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Knit Hedgehogs

The first hedgehog I ever met was Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, Beatrix Potter's kindly washerwoman of the Lake District. From her tiny country cottage to her "little black nose [that] went sniffle, sniffle, snuffle, and her eyes [that] went twinkle, twinkle", she was everything I thought charming and good as a child.

Since then I have always felt a love and affinity for hedgehogs. But not until I sat down to write this story did I actually realize that Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle was not only the first hedgehog I ever met, she is the only hedgehog I've ever met.

You see, I've always vaguely imagined that hedgehogs were all around me, hiding in burrows and hollow logs and hedgehog-sized cottages, but a quick look into the matter has thoroughly disavowed me of my silly assumptions. Hedgehogs don't even live in the United States, let alone outside my window! They live most everywhere else, but not here. I'm sure this doesn't surprise our worldly readers, but to me this information was a little bit shattering.

This newfound knowledge only makes my trio of Knit Hedgehogs more germane, because now they're not just cute and adorable, but they also offer a very practical way to hang out with hedgehogs if you happen to live in the Americas!

England is one place hedgehogs do live (just ask Beatrix Potter!), and so for a truly native hedgehog, we turn to British crafter Julie Williams of Little Cotton Rabbits. Just before posting this story, Little Cotton Rabbit's equally adorable Little Oddment Hedgie was pinned to our Pinterest page. We love it!

For our hedgie I used Manos del Uruguay's pretty Silk Blend for its head and belly. With a gentle handspun shine, Silk Blend makes a lovely contrast to the Cascade yarns I used for the hedgehog's garter stitch back. Both Eco Cloud and Superwash 128 are great heavy worsted weight choices for cuddling!

These guys are seriously fun to knit with not one lick of sewing or even grafting! So, if you'd like to populate your world with adorable little Knit Hedgehogs, get started by clicking below! -Whitney

 

The Materials

NOTE: Get all the yarn you'll need to make any of these three hedgehogs by clicking right here. (Needles and stuffing are not included.) Or choose your own yarns and colors by reading on for more details!

For the Pink Hedgehog

  • 1 skein of Main Yarn, shown on left: Cascade's Eco Cloud, 70% Undyed Merino Wool and 30% Undyed Baby Alpaca. This color is Ecru.
  • 1 skein of Contrast Yarn, shown on right: Manos del Uruguay's Silk Blend, 70% Merino Extrafine Wool and 30% Silk. This color is Shocking.

For the Natural Hedgehog

  • 1 skein of Main Yarn, shown on left: Cascade's Eco Cloud, 70% Undyed Merino Wool and 30% Undyed Baby Alpaca. This color is Wild Dove.
  • 1 skein of Contrast Yarn, shown on right: Manos del Uruguay's Silk Blend, 70% Merino Extrafine Wool and 30% Silk. This color is Natural.

For the Blue Hedgehog

  • 1 skein of Main Yarn, shown on left: Cascade's 128 Superwash, 100% Superwash Merino. This color is Feather Grey.
  • 1 skein of Contrast Yarn, shown on right: Manos del Uruguay's Silk Blend, 70% Merino Extrafine Wool and 30% Silk. This color is Juniper.

For All the Hedgehogs

  • Scrap yarn in a heavy worsted or chunky weight for the eyes and nose. I used Purl Soho's Super Soft Merino in Soft Black.

 

The Pattern

Gauge

7 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch using the Contrast Yarn and the smaller needles

5 1/2 stitches = 1 inch in garter stitch using the Main Yarn and the larger needles

Finished Size

About 6 inches long and 11 1/2 inches around

 

Head

With the Contrast Yarn and the smaller double pointed needles, cast 6 stitches onto three needles.

Join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

Round 1: Knit.

Round 2: K1, make 1 left (m1l), k1, make 1 right (m1r), k4. (8 stitches)

Round 3: K2, m1l, k1, m1r, k5. (10 stitches)

Round 4: Knit.

