My Happy Little Rainbow Hippo

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Rainbow crochet african flower hippo by Jennfer Wang Bears (original design by Heidi Bears "Happypotamus")


Somewhere… Over the rainbow…
A sweet little hippo is born!

At long last, after almost an entire month of piecing him together, I’ve finally completed my very first Heidi Bears design. Say hello to Rainbow Hippo – a mini version of “Happypotamus”.

This is by far Heidi’s most popular pattern, and is available for sale through Craftsy*Ravelry and Etsy. I have to say, the amount of love, care and detail this woman puts into her patterns is phenomenal. I’m absolutely in awe of her work.

Heidi’s instructions are clear and SUPER detailed, even to the point of repetition, which is exactly what you need when first learning to make something this complicated. The good news is, once you’ve mastered one design, the rest are a breeze, and the whole process is so relaxing and soothing, it’s just like putting together your own little crochet jigsaw puzzle!

Materials

My little mini rainbow hippo was made entirely from embroidery thread split into two strands. Like the crazy person that I am, I did this entirely by hand, dividing one thread into thirds and winding them onto little spools.

Daiso Pastel Embroidery ThreadI took advantage of the cheery pastel embroidery packs found at my local Daiso store in Sydney, using just over half of the 36 skeins from 3 packets. Each pack has 12 different colours, although I didn’t end up using them all. I’m so happy with Daiso’s cotton embroidery thread. It’s super cheap and fairly easy to split (although there’s only so far a strand will separate before it curls into a tightly-wound cord of indestructibility). Also, since I’m not much of a colour-coordinating whiz, it was a relief to have matching colours laid out neatly for me in cute little packets. What a great find. Thanks, Daiso!

NOTE: If you’d like to make this project yourself, you can easily replace the above thread with similar colours using a different brand. You could also try doubling up strong machine embroidery thread instead of splitting embroidery thread.

"Rainbow Mini Hippo" made by Jennifer Wang Bears (Happypotamus pattern by Heidi Bears)

Pastel Colors Embroidery Thread (Daiso)

A note on hooks...

This was my first time using a 0.5mm hook and I was amazed to find it was much easier than I expected. Ok, I’ll admit that working with such a teeny hook left me with scary finger calluses and damaged my eyesight beyond repair, but when I look into my sweet little hippo’s eyes I find myself wanting to make one all over again! If you’re far-sighted, DO NOT even attempt such a small project. You’ve been warned.

I need to stress that quality is key when it comes to using a tiny hook. Since completing this project, I’ve made two more hippos, and the tip of my cheap steel hook is now completely bent out of shape. The grip and hook shaft has also noticeably discoloured – not happy! My hook was also far too sharp, and I kept stabbing myself  over and over until my finger resembled a giant crater (ouch!). The original hook I used was part of a cheap 22-piece set*, which I LOVE and has served me well, but I ended up replacing my smallest hook with  a no. 14/0.5mm steel hook by Clover*. Let me just say, this was the best. Decision. Ever.

Rainbow Crochet African Flower Hippo by Jennfer Wang Bears using Daiso embroidery thread (original design by Heidi Bears "Happypotamus").

"Rainbow Mini Hippo" made by Jennifer Wang Bears (Happypotamus pattern by Heidi Bears)

My Rainbow Hippo

I’ve nicknamed my lovely, chubby friend hema baobao, or “hippo baby”. He measures approximately 12cm (4.7 inches) in length from tail to snout, and is roughly 5cm (2 inches) in height from toe to shoulder.

All in all, this little guy is made up of 44 African Flower motifs of various shapes and sizes. Each one is crocheted individually and joined to the next via whip stitch and the join-as-you-go method (JAYG).

Personally, while JAYG is often more convenient than using good ol’ whip stitch, I found that my edges started to become uneven as I moved closer towards the head. This is because the angles became tighter, making it harder to manoeuvre my hook. If I ever make a small project like this again, I’m going to save myself a headache by using whip stitch the whole way through.

