Friday, 5 July 2013

Cyril the Postman Hedgehog

If you're visiting this blog because you know me through one of the (several) forums I frequent, I apologise, you've probably already seen this little guy. But I'm pretty proud of him, so please excuse me while I show him off a little bit more.

I was given some money for Christmas and selected four Jean Greenhowe knitting pattern booklets to treat myself to, one of which was Knitted Hedgehogs. I just fell in love with the cover and knew I had to have it, though I was convinced that the patterns within it would be completely beyond me. I thought I'd just buy it to look at the cute pictures, even if I never actually cast on anything from the book.

I'd originally planned to do one of the baby hedgehogs in a pale purple and green babygrow but Mr Click spotted the Postman Hedgehog and asked for him. As I'd knitted a couple of projects for other people I couldn't exactly refuse my long-suffering husband. So soon Postman Hedgehog was on the needles.

He took a little while to complete because I was in the middle of OU essays and revision for my exam. The most time consuming bits were probably sewing everything together. He did knit up pretty quickly, it was just that there was a bit of waiting around while I tried to find time to move on to the next bit. For a rather creepy while his headless body stood on the back of my chair!

But I think he'd turned out very well, despite the delays. I actually finished Cyril just before the exam but then there were the finishing touches (and anyone who's ever knitted a Jean Greenhowe pattern will appreciate just how important those finishing touches are).


I love the attention to detail with him. He was knitted from the ankles to the neck in one piece (in blue for the trousers and white for his shirt), the feet were done separately with card in the bottom to make him stand up and his head and arms were separate as well. The hairpiece was probably the coolest bit to knit. It's sort of like a little hat that's sewn onto his head. It's made holding two pieces of wool together and on larger needles to create the spikey hair effect.

Next to that I'm pretty pleased with how the hat turned out. As I was knitting it I couldn't help wondering how it was going to actually work. But as with all these patterns, it just did. The peak of the cap and the top of the hat has a piece of card in it to help give it the correct shape. Perhaps my proudest moment was successfully embroidering a crown onto the tag at the front. It actually looks like a crown! A major achievement!

The jacket really needed more blocking before I sewed it on, so it's a wee bit curly around the edges. I didn't do such a good job embroidering that middle button either. But otherwise it's fine. I love the little pockets (which you can actually put things in) and the tie. You can't really see it in this photo but there's a couple of little grey Vs which help to make the shirt collar as well.


These were the bits that kind of held up production. I had to make the labels for the postbag as well as the postcard. I was also supposed to make a twisted cord for the postbag tie but as the pattern called for this to be 30cm long (and I struggle making one 10cm long) I just plaited together two different shades of brown. I stuffed the sack with some caramel miniature heroes (Mr Click had bought me a box of them but I'm not a fan of caramel chocolates so I just sort of regifted them back, I didn't hear any complaints).

I had good fun making up the postcard as well, despite putting it off for so long. I think those final pieces really helped make Cyril come together. Instead of a crown as Jean Greenhowe used on her stamp, I used a hedgehog head. It seemed fitting somehow.

The pattern was perfect and so easy to follow that I couldn't believe it when he came together just like the picture in the book. However the wool I used was awful. The shade was perfect, but it was from some brand I'd never heard of. My local wool shop didn't have the right shade so I had to turn to eBay instead and this stuff just felt cheap. I'd noticed it seemed to waver between normal thickness and ridiculously thin when I first used it for Grandma Humpty Dumpty's scarf, but it was also very splitty. I'm glad I've used most of it up in this pattern because I definitely need to find a better brand in the future.

By the way, Cyril was named for a character in a Carry On film we were watching way back when I first started him. I kept on accidentally calling him Cedric, so that's the next Hedgehog I'm going to knit, he's going to be a Town Crier (just like the one you see on the front of the pattern book), but I need a bit of a break from hedgehogs for a while, so I guess Cyril will have to be lonely for a little while yet.

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