Tag Archives: teddy bear

Bare Bears

It’s been a minute since I talked about my bears!

And… that’s mostly because I have kind of been slacking…

Well, not slacking exactly, but getting busy with other things, so I haven’t been working on my bears as much as I had hoped to.

If you remember, I resolved to make one bear every month, so that I would end up with a nice even dozen to send in at the end of the year.  So far, unfortunately, I’ve more or less been doing one bear every other month, then three bears last week when I realized how far behind I was.

So, at least now I’ve got six bears all knit up (except for one arm, but I’ll take care of that this afternoon) and ready for stuffing.

It feels good to be more or less back on schedule.  Unfortunately, now I’ve got to do all the finishing still…

I guess it’s time for a good TV binge-watch and marathon stuffing/arm attaching/face embroidering session this evening.  Oh, but they’ll be so cute when they’re done!

Are you making any Mother Bears?  How many have you got going this year?

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!

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!

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?

 

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!)

Mama Bear Update: Finishing

We’re in the home stretch, folks! I wanted to send the bears out by Christmas, and I think I’ll make it.  I’ve knit up seven bears in the last couple months, and they’ve all got faces.  Now all I need to do is give them a little stuffing and make them lovely and chubby.  Time to break out the poly-fill.

I started by fluffing up some poly-fill and adding it by small hand-fulls to my completed bear, massaging it as I went to avoid lumps.  (He looks like a little zombie potato right now.  Braaaains…. braaaaains…)

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Then, using the long tail left over from the cast on, I whip-stitched this guy’s head closed.

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And made ears by sewing a little diagonal running stitch seam at the base of each ear.  (They turned out a little pointy, so maybe this is a teddy-cat, not a teddy-bear.)

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Then, to make a neck and get rid of the whole potato-head thing he’s got going on, I carefully ran my needle through around his neck, starting and ending at the back of his head.

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I tied the ends together tightly, and wove in the ends.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis formed a a nice, round, non-potato head.  Adorable!

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Then I wove in the ends on his little scarf and wrapped it around his neck, adding a little stitch to hold the knot in place.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADone!  And, adorable!

Thinking about joining the Mother Bear party?  It’s not too late!  Get your pattern here!

Totally Bare Bears!

Or at least one bear.

My bears are coming along!  I’ll admit, I’m slowing down a little bit, but that’s just because I’m actually working on the projects I should be working on.  You know- Christmas presents, birthday gifts, etc.

Unfortunately, that means that I’m working a little less on my bears.

This one, I believe, is number 5!   (So, still not bad)

But, there’s something missing on this one… What can it be?

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Oh right!  Clothes!

I had a big, full skein of this bright shade of blue, so I thought, “Hey, why not?”  Thus was born the naked blue bear.  (I followed the pattern, but instead of changing colors for the sweater and pants, I just kept going with blue.)

The only problem is, he looks a little oddly proportioned without differentiation between top and bottom.  (Look at his stubby little legs!)

See?  Here’s one of my other bears:

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I think he looks much more well-proportioned.  But, maybe it’s just me?  Or maybe it’ll look better once I stuff the bears and give them little faces and everything?

How are your Mother Bears going?

What’s that?  You haven’t ordered your pattern yet?  Click here to help out!

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?