Monday, April 24, 2017

Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle Pillow | New Crochet Design

 "At the table, with an iron in her hand, stood a very stout short person... Her little black nose went sniffle, sniffle, sniffle, and her eyes went twinkle, twinkle; underneath her cap -- where Lucie had yellow curls -- that little person had PRICKLES!"  
-- From Beatrix Potter's story, The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle


Introducing my latest creation, the Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle Pillow!!

The story of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle is probably my favorite. It connects many of the characters of Potter's other stories with the homely hedgehog doing the washing for them all. Her manner is so old British and kind, I almost wish I were Lucie and had the choice to live there always. But the end always gets me as Lucie discovers that Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle is just a hedgehog after all.

(This pattern is now available at Crochet Spot for free! Also, I will have the pillow itself listed on my Etsy shop, Ginger Peachy Store, soon as well!)

After making the Bridgette Bunny Pillow, I knew I wanted to make more. I love how vintage these animal-shaped pillows look. It's like they came out of a Victorian nursery! And you know me, I love vintage, and I love recreating it. If you want to hear a little about the design process, then read on.


Like the bunny pillow, I knew an outline would make my crocheting much easier than trying to freestyle it and hope I get the shape right. I have rarely used diagrams in my work because I have usually not needed one. But this is a case where a diagram of the form was soooo necessary.

I had bought some poster board for reinforcing my scrapbook pictures. But I also found out how useful it was for larger-than-notebook-paper projects. The sketch in the top left corner is my initial idea for the pillow. I kept it on hand to insure I remembered all the elements I wanted to add.


As you can see from this picture, I drew a colorized sketch to get an idea of the color scheme. Here are both panels completed.

I tried to give myself two weeks to start and finish this pattern. I probably didn't really start crocheting though until the middle of the first week, and then I had a few "necessary breather" days where I had crocheted too much and was paying the price, physically. But other than that, I worked pretty faithfully and I'm surprised my shoulders and neck held up as well as they did. But unfortunately, I was still a few days late. I'm so thankful for a patient boss!!

I really underestimated how much I was going to have to put into this piece. Simply completing both panels was only half the work. There was so much extra embellishments I had planned that it took me practically two whole days to complete.


I surface crocheted the ears, the bonnet ruffles, embroidered the nose, pink of the ears, eyes, prickles on back and front of bonnet, crocheted paws and attached them. But it was all fun. I planned on making her shirt plaid but eventually decided against it.


Here are both panels completed and awaiting joining and stuffing. As you can see, I didn't add the 3D bonnet ruffles at this point. Once I was finished with the piece I realized she looked too flat, so I gave her bonnet extended ruffles using surface crochet as the base stitches.


I used contrasting colors to join the panels in order to break up the look. Here I joined part of the piece before pausing to stuff the head. You couldn't imagine how much fluff this pillow can hold! I wanted it to be well stuffed, and I didn't spare the horses, so it took me a little while before I was satisfied.


And there she is, all completed and lovely!


She really turned out a little taller than I had planned. I guess I am still learning. I am glad the prickles on the cap turned out as well as they did. I really love that part of the story, where Lucie sees them but thinks they are hairpins. I just couldn't leave that out.



In my sketch, I gave her neck a bit of a slope. But as we all know, crocheting takes curves and makes them geometric angles and beautiful sketches become pixels, to some degree. There was need of a break between her head and bodice. I loved how the floral ribbon worked so well for the bunny but in the design stage of this pattern, I was afraid something like that just wouldn't work out. However, I was so glad I had this lacy ribbon. I have used it a number of times actually, and it just worked beautifully for her bonnet tie. The perfect thing to break up the continuity of the body and add an extra special vintage touch.


And I am pleased to say, that is the conclusion of my most recent creation. Rachel, the owner of Crochet Spot, will have the pattern up within the next few weeks, I expect. (Update: get the pattern for free here!) I will link to the page from this post when she does.

Also, If you would like your very own Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, I will have her available in my Etsy shop really soon! Don't forget that I do custom work as well. Feel free to contact me with any ideas you might have.

So what do you think? Do you like my animal-shaped pillows? What can you imagine me doing next?

Stick around for some mixed media art soon to come, and hopefully before too long, I will have a Ginger Peachy pattern for you as well!

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