That's great, I am thinking of having a go at that too,
Was it hard? What did you get in your kit?
It was harder than i thought it would be.......but very addictive!.....
here's the kit i got..... http://www.christiebears.co.uk/acatalog … _Kits.html
The top one...
All things being equal (like the price) I might suggest that for a beginning session, an easier fiber to begin to needle with might be the second kit available: everything else in the kits are the same except the fibers.
Merino has one of the finest-gauged microns (thickness - for lack of a better, more standard, easily understood word) and for that reason alone it takes many many more thrusts to get the fibers to begin to bond to each other. There are so many more sheep breeds which needle together faster and give just as nice end result.
The second kit lists Natural Wool Rovings: this indicates both a fiber type and put-up, roving meaning the fiber will come in a rope-like appearance as opposed to the batt form.
But while the natural-wool is indefinite as to sheep breed (and probably a mix of a few breeds) it will be a little more toward the medium grade micron fiber and so will needle together faster due to the structure and the characteristics of the individual (breeds') fibers.
BTW, your 'Panda' is not in the least bit wonky!! I'd never have known it was your first if you hadn't said!! You even got the eyes nicely sunken into the eye sockets (And isn't that easier than with fabric minis!!??!) Here's my only thought - if you're open to a suggestion....
You might try finer/thinner thread to sew the nose with, as you've probably already discovered on your own - that the 'background' moves with the slightest bit of pressure, unlike fabric bears, and it's a bit more difficult to get all of the sts to come out in an even line across the top. A thinner thread (like regular sewing thread or a single strand of embroidery floss instead of perle cotton) in a thin needle will fit the sts closer together and be easier to keep the tension smooth with. (That was a very grammatically convoluted sentence!!)
And your DH is a Keeper!!