30 March 2009


Gerald the hedgehog is the newest addition to the pack. He was knit with tan wool for his body and one strand brown wool, one strand brown eyelash for his spines. 

I can't post the full pattern on here, but I took a few inbetween shots of him in the making. (You can see Whiskers, my lovely assistant, in the background.)

First I knit the body in one piece. I'm used to knitting it in different pieces for each of the limbs, but this was actually easier. I picked up stitches all around the edge of the body and knit the back spines on circular needles to accommodate the shape. Here he is before felting.

Once he was knitted, I felted him in my washing machine for about 45 minutes. Then I posed him to dry for a few days. Here he is after felting and shaping.

After he was dry came my favorite part. The face! That's when the personality of each Softy comes out. I bought plastic noses and eyes and I was itching to try them out. Once he got his makeover, we went outside to take some pictures.

Gerald is a little on the grumpier side. He likes to keep to himself and doesn't take any sass from the younger Softies. However, if you get to know him well, you can see he has a soft side and is a true romantic at heart.

29 March 2009


Maisy is the first Softy I knit to keep for myself and my first try at felting a piece. I purposely felted her lightly to keep the lines down her side and give her some texture.

She is the self-appointed Princess of the Softies. She is incredibly bossy and keeps her "subjects" (the other Softies) in line. She gets jealous easily and must always be the center of attention. She has full reign over her "kingdom" (my room) and makes sure everything is running smoothly.


Rosaleen was my first felted bunny. She was knit as a gift for my sister's teacher. Her baby shower was last week, and mom wanted to give her something handmade.

She was only with the others for a few hours after being completed, but we were able to see her sweet and gentle personality.


Tristan was my next knitting adventure. I wanted to experiment with smaller needles. He was knit with size 5 needles and turned out much nicer because of it. 
He is still waiting for his new home. I have been considering knitting some Softies to donate to the Children's Hospital in New Orleans. If I can get everything together, Tristan will probably find a happy home with someone there. 

Tristan wears his emotions on his sleeve. He loves watching movies and reading long novels. He is currently in my box of finished Softies, helping the others solve fights and helping everyone get along.

The Bunnies

The first pattern I got was this cute little bunny. It was made in separate pieces, then sewn together. The first one I made was not the prettiest, but at the time I was incredibly proud. I gave her to my best friend, who named her Lafawndah.

I always thought her eyes were a little scary, but Jonathan loved her.

The next ones I made I just call the Twins. I made them for Jonathan's parents after he died. They look much better because by this time I had actually figured out the difference between knitting and purling.

26 March 2009

What Is a Softy?

When I bring my furry little creations to meet new people, I introduce them as Softies. Softy is a term I adopted for my animals. I think of a Softy as any handmade plush animal that goes beyond the normal limits of creative and artsy thinking. So far, mine have been pretty normal, but I hope to learn how to better adapt them to make them more unique and personal.

I got started making Softies over the summer when I bought a pattern for making a bunny. The first one I made I gave to my best friend to keep with him while he was in the hospital undergoing treatment for brain cancer. Jonathan had it with him the entire time and he had it with him when he died. It made him so happy, I wanted to make others happy too.

As of right now, my Softies have been gifts for people I love, or creations for me to keep. I have hopes of making a few to donate to Children's Hospital in New Orleans. 

If you happen to know of any knitting patterns and would like to share, please contact me at iriscanine@gmail.com.