Knitting socks with 9 inch circulars suddenly seems freakishly tiny when you make a toy zebra hold them, and he looks right at home…
Pattern: Savannah Chaps by Barbara Prime
Needles: 4mm (US 6)
Notes: I have so much love for this zebra. I was inspired by the original zebra and several of the other finished ones that I saw on Ravelry, and decided to knit him with a fun chromatic striping yarn. The best part of this Zebra? Stashbusting all the way. Toys are so great for using up single or partial skeins. This one knit up very quickly, I cast on one Fridya night and was finished knitting and stuffing the limbs by Sunday night, with only a little bit more time needed for his luxurious zebra mane. That part took me a bit longer, but I added a lot more mane that was originally called for. I think my zebra totally rocks his big purple mane, though.
Here’s Zebra standing up, as well as chatting with a small bunny toy and a dinosaur. He’s a very social zebra.
The pattern is detailed and thoughtful, and amazingly contains directions for 3 main animals – Zebra, Rhino, and Elephant, as well as a tiny mousie. I still have 1.25 skeins of the chromatic yarn leftover, so I think that my zebra totally needs me to knit him some matching friends!
I love knitting toys, and last year I actually wrote a guest post on Craftsy with my top 7 Tips and Tricks for Knitting Toys– if you are planning on knitting any soft toys, I recommend it. I read it over again yesterday for the first time in nearly a year and I still do all the things that I listed. But the biggest tip I can offer is this: Get a ziploc bag or a small project bag, and keep all the bits of your toy in it. Most knitted toys and animals are knit in pieces, with separate limbs. Keeping them together in one designated place means that you are less likely to misplace an ear or a leg. Also reduces the chances of your pet/toddler grabbing a limb and running off with it. And couch cushions have been known to swallow up small pieces of knitting before. True story.
If you enjoy knitting toys, or are curious about making them but don’t know how, Barbara actually has several detailed tutorials on all sorts of different finishing aspects of knitting toys, like this one on how to embroider the facial details, or how to properly attach the head. Very helpful if it is your first time at the knitted toy rodeo.
I’ve just found out that Barbara has a Mystery Knitalong for a new toy– I’ve heard of them for shawls, but not for toys before! I’m going to sign up. Each week she will send out the instructions for a new part of the toy. Last year it turned out to be a mama kangaroo and joey, so I’m really intrigued by what she’s cooked up this year. It’s going to be my first ever mystery KAL! If anyone has tips for how to make the most of a mystery KAL, I’d love to hear them!