Round 5: K7, m1l, knit to end of round, m1r. (2 stitches increased)

Repeat Round 5 until there are a total of 36 stitches.

Arrange the stitches so that the first 7 stitches of the round are on one needle and the remaining 29 stitches are distributed between the second and third needles.

Belly

NOTE: For this section you will just be working back and forth on the first 7 stitches.

Row 1 (right side): K1, m1r, knit to last stitch on the needle, m1l, k1. (9 stitches)

Row 2 (wrong side): Purl.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 five more times. (19 stitches)

Next Row (right side): Knit.

Next Row: Purl.

**Next Row: Repeat Row 1. (2 stitches increased)

Next Row: Purl.

Next Row: Knit.

Next Row: Purl.

Repeat from ** one more time. (23 stitches)

Next Row (right side): K1, ssk, knit to last 3 stitches on the needle, k2tog, k1. (21 stitches)

Next Row: Purl.

Next Row: K1, ssk, knit to last 3 stitches on the needle, k2tog, k1. (2 stitches decreased)

Next Row: P1, p2tog, purl to last 3 stitches on the needles, p2tog tbl, p1. (2 stitches decreased)

Repeat last 2 rows two more times. (9 stitches)

Next Row (right side): K1, slip 1, ssk, pass the slipped stitch over the ssk, k1, k2tog, place the k2tog-stitch onto the left needle, pass the next stitch over the k2tog-stitch, put it back on the right needle, k1. (5 stitches)

Cut the yarn. The 5 Belly stitches remaining on the double pointed needle will be on hold until the end of the next section.

Body

(FYI, the Main Yarn shown in the following photographs isn't the Eco Cloud that I ended up using for my finished hedgehog. It's another yarn that proved to be too thin. Live and learn!)

NOTE: For this section you will be working back and forth on the 29 Head stitches that have been on hold.

With the right side facing you and using the Main Yarn and the larger double pointed needles, knit 29 stitches onto three needles.

NOTE: The following instructions have you picking up stitches from the Belly selvages. Be sure to pick up every other row. You'll know you have it right if between each picked up stitch, you see two vertical strands of the Contrast Yarn, like this:

Row 1 (wrong side): Knit to last 3 stitches, ssk, k1, pick up 1 stitch purlwise from the Belly. (29 stitches)

Here's how to pick up purlwise: start with the yarn in front like you're going to purl, bring the right needle from the right side of the fabric to the wrong side, wrap the yarn as if to purl, then bring the stitch out to the right side.

Row 2 (right side): Knit to last 3 stitches, ssk, k1, pick up 1 stitch knitwise from the Belly. (29 stitches)

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until all the Belly's edge stitches have been picked up and you have reached the 5 stitches on hold. End with a wrong side row.

Next Row (right side): *K5, k2tog, repeat from * to last stitch, k1, with the same double pointed needle, k the 5 stitches that have been on hold. (30 stitches)

Place a marker and continue to work with the right side facing you so that you're now working in the round...

Round 1: Purl.

Round 2: *K4, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (25 stitches)

Round 3: Purl.

Round 4: *K3, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (20 stitches)

Round 5: Purl.

Now is a good time to turn your hedgehog inside out so you can weave in the ends. Then turn it right side out and fill it with stuffing, making it nice and chubby.

Round 6: *K2, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (15 stitches)

Round 7: Purl.

Round 8: *K1, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (10 stitches)

Round 9: Purl.

Round 10: *K2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (5 stitches)

Cut the yarn and thread it through the remaining stitches. Then thread the tail through the hedgehog so it comes out somewhere else and cut the tail.

Ears

With the smaller double pointed needles, the Contrast Yarn and the nose facing you, pick up 4 stitches from the top of the head where it meets the body. Pick up off to the right side, where an ear might be.

Row 1 (wrong side): Purl.

Row 2 (right side): Knit.

Row 3: P2tog, p2tog through the back loop. (2 stitches)

Row 4: Pass the left stitch over the right stitch. (1 stitch)

Cut yarn and pull it through the remaining stitch.

