Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hedgehogs and Hippos

A long while back I shared with you the package I received from Pam in the H is for Hippos and Hedgehogs swap.  I was so happy with my package and the thought that Pam put into all of it.  And boy, did my stash grow!!

It's about time I share with you what went into the package that I sent.  My swappee was Kendra (kendraja) and I was so excited to get started on her package!  Mostly, I was excited that she would love to receive the Hedgehog to Squirrel toy by Susan B. Anderson.  It's part of her Woodland Creatures collection and I've been wanting to knit it for awhile.  This was just the motivation I needed.  Those reversible toys are so stinkin' cute!! (And if you don't remember, everything we included in the box had to be described with an "H.")

I'm going to get right into it because I've got a bit to share.  Starting with the knitted goodies, as I said, I knit the Hedgehog to Squirrel Reversible toy by Susan Anderson.

My favorite part of this toy is two-fold.  1) The "ridges" on the hedgehog - they're such a creative construction, I really enjoyed that part of the knitting and it adds such dimension to the toy; 2) the squirrel's bushy tail.  Now, Susan always indicates the size of pom-poms to use in her toys, but I don't really listen.  I use my Pom Tree or pom-pom makers and make the fluffiest, biggest pom-pom I can stand, and then trim and trim and trim until I feel it's just right.  (I sort of have to start out larger because I have this thing with making the pom-poms look even and appropriately fluffed...)  So the squirrel tail is very bushy...hopefully Kendra likes it as much as I did!!

The poor hedgehog has a secret, and I won't share what it is, but I'm sure you can spot it.  He feels a bit unique...and hopes that no one thinks badly of him for it. ;)   Mr. Hedgehog was knit with Cascade 220 in Dark Brown and Winter White, while Mr. Squirrel is knit with Cascade 220 Winter White and Spud & Chloe Sweater in Beluga.  I have to mention again how amazingly soft and wonderful S&C is to knit with.  I love it!
(Shhh....don't tell!)
The second knit was a washcloth, designed by our very own bee30, Ber.  She was looking for hedgehog cloths and couldn't find any so she designed not one, but three different designs!  I wanted to knit all three but ran out of time.  So this cloth is Hedgehog Washcloth #3 and I love it so much!  Ber - you did an amazing job designing these cloths!
The last knit item is another dishcloth, which I'm calling the Hungry Hippo Cloth by Elaine Fitzpatrick.  Super simple, super quick - I had this one done in no time!
Normally, I like to do dishcloths in fun colors, but I had natural Lion Brand Lion Cotton Solid on hand so that's what I used.

Handmade stitch markers for Kendra's knitting, in the form of dice and Holey markers.  These markers were sort of a pain to make, but it was a process of trial and error and I finally figured out how to make it work.  If you look closely at the picture, you will see that there is a tiny ball inside the larger white ball, and the purpose of the holes is to see the tiny ball inside.  If you'd like to know more about this process, let me know and I'll explain more in-depth.  (I've got a set for myself that I need to finish sanding and coating.
There was a hedgehog switch plate/light switch cover.  I found this idea on Pinterest.  It's super simple and would be a fun craft to do with your older kids.  I'd link it, but I never repinned the idea myself.  Again, ask if you're interested in more details. :)
Because we needed "h" words, and I live in "America's Hometown," I knew I needed to include some hometown swag.  I don't usually do things from my town, but rather just something from Iowa.  But this was a perfect opportunity.  There were "America's Hometown" magnets, Hart Parr postcards (Oliver/Hart Parr tractors were made in my town before the bigger companies took over), Oliver/Hart Parr pin, and a Hometown Holiday ornament.

A hooter gauge (needle gauge), a heart-shaped yarn cutter pendant
Haribo gummies, a huge Hershey's Kiss, and a huge lollipop
stickers of all kinds (horses, Hello Kitty, happy faces and hearts), a hardback Dr. Seuss book and Weekend Hats
Handmade sheep soap made locally, handy pencils, fun erasers for the heck of it, a Knit Happy tape measure

and finally, about 650 yards of 50/50 silk, merino blend in fingering weight that I hand dyed and named "Victorian Rose."
The "H" twist to this swap made it both fun and challenging.  There are things I did choose to leave out of the package because they didn't quite fit, and I thought would perhaps work better in another swap at another time.

I've since taken a bit of a break from swapping as I wanted to knit more things for myself when I wanted to knit them, instead of fitting them in around knitting that had a deadline.  I've found that to be very relaxing!


  1. I knew you were from Iowa but I didn't realize how close you were to where I spent 5 years of my life (Luther)...that's just fun :)

  2. What a delightful gift you've sent off. How fun a swap is.

  3. I am still as grateful as ever to have been your swap partner! Washcloths are used exclusively to wash dirty kids and they fight, er, request over who gets the hippo and who gets the hedgehog.
    Your hedgehog/squirrel has been admired by many knitters and non-knitters alike. It's a prize among the other stuffed animals.
    And I think I pet the yarn weekly! I *think* I might have the perfect project for it...still debating.
    And of course, I use all the other little goodies in my daily knitting world and can't wait to put the ornament from America's Hometown on my tree this year!
    Thank you again!!!!