Designer:Heidi Bears Designs
Hook: 3.75 mm
Yarn: Shepherd, Cleckheaton Cocoon, and various leftovers
Let me tell you what's good about this pattern: I have one word. Thorough. Despite the fact that this booklet might be a bit tough on the printer, being 30 odd pages, it is not hard work for your mind. Meaning, everything is explained in full detail. It includes all the diagrams, explanations and step by step photos you could need. In fact, the construction is so well explained that if you are new to crochet and comfortable with the 'african violet' motif then I would recommend trying this or any of the other animals in the Heidi Bears collection. There are so many to choose from. Just to mention a few that I may have my eye on include:Thandi the African Rhino, Puff the magic Stegosaurus, and the latest Smaug the dragon. All these patterns are available for purchase. One may be surprised by the price of the pattern but I assure you a lot of work went into writing up every last detail, you are allowed to sell your finished objects and you get to make some of the most loveable soft toys ever!
Extra bits you should know before getting started: The pattern definitely leans towards joining as you go, which is a great technique. However, my preference both aesthetically and technically is to complete all the rounds of the motive and hand stitch them together at the end. Hand stitching tends to create a less severe ridge but this is simply personal preference. If you do choose this method, I recommend leaving your tail ends live until the very end as I found I had to go back on a couple of corners and extend out a few stitches. One last point to make, about the size. The beauty of making items such as this hippo is that size doesn't really matter. I used fingering weight yarns and a 3.75mm hook to obtain gauge. This made a hippo approximately 30 cm in length. If you want a bigger hippo, try using sport weight or even dk weight for a novelty size zoo!! Obviously, make sure to check your gauge!