Now make a left ear just the way you made the right one!

Weave in the ends.

Eyes and Nose

Thread some scrap yarn onto a tapestry needle.

Poke the needle into the body of the hedgehog and bring the needle out under an ear, right where you'd like an eye.

Now insert the needle one stitch away from where it came out, and bring the needle out under the other ear.

Again, insert the needle one stitch away from where it came out, and now bring the needle out at the top of the nose.

Make four vertical stitches over the tip of the nose, then poke the needle out of the body somewhere.

Cut the tails, plump up your new friend and you're done!

Click here to add a comment

69 Responses to Knit Hedgehogs


  1. caroline says:

    Hi
    I'm a french woman but i don't understand the pattern !!
    Do anyone speak french and translate this to me
    It would be great and helpfull
    thank you

  2. purl bee says:

    Hi Caroline-

    We don't speak French so unfortunately we can't be of much help! Sorry!

    Molly

  3. purl bee says:

    Hi Marny CA,

    I think you would run into a couple of spots where you'd need a set of double pointed needles, most notably, at the beginning when you knit the head. For most of the body, however, you should be fine with very short circular needles!

    Thanks for asking and good luck!

    Whitney

  4. jeanette says:

    Hi I think the hedgehogs are sooooo cute. But am wanting to know is the wool used for his back Double Knit or thicker please. Emailing from New Zealand.
    Thank you

  5. purl bee says:

    Hi Jeanette-

    The yarn used for the back is a heavy worsted which is a bit thicker than Double Knit weight yarn. Thank you!

    Molly

  6. Karen says:

    Really loved these when I found them on you site. They do work up very fast. And sooo much fun. Love Love them:)))

  7. Hi,

    I live in South Africa and can't buy this wool here; what weight is it so I can find a substitute? I clicked on the link and unfortunately it doesn't list the wool weight either.

    Thank-you!

  8. purl bee says:

    Hi Samantha-

    The face is knit from a light worsted yarn (this is called the Contrast Yarn in the pattern) and the body is knit from a heavy worsted (called the Main Yarn.)

    Just make sure you are getting the proper gauge before you start! The gauge is listed under "The Pattern" headline.

    Thank you for getting in touch!

    Molly

  9. Jovana says:

    Hello,

    Very cute pattern and working on my first stuffed toy! I was a little confused with the start of the belly section. It says to put the first 7 stitches of the round on one needle, but the pictures shows the last 7 stitches on one needle. The following instructions for working back and forth on those stitches has the first 7 stitches on one needle. Am I just looking at the picture wrong? Because the finished belly also looks like it's made from the stitches in the picture, so I'm not sure how to arrange my stitches. Just let me know.

    Thanks!

  10. purl bee says:

    Hi Jovana,

    I think in the picture it kind of looks like the working yarn is coming from the front needle, but really it's coming from the back needle. So, you should follow the pattern which says to put the first 7 stitches onto one needle and to work just those 7 stitches for the Belly section.

    I'm sorry for the confusion. I hope this clears things up for you! Please let us know if you have any other questions and thank you so much for this one!

    Whitney

  11. Nancy says:

    First of all thank you *so much* for this pattern, I loved it the minute I saw it! It was so cute that I overcome my fear for double pointed needles and now I have one lovely hedgehog sitting in my pillow! I decide to make two more of them as a gift to a newborn and I' m wondering if it is possible to double the pattern in order to make one of them bigger than the other. I have also a question about the head because mine isn't as perfect as yours. You write:

    <i>"Rounutd 5: K7, m1l, knit to end of round, m1r. (2 stitches increased)"</i>

    As "knit to end of round" you mean that I m1t after the 10th stitch or between 9th and 10th? And if it is after how I will do it?

    I knit like this ?

    xxxxxxx m1l xxxx m1r x

    At this point we have 12 stitches.

