Colleen Pace's Pepperoni Ponies A Division of the American Association of Riding Schools
It all started because my sister is an accomplished knitter and crocheter. Three generations of our family have been blessed with her afghans, Easter bunny handbags, and stuffed clowns, monkeys, frogs, and elephants. Then, a few years ago, when I was well into my fifties, she made me a beautiful crochet pony. I took it to work the next day and a co-worker - an avid Paint horse competitor - insisted she wanted to purchase the pony for her infant daughter. And, the seed was planted.
My sister was not interested in selling her pattern, so I set off to design one of my own. I found an old 1970-ish pattern that looked sort of like 'Pogo" from Gumbie, or like the horse from "Toy Story," and changed it over and over until I came up with a pattern that was all single crochet and that looked like a round, cute and cuddly pony. It is meant to be made with yarn eyes and hair (mane and tail) that cannot be pulled off.
The name, Pepperoni Ponies, came out of a youth meeting in my basement twenty years ago. Some of the kids who were riding in my lesson program participated, under my supervision, in the state Morgan Horse Youth Club. They were brainstorming names for their little chapter and, ultimately, settled on the Pacesetters - because my last name is Pace. I didn't have a vote, but my favorite was the suggestion made by a ten-year-old named Katie Hanks. She liked the Pepperoni Pony Club because whenever kids get together for youth meetings of any kind, they always seem to buy pepperoni pizza as their snack.
Years later, when we decided to invent the American Association of Riding Schools, and found an artist to help with cartoon ponies, I drew on Katie's old suggestion because I always thought it was a good one. Now, the Pepperoni Ponies Fan Club is a live-pony kids' club that is available even to families who cannot afford either the time or the money for weekly riding lessons. You can learn more about the program by clicking the ACCESS TO LIVE PONIES tab on this site.
I made my first pony with a single strand of Red Heart Super Saver yarn and ended up with a 9" pony whose legs looked a little crippled. But, after a couple trial ponies, I moved up to using two strands of Super Saver; and ended up with a really nice 16" pony. Since then, I've gotten creative with lots of wild non-horse colors; and thicker, fancier yarns. Maybe, this year, I'll venture into major bling.
Now that I've made and sold over a hundred ponies and over three hundred patterns, I decided it was time to devote a website to the Pepperoni Ponies. The site will evolve as I get my head around what I want to do with it but, for now, enjoy what you see; and join me in making Pepperoni Ponies - the Pony You Can Hug!
And, as for my sister and that first pony, you can see it at the ucanride online store, because it is the picture of the pony on the 'Handmade Gifts' tab.