Working on this chipmunk, I finally figured out how to make proper rodent paws, with some help from tutorials by other artists.
It turns out the secret is wrapping tiny, thin bits of wool around a wire base, rather than trying to poke the wool in with a needle. I had known that was possible with yarn, and used it to bind the wires in my warbler’s feet together, but hadn’t realized that, on account of the length of wool fibers, it’s also possible to simply use carefully pulled wool batting.
I like how this chipmunk came out — photogenic, with hands that can hold different objects and can be slightly re-posed. Next time I’ll try making a stronger connection between wrist and arm armature wires to make them a bit sturdier.