The Horse or Unicorn or Pegasus Natty Knits pattern is finished and is available to buy in the Natty Knits Etsy shop and on Ravelry and Loveknitting. Here are some hints and tips to help you get the best results when you knit your own Magical Horse.
A Note on Yarn Choice
The pattern recommends a DK yarn, so the horse is a good size for little hands. I’ve also knitted one in Sock yarn (it was very fiddly). And another in Worsted Weight, (it came out just fine). Feel free to experiment with different weights, just make sure you keep your gauge tight.
I’d also recommend using a yarn with no halo, I tried a fuzzy horse and it looked odd. Also, when choosing a yarn for the tail and mane, the yarns with a tight twist work best. I love the wild horse look below, which was a lightweight acrylic yarn with a loose twist, but it might not be what you’re looking for.
Watch out for self striping yarns too. I tried that with an early prototype and it looks a little odd because the stripes go in different directions.
If you’d like to use a lighter weight yarn for the contrasting color mane, then please do. I did that in the grey horse pictured at the top of the page, although I used 12 lengths of yarn for the tail instead of 16 and 3 lengths of yarn for each mane fringe instead of 2.
Stuffing a toy with fiberfill can be a delicate operation. There’s a blog entry about that here.
Long Tail Cast On
I really like this video from Sheep & Stitch which shows how to cast on using the long tail method.
The legs might be the trickiest part of this knitting pattern. There’s a whole blog entry here explaining how to sew one up in great detail.
When it comes to picking up the sts between and around the legs don’t worry too much about perfection, the pattern is designed to cover some uneven pick ups. When I pick up the sts between the legs I try to get them as close as possible one pick up per stitch.
The fringe for the mane and tail can also be made using a crochet hook. Or the following clever method suggested by Namia on Ravelry, who was one of the pattern testers.
Lay out the yarn for the fringe, loop a piece of scrap yarn around the middle of the yarn and thread both ends of the scrap yarn onto a tapesty needle, fold the fringe yarn around the scrap yarn as shown below.
Fold the fringe yarn so it’s balanced on the scrap yarn, then sew into the neck as shown below.
“Knit, knit, slip, purl, purl, slip”. If this doesn’t sound familiar, head over to this blog entry for a step by step Kitchener Stitch tutorial.
Place Static Marker
In this pattern, markers are placed to show where to PU the ears. The markers go between stitches and they stay static in the knitting. When you place a marker it looks like this:
I always prefer to use a scrap of yarn as a marker because it won’t pull the knitting out of shape and it’s easy to remove. You can find more information about static stitch markers here.
Picking up the stitches for the ears is tricky and I’ve tried hard to get just the right photo. The important thing to remember is to pick up 4 stitches between the 2 stitch markers on one side of the knitting, then pick up 4 stitches in the row above that. Yes, it’s the row you just knitted and yes it’s fiddly, but I promise it works. If you’re ready to throw the thing across the room, try using a crochet hook to pick up the stitches or consider knitting the ears seperately and sewing them on.
If you’re knitting a unicorn, you’ll need some I-cord. If you haven’t done that before you can find a step by step tutorial here.
I embroidered all the eyes on the horses I knitted, but you could use tiny circles of felt, small buttons or beads.
If you’d like to share any photos of a finished unicorn you’ve knitted then come over to the Natty Knits Facebook page and say hello.
If you have any questions or comments which are not covered either in the pattern or here, please contact me through the NattyKnits Etsy shop or the Facebook page and I’ll do my best to help you.