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Saturday
Feb092013

Whit's Knits: 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!

Reader Comments (65)

This is just too cute! I knit the big snowy owl for my friends little girl and this little hedgehog will be perfect for her new baby sister/brother.
February 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIda
Heading over to get the pattern! Absolutely adorable. Love the colors you used.
February 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteraw
They are just too cute. I'll have to find someone to knit them for.
February 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOrli
Absolutely love your hedgehogd. Thank you for the pattern,will be knitting some soon.

Thank you Lois
February 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLois
Unbelievably cute! I have some leftover Eco Cloud from a Bandana cowl project and am wondering how much of the skein is needed for the hedgehog?

Thanks!
February 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJane
My husband loves hedgehogs. I will make him one for valentine's day.
February 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarol Durusau
Your website is beautiful! The pattern is detailed and the work along photographs are very helpful. My daughter loves hedgehogs. This is now in the queue. Thank you for sharing your creative genius!
February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth Duvall
HI Jane,

I used about 20 grams of the Eco Cloud for one hedgehog (or about 33 yards). A whole skein, by the way, is 100 grams.

Thanks for your question! I hope you have enough!

Whitney
February 11, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
They are just so cute and with your directions and pictures they look easy to make. My granddaughter wanted to buy a hedgehog but this will be better for her and the hedgehog. LOL I love your site and look forward to reading it and seeing all your wonderful projects. Thank you for letting us share in your wonderful world of beautiful, whimsical and fun projects and seeing the marvelous yarns, pattterns and all the great items to help us be creative.
February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKitty
So adorable! One question-how do you keep the first and last stitch of the eyes and nose from loosening, since the ends are not woven in?
February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia
Oh how cute! I have knit several other hedgehogs already, but I think I'll give this one a try as well..

Love,

Ilse
February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIlse
these are so terribly sweet. Thank you!
February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercanadianjane
Thanks so much, Whitney! I have 21 grams of Eco Cloud - just enough!

Am casting on now. Thanks again for your inspiration and generosity.
February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJane
Juniper not available? Would lapis work or is some juniper coming in? LOVE your patterns; they are so clear and detailed. Followed your instructions and yarn choices for the Kahoon(?sp) bunny family and it was just great so thanks.
February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnn Marie Joyce
Hi Ann Marie-

Juniper will be coming back in stock. If you drop us a line at customerservice AT purlsoho DOT com we can let you know when it's back. Or, if you'd rather start now Lapis would be a great substitute.
Thanks for your question!

Molly
February 12, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thanks for the wonderful pattern and the priceless photos! I love hedgehogs and fortunately here in Germany they do live just outside my window. One is currently sleeping winter away on the other side of the wall 50cm from where I am sitting now on my sofa. Two years ago I fed a whole family (mother and 3 kids) so that they had enough fat to survive the winter. Will knit these to remind me of that adorable family.
February 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaty
Hi Patricia,

I find that the eyes and nose hold their position just by sewing the tail through the stuffing. If you're worried about it, you can sew the tail in an out of the body several times. If you do this, you may find that it's a little tricky to keep the black yarn hidden, which is why I just went through the body once.

Thanks for the great question!

Whitney
February 13, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Love the pattern but confused on section when picking up belly stitches. So I pick up every other row. On the rows I'm not picking up stitches do I knit all stitches and not do the ssk and knit one? I'm running out of stitches on the needles as I've been decreasing stitch on rows I'm not picking up stitch. Just can't wrap my brain around how it's done.
February 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCindy
Hi Cindy,

I understand the confusion! You should decrease and pick up at the end of every row, but the stitch that you're picking up is from every other row of the body piece.

I hope this makes more sense to you now! Thanks for your question and good luck!

