Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hedgehogs by hand

Thank you so much for your feedback on my first featured post! I was so excited to participate in that series, and truly honored to be invited. Deme has some incredible DIY projects on her blog and I've been reading back through her old posts for the past few weeks. Most of her blog was written while they lived in our area, and it's really encouraging to see how other people have decorated and improved a house which is similar to ours in age, architectural style, light quality, outdoor space and many other ways. It's always fun to peruse design ideas in general, but it feels so much more applicable when they are shown in an environment similar to the one you're attempting to work with. There's always something new to work on, isn't there? We have a few projects lined up for this year, so watch this space because I hope to share our progress.

Now for some crochet news! A pair of hedgehogs has joined the family. Crocheted amigurumi hedgehogs, that is. They're brother and sister, they look a lot alike, and they get along most of the time - they're a lot like another brother-sister pair I know. I made these hedgehogs for the small Bears, as Christmas stocking-stuffers, from a pattern I found on a wonderful blog called One Man Crochet. The blogger who designed them, Matthew, offers a great, easy tutorial. I did not have a chance to blog about them before Christmas because I was still trying to get them finished a couple of days before the big event! But they were a big hit when they were noticed, poking their long snouts out of the stockings on Christmas morning. I was so glad, because I really enjoyed making them for my own two little hoglets.


My hedgehogs are a matched set, except for the bow on the little lady's head. Both have button eyes, though the pattern suggests safety eyes. I didn't have any, so I sewed on some tiny buttons. I thought they were black until I started photographing my finished hogs in sunlight. They looked navy blue in the sun. I also should have used dark thread, but I had white thread close at hand and used that instead.



I love the way the pattern creates a neat little "hairline" between the hedgehog's face and body. I think this actually resembles a real hedgehog. The snouts are pointed and they stick up at the end with help from the nose, which is sewn on with black yarn; you leave a long end on the yarn to wrap around the tip of the nose, making it poke upward.


I think the snouts and noses are my favorite part of these hedgehogs, actually. They seem curious - snoopy, even.


Their backsides are made with a sort of drawstring to tighten down after stuffing, then the end is woven in to secure the opening. I used standard polyester toy stuffing, which has now begun to escape through the openings of the stitches. I tried to crochet tightly, and I even went down a hook size, but my amigurumi skills are still developing and I felt a little tentative with all the stitch-counting, which may have caused me to crochet a bit too loosely.


The boy is a little fatter than the girl, partly because he was the first one I made and I wasn't as confident with the technique yet, but also because I stuffed him a little too enthusiastically. I really jammed it in. I wouldn't say the girl suffered from less stuffing, but I think it's all about personal preference. These hedgehogs aren't very large, maybe 6 inches from nose to rump, so it's nice to make them as huggable as possible, I think.


I made my hedgehogs with trusty Stylecraft Special DK and an F (3.75mm) hook. As for Stylecraft shades, I used Walnut for the bodies, Camel for the faces, and Black for the noses (with a tiny bit of Candy Floss for the bow). And, of course, two tiny buttons for each of their eyes, as well as polyester toy stuffing, from a giant bag that I've had for years.


Brother and Sister Hedgehog seem to be integrating well in our home. Sister Hedgehog spends much of her time riding precariously on top of a pile of babies strapped into a doll stroller, while Brother has found camaraderie with a clay porcupine made at school during the fall semester. Apparently, they like to eat the same things. Imaginative play is alive and well at the Thistlebear home, and I'm glad I can offer some handmade toys. I worried that the LB would find his hedgehog silly, but he was as happy as his sister. Given how much their father likes the hedgehogs, I needn't have worried; they might be a welcome gift for grown-ups too.

46 comments:

  1. These are so cute. I used to have a female hedgehog.

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  2. Jennifer,

    I can see your name in the credits of a new Disney flick featuring your two TOO cute hedgehogs: '...based on the creations of thistlebear.com...'!

    Poppy

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  3. Very cute - another one to add to my "to do" list.

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  4. Those hedgehogs are adorable! What a great idea for stocking stuffers!

