Thank you to all who have been following along as I’ve been crafting Jan Brett’s The Mitten for my little man. And welcome, if this is your first visit! It’s finally finished and I’m pleased with the result! I think he’ll like his little Valentine’s Day gift. I think his sister will probably like it, too, and exclaim, “he will want to share it with me!” which is only fair, since she is very good about sharing with him. Most of the time.
Here is the mitten I knitted using a very, very old pattern I picked up at a craft swap fundraiser for a local art group:
It’s knitted with wool from the little working farm our county has at a park about ten minutes from our house. We like to visit the sheep there, and feel pretty good about using their wool. Not only do my little ones know the sheep who produced it, but their mama knows they are a rare breed and they don’t get eaten or have their babies made into kid gloves. Only humanely-shorn mittens like this one!
Here are all the mitten inhabitants (some simply crafted while looking at the book or google images, but only after learning to make some of them with this wonderful book):
Here they are, eyeing the mitten:
And here they are stuffed inside of it:
Oooo, it’s going to be hard to wait until Valentine’s Day to give this to my little guy! For those of you who haven’t been following along, here are the pictures of all the individual animals. Thanks for visiting!
Even though I have the completed project ready, I am giving the badger his own post first. I feel like he deserves one, since all the other animals got their own. And I have to admit, he may be my favorite. (Though I’m pretty fond of the bear, too.) I’m really pleased with the badger, especially since I’d been dreading attempting him. I didn’t have a pattern for him, but feel like I’ve gotten a feel for needle-felting through this project, so I was able to look at google images of badgers and create my own.
It is really incredibly satisfying, over the course of an evening, to go from a bunch of loose wool roving to a solid little creature my children will be able to hold in their hands. And looking at those google images, sculpting my own little badger, I noticed what cool black stripes they have. Starting just below their eyes, they extend up their faces and seemingly through their little ears to continue behind them. Something I never would have noticed without this project. Something seemingly unimportant, but still something I’m glad to know.
And now, without further ado, I present, the badger:
Here he is:
He looks so prickly in the book, but the two times I’ve been lucky enough to hold a little hedgehog, they haven’t been so spiky. Both times were in Germany. The first was when I got to stroke the belly of a little baby hedgehog at a hedgehog care class I took. Although it’s illegal there to keep them as pets, if they weigh under a certain amount as winter sets in, people can take them in and care for them until spring. A friend of my mother’s even had one living in her bathtub one winter. As an animal-obsessed 13-year-old, I took the class in preparation for the little baby hedgehog I was sure I would find that fall.
I didn’t find a baby hedgehog that fall. My next hedgehog encounter was almost eight years later in a park in Berlin. We had spent almost every evening over the previous year in this park, but that night was our going away party. Our friends, their dogs, and our own beloved dog Bogie, were there, and we were reminiscing, grilling, laughing and mourning the end of our wonderful year in Berlin. It was already dark when the dogs focused in on the bushes behind us. When we investigated, we discovered a cute and snuffly little hedgehog. We carried him out of the dogs’ reach, admiring him a moment before giving him his freedom.
Tomorrow will be the last mitten critter — the badger. I promise I don’t have any nostalgic badger tales to tell, so come back and see the badger with the rest of the critters in their mitten home!
He’s got a bit of a geriatric look to him, but all the more reason he needs some other animals and a mitten to warm his old arthritic bones, right? Just two more critters to go. And then I (and my bleeding finger) will be ready for a non-needle-felting project! I already have one in mind, so stay tuned. Thanks for visiting!
I finished this guy a couple of nights ago:
I’d been putting him off because there wasn’t really any creature in Little Felted Animals that looked even vaguely like an owl. I had to wing the mole, too, but he was pretty simple. I ended up just using The Mitten as a guide and came up with a passable owl.
I’ll have another critter to post pretty soon, as well as a little weekend sewing machine project that reminded me of why it’s not my favorite activity. But I’m determined to learn to love it — it’s so useful! Help me learn to love it. Please.
Ellen, you guessed it! I am making the animals from Jan Brett’s The Mitten
Our daughter has always loved books. Simply opening a book could stop a complete screaming fit from the time she was 2 months old, and the love continues. Much to our dismay, our little man has never shown much interest in books. Until now. He loves The Mitten!
His little still-not-talking self drags me to the couch by my pants leg multiple times a day, demanding a reading. And because we are so happy about his newly found book love, I think he deserves a sweet little critter-filled mitten of his very own!
I was just thinking last night that I wasn’t sure I would be able to guess it, and we’re reading the book multiple times a day! I’m impressed, Ellen, and I’m sure your mom will be proud! A little felted bunny will be on his way to Korea next week! Pretty convenient, since I already need to send you a very belated package!
I’ll keep posting the critters as I finish them, so keep checking back!
A sweet little brown bear:
He’s made from the beautiful alpaca roving I used for the tree in the Valentine’s Calendar. It’s wonderfully soft, but it took a LOT of needling to get it to really felt together. I didn’t notice it so much on the little mouse, but the bear was harder. Still, it’s beautiful, and it’s nice to have seen the animals from whom the roving comes and know they are well-loved. Certainly worth the extra effort!
This little guy:
I’m curious to see if his species is recognizable, or if I need to try again?
Your second clue is this little guy:
I hope you all had as wonderful of a day as I did. What a beautiful moment in history. What a brighter future for our children!
I’ve been working on a Valentine’s Day present for the little man, who is now 18 months old. There are quite a few parts to it, and I thought I would see how many parts I’ll have to post before someone guesses what I’m up to. Keep checking back, and when you’re ready to guess, just leave a comment. The winner will receive a little felted bunny.
I won’t be doing a tutorial for this, since I’m using the instructions from this wonderful book for some of the components.
Here’s the first clue. (Though if you can guess it already, you’re a mind reader! I’m expecting people to need at least three or four clues.)