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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Cyril the Postman Hedgehog on: June 23, 2013 09:37:10 AM
Meet Cyril, the Postman Hedgehog, knitted from the pattern in Jean Greenhowe's Knitted Hedgehogs. I had a bit of money from a relative at Christmas and I decided that I wanted to get Knitted Toy Collection and Knitted Animals but when I saw Knitted Hedgehogs I knew I had to add that to my basket too.

As I'd knitted a Puss in Boots for my Nan and Grandma Humpty Dumpty for my husband, my husband made noises that he was feeling a bit left out. I'd originally planned to do one of the baby hedgehogs in cute pastel green and purple so I'd have a ready-made gift next time someone announced the imminent arrival of a sproglet but as soon as he saw the Postman he announced he had to have him. And as I'd been considering that pattern myself, who was I to refuse him?

I don't really do embroidery so I was tempted to leave the badge blank, but Jean Greenhowe's instructions are so clear that it was actually really simple to make the crown. I'm really impressed that you can actually tell what it's meant to be!

I love those little pockets. They're actual pockets that you can put (very small) things into. I love that level of detail!

I'd actually pretty much finished him well before yesterday (which was why I'd moved on to knitting Great Uncle Angus). Cyril himself was finished but not his little accessories - the tie for the postbag, the tag and the postcard. I wasn't too bothered about making them, but now they're done I think they really finish him off well.

The tag is double-sided because I felt like it needed something more on the other side. I also should have made the tie by doing a twisted cord, but I hate doing long ones and this should have been 30cm long. In the end I measured out three stripes of wool (two light brown and one dark to make it look interesting) at 45cm each and plaited them together; the end result is just over 30cm long and I think it does the job just as well as a twisted cord. Given the way I make twisted cords it's a lot neater too!

As a reward for getting a new role at work my husband bought me a box of miniature Heroes this week so I picked out all the caramel ones (which I'm not keen on) and stuffed Cyril's postbag with them. If I'd had a bit more time I would've actually bought some treats to go in the bag for him, it's a little bit cheap giving him chocolates that he bought, hehe, but I wanted to give him Cyril as soon as he was done and I felt like he needed something in his postbag.

It's a little bit ironic that one of my favourite bits of Cyril isn't even knitted! I spent a good bit of time yesterday making this postcard:

The picture in the pattern booklet had a little crown on the stamp but I thought a hedgehog would be more appropriate. I've blurred out the address but it's addressed to my husband (and postmarked the day before so that it would have arrived by yesterday's post Wink). On the other side is a little note to my husband telling him how wonderful he is at taking care of me and how much I love him (he's just treated me to a Kindle Fire so I think he deserves a hedgehog bearing gifts Wink).

I really enjoyed this pattern. It was so detailed and fairly quick to knit up (I started him back in May I think and had a course and an exam which slowed me down). I've decided that the next one I do from this book will be the Town Crier, who will be named Cedric (because I kept on accidentally calling Cyril, Cedric). I think they'll make a good pair.

Has anyone else made any patterns from this booklet? I'd love to see photos of your little hedgehog guys.
2  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Patterns you can't wait to start? on: June 18, 2013 10:21:19 AM
Each month we have a book guy being a selection of goodies to work which we can order and this month on of the books is Knitted Wild Animals by Sarah Keen. I've just ordered it today and I'm really excited to get it. I've wanted to knit myself an elephant (and name him Engelbert) since I started knitting stuffed toys.

I've also promised myself two new Jean Greenhowe books and I can't wait to settle on which two to get. But I'm excited about actually choosing what ones they'll be.

I'm also nervous and excited to knit some chickens that a friend has asked for from the Sarah Keen Knitted Farm Animals book.

Are there any patterns that you're waiting to start and really looking forward to?

3  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Introduce Yourself / A returning newbie from Scotland on: June 17, 2013 11:36:52 AM

I'm Cait and I was a member here many many moons ago. But it's been a long time and I have no idea what my name would have been back then, let alone what email address I would've used. So I decided it was time for a fresh start.

