Sunday, December 04, 2005

Wild And Woolly

Lately, I've been very inspired by Brilliant Disguise's amazing little knitted friends and Jess Hutch's designs. With those two lovely ladies in mind, I decided to make a little wooly friend.

May I present Henry.

henry apple

Henry is currently "blind" but may soon gain his sight (whenever I get a chance to buy or sew on some eyes). Henry has a bad hand (trying different limb-making techniques), but, as I grew up in a family with many differently-abled relatives, Henry has been welcomed with open arms and loving acceptance.

The fact that Henry shares the same name as one of those differently-abled relatives was not intentional. He just looked like his name should be Henry. I can't explain why, it's just how I named all my stuffed animals and toys when I was little. I would stare at them until their name appeared in my head. So, Henry is Henry. With apologies to cousin Henry, who would probably appreciate the humour in this situation.

Henry has been a busy little guy since he came out of the washer (yes, he is felted): He went to work with me last week and even made it out to both Stitch and Bitch nights. I think he was a hit with the ladies.

This weekend Henry and Andrew got to talking about the "One-eyed, One-horned, Flying Purple People Eater" and his success in the music business. Henry was interested in Andrew's studio, and even asked about rates; He's pretty sure of himself for an unemployed 5 day-old woolly monster. He talked about applying for a loan. Andrew encouraged Henry to explore his talents by trying out some of the instruments we have around the house, something for which I will have to thank him later.

First, Henry tried out the piano.

Henry on piano

He asked me to teach him the notes to Frank Mills' "Music Box Dancer", a true classic for beginning pianists; but he hadn't counted on the logistics of a 4-inch woolly monster playing an instrument with 88-keys. Stating his concerns about running up and down the keys, he hopped off the bench.

We watched a Rock-u-mentary in the afternoon and I noticed that Henry was getting starry-eyed whenever the guitarists rocked their solos. Well, as starry-eyed as a woolly monster with no eyes can get. A while later, I found him like this:

Henry on guitar

I gently explained that when the lead singer introduces the guitarist as "So and so on guitar", it didn't actually mean "ON GUITAR" and besides, he was actually "on ukulele".

I explained some of the theory behind chording and left him on his own. I was on the phone when I heard him weeping.

Henry plays some chords

Do you see that? He's stuck in the strings.

I felt so awful about the situation so I pulled out a couple of instruments I let the kids play with when they visit.

Henry plays the recorder

The recorder holes were just too far for him to reach.

Henry and the castanets

And without opposable thumbs, the castanets were a complete self-esteem crushing disaster.

I felt awful about all these instruments not being appropriately sized for wee Henry and I could tell he was feeling down too, so I went to the kitchen to fix us a nice cup of tea (as you all well know, tea is good for what ails you!). I heard Henry rummaging around in the front room and although I wasn't sure what he was up to, I decided it would be best to let him have some time to himself. I made the tea and took the tray out to the living room.

Here's what I saw:

Henry singing

He's been there all afternoon. I can't drag him away from the mirror. Eyes or not, he thinks he's a brilliant singer.


  1. ( Best William Shatner here) Can't-stop-laughing. Henry-priceless! I-may-well-die-from-laughter!
    Thanks Steph for the chuckle. And you can download that SMART pic, for Minou's Auntie, anything.
    Thanks for asking in advance. Bye Steph! Bye Henry!

  2. Henry is brilliant! I just took 5 freshly felted mouse handpuppets and one to-be-stuffed wee mouse out of the washer and they are currently blocking and drying on my partially unfolded swift. It looks like a little mousy carousel! Once they are dry, I'll need to embroider on eyes and whiskers (they are Christmas gifts for my young niece and nephews so no button eyes), but I bet Henry would look great with green sew-on googly eyes. I've even seen some with long eyelashes (so he can bat them at his swooning fans);).

  3. Henry is great - I loved reading about his adventures!

  4. you need to visit Lady Linoleum of the Vegetable Liberation Army. She's crocheted many a marauding vegetable...

    I think Henry just might be a good candidate for the VLA!!

  5. Watch out, googley eyes might make him look like Mr Potato Head, and I imagine that would be a bit crushing for Henry's career.

    Maybe you ought to make the poor guy a chair, so he doesn't have to sit on a felted dog bone?

  6. Henry's great! I do think that he needs a pair of very shiny button eyes, though. So you can really see the tears in the little wooly corners of aforementioned eyes when he croons "Only the Lonely" to you.


    I think he needs a friend. :)

  7. Ack, I forgot to mention - the conditioner trick goes like this:

    Fill a sink with tepid water. Take a small cup and fill it with warm (almost host) water. Plunk some conditioner into the cup and stir it all until the conditioner's dissolved. Dump the contents of the cup into the sink and mix it all in. Then, put your wooly goodie into the water, and work the water into the item thoroughly. (Not too much - you don't want to felt the poor thing.) Then leave the knitting to soak for at least 15 minutes. Remove, squeeze the excess water from the item (rolling it in a towel then stomping the living daylights out of the towel works wonders) and lay flat to dry. If you want to block your project, this would be a good time to do so. Hope that helps!

  8. My apologies to Henry. I was in charge of preparing the fruit bowl for breakfast today. Now I feel a bit guilty for hacking up his friends and family. Can't wait for his CD release...

  9. Anonymous1:32 p.m.

    I'm glad to see that henry is following his dream - you should enter him in the next canadian idol, goodness knows he would be more talented than some we've seen.

    Well done on the FO's - I'm rooting for you on finishing travelling vines....

  10. he looks adorable! one thing i've been wanting to try is needle felting on facial features, and darning on a face before felting. i've got a whole bunch of new monsters up at my blog today, but i didn't try anything new with them.

  11. i wish I had time to small small felted creatures with no real purpose other then to make people smile...

  12. That's so funny I had to coach my mum over the phone to get online and see!

  13. Anonymous2:45 p.m.

    Henry is adorable! And so talented too. But how could he not be with a creatrix like you? :P