Tag Archives: charity knitting

Mother Bear Update

So, I’m not doing a great job with my New Year’s Resolution to complete one mother bear every month this year.  So far my MO has been to do nothing with my bears for a good three or four months, then panic and knit up a bunch of bears in a weekend.

And this month has been no different.

I spent last weekend sewing up the half-dozen bears I had knit and stuffed back in June, and the first half of this week has been focused on knitting up three more bear bodies (I still owe an arm and a half to finish my September bear).

None of my bears have faces yet, but that’s OK.  I’m currently planning on doing all the faces in one fell swoop over the holidays.  That seems like a nice Chrismassy activity- sewing faces onto charity teddy bears while listening to Christmas carols and munching on gingerbread.  It feels very much like something out of a book from the 1940s.

Have you been making any Mother Bears?  Or are you busy doing other charity knitting?

Bears

Well, after this week, I think it’s a good idea to do something nice for someone else.  I always feel a bit better when I have work to do, and when it’s  adorable work to help cheer up adorable kids, it’s even better.

So, this morning, I drank my tea and did the finishing touches on my two newest bears for the Mother Bear Project. (I had knit them up already- I’m not that fast!)

I love the color of this guy’s sweater- it’s even prettier in person.  A dark red heathered yarn, with shades of ruby and garnet.  Gorgeous.  It almost makes up for how cross-eyed he looks. (I’ll just pretend that the cross-eyed-ness gives him character.)img_3769And this guy is ready for summer, with his T-shirt and stripey shorts (and scarf, for some reason).  The shorts and T were because I was using up the last little bits of my yarn, but he actually ended up pretty cute.img_3774And, I found out that the MBP posts pictures of all the kids with their new bears, so you can go back and look for the bears you made with their new owners.  I found a couple of mine!  Super exciting.

Have you made a bear?  Join me!

Let’s Do This- Again!

It’s two months until Christmas (sorry to keep mentioning it), and there’s something I want to do.   Let’s do another (very informal) Mother Bear drive!

Last year I made and sent a half-dozen bears for the Mother Bear Project.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you missed it or forgot, the Mother Bear Project collects hand-made (knit or crocheted) teddy bears and delivers them to children living in emerging nations whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS.  It’s a great foundation with a simple message that I think all knitters can understand: sending comfort and love through the gift of something handmade.

(Plus, the bears are crazy cute, easy to make, and a great way to use up leftover bits of yarn.)sizeI’ve made 7 more bears since last Christmas, and I’d like to make another 3 before I send them to Mother Bear HQ this Christmas (to make a round 10).

Will you join me on this bear-making adventure?  Will you pledge to make a bear (or 2 or 3)?  Even one bear can make a big difference in these kids’ lives and let them know someone is thinking about them.

How many bears will you make?

Hey Bear!

OK, I changed my mind.  I’m not up to making the amazing, complex patterns I posted about on Wednesday.  I’m sorry, but… oof.  It turns out that I’m not up to making a giant lace shawl right now.  (And, when I went into my stash and looked around to see if I had anything appropriate for knitting up those patterns, and didn’t find anything.)

Instead of going to the yarn store and dropping a bunch of money on yarn I probably won’t use (as fun as that can be), I decided to try to use up more of my leftover worsted weight.

It’s time for more bears!

Remember the Mother Bear Project?  I made a big box of bears for them last Christmas.  They deliver hand-made teddy bears to children in developing nations whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS.  You really couldn’t ask for a better cause to support.  (Also the bears end up super cute.)

IMG_3080I worked on this red, lavender and blue guy at work, while the kids were at recess yesterday.  (Recognize the lavender yarn?)  I forgot how fast these little dudes knit up.  I’m almost to the leg split, and I probably did about 2 hours of half-hearted knitting on this guy.

I’m happy to be back on the bear train!  Have you made any bears for the Mother Bear Project?  Or, have you done any other knitting for charity?

 

Mother Bear Project- and update

If you remember, I spent my holiday season knitting up a bunch of teddy bears for the Mother Bear Project (an amazing organization that sends hand-made teddy bears to children in emerging nations whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS).

I ended up with seven bears, made from super soft leftover yarn, that I sent of to Mother Bear Headquarters in Minnesota.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen, a few weeks after the holidays, I received a beautiful hand-written thank-you note from the Mother Bear herself.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd, included in the note was a stack of little tags to be tied onto more bears.

And you know I can’t say no to a challenge (especially when it’s for such a good cause).

So, in-between design work, sweater knitting, and breaking my keyboard, I’ve made a little time to start up my bear-making machine again.  They’re perfect “in-between projects.”  Small and simple enough to be a pretty quick knit, but interesting enough (with all their color changes), to hold your attention.

I’ve collected all the little half-skeins of yarn of the same type (in this case, I’ve found a bunch of KnitPick’s Wool of the Andes Worsted, leftover from a few sweater projects), and put it in a bag with the right size needles and the pattern.  That way, everything I need will be ready for me whenever I feel the urge to get a little bear-y.

I’ve already made one-and-a-half more bears!  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wonder how many bears I’ll be able to knit like this before the end of the year.

Is anyone else still working on Mother Bears? (If not, you should!  You can get a copy of the pattern here!)

Bears on the Move

The day has come, and I’ll be honest, I have a little tear in  my eye.  It feels like I’ve been working on these bears forever, even if it is only a couple months.  I’ve watched them grow and get faces and become all fluffy and adorable, and now it’s time to send them off on their own.  It’s like a bear graduation.

