I mentioned this to my friend Kristen who suggested I have a look at this knitting pattern over at Purlbee. The pattern is accompanied by a lovely essay which reminds me of the fact that there are no hedgehogs native to the United States, and, like the author of the essay, neither have I ever met a hedgehog in person (aside from Mrs. Tiggywinkle).
I wanted a simpler pattern than the one at Purlbee (as many of you know, I'm a lazy knitter) and so below you will find the result of my efforts to create an easy pattern.
To knit the bodies of these hedgehogs I used Jamiesons's fingering weight held double in a color called Moorit. For the faces I used a DK weight from Jamieson's in a color called Mogit, but any earth-tone heathered yarns in DK or worsted weight would work well. In addition to two shades of earth-tone DK or worsted weight yarn, you will need a scrap of brown wool felt for ears and a 1/2 yard black 6 ply cotton embroidery floss. Tiny buttons or black beads would work nicely for eyes, too.
I used a size US 3 needle, which is smaller than this yarn would normally require. You can see here that I like knitting tiny animals using size 3 needles -- it keeps my stitches tight so the stuffing doesn't peek through. And I don't enjoy knitting in the round with DPNS, so this pattern is knit flat then seamed up at the end, but you are welcome to adjust my pattern for DPNS if you prefer.
Seed Stitch: Work rows as follows: (k1, p1), repeat to end. On alternating rows you will start with a purl stitch i.e. (p1, k1) thus purling into the knit stitches and knitting into the purl stitches.Stockinette Stitch: knit on RS, purl on WS
LARGE HEDGEHOG (approx. 9 cm finished length)
Cast on 24st using darker colored yarn for the hedgehog body
Rows 1-18: Seed Stitch (k1, p1 alternating with rows of p1,k1)
Row 19: Switch to lighter colored yarn (k2, k2tog) repeat to end of row (18 st.)
Row 20: Purl across row
Row 21: (k2, k2tog) repeat to end of row (14 st.)
Row 22: Purl
Row 23: (k2, k2tog) repeat to end of row
Row 24: Purl
Row 25: k2tog across row (6 st.)
Row 26: Purl
Row 27: k2tog across row and, using a tapestry needle, draw yarn through remaining 3 st.
Using the tail end of the lighter yarn, stitch up snout area of hedgehog and weave in end.
Using the tail end of the darker yarn (where it's joined to the lighter yarn) stitch up the body and weave in end to secure.
Stuff hedgehog, but not too firmly. Use the tail end from casting on to create running stitches around the end of the hedgehog. Pull tight to gather, and secure end of the yarn to hold the gathered stitches.
If you would like the nose on your hedgehog to turn up, position the hedgehog body with your seam on top, along the back of your hedgehog (don't worry -- the texture of the seed stitch will hide your joining seam.) Then, using black embroidery floss, embroider eyes and nose (note: you can pop in some ball-head straight pins to help decide on eye placement -- see photo below.) Add ears by stitching on small, rounded bits of felt.
SMALL HEDGEHOG (approx. 6 cm finished length)
Cast on 16st using darker colored yarn for the hedgehog body
Rows 1-12: Seed Stitch (k1, p1 alternating with rows of p1,k1)
Row 13: Switch to lighter colored yarn (k2, k2tog) repeat to end of row(12 st.)
Row 14: Purl across row
Row 15: (k2, k2tog) repeat to end of row (9 st.)
Row 16: Purl
Row 17: k2tog twice, k1, k2tog twice
Row 18: Purl 2tog, p1, p2tog
Row 27: Using a tapestry needle, draw yarn through remaining 3 st.
See instructions above for finishing.
Note: If you use my pattern, I would be delighted if you would hop over to Ravelry and post a photo of your version. You can find my hedgehogs here on Ravelry.