UPDATE: I have since made two hippos using whip stitch to join the pieces together. The verdict? Although whip-stitch is easier (leaving a much smoother, more compact finish), I find that I prefer the JAYG method after all. This is because JAYG is more visually interesting, and I enjoy making and joining each piece as I go instead of waiting until the end to join them all. 

Colours

Happypotamus is worked from back to front in vertical rows. For each row, I aimed to use two or three colours, where the Main Colour (MC) is carried into the next row as the Contrasting Colour (CC). The colour combinations I used in order are:

1: MC = light blue; CC = green/blue
2: MC = bluish purple; CC = light blue
3: MC = pinkish purple; CC = bluish purple
4: MC = dark pink; CC = pinkish purple + peach
5: MC = light pink; CC = peach
6: MC = orange; CC = yellow
7: MC = yellow; CC = orange
8: MC = green; CC = white
9: MC = white: CC = green

If you’d like to make your own lovely creation, please feel free to visit Heidi’s shop for her latest designs. I know you’ll love them!

…What’s that, little hippo? Uh oh, I think he’s getting hungry. I’d better go feed him before he gets stuck into my yarn stash (I sure hope he likes fruit salad). Have a happy, joy-filled week!

Much love and hippo hugs,
Jennifer

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24 Comments on "My Happy Little Rainbow Hippo"

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Alice
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How many sets of thread do you need to complete this pattern? Do you know the exact number or maybe a round about number?

Dieuwke
Guest

I love this tiny hippo. But I have a quetion reading what you did. Did you split the emroidery thread in two equal parts (which gives 3 strands), or did you use two strands of the embroidery thread at a time.
Once split it’s impossible to change. And I have the thread waiting!

Dieuwke
Guest

Thanks for the quick reply and yes it answers my question. Now I can give it a go!

CrunchyFrog
Guest

I’m a bit late to the discussion but it seems you changed the pattern and used a square piece at the front of the nose and a pentagon for the chin. (Rather than a pentagon and hexagon)
Is there a reason you did this? I’m planning a tiny hippo of my own (already did a large version) and was wondering if I should make the same adjustment.

CrunchyFrog
Guest

I’m using a 1mm hook and embroidery thread rather than floss. So far so good. I’ll post back with the results. Thanks again for the inspiration and answering my question.

Crunchy
Guest

So nearly 6 months later another tiny happy is born. Thanks again for the inspiration. http://imgur.com/a/Mp7Dq

Sally Jacobs
Guest

Vers sweet baby hippo – i can see your selling them? Just so your know, the pattern is only for private use, and its illegale to sell the finished items. Heidi Bears own words.

Heidi
Guest

He is a wonder! You are amazingly talented…well done!
♥ Heidi

Pat Scott
Guest

Jennifer Id love for you to do a piglet & elephant for me please . I have a great grand due 12-8 Id love to have for! We will find out 7-20 what it’s to be & I’ll let you kno! If you’ll email me prices & all! Tyvm

Sarah
Guest

Hello Jennifer,

Absolutely amazing creation! I have a friend who would love this as a gift. Please let me know the pricing for one of these little guys.

Regards,
Sarah

Yolanda VanEyk
Guest

Hello Jennifer,
Please please please, can you make me one of these little darlings? Let me know how much it cost and I will confirm. I can’t crochet. I can paint, maybe we can swap it for a painting you like? But I’m most willing to pay with normal money!
Cheers, Yolanda

Paula
Guest

Hi Jennifer,
Not only have you made a beautiful Hippo, your blog is amazing to.
Is there anything you can’t do… XxX

Your Hippo has definitely inspired me to get my threads out, and have a look at what I have…
Maybe this could be my next project.!!!

Keep up the great work you do, I look forward to seeing more of your Glorious Hippo’s….
XXXX 🙂

Rhonda
Guest

I’ve always loved this design, especially your tiny, colorful version! Beautiful work!

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