Friday, January 27, 2012

Hedgehog the first!

I finished my first Valentine hedgehog.  This one is for my older son.

AhHhhhhHHHH!!!!  I LOVE IT!  It's the Huggable Hedgehog pattern which you can purchase on Ravelry, or if you live in the Phoenix area and you'd like to support an amazing local business, you could buy it at Tempe Yarn and Fiber.

Anyway, I freaked out just a bit because I thought I had gotten eyes that were too big.  If you look at the eye placement of most other people's projects on Ravelry, you see that they're more above the nose.  I knew that these eyes were too big to do that, but JoAnn was all out of the smaller ones.  I texted my hubby and said, "I think I got eyes that are too big.  I guess it's not too big a deal... if these don't work, I can go somewhere else and get smaller eyes.  They're only $2."

He texted back, "Is it anime?"  And I texted back, "Probably!  LoL!"  And I kind of forgot about it.  When I got home, though, and I started trying to make this work, I took his funny comment to heart and suddenly thought of Hello Kitty and how her eyes are almost on a straight line with her nose.  So I thought I'd give it a go.  And I LOVE it!!!  I'm so glad that JoAnn was out of smaller eyes and that my hubby is brilliant on a future-seeing-psychic scale.

My husband is also wonderful because he sat after this was finished for probably at least two hours, pulling all of those little tendrils out so that the hedgehog would be extra hairy after felting.  If you don't use a fun fur type yarn, it's almost required that you pull all the little bits from the inside to the outside so that you have a more dramatic finished product.  TOTALLY worth it, by the way.  He actually found it relaxing.  So he gets to do the next one, too.  But even if he didn't, I'd be doing it because the results are so incredible.

At first, I thought a crochet hook would be easier, but it was actually much easier to use the tip of a dpn and just flick them out, rather than having to hook each one individually.

Also, after the guy was felted, I couldn't poke those eyes and nose through to save my life.  I marked the spots where I wanted them to go with a black marker and then snipped a tiny hole (no wider than 3/16") on those spots very carefully with extremely sharp scissors.  Basically aim to make the hole you snip just a little smaller than the width of the post of the eye/nose attachment you use.  I used 15mm eyes and a 21mm nose.

Also, just in case any of you are unfamiliar with the process of felting, this is what the hedgehog looks like BEFORE you felt it.  Everything felts faster, by the way, if you felt it (in a zippered pillowcase... that's not faster, it just saves your washing machine) with a pair of jeans in the cycle.  Just so ya'll know. 

Basic felting instructions (Kathy style) are as follows: set your machine to the hottest water, the smallest load size, and the longest wash cycle.  Throw in just a touch of laundry detergent.  (Some people leave this out, but I figure that you might as well wash it at the same time.)  Zip up your piece into a zippered pillow case (or tie an overhand knot in the end of a normal pillow case, which is what I really do because I don't have a zippered pillow case, but I want to get one because untying a knot to check felting progress is a pain in the butt... but I do know that tying the corners together is not good enough because it always comes undone in the machine).  Throw into the washing machine with a pair of jeans and run the cycle.  After agitation begins, check the piece every 5 minutes.  If it looks like it's almost done at one point when you pull it out, then put it back in and check after only 2 minutes.  DON'T let the machine go through it's spin cycle (why you picked the longest wash cycle) because this can apparently create permanent creases.  Rinse the item by hand, fold a towel over it and step on it a lot, like you're crushing grapes, to remove most of the moisture, and then temporarily stuff it until it's completely dry, to get the shape you want.

Boxes are great for purses.  Use plastic bags for soft, round things like this.  It usually takes 1-2 days to dry completely, or, if it's summer, leave it in your garage or outside if you're not afraid of animals (animals LOVE wool... it's weird) and it could seriously be completely dry in half a day.

Anyway, I wasn't intending to write this much, but then I never really do.  I'm the Sensei.... I just kind of can't help myself.  ^_~

1 comment:

  1. Totally cute Kathy. Your boys are gonna love their hedgies. See you soon.