Since I last hung out here I've taught myself to knit. It was kind of a case of seeing what a friend had knitted herself and thinking 'anything you can do I can do better' so I set about learning how to knit things. Mostly misshapen squares.

Since then I've gotten better and better. I've learned how to correct my mistakes though I'm still learning even now, the latest technique I've picked up is Swiss Darning/Duplicate Stitch for the tartan trousers on the bagpipe player I'm knitting.

I like quick projects so I tended towards hats and baby clothes but then a friend got me into the Jean Greenhowe patterns. Ironically I put her onto them as then saw what she was making and decided I had to get some booklets for myself. I've made Puss in Boots, the Grandma Humpty Dumpty in my avatar and a Postman Hedgehog (who my husband has named Cyril).

I live on a small Scottish island with my husband and our crazy labrador (Tara), we also have two elderly girl rats (Carol and Ivy, their sisters who are no longer with us were Holly and Bell). I'm currently in the final summer break for my degree with the Open University in English Language and Literature. I love reading and I'm fascinated by linguistics. I'm a big geek and love all things Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Doctor Who (amongst others).

I'm excited to share some of my projects here and I'm hoping to take part in a craft swap or two (I think my husband is worried about the house becoming overrun by small stuffed toys).

4  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Jean Greenhowe Toys on: June 16, 2013 11:16:03 AM

I was a member here years ago when I mainly hung out on the sewing boards, since then I've got really into knitting and I don't have a clue what my old username was or what email address it would've been registered to. For Christmas I got some money which I put towards some of the Jean Greenhowe knitting books I remembered from when I was little. I still have the puppy from Knitted Animals and I used to have an 'Emily' (I think she's in Traditional Toys) who I named Primrose.

I'd actually gotten a friend into knitting and she had been using some of Jean's patterns, whereas I'd been using some patterns from someone whose style is very similar. I was very excited to get my hands on some of the old pattern books I remembered looking at so much when I was younger.

The first toy I made was for the relative who sent me the money. She loves cats, so I made her Puss in Boots (this is my first post so I can't post pictures, so these are links to the photos).

He's almost exactly the same colours as the pattern, except his boots because I didn't have any brown and I did his feathers different colours too. He came from the Knitted Animals booklet.

I made a slight mistake in that I sewed up the back of his head before I'd embroidered his head and you were supposed to fasten the face into the stuffing inside. I saved it though by just tying it off up the top of the head then sewed the hat on top so you couldn't see the ends. When I was knitting him I just couldn't figure out how his feathers were going to work. That's what I love about the Jean Greenhowe patterns, you do as she tells you and somehow it just works!

The next one I made for my Mum-in-Law and I'm really pleased with how she turned out. I'm so glad that I gave her to my Mum-in-Law because it means I get to visit her quite a bit. She was quite time consuming and I made a mistake of knitting most of the first half before sewing it up (because I prefer knitting to sewing) but then I realised it was easier to see what you were doing if you followed the instructions sewing it up as you went along.

I'm so proud of Grandma Humpty-Dumpty that I took quite a few photos of her.

This is the total finished product:

Close up of her knitting:

Close up of her glasses (this was my third attempt, I was on the verge of giving up but this one just happened to come together and work):

Close up of the cherries on her hat, this is easily my favourite part of the whole thing:

Grandma Humpty-Dumpty came from Jean Greenhowe's Toy Collection booklet. This has the Teddy Bear Picnic and the Prehistoric People & Dinosaurs and I can't wait to make them all.

I've also recently finished knitting a Postman Hedgehog from Knitted Hedgehogs but I've still got to finish his tag and postcard so I'll post him once he's all done. And I've started a Great Uncle Angus from the MacScarecrow Clan booklet which has taught me how to do Swiss Darning.

I'd love to know what you guys think of what I've done so far, and to see your Jean Greenhowe toys from these books.

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