My Knitting Experiment: Pony PJs

I only found out about yarn bombing a few months ago, and I’m still in awe of the whole concept. I haven’t seen any in person, but a quick Google search generates a plethora of weird colorful knitting that leaves me with my mouth hanging open, scratching my head. I look at the larger objects covered with yarn (cars, bicycles, statues) and wonder: How did they do that?

I’m not sure my nervous system can stand the stealthy night installations or the knowledge that some people (including the police) consider these fiber works vandalism, but I’m intrigued by the challenges yarn bombing presents: knitting large for irregular or lumpy 3-D objects.

I was so intrigued by the idea that I decided to try covering something with knitting myself. I picked a toy horse that came in a “decorate it yourself” kit. I had never gotten around to painting it and it seemed like a truly challenging shape to cover with knitting. Plus, I love horses.

Granted, it’s not big, and it’s not out in the public. But it’s 3-D knitting, it’s an irregular shape, and it was small enough I knew I could get it done in a reasonable amount of time. I declared it my “yarn-bombing experiment” and got started.

I made a gauge swatch so I would be able to translate inches on the horse into stitches and rows easily, but I didn’t write up any patterns. Instead, I knitted one section at a time, checking it against the toy frequently to make sure I was on the right track. I used increases, decreases, and short rows to shape each panel. Once a section was complete, I put it on the horse and sewed it to any other panels that were already in place.

Stage one: neck panel, shoulder/chest panel, and one leg.
Stage one: neck panel, shoulder/chest panel, and one leg.
Stage two: Belly and all four legs covered.
Stage two: Belly and all four legs covered.
Stage 3: Right side and flank covered.
Stage 3: Right side and flank covered.

Once it was done, I realized what I’d created: pony pajamas. And I love it! My little horse looks warm, cuddly, and colorful in her PJs.

The finished project: A pony in PJs.
The finished project: A pony in PJs.

I’m really proud of this project despite the odd lumps, awkward patches, and obvious seams. I applied what little I know about knitting and wound up with knitting that really fit my horse snuggly.

Now that I’m done, I’m still not in a hurry to try real yarn bombing. On the other hand, I’m looking around the house wondering what I could cover with knitting next.

Do you think the dog would sit still for me if I gave her enough treats? 🙂

Have you tried yarn bombing? Or been inspired to apply a familiar skill in a new and weird way? Feel free to tell us all about it!

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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

4 thoughts on “My Knitting Experiment: Pony PJs”

    1. Thanks! I just thought it was totally fun. And I’m still looking for something else to cover. I have more horses, but that seems redundant. When you try this, be sure to let me know!

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    1. Thanks! Part of what made it work was controlling the stripe colors. I wanted stripes but knew the my self-striping sock yarns wouldn’t change color fast enough in such small pieces. I used two self-striping yarns for each patch, alternating them every couple of rows to get the color changes.

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