I was scheduled to have surgery in May and was worried what I would do with myself during the long week of recovery after. It was an abdominal surgery so I’d be laid up in bed for days. I needed something I could do with my hands, so I decided to learn to crochet.
I had seen patterns for adorable handmade crocheted stuffed animals on Etsy and really wanted to try to make one. I decided I would make one for my cousin’s son and asked his mother which animal she wanted. She chose a horse because he was born in the year of the horse.
Originally I had purchased the pattern on Etsy, bought the materials listed, and tried to teach myself with YouTube videos and Google – but it was a lot harder to figure out than I thought from pictures and videos. Like a lot harder. Which part was the stitch? How do you hold it? Hard.
I was joking that I wanted to put a Craig’s List ad out for a Grandma to meet me at Starbucks on Saturdays to teach me. But one random Google search query later I found a local yarn store – right down the road – that held crochet classes! Crazy! I signed up for a beginner class that met for 2 hours in the evening every Thursday for three weeks. Alamitos Bay Yarn Company.
The class was about $65 for three weeks (3 classes) + materials.
Here’s a link to their class schedule if interested: http://yarncompany.com/index.php?option=com_jevents&view=month&layout=calendar&Itemid=4
You had to start out making a “class project”, which was just a basic square – but taught you all of the crochet stitches.
I learned a lot on this sample horse. Like that in amigurumi (the style of 3D crochet) you want to work in a spiral to avoid the unsightly diagonal seam. I also made a few changes to the pattern, given that this was going to be given to a baby. I decided to use smaller safety eyes for the nose instead of buttons and also left the mane and tail off – as those are both choking hazards.
During my classes I also learned about all of the crazy types of yarns, weights of yarns, washable yarns, etc. I decided that my cheap Michael’s wool yarn just wasn’t going to cut it.
I decided to make the horse out of Sirdar Snuggly DK baby yarn that is washable and dryable – which is perfect for a baby.
I was able to make a whole horse in about a day – parts only, and assemble it the next day.
I had yarn and time left, so I decided to make a matching beanie. Then I still had yarn and time left so I made a second horse. And yet again left with time and yarn, I made another beanie.
To show the size difference from the sample horse to the correct one:
I gave one horse and beanie to the intended recipient – my cousin’s son Auggie.
The second horse and beanie I mailed to my childhood friend Jessica for her son Mason.
Both of the boys seem to enjoy their special handmade toys.