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Archive for March 28th, 2010

Finished Bear!

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

TeddyForSchulersI am delighted to say that I have finished the first complete bear from my new design. My pattern does not yet have a name. I had one I really liked but it may not be unique enough. Knitting proceeds without a name.

Lansing Comfort Bear Project Event:
Schuler Books
Rae’s Yarn Boutique
ColorJoy by LynnH
Berroco Yarn Company

The Berroco yarn company is donating yarn for our event at Schuler Books Eastwood. You can read about the project/event on the Schulerbooks site. We start on Tuesday, 04/06/2010 – 7:00pm.

The kits include a pattern donated by me, yarn from Berroco and Rae’s Yarn Boutique, needles from Rae’s. There will be free kits to the first 50 people who arrive. Those who come after that, will get a free pattern but will need to bring US size 4, 5 or 6 needles and washable yarn in Worsted or Aran (slightly thicker) yarn. You only need about 50gm, a small ball, of yarn, to make a bear to my specifications.

My Teaching-Friendly Bear Pattern

On April 6, I will have 2 hours and a crowd, within which I will need to teach folks to make this bear. It will be a breeze for experienced knitters, though not too boring because you repeat nothing longer than 12 relatively short rows.

I made the entire bear with only five “stitch instructions:” Cast on, knit, knit 2 together (decrease), Knit in front and back (increase), and bind off. There is simple shaping. The shaping happens in very specific, repeatable ways which I designed for easy learning/doing.

The instructions we will hand out will include not only the pattern, but how to do those five instructions (some with photos) and photos of sewing the garter stitch edges together.

I will do demos of all five knitting actions, and also demo the sewing. This is the simplest of sewing, and with a bit of visual assistance from me it should go very smoothly.

The Event Itself and the Free Kits

The yarn coming from Berroco is a new one, which I really enjoyed using. It’s called Weekend… a cotton/acrylic blend which endures endless ripping and reknitting, and is washable.

teddyfaceWe are not including any supplies for embroidering the face. I used sockyarn for the face, which I also used in the optional tie. (It is sewn onto the bear securely, for those who always remind me of child safety.)

I am rather pleased with this first bear. I did make part of a bear as a prototype before starting this one.

Tuesday night I received one skein of Weekend yarn from Rae. I then made this start to finish, including ripping and writing and rewriting the pattern, from Tuesday night to Saturday night.

I was totally focused on finishing the bear, for some reason. Obsessively. As in, skipping meals and not sleeping until 3am.

I’m happy with the embroidery of the face. Rather than trying to sew over the bumps and pretend they are not there, I used them as anchors for my stitches. I guess that is a little like needlepoint or cross-stitch. It worked. Of course, other faces (or none at all) will also be comforting to children in distress.

More Bears

I am now working with significantly fatter yarn (rated at 2.5 st/inch rather than the 4.5st/inch specified for Weekend). The new bear is so dense (on size US 6/4.25mm needles that it is hurting my wrists a bit, I need to rest a lot. However, the new one will be a much  bigger bear. I’m making this one for a special child in my own life.

Back to my knitting!