One of my favorite things about going to Maker Faire is the Maker Shed, where you can covet all the kits and books in person – it always amazes me to see a huge empty room transformed into one of the coolest stores ever! I got the Crafty Alien Raccoon kit in Austin. I knew it was cute; I wanted to see how it was to make. I think it would be a great gift, either the kit for someone crafty, or make it yourself and give away the little critter!
The kit itself is cute. It’s nicely packaged, the directions are really clear, and include almost everything you need. You’ll need some cotton yarn for sewing a seam, and some stuffing, and knitting needles. The knitting directions go line-by-line. They’re very straightforward, but complicated enough that if you’re interrupted, you may lose your place, so mark them off as you go. If you haven’t knitted for felting before, yes, you really do need to use large needles – the knit has to be kind of loose for the felting to work.
It knitted up quickly – it took about an evening to make all the parts. Then I felted it in the sink, and stuffed it so it would dry in the right shape. It did take a couple of days to completely dry. Finishing took a couple of hours. The only thing I did differently than the directions was to sew the parts together and sew on the features before I re-stuffed the body. They include plastic beads to weight down the bottom so it stands up.
All in all, it was a quick project that was fun to do, and the raccoon is very cute! Here’s a bonus picture of a real life raccoon playing on my son’s play structure. Also cute, but not cuddly!