After leaving the hedgehog overnight to dry on the air filter, he had successfully completed his mission to dry.
I could now begin to add a bit more width to his cheeks. Next, add his coat. I chose an Icelandic fleece using the outer guard hair part of the dual coat as the bristles and bits of the inner coat to help space and increase adhesion of the guard hairs.
I separated the tog (outer coat of guard hairs), which is less inclined to felt when wet, from the undercoat which is soft and crimpy. To separate the two types of coats, hold the tips and base firmly and gently pull away from each other. Sometimes it takes a bit of a rhythmic tugging to free the tog. Once separated, I could use the tog to start building the outer prickles for the hedgehog.
I used a 38 star needle for most of the felting (except the ears which I also use the fake clover tool with T40’s loaded). I lay the guard hairs down, attaching across the locks then laid in a bit of the under coat to increase adherence. I worked the needles at low angles to almost parallel to the fibers catching a few fibers in the barbs at a time and pushing them into the layer of felt over the soap bar.
I added a bit of the under coat to give extra adhesion.
I then folded up the tips which had been pointing away from the fibers I was adding to. Again securing them into the under layer of felt above the soap.
Occasionally I would add a bit of the under coat to the folded tip side too.
The order of addition was backwards to the layering I usually do when I want a coat to lie naturally. Since I wanted this to stand up, I needed to increase the density of the coat so it would not lie down. This time I starting from around the face (in white) then switching to the darker part of the coat, worked back towards the butt. I left the butt ends a bit shorter than the tips as I laid them in.
Once I got his coat on, I brushed and lifted the ends with the mini carder (dog brush). This fluffed him up nicely.
He is a cute little hedgehog! Here is a shot of the underside so you can see the bar of soap which is the base.
Laying in the coat which is quite tightly packed took most of the day. I finished him after dinner and did the fluffing. So this would not be a economically viable option for mass production. There are a couple other options that may work faster such as using a section of the washed fleece and attaching it to the underfelt more as a blanket rather than a few locks at a time. I suspect it would not give the density that adding locks as I did allowed.
Poor little guy, doesn’t suspect his life will be full of wetness then getting dry just in time for the next wetness to set in. I bet he would drip dry quicker if he could hang up. I should add a “rope” for this soap. I looked first at a piece of Kumohimo but the cotton fiber seemed wrong.
So, I took the brush waste from the mini carder and added some of the washed locks and drafted it out. By adding a good deal of over twist with one of my spindles, I quickly had a two-ply yarn that could be mistaken for a rope.
I added the rope with a bit of needle felting along the edges of the underside of the soap-hedgehog using a bit of the under coat and pulled apart bits of the extra yarn to help secure it.
Ah, that’s better a way to dry faster and a loop handle so you don’t have to pick him up by his nose!
Last thing left to do. It is Valentine ’s Day after all, so He needs a Heart! I hunted around, found my bag of various red coriadales, choosing Nutmeg, and hand blending it with some of the reddish brown undercoat from the Icelandic fleece. (Colour should never be flat! Unless you are doing something graphic)
A few quick stabs and I had the shape. Now to add it to the right spot. Hmm, there is not much wool on the underbelly of this hedgehog! So, I was very careful in the angle of felting. The needle does sink into the soap fine but leaves a stinky soap smell on the needle and a bit on the wool as it emerges. (Just a warning – make sure you keep the angle of entrance and exit the same or the soap will want to break your needle)
Now I just have to wait to find out if Glenn likes his new shower time friend.
57- 62 the unwrapping, he found the Heart!
Yes Success!! I will try to get a shot after his first shower experience and see how he holds up!
63 First Shower! one bedraggled hedgehog
There seems to be a strange moose in my bed but he does have a bag of chocolate Easter eggs so I guess he can stay! (This is Canada, you do find moose in odd places here, often in swimming pools)
It is normal to see the triceratops, Cthulhu (who is somewhere else today) and the Balrog in bed. The moose was a surprise so was the chocolate, he can stay.
the last word from Hedgehog: