After finally getting to grips with crochet back in the summer last year, I decided to set myself the ambitious challenge of making two Heidi Bear Fatty Lumpkin crochet pony’s – to give to our nieces for their 5th birthdays at the end of December. I wrote a work in progress post a while back, but pleased today to finally share a write up of how I made them and what I learnt.
This was a pretty significant project for me (and one I enjoyed every minute of) so I want to do this make justice. I’ve therefore broken this post down into sections to make it an easy read. Hopefully this post will encourage you to have a go at making one!
- Heidi Bear Fatty Lumpkin pattern
- 2.5mm crochet hook
- Stylecraft Special DK yarn in Cream (x1 per pony)
- Stylecraft Special DK yarn in Fondant, Candyfloss and Fiesta (x1 each, for the pink pony)
- Stylecraft Special DK yarn in Clematis, Emperor and Wisteria (x1 each, for the purple pony)
- Stylecraft Special DK yarn in Black, for the eyes. You’ll only need a small amount, though, alternatively you could use buttons or safety eyes
- Yarn needle
- Polyester soft toy stuffing. I believe I used around 4 of these bags
- A book (for the tail and mane)
- A spreadsheet/Gantt chart/checklist if you have multiple ponies to make in a short time period!
- Height of body: approx 26cm
- Total height (including the head): approx 35cm
- Length: 40cm
Making the African flowers
Before you get started the best thing you can do is have a go at making an African flower; Heidi Bear’s website has a free pattern for the flower and, while the joining can be tricky, if you can get to grips with how to make the flower this will put you in good stead. This was advice I took from fellow crocheters and making the flower first gave me a good feeling as to whether I could make the pony.
There a various shapes of the flower and for each pony you’ll be tasked with making the following:
- 19 pentagons
- 17 hexagons
- 3 squares
- 2 heptagons (probably my favourite shape!)
- 1 triangle
I recommend weaving in the loose ends as you crochet the next round; it saves so much time at the end!
The ordering of colours I decided on for the ponies was as follows:
- Pink: Fiesta for the centre, then Candyfloss before Fondant for the edge. Cream was used for joining
- Purple: Emperor for the centre, then Clematis before Wisteria for the edge. Cream was used for joining
Joining the African flowers to form the shape
Joining was the part of the pattern I was most nervous about; it’s quite time consuming and definitely requires quite a bit of concentration, there’s no two ways about it. What I will say is that if you can make the flowers then I believe you can successfully join the flowers too – so don’t be put off by that.
The hardest bit about joining for me is that I’m left handed and naturally work in the opposite direction to the pattern; it wasn’t a barrier for me, but meant I needed to concentrate and think about how best to join. The hardest section to join is most definitely the legs, but stick with it. The body and head are a piece of cake!
Stuffing the pony and finishing touches
Stuffing each pony does take time – but it’s time well spent. A tip I had from my Mum was to break down the stuffing and add little bits at a time; the stuffing will naturally break down over time, so it gives you a chance to shape the pony and ensure it’s solid and will stand up.
Here I have to add how good the pattern is; you can tell a lot of thought and time has gone into it and that goes a long way. There are clear illustrations, diagrams, copy etc. – so it caters for every learning style. You’ll definitely need it page by page when it comes to joining and going about it in the right order.
While you’re working on it, watch out for any cats or dogs you have; for some reason Freddie really didn’t like the pony and more than freaked out when he saw it as he walked in the living room. This picture perfectly shows what went on; I couldn’t help but laugh!
Keeping organised and working to deadline
I talked a bit in my last post about how I planned to organise myself for making two ponies; I had 14 weeks to make them and knew, with Christmas approaching, that it would be a busy time and leaving it all to the last minute really wouldn’t help me! I gave myself 7 weeks to make each pony and, while I needed that amount for the first pony, by the second I noticed how quickly I sped up and was able to make it in a shorter period. I stopped once I’d made the flowers to make a Christmas gift, but picked it up a couple of weeks later and still finished in good time.
Crafting aside, I like to keep organised and by breaking it down into manageable chucks it didn’t feel too overwhelming a project. In fact, it’s probably why I enjoyed it so much!
Fatty Lumpkin in their new homes
I’ve got to say, taking the ponies to their new home was a bit hard. I loved making them and kind of want to keep them for myself! There was also a chance our nieces wouldn’t take to them (as kids sometimes don’t), but I needn’t have worried. The girls absolutely adored them and still do as I write this post. They’re on the girls’ beds and they cuddle them as they go to sleep. I couldn’t have asked for a better home for them!
Trying to get a still photo of both of them looking at me was near impossible. 😉
Children being children, they get sick from time to time. It turns out the pink pony got a little dirty and ended up being washed; I’m pleased to say it survived the washing machine! While the neck is a little floppy, it’s come out really well and you wouldn’t really notice. That’s the thing about Stylecraft, it’s so durable and washes up well – perfect for kids.
As you’ve probably guessed already, these two are probably up there with my proudest makes (alongside my sky blanket). I can’t believe I actually was able to make them and that they turned out so well!
Wow, long post! But I’m so happy I’ve finally been able to write this up and share with you my experience.
I’m adding this post to #CreateMakeShare, which this month takes on the theme of love. I absolutely made these with so much love for my nieces, knowing just how happy it could make them.
Thank you for reading! If you have any questions on how I made them do drop me a comment below. I’m considering making more soon, too, if you’re in the market for one!