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  5. Gorgeous Jennifer!! I love the way that you describe their goings on since Christmas, glad that the boy has found a friend in the porcupine! They look so cute and I like the way that they have blue eyes and little white bits in the middle where the stitches are, I think that it just adds to their personalities! Great job!! xx

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  6. They are so sweet, definitely would have loved one of these in my stocking. Knitting's coming on great too :) xx

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  7. How adorably cute! I'll bet they were a hit on Christmas morning!

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  8. I'm not surprised your kids love the hedgehogs - they are charming and look very squeezable.

    I know just what you mean when you talked about how encouraging it is to read about home improvements in properties similar to the ones we live in; I am always way more excited to read about decorating in a house like mine (ie small) than what some architect with a million pounds did to their fancy London house. x

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  9. Your hedgies are so cute Jennifer. :)

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  10. Oh they're so sweet, love them. xx

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  11. Oh Jen they're lovely - I love the touch with the bow! Henry and Henrietta perhaps? Might have to give them a go! Jane x

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  12. Oh they're absolutely adorable! What a wonderful addition to your home.

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  13. Jen, they are so cute! I like the blue button eyes and the cute little bow to differentiate between boy and girl. I'm not surprised your children love them.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  14. HOLA, COMO STAS... INTERESANTE TU BLOG, ME ENCANTO..¡ TE FELICITO.
    AHORA TE SIGO, TE INVITO A QUE ME VISITES Y VEAS LO QUE YO HAGO, SERAS BIENVENIDA SIEMPRE..
    BESOS, ABRAZOS Y BENDICIONES.
    ZHOBEYD@.
    ..

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  15. Could these get any more cute, I love them there so good x

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  16. Jennifer I am knitting hedgehogs for my local hedgehog hospital this very evening as I am reading blogs.... Multi tasking or something like that! Yours are uber sweet x

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  17. They're wonderful. Nothing better than handmade toys in the stocking, seeing their joy is a gift for you too. They're beautifully made, and I'm not surprised the children loved them.

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  18. Lovely hoglets.

    you clever girl, you. xx


    Leanne xx

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  19. What a darling little pair! I bet your two little ones were all smiles when they saw these! Nothing beats lovingly handmade gifts for our kids, especially fun amigurumi! Chrissie x

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  20. Oh my goodness! They are SO adorable. I want to hug them! :)

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  21. These are so cute! I love them. It sounds like they have settled in really well with their new owners too.
    Marianne x

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  22. Aww they are so cute, I have a bit of a soft spot for hedge hogs, as we have a family of them living under the Summerhouse.
    Clare x

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  23. They are adorable Jennifer, and look like they have adapted nicely to their new home.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  24. :)) so very cute Jennifer, and you make them look so sweet and realistic. No wonder they are a hit with the Little Bears. xx

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  25. Oh, they are absolutely adorable!!

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  26. ♥️ Adorable!

    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  27. How cool are those hedgehogs and even more awesome is that your kids have a toy that their mom made! Not many kids can say that. I love your knitting and crocheting - I can't do either!

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  28. What a cute little pair! Have you ever seen a hedgehog in real life? They have hard little bristles and aren't cuddly in the least.. so I'd much rather have one of yours than a real one! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  29. Gorgeous and lovely that you could give your children something you made them for Christmas. Julie x

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  30. Oh-so-adorable! These are so sweet, I think you should make a whole family of them!
    Happy weekend,
    Xx

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  31. Adorable Jennifer! I love them...Mel x

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  32. Hey you!! I tried to leave a comment yesterday but my computer was going haywire! These are absolutely adorable! I love that you instill creative play in your kids with gifts from the heart like this!! So very talented you are!!! Have a great weekend with your crew!!! Nicole xoxo

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  33. It would be cute to have a whole family of them to play with.

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  34. They are just the sweetest! I really really wish I could crochet after seeing these xo

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  35. So adorable!!!!! Hedgehogs are so cute…..the pretend ones that is

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  36. Could these be any more precious!! I love them!
    Jemma

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