Whitney
February 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
These are fabulous! I shared them over at a fb-page I'm moderating: https://www.facebook.com/todamer/posts/213800342097291

Thanks for sharing!
February 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaja Marie
These are too much. I want to eat them!!! I can't wait to try my hand at these little guys!
February 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMartha
These are so cute. They are on my list for when I learn to use DP needles.
March 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJan
adorable!
April 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter~amy~
Living in Sweden I not only have the hedgehogs outside, but I am also so lucky as to have an African pygmy hedgehog as my pet and friend at home.
None the less, I am sure that he would love to have a knitted friend like this.
Thank you for the pattern, and I do hope that you will meet more hedgehogs as time goes by. They really are nice creatures.
May 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNaja
I am making two of these little guys for my cousin's twin boys. This is such a cute stuffy! Here's the first one:) thank you so much, Purlbee, for such wonderful and easy to find instructions! http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=751338065491&set=pcb.751338305011&type=1&theater
May 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMegan Morton
Thank you for the the inspiration! I have, however, some issues with the end of the belly part;
"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)"

How do I go from 9 to 5 stitches with only 1 ssk and 2 k2tod? I should add that Im a beginner...
June 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersara
Hi Sara,

First, when you "slip 1, ssk, pass the slipped stitch over the ssk" you're actually decreasing two stitches: one when you ssk and one when you pass the slipped stitch over. ("Passing the slipped stitch over," by the way, is the same motion as binding off.) So, we're down to 7 stitches...

And then, when you "k2tog, place the k2tog-stitch onto the left needle, pass the next stitch over the k2tog-stitch" you're again decreasing 2 stitches: one when you k2tog and one when you pass the next stitch over. And that brings you to 5 stitches!

That last step is a bit unconventional. Please let me know if you need any more help with it and thanks for your question!

Whitney
June 7, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I saw this cute little guy and had to make one!! I just finished the body, now I only have the eyes/ears/nose left - and I'm finished with the toughest project I've done to date - thanks for the step-by-step, the pictures you have were supremely helpful!
Used Paton's Classic Wool (Worsted) and Paton's Bamboo for the contrast. So cute!
June 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
Thank you very much, didnt realize that passing stitches meant "dropping" them (both beginner and swedish...) thank you so much, got it know.
June 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersara
Thanks so much for sharing this sweet project. It makes the short list on my knitting projects !!!!! SMILE
June 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHelen
I'm trying to convince a hedgehog to come live at my house but having a problem
getting the directions to print ... hedgehogs always need directions ... could you
check your print button ... thanks ...t.

a beautiful sight ... just what former city dwellers need when they move to the country
June 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterthomas
Hi Thomas-

So glad to hear that you want to knit these! If you're having trouble printing from the print button we suggest that you copy and paste the text into a Word or Text doc and print from there. We know this isn't ideal and it's something we're working on but right now that is the best fix.

Thank you!

Molly
June 27, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I had insomnia last night and made one of these in the wee hours, it came out beautifully, just looking for some stuffing today to finish it up. Will make two more, they are so quick and easy! I used some left over Jade 4ply cashmere in cream for the belly and a wool/alpaca blend for the body, it's so incredibly snuggly!
June 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersara k
I just got started and already have a q. What do you mean by M1left and M1right? Sorry, I just don't get it. thanks
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen
Hi Maureen,

Make 1 Left and Make 1 Right are methods of increasing. Here's a tutorial that shows you how to do both: http://www.purlbee.com/make-1-right-left-tutorial/2008/4/23/make-1-right-make-1-left-tutorial.html

Also, when words are red in our patterns, that means you can click on them and be sent right to the tutorial that explains that particular term!

Please let us know if you have any other questions and thanks for this one!

Whitney
July 10, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
HI Margaret,

Your comment was accidentally deleted during some recent site construction, but luckily I had it on file! For curious readers, you wrote:

Hi!

What a great design and such a cute little guy.

One tiny typo I wanted to point out:

"Round 10: *K2tog, repeat from 8 to end of round. (5 stitches)"

I think the 8 should be a * .

Thanks for all your beautiful work!

-Margaret

Anyway, thanks so much for pointing that out. It's been fixed!

