Building a Unicorn

Over the past year or so I’ve bought or been given unicorns by friends.

    

Just writing that statement makes me laugh because it sounds so ridiculous—or would have if you and I were talking on the phone and you did not see the above photos. It sounds like, “Yes, I own some unicorns. They’re parked out back.”

Lately, I’ve been crocheting a unicorn for a little girl’s unicorn-themed birthday party. The pattern was designed by ChiWei at OneDogWoof. You can find her blog here.

First, you crochet the head, then the ears, and the alicorn (what the horn was called way back when).

Next comes the body, which takes almost twice as long as the head, then the legs and hooves (both thankfully crocheted in one piece).

   

Lastly, you have to crochet the tail (made of multiple curlicues) and cut strands of yarn for the mane. I chose this yarn. A unicorn must have a rainbow tail and mane.

   

Once all of the pieces are crocheted, I have to build the unicorn—at least that’s what I think of the assembly process, which involves a lot of whip stitching to keep the pieces together.

It’s sort of like the process of writing a story with a unicorn as a character. Okay. I see that look. You’re thinking these processes are very different. But character building of any sort involves putting pieces together: characteristics of people you know, characteristics from your imagination; quirks of your character that affect relationships with other characters; dialects shaped by the setting; etc.

I have loved unicorns since I was a kid. I wrote a fairy tale about unicorns probably twenty years ago for my own amusement. But that was then and this is now. When I made the decision to include unicorns in a more recent novel, I did some research.

Maybe you wonder why I would bother. Aren’t unicorns pretty standard? Though they come from the mythology of many countries, they all seem to heal with the horn on their head and seem ethereal. Well, the thought of writing about a “typical” unicorn, one like cream floating on a breeze, offering a healing touch without saying or doing anything else, was not very inviting. I wanted to write about unicorns that had more personality.

I read books by Diana Peterfreund who has a killer unicorn series for young adults. Not killer in the slang sense of “That dress is killer,” but in the sense of “those unicorns kill people.” You can find details about it here.

I also read this series (photos below), which has more books than just the ones shown here. I love one snippy warrior unicorn character who demanded vows of service from people in exchange for assistance. So much for giving away free stuff like healing. I love a feisty unicorn.

   

Well, I’d better get back to getting the mane situated on this unicorn. It’s going to take awhile. (The unicorn might look small on the photo. But it is about 15 inches tall.)

What do you think of unicorns? Do you like to read stories about them? Are you indifferent to them? Please share your thoughts below.

Rampant book cover from Goodreads. Other photos by L. Marie.

24 thoughts on “Building a Unicorn

  1. Your crocheted gift is so soft looking – inviting numerous imaginative dreams to its new owner.
    I thought of a name immediately: Creamy Dreamy.
    Anyway, unicorns prior to ‘my little pony’ stereotyping have always held interest for me. As a literal biological mammal – those possibilities fascinate me.

    • Creamy Dreamy is a lovely name, Laura. I can suggest it to the soon-to-be ownder. 😀
      Yes, unicorns have taken a backseat to My Little Pony thanks to Princess Twilight Sparkle and others. 😀 (I’m not opposed to My Little Pony. They are delightful.) But they are fascinating as you mentioned.

  2. I’ve always been more of a Pegasus fan, so I guess I’m closer to indifferent with unicorns. I do like it when they’re a color other than white and that does a personality change. It’s why I gave Gabriel the Destiny God in Windemere a black unicorn as a mount. Funny how you need to have at least one reference to a unicorn for some people to acknowledge that you wrote a ‘real’ fantasy book.

  3. Your unicorn is precious ~> it’s going to be a hit at that party. Reading about Unicorns has never been a top priority, so I guess that makes me indifferent to their charms. 😀

  4. I like unicorns and the rainbows that usually accompany them, not in the parking lot though. 🙂

    Wonder and awe and the gift of imagination are some words that pop into my head when I see these images. Thank you!

  5. I’ve never really thought much about unicorns. In my mind, they’re fantastic creatures that are usually depicted as beautiful and graceful. I’m sad to hear about the series about unicorns that kill people.

  6. I’m completely indifferent to unicorns. No feelings about them one way or another. I do, however, like crochet so I think your unicorn with the rainbow tail is darned cute. Well done.

  7. I’m pretty sure I liked unicorns when I was a kid and read fairy tales. Somewhere in my stories, there was often a unicorn. But I’m shy around horses (I think they’re beautiful but their strength kind of scares me so I admire them from afar) and so unicorns eventually disappeared from my imagined world. The unicorn you’re creating is adorable and what a wonderful gift (for child or adult 😉 ). I visited ChiWei from your blog. I actually came across her on Instagram just a few days ago so I was pleasantly surprised to see her website. She’s so talented! I’ve clipped one of her free patterns for a knitted capelet. I just finished knitting a shawl for my sister and have a skein and a half of chunky yarn left over so the capelet would be perfect! By the way, I’m a fan of Lion Brand yarn 🙂

    • Thank you, Marie! I’m so glad you searched for ChiWei! She has some wonderful patterns!

      I love Lion Brand too! Thought Yarnspirations’s Bernat yarns have won me over. 😀

      Horses are indeed beautiful. I haven’t been around them much though.

  8. Love your unicorn, L. Marie, andI suddenly find myself hearing The Irish Rovers singing –
    “I’ve got your green alligators and long-necked geese
    Some humpty-backed camels and some chimpanzees
    Some cats and rats and elephants, but Lord, I’m so forlorn
    I just can’t see no unicorn”

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