I finished the Hippo a couple of weeks ago even though I was in the midst of physical therapy with my shoulder. I learned there are a lot of muscles in your shoulder that you use while knitting. I always keep my elbows close to my sides when knitting, but I could feel each small movement travel up my arms to my shoulders. Knitting was done in short bits of time interspersed with rest. Even so, the Hippo didn't take very long. The little girl that I occasionally babysit saw the Hippo and immediately latched on to it, making it hard to let go when she had to leave. I'm thinking I'll have to make another, but in a fun, girlie color.
I did have a head slapping moment as I was finishing up the Hippo. Susan B. Anderson calls for poly beads in many of her toy patterns but they seem hard to find. I realized I could use dried beans instead. I remember my grandmother doing that when she made me a toy dog. Dry beans are cheap and readily available. It will make a big difference in the appearance and playfulness of the toy.