23 Before 24 · Crochet

Crochet: Yay or Neigh?

Sorry, that title was a bit unicorn-y. I crack myself up sometimes. Most of the time, actually. I do love a good pun. Or a bad pun. Puns in general. love puns. Anyway!

So, this is the first in my updates on my 23 before 24 list. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, feel free to educate yourself with this blog post. If you already know what I’m talking about, carry on.

As I have demonstrated previously, I have a bit of a problem with my yarn collection. Namely, I have too much. To recap, I’ve decided to make people Christmas gifts this year. I’ve already knocked one out of the park, but I’ve got a good five or six to go at least. Probably more, knowing me. I can’t resist a good pattern. Thankfully, my pattern addiction ties in pretty well with my tenth item on the list, crochet more. 

Lately, I feel like I’ve been doing nothing but crochet. I have a few projects on-going and the days are growing shorter. I need to have most of these presents done by Christmas week, which is creeping up far faster that I’d like to admit. That’s probably the worse thing about being a crafter, or a hooker as some folks call those who crochet, there’s never enough time. Nevertheless, crochet I will. Carpel tunnel be damned. 

This week, I’ve had my cousin’s beautiful baby girl in mind. This tiny human is probably the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. This tiny thing, with her minuscule toes and her little button nose, makes me broody. I swear, something inside me clicks every time I see her, and she’s just the best thing ever – until she starts crying (which, to be fair, is quite a rare occurrence), and I’m like “okay, don’t need one of those for a while.” There’s something very satisfying about being able to hand her back. Off you go, tiny human, to someone who’s okay with being responsible for your life.

Child bearing fears aside, I spotted a pattern a few weeks ago that would be beyond perfect as a Christmas gift for her. I present to you, the Ragdoll Unicorn by Spin A Yarn Crochet. Here’s how mine turned out.

Not bad, if I do neigh so myself. (I’m sorry.)

The written pattern can be found here, and is surprisingly easy to follow. It took a few days of coming and going, but I’d say I could finish one unicorn in a night or two, deepening on how engrossed I am in that week’s episode of Critical Role. I should hope so, anyway, because I’m planning on making a second, bigger version, for a co-worker. I’ve got some off-white aran weight yarn that I think would work quite well for this project, so that’s next.

What I love about this pattern, though, is that it uses the most basic of crochet techniques. It’s perfect for beginners who are not so confident in the craft, or those who wish to practice their tension. It uses simple single crochet stitches throughout, with the exception of the ears and horn. These parts require a magic ring to start, and are continued in a circle (also known as in the round). Still, with YouTube tutorials a plenty these days, I’d have no issue suggesting this pattern to a newbie.

As for materials, I used a 3.5mm hood throughout, although usually a double-knit (DK) weight yarn would typically call for a 4mm to a 4.5mm hook. I prefer using a smaller hook size when working on stuffed toys, or stuffies as they’re commonly called, so that the stitches are tighter together, and the filling doesn’t poke out so much. It’s still slightly visible, but I’ll get over it. I bought a 1kg bag of stuffing from Hickey’s in Limerick for about a tenner back in 2014, and I’m nowhere near finished it. It’s a massive bag as well, even though 1kg doesn’t sound like a lot. It’s stuffing, which is basically weightless. The bag is massive, take my word for it.

The yarn I used in this project have a significant meaning, participial the white. The baby’s christening gown, knitted by her grandmother (my aunt), was made using the white wool I used for the body. It’s got some pink-y sparkle running though it, which is a nice touch. I had some of it in my stash, so I thought it’d be a nice sentimental touch as well as adding some magic. Here’s a close up, so you can see what I mean.

Hey, look at my terrible embroidery!

The mane is made up of different lengths of baby knit acrylic yarn in three separate colours – a soft yellow, a pale blue, and a speckled pink. I think the yellow and blue are King Cole, but I couldn’t even hazard a guess at the pink. I need to start cataloging my yarn, I swear.

The only issue I have with this pattern, personally, is the amount of assembly it takes at the end. The end of a project is always the most tedious part – sewing, embroidering, weaving in ends… those parts are not enjoyable. I think that’s why I tend to find myself starting a new project without finishing the last so frequently.

This project, which is incredibly easy to crochet if you have the ability to count, amounts to a grand total of thirteen individual pieces. The body is made up of two identical panels, the legs are eight separate panels, and then there’s the pair of ears and horn. That’s a lot of sewing for someone who’s not great with a needle. It was a pain, don’t get me wrong, but I’m pretty sure the legs are secure and it’s not going to fall apart. Now, time will only tell if it’ll survive the brutality of an inquisitive almost-one-year-old.

Sewing aside, this is definitely a project that I’ll find back on my hook. It already is, as I’ve started another for my co-worker, remember? I’ll post a photo or two on my Instagram whenever I finish it, so follow me on there if you’d like to keep an eye on it. The link to that, as well as my Ravelry account, can be found in the Social Media bar on the top right of the page. Hopefully, you’re viewing on desktop.

That’s it for this week. Next week, I’m hoping to have something a little different for you! See you on Monday for my regular musingsHave a magical weekend!

~ Claire x

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