Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Fifth Hedgehog

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See my Tabblo>

Have you checked out Tabblo? It takes a little getting used to the interface but you can create fun posters, books and postcards with your pictures.

Nearly finished with Hedgie #5. Thought I would share a few things I learned while knitting and finishing the Hedgies.

First off the pattern, Fiber Trends Huggable Hedgehog #228 is in my opinion very clear and well written. I'd done short rows for Tychus but that did not require wrapping while turning.

The Hedgehog pattern is felted, obviously, so it's a bit forgiving. A small miscount here and there will not completely destroy your finished project.

I tried a total of four different fun fur/eyelash/novelty yarns for the fur. From left to right we have Lion Brand Fun Fur held double. Bernat Boa, Cello Eyelash held double and Knit Picks Butterfly Kisses held double.
Yarn Choices for Fur

I'd say I am most happy with the Lion Brand Fun Fur held double, followed by the Bernat. The Cello held double is just too fuzzy. It's out of control Bon Jovi 80's hair fuzzy. The Knit Picks Butterfly Kisses, in my opinion, just does not provide substantial fluff for this pattern. Even held double it does not provide adequate coverage. Held single, which I did for the 5th Hedgie, it provides only minimum coverage. While minimum coverage may be ok for car insurance from time to time it is not good for a Hedgie. Poor thing looks like he has mange, or worse yet hair plugs.

I'm thinking that the Cello held single will produce nice overage without going overboard on the fuzz factor. That's probably what I will do for the next Hedgie.

I used two whole skins of Lion Brand Fun Fur plus a little bit of a third. Same for the Bernat and the Cello. Two skeins is not enough. The Butterfly Kisses comes in 200 yard balls but I had a terrible time winding it into a ball held double. Tangled horribly.

Yarn Choices for Body

I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes for Hedgies 1-4. Knit Picks Sierra for #5. Both felted up well. The Sierra is a bulky weight yarn, it was delightful to knit with and created a very dense, thick fabric. One skein of each color, tummy and paw/back of Wool of the Andes will make one hedgehog with yarn to spare.

After finishing the 5th Hedgie out of Sierra I've found that the Sierra is nice and thick but not very soft and squishy. I want a more squishy Hedgie, so I think I'm going to stick with the Wool of the Andes.

Deviation from the written pattern

Without divulging too much of the pattern. I have no desire to violate copyright. Here are the slight changes I made while knitting the pattern.

I used a matching yarn color to the fur yarn for the back of the hedgehog to create a more uniform color look. I saw a hedgehog knitted in grey for the body and back with black fun fur. The result was cute but I did not care for the look of black wisps of fur coming out of the grey back. I would prefer a matching black back. This is personal preference.

For example the OSU Hedgie has a grey tummy, red paw tips and red back with red eyelash for fur. The fur is sparse so the red back helps mask the lack of fur.

The Paws. I did not completely understand the directions for the paws. I just knitted all rows without purling. I think the paws turn out fine knitted.

I did not change needle size for the back as directed in the pattern. Did not want to shell you another 10.50 for a size 11 needle.

The felting process

I place all of my items to be felted in a zippered pillow case to catch stray fiber. I allow the item to go through the entire wash cycle to get out the excess water. This is frowned on in the pattern, it can cause permanent creases in the finished project. I've found that if I make sure to remove the item promptly I can avoid creases. Regardless felter beware and watch the washer.

I tend to prefer a very dense, therefore smaller finished product so I tend to let my items run through a second agitation cycle for added shrinkage. I do think I may have over felted the 4th and 5th Hedgies. They are on the small size. That may also be due to the fur yarn choice. I just do not like the butterfly kisses yarn for this application.

The pattern calls for removing excess water then using temporary stuffing while waiting for the item to dry. If it goes through the spin cycle it's pretty much ready to stuff and sew closed in my experience.


The nose and eyes really give the Hedgies their personality. I've been using inexpensive plastic noses and eyes I purchased at JoAnn ETC. They are under two dollars per pack. I have not tried it but I don't see why you could not needle felt on the nose and eyes or sew contrasting yarn on the item for even more secure nose and eyes. I have decent hand strength but I've had to ask Dave to snap the backs on several eyes and noses for me.

Closing Thoughts on the Hedgie

It's a fun pattern. I have yet to find someone not find them incredibly cute and charming in person. I've been having fun coming up with fun color and fur combinations not found in nature. I'd seen the pattern before but it was Kim-Chi Crafts post on her Hedgie The Gimp that got me hooked. Why try to make a realistic looking Hedgehog when you can make a pastel Hedgehog?

I have requests for at least two more Hedgies, one for my Dad and one for our friends Matt & Brandi. I think I'm going to take a little break for now


Sourire11 said...

thanks for the informative rundown of how you created the adorable hedgies! and I laughed out loud at the part about minimum coverage... I'll be sure to use something a little more substantial when I finally make a hedgie of my own.

a blossom knits said...

Thank you, again, for posting all of this information and your own experiences. I will be using this quite often in the months to come as I work on my own Hedgie. I have about a month or so to go before I start on him . . . but this is bookmarked for future reference.