I don't usually make knitted toys because of all the fiddly bits that are usually involved, but one of my good friends just had her second child so I decided to give it another try.
For the new baby, I wanted to do something as simple as possible so a little rough handling wouldn't be a problem. Hedgehogs by Purl Soho fit the bill: fun to make, no dangly bits that can get pulled off, and most importantly, super cute. With my limited knowledge of what daily life with a baby must be like, I assumed that superwash is likely a must. I picked up a skein of Cascade 128 Superwash Multis in the teals colorway and some Cascade 220 Superwash Sport in aran. For the nose and eyes, I used a bit of Malabrigo Rios left over from my Pommier Vest.
The pattern is available for free on the Purl Soho website, and it is really easy to follow. Whenever I have to pick up stitches, I find myself constantly second-guessing my methods, but the photo tutorials at every step really calmed my anxiety about picking them up correctly. Even my husband picked the finished hedgehog up to admire the clean lines, and he typically stays as far away from my knitting as possible (I think he's seen me wagging my old gnarled finger at the cats when they get into my project bags, and he rightfully wants no part of that).
I also decided to make something for the new big brother, because it's got to be a hard thing to all of a sudden have a new little sibling around. At first I was thinking a lobster, because my friend and her family spend a good deal of time in Maine, but I find lobsters a bit creepy and wouldn't want to scare the poor little kid on the off chance he feels the same way. I already had the pattern for Chameleon by Hansi Singh in my Ravelry library, so I picked out a beautiful skein of Malabrigo Rios in the Marte colorway (seriously, this color is killing - there's a ton of variation in it but I feel like it would also be great in a textured or cabled pattern as well).
I would consider this the most fiddly pattern I have ever knit, but it is written very clearly and the different body sections are broken into manageable chunks.
I had some trouble with stitch counts in the short rows for the legs and head and ended up fudging a bit, but I don't know if the problem was with me or the pattern. At any rate, I think it looks pretty good.
And as a bonus, I'll never EVER have to look up how to do the kitchener stitch again. Worth it! Now to put these little guys in the mail...