    Then you write:

    <i>"Repeat Round 5 until there are a total of 36 stitches."</i>

    I didn't very well understood from which stitch we start count the first seven in the next round and if as and of round you mean the m1r of the previous round.
    For example (i use y to mark previous round m1l and m1r stitch )
    12 stitch round: xxxxxxx m1l xxxx m1r x
    14 stitch round: xxxxxxx m1l y xxxx y m1r x
    16 stitch round: xxxxxxx m1l yy xxxx yy m1r x

    Is this correct or I have to count as first or seven the last stitch after the m1r?

    Please forgive me for my mistakes as English is not my mother tongue.

    And thank you again, your site is awesome!

  12. purl bee says:

    HI Nancy,

    You could try to change the pattern to increase the size of the hedgehog, but you may run into a few tricky moments! An easier approach may be use much bigger yarns, keeping them at the same proportions to each other as they are in this pattern, i.e. 7:5.5 stitches to the inch.

    For Round 5, you should actually "make 1 right" after you knit the last stitch of the round. You do this the same way you would make 1 anywhere else in a pattern. Here's our video tutorial that reviews make 1 right and left: http://www.purlbee.com/knitting-tutorials-increases/2013/8/13/make-one-right-m1r-make-one-left-m1l.html.

    And as far as continuing to repeat Round 5, your chart is correct except for the make 1 right happening before the last stitch instead of after. To clarify, you should always just knit the first 7 stitches of the round, then make 1 left, knit the remaining stitches in the round, make 1 right.

    I hope this helps improve the look of your next hedgie's head! Congratulations on having made the first one and thank you for your questions!

    Whitney

  13. Nancy says:

    Dear Witney, thank you for your quick answer. You are right, I can make the 1r the same way I can do it anywhere else because I knit circular… As a newbie this isn't obvious.
    Thank you again and many greetings from Greece!

    Nancy

  14. Dana says:

    I love this hedgehog and am enjoying knitting it. The question that I have is in regards to picking up stitches around the belly. The directions say to pick up every other row and we can tell we're doing so when there are two vertical strands. When I try, not only am I not getting the two vertical strands, I am seeing some significant gaps between the picked up stitches. How do I avoid the gaps and get a nice seam like in your photos? Thanks!

  15. purl bee says:

    Hi Dana,

    My guess is that you're having problems because you're sometimes picking up every row and sometimes every other row, or you're picking up sometimes right at the selvedge and sometimes a stitch or two away from the selvedge.

    Picking up stitches neatly (and confidently!) is a technique that seems to require a lot of practice and/or experience. The single most important tip I can give is to be consistent! Even if you don't pick up your stitches in exactly the same place I picked up my stitches, if you find a pick-up spot that makes sense to you and you do the same thing every time, you'll have a nice seam.

    I hope this helps! Thanks so much for your question and please let us know if you have any others!

    Whitney

  16. Abutton says:

    Thanks so much for this fun pattern! I loved making it and my hedgehog looks great resting on my fireplace hearth.

  17. Sigrid says:

    So cute! Whitney, do you think it would to do the hedgehog's garter stitch back with two strands of the Anzula Sebastian yarn instead of the thicker yarns recommended? I have some extra Sebastian yarn from a different baby project and would love to use it up with a matching hedgehog!

  18. Ma. del socorro Herrera Romero says:

    Hola, acabo de terminar el hermoso Erizo con cara Rosa fuerte y cerpo color natural qued hermoso, no habpia hecho un amigurumi con agujas aspi que me gust el proyecto, adems de lo bie explicado, espero encontrar otros animalitos, para poder hacerlos, Gracias por su pgina me ha gustado mucho, felicidades. desde Mxico, D. F.

  19. purl bee says:

    Hi Sigrid,

    Sure! As long as you're getting the same garter stitch gauge as the pattern you're all set; or, at least as long as the stockinette gauge and the garter stitch gauge are in the correct ratio to each other you're all set!

    Thanks for asking and please let us know if you have any other questions!
    Whitney

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