Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Don Corleone School of Knitting

Every so often, about every six years or so, I find something on the internet that makes me want to dance with joy.

I've been researching a form of Japanese knit/crochet called amigurumi,  miniatures of imaginary creatures done on very fine needles. This has been extended in recent years to include slightly larger forms of real critters such as octopi, crabs, snails, etc., so of course I have to get into the game. I've been trying to find free patterns and mostly striking out because they involve either crocheting or knitting in the round (which I've never learned to do, though I am currently adapting a Frog Prince pattern from four needles to two). I've sent away for a book and can't wait for it to arrive cuzzadafact that I want to knit a snail for my granddaughter Erica's birthday. She loves snails and keeps real ones as pets.

But this! You can actually knit the horse's head from The Godfather, life-size, and it's beautiful, too. I found the pattern free, and I'll post the link here. It would make a delightful pillow for the film buff and a much more sanitary version of the real thing.

No horses were harmed in the making of this pillow. But the back of the neck view is pretty disgusting.

(For those of you who can't get through the whole pattern, this-here's the best part. Make sure you have the right yarn colors: severed neck is red, vertebrae white, and
esophagus/trachea light pink.)
Severed Neck:

Using the red yarn, CO 20 sts.

You will now be returning to the 76 sts of the neck edge and changing color as well as finishing the hemmed edge.

Pick up a purl bump from two rounds below the turning round and place it on the left hand needle. Using the red yarn knit the stitch just picked up together with the next stitch on the left hand needle. Note: I always have a difficult time figuring out which row the purl bump I need is from, so before I started this round I ran a piece of embroidery thread through all the bumps I would be picking up.

Repeat around the edge. (96 sts)

Join and work in the round (either using one circular and magic loop or splitting the stitches up onto two circulars).

Knit two rounds, on second round place a marker every 16 sts.

Dec Rnd: *knit to two stitches before marker, k2tog* to end of rnd

Next Rnd: knit

Repeat last two rows until 54 sts remain, then work the decrease round for every round.

When 6 sts remain, cut yarn and using tapestry needle pull yarn through all stitches and then to the inside of neck.


Using white yarn, CO 28 sts, join and work in the round.

Rnds 1-10: knit
Rnd 11: purl
Rnd 12: knit
Rnd 13: Switch to red yarn and knit all sts
Rnd 14: * k2tog, k3, ssk* to end of rnd (20 sts)
Rnd 15: knit
Rnd 16: *k2tog, k1, ssk* to end of rnd (12 sts)
Rnd 17: knit
Rnd 18: s2kp four times (4 sts)

Cut yarn and using tapestry needle pull yarn through all stitches and then to the inside of piece. Stuff and sew to severed neck edge.

Esophagus/Trachea: (Make two.)

Using the light pink yarn, CO 24 sts, join and work in the round.

Rnds 1-3: knit
Rnd 4: purl
Rnds 5-7: knit

BO all sts.

Fold cast on edge to inside, and sew both edges together.

Sew to severed neck edge.


  1. I dunno, Margaret. I. Just. Don't. Know.

  2. Well,*I* don't come up with these things. I just find them. I showed Bill a picture and he looked at me in total incomprehension. I assured him I wasn't going to actually KNIT one, and he said, "Good."

  3. A rather ordinary foot, I should think.