Whitney
August 2, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I just wanted to say that I love this pattern! I have been looking for weeks to find the perfect hand made pressie for my twin nieces soon to be arriving later this month, and I found it! What better way to celebrate the birth of two beautiful twin girls with matching hedgehogs complete with monogram on their bellies made with love from their uncle!

This project is a lot of firsts for me; double pointed needles, increasing, decreasing.The instructions were very well written and easy to follow. It took me a couple of goes in the beginning of the head (my man hands kept getting in the way of things) but once I got the hang of it I was off and the first one a good 4 hours later has turned out great!

I used a beautiful light pink cotton for the head and belly and a mid/light grey melange alpaca/merino for the body, the texture contrast is beautiful and works brilliantly with this design and shows off the different stitches perfectly.

Thanks again for sharing this with us! I had so much fun making this that I'm sure everyone I know will end up with their own personalized hedgehog for their birthday or Christmas!
August 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBillyBob
Thanks so much for this post! Just made one for my nephew's first birthday. It turned out so cute! Love love love this!!
August 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLissa
This has got to be the cutest thing I've ever made. Thanks for the pattern. I'm gifting this with the book titled The Mitten, I'll also add a white mitten. If you haven't read that children's book, you should
August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKnit wit
would you kindly tell me how many hedgies can be made from the 2 skeins required?

i'm planning on making a few, and need to know if i have to buy 2 skeins per hedgie.

thank you!
jen
August 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjen
This pattern is absolutely ingenious--I am working on my third hedgehog, using various combinations of leftover yarn as well as the various weights of Icelandic Lopi (I have a large collection having lived there where it's very cheap, and the texture is perfect for this). I've been knitting for a long time, and while I haven't done many stuffed animals or 3-D projects, I'm just so impressed by this pattern. It's complex enough to create a precise shape without being overly complicated and has zero unnecessary steps or tricks (a pet peeve of mine in ANY craft project). I keep wanting to make more just because I enjoy the pattern. Thank you so much for sharing it for FREE!
September 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
Hi Jen -

I'm sorry to be so delayed in answering you. I've been trying to track down my leftover skeins, but my stash has reached a point of unwieldiness! I did find an Eco Cloud skein which shows that you could make about 8 Hedgehog backs with one skein. And as for the Belly and the Manos Silk Blend, I would guess at least the same!

Thanks so much for your question and please let us know if you have more (I promise to answer more quickly next time!).

Whitney
September 9, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I really want to make this but I'm only 11 and live in the uk !! Help! I find the abbreviations confusing and the picking up stitches from the belly and stuff!!
September 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChar
I've never knit with 4 needles, any chance of a 2 needle pattern being produced?
September 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJan
Hi Jan-

We don't have plans to rework this pattern but knitting with double pointed needles isn't too hard. We have a tutorial here if you'd like to give it a try!

http://www.purlbee.com/double-pointed-needles-tutoria/

Thank you for getting in touch!

Molly
September 26, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
HI Char,

Do you know anyone who knows how to knit? He or she could be such a great help because some of the more complicated techniques (like picking up stitches) are more easily learned in person. Even a local knitting shop can be a great resource!

Otherwise, go to this link to learn about all of the abbreviations we use: http://www.purlbee.com/knitting-terms-tutorials/ . You'll also find there lots of tutorials (some photo and some video) which will answer some of your questions.

And if you get started and have trouble you can always write to us and we'll try to get you out of whatever sticky wicket you're in! I encourage you to give it a try!

Thanks for writing in and good luck!
Whitney
September 30, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thanks Whitney
October 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChar
OMG, my sister said her son, my 11 year old nephew, would LOVE this for Christmas! I just finished it and can't wait to give it to him! I always wondered what an 11 year old boy would like knitted by his favorite Auntie :)

Cheers,
Sandy
November 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSandy
So adorable!! Will share on my Hedgehog Care website on our "Hedgehog Crafts" page and link back! :)
November 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMeg Sylvia
Do you think this adorable hedgehog can be done using 9" circular needles?
December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarny CA

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