting is a lot easier than I would have thought! I’m eager to try it again. Maybe I’ll make a hat, for these cold Oklahoma winters. (I would laugh, because it sounds rather ludicrous, except this winter in Oklahoma HAS been very cold.)
Once he was done, I started knitting a My Little Pony for my younger daughter Elena. This was a fairly spur-of-the-moment sort of thing. She and my older daughter Kiersten were looking at My Little Pony photos online one day, and they found a crochet pattern for a My Little Pony. They showed it to me and were VERY EXCITED.
Then I explained that it was a crochet pattern, and they were sad.
Then I said, “I’ll bet I can find a knitting pattern, though!” and they were excited again.
Sure enough, I did. Good ol’ Ravelry came through for me again, and through their pattern browser I discovered this pattern:
Elena’s very favorite pony happens to be a “background pony” called Derpy Hooves. Here’s what Derpy looks like:
She’s kind of goofy looking, and yes, the googly eyes are intentional. (Well, originally I understand they were accidental, but the “My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic” show people were so amused and charmed by her silly appearance that they decided to keep her that way.) She does have a certain charm to her, and I understand why Elena loves her.
Derpy, not being a “main” pony, is rather difficult to find as a toy. Even online, she’s quite rare, and thus quite expensive. I knew how much Elena would love a Derpy toy, and I knew that it could be a long, long time before we’d be able to find room for Derpy in our budget.
But, I could make a Derpy Hooves. The moment I found the pony pattern, Elena asked if I could make her a Derpy. How could I say no?
Knitting the pony itself was pretty simple. The pattern did call for fingering weight yarn, but all I had in the right color was worsted. I didn’t think that would be a big deal. She’d be a bit larger, but that might be a good thing.
Even sewing together the various body parts — which I was rather dreading — went far more smoothly than I’d feared.
Derpy without a mane, tail, or facial features:
I’m going to be honest with you, though. This pattern calls for embroidering the face and “cutie mark” (the detail on the pony’s flank). I was afraid that would be agonizingly difficult. And, well… it has been.
Here’s one of the completed eyes.
It isn’t perfect, but it’s way better than I thought it would be. But it was a nightmare to complete. There are four colors involved, a ton of satin stitch (not my strong point in embroidery), and I have to work through a completed, stuffed head. I made several mistakes because I tried to do each color separately, and a couple of times I got confused as to where different colors were supposed to go in relation to each other.
Also, when I finished, my finger and thumb were so sore that I could barely pull the needle out of the embroidery for the last few stitches. Mom, turn away for a second.
(I had to use my teeth several times.)
Okay, Mom, you can look again.
Anyway, that’s why both eyes aren’t finished yet. I decided to rest my poor finger and thumb overnight. They’re much better now, maybe the tiniest bit tender, but they also seem to have toughened up, which (I’m hoping and praying) will make the other eye embroidery easier.
Here’s the progress of the other eye. (I did start it last night, as I attempted to embroider each color on both eyes at the same time.)
Mostly it needs black, although I think I’m going to have to add more brown first. You can barely see it.
You want to know the beauty of this pony? Her eyes are supposed to be different. So it won’t matter that they’re not identical. This is such a relief.
Unfortunately, Kiersten is going to want a Rainbow Dash handknit pony at some point. I can only hope that her eyes are a little easier!
Oh, one more thing I did this past week: I practiced crochet. Yes, crochet! I found this article in the latest Knitty.com: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEss14/FEATss14PWT.php
I practiced a chain stitch, a few slip stitches, and lots and lots of double crochet stitches. I even made this swatch:
It was fun! I understand this article is the first in what will be a continuing series at Knitty.com, so I look forward to learning more. If you’re a knitter who has struggled to learn crochet, I highly recommend this article.