Mago

In Croatian, Mago is a short, pet name for a donkey. Not that I would ever consider a donkey an animal deserving a pet name, just to be clear. In fact, when I was a little kid, the Mago was my personal boogie man. Whenever I would resist eating something, or going to sleep, or disobey my parents in any other way, all they would have to say was “If you don’t do it, Mago is gonna come and get you” and I would instantly be eating twice as much as I had been told to, putting my pyjamas on all by myself, or asking how else I could help them… What had inspired this incredible fear of donkeys, I cannot tell. But having met some recently, I can imagine it had something to do with the sounds they make. If you’ve never heard a donkey’s call up close and personal, well, all I can say is consider yourself lucky.

Having said all that, let’s mark today as the official end of my Mago dread. I am reclaiming the donkey, and you get a cute little scarf recipe along the way.

Before all, I have to say that the idea for the scarf was not my own. I found this cute little donkey scarf on Pinterest and, since it was no longer available for purchase on the original website, I thought that I would try making it myself. Eventually I did so, and made notes along the way. I am now sharing those notes with you, since they are there anyway. I do not intend to claim this as my pattern in any way. I will not sell the scarf nor the instructions on how to make it, nor will I make profit from it in any other way. If you chose to use it, you should probably stick to the same principles.

I hope you like it!

Materials
95 grams of a bulky weight yarn (I used Cascade Yarns Eco+), mostly in MC. You’ll need a tiny bit of yarn in CC for the hoofs, snout and hair.
2 buttons for eyes.

Needles
5.5mm straight or circular (whichever you prefer for knitting back and forth) and same size dpns or circular (whichever you prefere for knitting small circumferences in the round).
Tapestry needle for weaving in ends, sewing in the ears and making the hair.

Finished size
150 cm in length and 11 cm in width

Instructions
Everything is knit in garter stitch (knitting every row).

Legs
CO 6sts in CC. Knit 6 rows in CC. Break CC yarn and knit 22 rows in MC. Break yarn but leave stitches on needle.
Repeat for second leg but at the end do not break yarn.

Body
Make sure both legs are on the same needle and the right sides facing the same way. Using the yarn attached to the second leg (MC), knit the next row as follows: k6 (second leg), CO 20sts, k6 (first leg). Now your two legs and body are connected and you have a total of 32 stitches.
Knit 300 rows in MC. If you want to make the scarf longer or shorter, adjust the number of rows you knit here.

Snout
Still using MC, on the next 4 rows:
k to 2 stitches before end of row, k2tog. (28 sts)
Switch to CC, and on the next 10 rows:
k to 2 stitches before end of row, k2tog. (18 sts)
BO all stitches.

Ears
Ears are knit in the round. I used double pointed needles.
Using MC, CO 12sts and join for knitting in the round. Knit 20 rounds.
Next round: kfb first 6sts, k to end. (18 sts)
Knit 8 rounds.
Next two rounds: k2tog to end. After the two rounds you will end up with 5sts. Cut the yarn and thread it through the remaining stitches with a tapestry needle. Pull tight.
Repeat for second ear.

Sew the ears on between the 23rd and 25th garter ridge counting from the bind-off end.

Hair 
Thread a tapestry needle with CC. Make a bunch of 2-3cm loops on the right side of the scarf by pulling the yarn through individual stitches just under the level of the ears. When you’ve finished looping through, cut open the loops at the opposite end. Don’t worry too much about making the length even, it looks better when a bit messy. Secure with running stitch at the bottom end, going over several times. I improvised this bit and it seemed to have worked. :) Using a 100% wool yarn will also help as the yarn will stick to itself a bit, especially after you wash the scarf, thus making unravelling of the hair less likely.

Eyes
Use buttons of your choice. Sew them on the third garter ridge counting from the ears down.

Et voila! Your Mago is finished. Give it a gentle wash and a blocking, and find a happy recipient. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Greta

The last time you saw Greta, she was in quite a state. And I’m afraid to say she stayed like that for quite a while… Until, finally, her princess in shining armour appeaered. A friend of a friend had a baby girl, and all of a sudden Greta was ready to be finished and sent off to France to meet Suzanne. (Ahhh, the deadline-induced productivity, you gotta love it…)

The pattern was very simple. Well, simple and quick to knit the various tiny pieces. But my gripe with it was that it offered basically no advice on putting the pieces together, or stitching the facial features. Basically it just said: look at the photo of my finished object and do that. As an inexperienced joiner-together, I would have appreciated some tips. Especially considering that the pieces you need to attach to the body (arms, ears, tail) are three-dimensional, and not that easy to figure out how to do correctly (as testified by poor Greta’s disfigured right ear). I’m not a terribly experienced embroiderer either, so Greta’s face gives off quite a sad expression, which was not really my aim. But I am proud that I didn’t use any buttons for the eyes (I was tempted, it would have been so much easier!), so this item is completely baby-safe. I hope Suzanne has lots of fun chewing on Greta any way she can think of. :)

Greta’s last promenade around Brussels before catching her ride to France… 

 

 

 

finishitis

Yes, there is such a thing too (in addition to startitis)! I, for one, have been experiencing one in the last few days… I guess it came together with the urge to declutter my apartment… So I finally took a needle, thread and some water and added the final finishing touches to a few items that have been languishing at the 95% completeness for several months… It led to some lovely sights, like for example this little guy, currently drying on my couch.

More details on him soon… :)