Sometimes an idea gets into my head and I just have to do it. I thought it would be fun to make an amagurami raccoon. This idea was born in the garden. I had a fairly successful straw bale garden this summer, but late in the season, as the tomatoes were just starting to ripen, I had some varmint(s) snatching them up before I could pick them. I suspected raccoons. I put chickenwire around the tomatoes (even over the top as raccoons can easily climb fences). Eventually, we saw a pair of young raccoons climbing the chickenwire fences around the blackberries—enjoying the last bits of the season’s berries.
I know raccoons are pests, but I have an special affection for them as I had a pet raccoon when I was a kid (and they are so cute, how can I resist?). We got our raccoon when he was a baby. He was rather cat-like and loved to be petted and held. As a baby, he fit in the palm of my hand. He would curl around my neck and let me “wear” him like a fur collar. I loved the way his paws looked like little hands and how he would wash his food in his water dish. However, his less domestic qualities turned him into an outdoor pet and he eventually escaped into the wild.
When you grow a garden, there are always pests. Over the years I have had to contend with rabbits, birds, deer and squirrels. When they are devouring my garden, I am serious about keeping them away. Otherwise, I enjoy having wildlife in the backyard. This was my inspiration for the little amagurimi raccoon. I searched for a pattern for one, but couldn’t find one that fulfilled the picture in my mind, so I set out to make my own. I like the way his head turned out, but the body isn’t right. So, he is a work in process and I will redo the body. Now that I at least have the figure to look at, it makes it easier to see how to improve the body shape. I am working on another project at the moment, so it will take a while to get back to him.