I’ve ended up with seven bears, so not too shabby, if I say so myself.

I’ve got yellow ones,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand brown ones,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand one with a dress.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA green one,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand even a naked one!  (Except for a strategically-placed scarf.  Oh my!)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey’re all nestled together in their box, and are ready to fly to Mother Bear Headquarters in Minnesota.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGoodbye bears!  I had fun making you!  Good luck on your adventures!

Did you make any bears, too?  Have you sent them off already?

You can still make your own, just visit the Mother Bear Project for more information!

Teddy Bear Picnic

Or at least a Teddy Bear Coffee Date.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of my good friends, Kate, has started knitting a bear, too!  (Hi Kate!)  And so has my mom- it’s super cute!  (Hi Mom!)

Mom lives in the Great White Tundra that is the Midwest, so I can’t meet up with her, but Kate lives just a couple miles down  from my place.  That means we can meet up, visit different coffee shops in the area every week or so and get our knit on!

Kate’s a new mom, so I’m pretty sure she’s excited to get out of the house and dust off her needles, and I’m loving having a knitting buddy!  There’s something lovely about having someone to chat with while your needles click away.  (And, if you’re awkward like me, it’s nice having a friend with you so you’re not that weirdo knitting alone in public.  Double win!)

So, grab your friends!  See if they want to pull their needles out of storage, or lend them a set of your own and get knitting!  It’s possibly the best way to spend an afternoon!

What’s that?! You still haven’t picked up your Mother Bear pattern?  What are you doing!  Get it here!

How are you doing on your bears?  I’ve just started knitting Bear number 7!

Mama Bear Check-In #2

I’m back and my bear pack (have we decided on what a group of bears is called?  Pack doesn’t seem right) has grown bigger!

My newest bear is an adorable little blue teddy with a little black dress on!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo be honest, I decided on this color scheme when I looked in the bottom of my bag and found that I had nearly-full skeins of both blue and black, and thought “How can I use up these colors quickly?”  But, in the end, I kind of like her goth-chick vibe.  She just needs a red scarf and an anarchy symbol embroidered on her chest.  But that might be slightly inappropriate for this kind of project.

Have any of you made skirts or dresses for your bears yet?  This is my first beskirtted bear (beskirtted is a word because I say it is), and I’m not sure how much I liked making the skirt part.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the finished product- the little, slightly ruffly skirt is adorable.  But, the skirt felt like it took forever to knit up, and used up quite a bit of yarn, and if you’re using up odd bits and bobs of leftover yarn, I could see a skirt being fairly impractical.

Of course, we knitters aren’t known for being 100% practical.  I’ll probably do more beskirtted bears, maybe just not right away.

If you haven’t started making Mother Bears, take a minute to look at the project website, and consider giving it a go!

Have you done any skirts on your bears?  How did they go?  What’s your bear total so far?

Mama Bear Check-In

Oh boy, guys.

I’ve fallen, and I’ve fallen hard.

I have been completely neglecting my Christmas knitting and any design work I should be doing.  My yard is knee-high with dandilions and my sink is full of dirty dishes.  All I want to do is watch the Great British Bake Off and make teddy bears.

This pattern is so simple, knitting it is basically a practice of Zen meditation.  And, the bears are too stinking cute!

I finished my first bear in just under 24 hours (I told you I have a problem).  I couldn’t stop knitting!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd the second one joined the pile less than a week later.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve got a bag half-full of Knit Picks Swish Worsted, leftover from a few projects.  It’s a lovely uber-soft merino wool that’s surprisingly hard-wearing (even if it pills a bit), so it’s perfect for kids toys.  I’m planning on knitting my way through all this yarn, then diving back into my stash to find more yarn to make more bears! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had planned on shooting for a goal of a half-dozen bears, but at this rate, I’ll have a whole pack (herd? gaggle?) before I know it!

(Also, did you notice-I haven’t stuffed my bears yet.  That’s because I don’t want to stop knitting them, even for the few minutes it would take to stuff one and sew it up.  I think I might have a problem.)

Has anyone else made progress on their bears?

Mama Bear

I don’t know about you, but I’ve already got Christmas on the brain.  I’ve been cranking through lots of projects… that I can’t talk about here because family members read my blog (lame!  Not really, but it does throw a cramp in my blogging this time of year).

But when I do a lot of targeted, purpose-driven, knitting sometimes I get a little burnt out.  I can start to feel like I’m “manufacturing” projects, not actually knitting.  Sometimes I want to just make something fun- like a stuffed animal.

And, you know, if it’s a stuffed animal for a good cause, that’s even better!

So, imagine my excitement when I found this amazing teddy bear-making project (or rather, re-found… I had read about it before, but totally forgot about it).283434_220092554695040_4064929_n[1]The Mother Bear Project  makes adorable, one-of-a-kind, hand-made teddy bears and then distributes them across Africa to children whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS.  Could you ask for a better cause?lesotho1[1]I went over to their website, and saw that they have patterns for the same bear, both knitted and crocheted, worked flat and in the round.  bear_about[1]The best part (other than that whole helping-children-in-need thing) is that the pattern is so simple, it just begs to be embellished.  Take a look on Ravelry to see everyone’s take on the basic Mother Bear.  There are bows and dresses, overalls and striped shirts,  and teddies of every color of the rainbow!Mother_Bear_in_Liberia_1_medium2[1]This project is just inspiring!

Have you ever taken part in a big group-knitting project like this?