My friend, G, is kind enough to accompany me on fabric shopping trips from time to time. This time, it paid off for her. We were wandering around JoAnn’s when I heard, from across the store, “Look at the cute hedgehogs!” G and I bolted across the store to find these adorable little fleece hedgies. I quickly agreed to make my friend a hedgie fleece pullover.
The pattern is sort of an old Kwik Sew that I hacked to bits over the year. It started out as just a plain sweatshirt pattern. I added a zipper, a collar, pockets, side shaping, etc. Fortunately, G is close enough to my size that only minor sizing adjustments were needed.
A pink zipper would have been awesome, but time did not permit another trip to JoAnn’s. G is an elementary school librarian and it was hedgehog week. I whipped this jacket together in a few hours.
Every teacher needs pockets. Here is a shot of the pockets:
As a substitute teacher, I often catch random bits of conversations between students. This one made me laugh for the rest of the day.
Girl: Guys, did you see this [photo] on Facebook?
Friends tell her that it's been photoshopped.
Girl: But it's on the *internet*, it *has* to be real!!!
I don't even know what it was a photo of because we were all too busy giving her grief for her comment. She is actually a really bright girl, definitely bright enough to know that not everything on internet is real. I am just glad she made the slip up because it totally made my day… and she will never live it down.
Every now and then, there is project I just have to do for sheer joy of just doing it. That was totally the case with these hedgehog mittens from Morehouse Farm. As luck would have it, a good friend who loves hedgehogs has a birthday every year. For once, I did not procrastinate… and that was a very good thing. I was worried about learning how to knit a mitten, specifically the thumb part. (There is a thumb in the photo, I just have my thumb tucked in so you can see all those quills.) Well, a mitten thumb is no big deal, but those quills!!! The quills were not hard, but they were time consuming… and plentiful.
Look at all those quills. Take a moment and look at how many there are. I highly recommend this pattern because the mittens are to die for, but be prepared for all those quills. They are worth the effort because look how cute they are.
If you are making these for a gift, start early. I started in October even though my friends birthday is in December. Those quills take a long time. I made lots of progress during the 24 hour gaming marathon. The students cheered when I reached the end of the quill section on the first mitten. Once the first mitten was completed, I had the motivation to power through the second one. The mittens were completed before Thanksgiving. The hard part was keeping them a secret until my friend’s birthday at the end of December. Yes, there was lots of squealing when she opened the present.
Ok, one eye looks a little wonky in this photo. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to take a photo of a mitten while you are wearing it??? I guess I could have used the timer feature and a tripod. Besides, the wonky eye adds to his charm.
Oh… some details about the pattern. It was about $30 for the kit which includes the pattern, yarn, eyes, and shipping. The yarn is quite lovely and there is plenty to complete the mittens. The directions were fine. It took me a minute or two to wrap my head around how to do the quills, but I soon had plenty of practice and was whipping out those little buggers pretty fast in no time. I don’t know how warm and/or functional these would be for real mittens, but they sure are cute. My friend is an elementary school librarian. She does a hedgehog unit with itty bitties every year. These will be a huge hit!
It is strange to not have a family at Christmas. I don’t miss *my* family at all, but I do miss having *a* family at times. I have good friends, but Christmas is so family centered. Perhaps I am partially to blame… never showing vulnerability. I am always the tough one, the one who never cries, the one everyone else turns to for support, the one who never shows weakness. Everyone assumes I will be fine because I never let it show that I am not fine. In my family, weaknesses were exploited and used to the advantage of others. Confidences were kept only until they could be used as leverage in bizarre game of power and control. The phrase, "If you don’t stop crying, I will give you something to cry about" was never an idle threat. When you are the smallest of the herd, you learn to act big and fearless.
I am knitting as fast as I can to finish some holiday gifts. In the meantime, here is a sock that I finished ages ago, but never got around to posting.
The pattern is Jaywalker, which I found on Ravelry… which is where I find almost all of my knitting patterns. Super easy pattern that knits really fast. The yarn is Berrocco Comfort Sock, English Garden colorway. It is not a fancy yarn, but I love it. Smooth knitting and oh so comfy to wear.
I had tried a couple other patterns with this yarn, but it really needed a simpler pattern like Jaywalker to take advantage of the self striping.