Tag Archives: mother bear project

Bears, But Not Too Many

So, I made some resolutions at the beginning of the year, and I’m not doing a great job following up on them, if I’m honest.

My three goals were:

-Do more knitting “just for fun.”

-Knit at least 1 bear per month.

-Sketch more.

My sketch book has only a couple more pages filled in than it did in January, I’ve been knitting almost exclusively for work (which means I’m getting more design work- Yay!  But, I can’t show you guys my WIPs- Boo!).  And, my bear collection is a little pitiful.I know!  Only a bear and a half, and it’s already approaching the end of March!  And neither one is stuffed! (And most of that half-bear was knit this morning when I realized how behind I was.)

I suppose it’s not a big deal, after all it’s just a goal, not a real deadline, and it’s just something I’m doing on my own.  But, still.  It’s the principle!

I just finished knitting another project for work, so I have a little time “off.”  I guess I know what I’m doing this week!

Are you still making Mother Bears?  What goals do you set for yourself, and do you do a good job keeping up with them?

Bears in the Air!

It’s time.

(OK, actually I had meant to take these guys to the post office before Christmas… but the post office at Christmas should be avoided at all costs, so I procrastinated like a champ.)

It’s time for my bears to get all packed up and head up north, then to be sent out to all the corners of the world to meet up with their kids.

I’ve managed to finish 11 bears this year, all with leftover yarn and sweet little (grumpy) faces made out of felt.  I’ve tied the little tags onto their wrists, and they’re packed up snug to fly to Mother Bear HQ in Minnesota.img_4480Once they get there, I’ll keep my eye out on their photo gallery to see if I can spot these little guys when they finally get where they’re going.img_4493Now I have to find another box and start making more bears for next year!

Bears (Almost) in the Air

I’ve got bears coming out of my ears over here!

I spent the weekend finishing up about one million bears.  (OK, it was 4 bears, and I’m not totally done yet.  A few of them still need faces.)

I  was up to my elbows in stuffing, and my couch is covered in little bits of leftover yarn from weaving in all those ends.img_4455That’s the problem with knitting up a bunch of bears at once to “finish later.”  It seems like a great idea as the bears pile up.  But, then you have to spend six hours stuffing and seaming, which I do not love doing.

And this morning I’m putting on faces.  Cute little faces with bits of felt and embroidery floss.  I’m dozens of bears in, and I still can’t figure out how to make a non-grumpy bear.  Oh well, what can you do?  They’re still pretty cute.img_4438When these guys are finished, I think my bear box will be full and ready to send off.  I’ll be sad to see them go, but happy knowing they’re going to be well appreciated.

Have you been making any bears? I’d love to see yours, too!

Christmas Bears

Phew!

My goal was to finish my Christmas knitting this weekend, and after a weekend-long knitting marathon, I did just that.  Barely.  I may have been up on Sunday night until 11:00 weaving in ends and blocking.  And the last piece of knitting might still be quite damp, and sitting in front of a heater with a fan blowing on it (behind closed doors so that Ollie won’t decide to take a nap on it).  But, other than that- everything is done!

And that means one thing:

It’s bear time again!

My goal was to make at least 10 bears this winter, and I’ve been so busy with presents for my family, my bears have been neglected until now- I think I have 8 or so in my bear box in the closet. (What? You don’t have a bear box in your closet?)  So, I’ve got to get cranking.

Luckily, since I just finished up my Christmas knitting, I’ve got lots of half-skeins of yarn laying around, perfect for making bears.  And, sure, you could use whatever worsted weight yarn you have at hand, but I like using Knit Pick’s Swish Worsted.  It’s pretty inexpensive (especially if you wait for one of Knit Pick’s big sales), it comes in a ton of colors, it’s lovely and soft, yet is surprisingly strong and washable.  Also, I happen to have a bunch hanging out in my stash.

This morning I got on a roll, and I worked up this grey bear (with a pink top and purple pants) from the top of his head, almost to the leg split.  (That’s why this post is up a little later than usual- I got distracted.  Also, the couch was very comfy.) img_4381

How have your bears been coming along?  Have you been using up your leftover Christmas yarn, too?

More Bears!

There’s bears all over!

Well, not really.  They’re just in a box in my closet, but it’s a pretty big box.  And right now, it’s full of 8 bears.  (Well, 8-and-a-half.)img_3934I don’t have anything insightful to say about these bears, I just think they look cute, all packed up together.

At least they look cuter than the “half” bear.img_3942 I’ve finished knitting her, but she still needs to be stuffed, sewn up and embroidered.  Right now she looks kind of like a crappy glove for someone with two fingers and no thumb.  But soon enough she’ll look as cute as her brothers and sisters.

Are you making any bears?  Join me!  I promise they’re fun!

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?

Bear With Me

I forgot how fun these bears are!

They’re quick and easy, with just enough challenge to keep me interested. (Perfect for  marathoning intense TV shows.  This one was mostly knit while catching up on The Night Of, which is very good, but not a “fun” watch.)

I tried something a little different on this bear.  The official knit-in-the-round pattern has you leave arm holes in the body by working the chest/back back and forth.  Then, when the body is done, you go back and pick up stitches around the armholes to make thearms.  That way, the bear ends up being a single piece of knitting.

But sometimes you don’t want to bother with picking up and knitting.  (Or at least I don’t.) So I didn’t.  I knit the body straight through, from the top of the head to the bottom of the toes, not an arm hole to be seen.  Then I cast on for the arms and worked those separately.

Then, I stuffed the body, formed the ears and the neck.  I stuffed the arms and sewed them in place.  And wouldn’t you know it- it looks super cute, and felt much simpler (at least to me) to knit up.

IMG_3145I’m very pleased with this little dude.  I’ll probably wait to get out my felt and embroidery floss to add the face to a bunch of bears at once, assembly-line style.

I’ll definitely be making more of these guys!  Maybe I’ll try to send in another big box o’ bears  this Christmas.

Anyone want to join me?

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?

 

More Bears in the Air!

Hey guys!  Guess what?

I made another bear.  (Surprise!)

But this one’s a little different- it’s a crochet bear, using the “Seamless Crochet Pattern.” (Available here!)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis bear went so fast!  I basically made him in a weekend, in-between doing a bunch of other stuff.  It was fun watching the bear growing so quickly- more satisfying than the knit bears, which can be a little slow.  I love how the arms are attached on this pattern (more like a raglan sweater, than just sewn on).  And, I was able to weave in all the ends as I went, which made finishing-up a breeze.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut it wasn’t all rainbows and kittens, my friends.  This bear is a little skinny for my liking- I like my bears nice and chubby and squishable.  Also, this little guy used so much more yarn than my knit bears did.

And, I don’t know if you can see in these pictures, but the bear ended up weirdly twisty.  (See how his feet are kind of off-kilter and his hips are pointing to the left?)  To be fair, I think that was me, not the pattern.  I was feeling pretty arrogant when I got the pattern and thought they had made a mistake, but I’m not so sure it was a mistake now.   I think I’ll try it again as written and see if I get a better result.

Have you tried the crochet bear pattern yet?  Are you still making bears? I’d love to hear how your bears are going!