Griffith Park Yarnscape 9: How to Crochet a Merry-go-round Horse

Posted on: September 28, 2020
Topics: DIY, Exhibitions

Have you had enough passive screen-time and want to make something with your hands, maybe learning a new skill in the process? Join us in contributing to a gallery display of Griffith Park in crochet, with the help of these how-to videos.   

As part of our exhibition Investigating Griffith Park we’re inviting the Autry community to make pieces to represent various aspects of the park, from nature to recreational activities, and mail them into the Autry (or drop them off in person once the museum re-opens, if you prefer). We’ll then add your art to the gallery, around a crocheted Griffith Park sign, to capture the essence of the park and create a post-pandemic community display.  

This week’s video shows you how to make a Merry-go-round Horse. Since 1937, the merry-go-round has been a focal point of Griffith Park and a site much-loved by families. The Autry team could have had no better guide to its history than Julio Gosdinski, co-owner of the Griffith Park Merry-go-round, who passed away this year. He shared his contagious passion for the history of the Merry-go-round and over thirty years of experience in Griffith Park. An early supporter of the Investigating Griffith Park exhibition, we are honored to be able to display an early Merry-go-round conductor’s hat, brass ring, and ticket that he had discovered and helped preserve.

You don’t need experience with crochet, as instructor Julie Kadoi walks you through the basic stitches, and for those more comfortable with working from written instructions we have included the pattern below. So, pick up those hooks and yarn, make a Merry-go-round Horse (or maybe make a leafy daisy , a kite, a butterfly,  a California poppy , an elderberry leaf , a red-tailed hawk , an earthworm or a party sign from previous videos), and look for future videos in the coming weeks.    

Video: 

Griffith Park Yarnscape 9: How to Crochet a Merry-go-round Horse

Griffith Park Yarnscape 8: How to Crochet an Earthworm

Download Directions as PDF File 

Materials:

  • Worsted-weight acrylic yarn in two colors (body and mane/tail) 
  • Sock weight acrylic yarn for surface designs
  • 4.00 mm (G) crochet hook 
  • 3.25mm (D) crochet hook
  • Tapestry needle (optional) 
  • Scissors 

Glossary of Terms, Stitches, and Techniques:  

  • chain stitch (ch): To make, draw yarn through the active loop on the hook.
  • double crochet stitch (dc): To make, yarn over, insert hook into indicated stitch, draw up a loop, (there will be three loops on the hook) yarn over and draw through two loops, yarn over and draw through two loops again.
  • double treble crochet stitch (dtr): To make, yarn over three times, insert hook in indicated stitch, draw up a loop (there will be 5 loops on the hook), yarn over and draw through 2 loops four times.
  • fasten off: Cut the yarn 3 to 4 inches from the last stitch and draw the end through the active loop. Pull tightly to secure.
  • half-double crochet stitch (hdc): To make, yarn over, insert hook into indicated stitch, draw up a loop, (there should be three loops on the hook) yarn over and draw through all three loops.
  • half-double crochet two together (hdc2tog): To make, yarn over, insert hook in indicated stitch and draw up a loop, yarn over, insert hook in the following stitch and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through all five loops.
  • single crochet stitch (sc): To make, insert your hook into the indicated stitch, draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through both loops.
  • single crochet three together (sc3tog): To make, insert your hook into the next stitch and draw up a loop, insert your hook into the following stitch and draw up a loop, insert your hook into the next stitch again and draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through all four loops on the hook.
  • skip (sk): helps to identify where the next stitch goes by accounting for any stitches in the row below that will not be worked in
  • slip stitch (sl st): To make, insert your hook into the indicated stitch, draw up a loop, draw the top loop on the hook through the bottom loop.
  • stitch (st): a generic stitch, usually designates the location in the previous row in which a particular stitch, such as a single crochet, will be made
  • treble crochet stitch (tr): To make, yarn over twice, insert the hook into the designated stitch, draw up a loop, yarn over and draw through two loops three times.

Pattern Notes

The Rounds as defined in this pattern do not go completely around the piece.

Pattern

Body base:

  • Round 1: Ch 6. Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each of next 3 ch, 3 sc in next sc. Working on other side of chain, sc in each of next 3 ch, sc in last ch where 1st sc of round was placed.
  • Round 2: Ch 4, 2  tr in side of last sc, tr in foundation ch in which the 1st and last sc were worked in round 1, (dc, hdc, sc) in 1st sc from Row 1, sc in each of next  3 st, (hdc, 2dc) in next st, 3 tr in next st, (dc, hdc) in next st, sc in each of next 4 st.
  • Round 3: Sc in next 2 ch, hdc in next ch, (dc, 2tr) in next ch, 2 tr in next tr.

Hind leg # 1: 12 ch, turn, sk ch, sc in each of next 2 ch, 2 sc in next ch, sc in each of next 4 ch, sk ch, sc in next ch, hdc in next ch, 2dc in the last ch, sl st to next st on body base.

Belly: sl st in next st, sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st. Sc in each of next 4 st.

Front leg #1/front torso: ch 12, turn, sk ch, sc in each of next 5 ch, 3 sc in next ch, sc in each of next four st, hdc in the last ch, sl st in next st on horse’s torso, 2 sc in each of the next 2 st.

Neck/head: ch 10, Sk 3 ch, dc in each of next 2 ch, 2dc in next ch, 2 tr in next ch, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (to make the ear), (sl st, ch, hdc) in side of top of last tr, dc in each of two loops down the side of same tr post, tr in next ch, 2 tr in next ch, 2 dtr in last ch, sk 3 st on horse body, sl st to next st on back. Fasten off.

Hind leg #2: Ch 11. Sc in 2nd ch from hook, 2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 3 ch, sc3tog over next 3 ch, sc in next ch, (dc, hdc) in last ch. Fasten off leaving long tail.

Front leg #2: Ch 12. Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 3 ch, 3 sc in next ch, sc in each of next 3 ch, hdc2tog over next 2 ch, hdc in last ch. Fasten off leaving long tail.

Tail: With new color yarn, measure out three strands of yarn to desired length of tail, double it and add an extra inch and cut. Tie onto back side of rump like one would add a fringe, concealing the attachment from the front side: fold yarn in half, draw folded yarn through stitch on the rump from back to front, pulling the ends through the loop of the yarn strands and tighten.

Mane: Turn the horse over to back side. Using the same yarn color as the tail, draw up a loop in last st of neck, (ch 1, dc in next st, ch 1, sl st in next st) x 3, ch 1, hdc in next st, ch 1, sl st in next st, sc in each of next 2 st behind ear, sl st in next st past ear (so you can see a little bit of the mane in front of the ear).  Fasten off.

Decorative Designs (Embroidery/Surface crochet): You may want to embroider facial features on the horse and surface crochet or embroider other features like the saddle, harness, bits or any other tack. Draw up a loop and slip stitch in whichever direction you would like your line to go. Continue doing this until you’re satisfied with your horse.  

 

Mailing Submissions 

Please mail your Merry-go-round Horse submissions to:  

YARNSCAPE AT THE AUTRY 
Autry Museum of the American West 
4700 Western Heritage Way 
Los Angeles CA 90027 

If you prefer you may drop them off when the Autry reopens to the public.