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 knitting! -Whitney
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
- A set of US #4 double pointed needles
- A set of US #8 double pointed needles
- 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.
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
About 6 inches long and 11 1/2 inches around
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 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.
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.
(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.
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!