Soooo, today I would like to share with you my second knitting project, well second and third. Please meet Ursula and Ulysses Unicorn:
These were made using a Stylecraft Pattern, which I ordered from Deramores and can be found here. The pattern calls for using Stylecraft Wondersoft DK but I had one project under my belt and I was feeling reckless, so I ordered James C Brett's Baby Twinkle instead (also a DK yarn) because it sparkled, and unicorns should always sparkle as far as I'm concerned. I decided that I wanted to make a boy and a girl, so I ordered some blue and pink as well as the white. I ordered two balls of white, as the pattern called for one ball for the small unicorn. and a ball each of the pink and blue.
The pattern calls for 3.5mm needles, which I think must be the ONLY size I don't have in my needle collection, most of which the mother-in-law bought me for my birthday, so cue the hunt for some needles. I was heading to Guiseley on the day I discovered I didn't have any needles, to see the Pops and Step-Mother (Non Wicked), so thought it would simply be a case of calling into Hobbycraft. Oh, how very very wrong. They did not have any. It didn't matter how many times I walked up and down that aisle, no 3.5mm needles appeared. I bit of research on Google and I discovered that in old money needles 3.5mm didn't exist, which might explain why they are difficult to find now. I did find some on the internet, which I could have ordered, but I was feeling impatient, so when I got to the Olds' house, I thought I might as well as the Step-Mother (Non-Wicked) if she had any, not really expecting her to, but thought it worth a try before I went up to see the mother-in-law.
As it happens, the Step-Mother (Non-Wicked) has a mahoosive stash of knitting needles. Problem was, they were all a jumble and needed pairing up. This kept my Pops busy for a good hour or so. We couldn't find any needles clearly labelled 3.5mm, but we did find some that weren't labelled at all, so Pops had a measuring tool thingy in the garage (of course he did) so we could measure up these and lo and behold, we found a pair!!!! Woooo-sodding-Hooo! I could start my unicorns . . . . I still think I will treat myself to a pair of 3.5mm needles from the internet, because they were a pretty colour and I can give the Step-Mother (Non-Wicked) hers back.
I started knitting up the white bits first, following the order of the pattern. I would like to say all went well, but I must have cast the first head on a good 7 times, if not more. I never seemed to get further than about row 5 without realising that I had already gone wrong somewhere, and as I'm still not very good at fixing my mistakes after the event, it was easier to go back and start again, Plus, I really wanted to get these correct as I didn't know how much of a problem a mistake would be in the finished product.
Anyway, once I had finally got past the first five rows, I was away, with few problems on teh head, body and legs. I have now learned how to start a new colour, and am very confident with this now. Just as a side note, it took me a few attempts at the second head too, so maybe it is just that piece of these unicorns!!!
Once these main pieces were knitted, I sewed the seams using matress stitch and stuffed the pieces. I then sewed them together. I couldn't quite understand the instructions for attaching the head to the body, so made it up in the end. the pattern calls for the arms and legs with buttons, so I used some sparkly ones in my stash, which were left over from the Bertie set, which I blogged about here.
Once this was done, I needed to knit up the extra bits - the ears, horn, tail and mane. No real problems to report with the ears, tail and horn, but the mane was another matter altogether. The main is knitted using loop stitch. I know the principles behind loop stitch, but I could not for the life of me manage to understand the instructions and do it in practice. I tried numerous Youtube tutorials, but nothing was working. In the end, this tutorial from Jessica Biscoe finally clicked. I'm still not perfect at this, and in fact cut the blue mane short when I lost about 5 of my stitches, but I couldn't get them back on the needles and I couldn't bear to start again, so I left it as it was.
To finish, I just needed to do the faces. The pattern calls for grey yarn, which I used at first for the blue unicorn, but it sat on my table while I made the pink unicorn and I liked it less and less, so in the end, I ripped it out and used black embroidery thread instead, which I like much better.
That is really all I have to say on these unicorns. I am tempted to get some yellow yarn and make a yellow Ulrich too, but I am currently on with some other projects, so we shall see.
In the meantime . . . .