Sorry Mom, Also a Hippo


It’s my mom’s birthday soon. I had this fantastic idea to knit her these beautiful colour-work Owl mittens. The wool was hand-spun, hand-dyed Pender Island Sheep wool. Like, premium local, premium hippy. The only way it could get more natural is if it had bits of grass spun into the wool. It was with this that I started my first colour-work project. (That is, knitting with more than one colour in a pattern.)

Yeah. So that happened. And then it didn’t.

I was so frustrated with it. Partly because I am terrible at colour-work. Partly because my first colour-work project was on these tiny thin double-pointed needles and the yarn, being hand-spun wasn’t as even in thickness as machine spun yarn. (That is, of course, the charm of hand-spun yarn.)

Then I took it to knit night to get some advice from my beautiful knitters, and they took one look at it and said, “You need more pink. Do you have more? You’ll never finish with that much yarn.”

Yeah, I didn’t have more. I only had one puny ball for a pair of mittens.

So now that’s sitting in my stash, needles still engaged, because I don’t have the heart to rip it out. But I don’t have enough yarn to finish it.

I thought, “Oh well, I still have time to knit my mom some socks.”


Knitting for my mom is tricky because I taught her to knit a couple years ago and she has far surpassed me in knitting skills. Like, she knits sweaters. For real. But, she doesn’t knit socks yet. So I figure this is my last year to capitalize on this.

Then the hippo happened.


I borrowed a knitting toy book from Danielle and Gabrielle caught sight of it one day. She immediately decided she wanted the giraffe in the book. I did not have any yellow or orange wool. So she compromised and demanded the hippo. Immediately. Like Right! Now!

Every morning she woke up and asked if her hippo was done. Every afternoon she asked if it was done. Every evening she asked what bit of the hippo she could sleep with. Seriously.

When I finished the hippo’s body, she carried that around, hugging it and swinging it around. Next the head went on and she insisted on sleeping with this discombobulated head, body blog. (Looked like two balls attached. No face on there.) Then Gramma put a face on it. The next day there were arms. A couple days later (after a birth) there were legs. And finally ears and a tail.



Gail is helping sew on Hippo’s face.


This is when the hippo has no arms, no legs, no ears, no tail. Poor hippo.

All this is to say, Sorry Mom! Your present will be late but now that I’ve actually started (again) on it, maybe it’ll be ready before your birthday.

Also, now we have a hippo.





About Amanda

Living a simple quiet life on the Gulf Islands, BC.

6 Thoughts on “Sorry Mom, Also a Hippo

  1. I am thinking if you send your moms photos of Brie and the hippo she will gladly wait for her mittens, er,,,socks…how about a scarf? :D

  2. Holly Nepper on 12 February, 2014 at 10:56 am said:

    Love the hippo. Love that Bried loved it long before it was completed. Makes me think of how preggo Mama’s come to love our own little blobs long before they are “finished.”

  3. I love your stories!I think this is a new favourite. That is one loved hippo.

  4. I love you both! At least she didn’t try to give birth to the hippo in various stages of development or did she?

  5. The best gift of all is seeing you love our wee Brie so very well! What mama knows her little girl that well, to lovingly stitch a purply-Pender-style hippo and give her the freedom to play and make it her own as it takes shape? Best birthday gift of all! I am altogether jazzed about my new socks, though! Whenever they arrive…xoxox

Post Navigation