Hedgehog Knits

Adventures in knitting from the eastern edge of Canada.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Toys make me feel like a big kid!

There's a snowstorm on the way, which I understand my friends in Toronto have already been enjoying for some time now. I think I'm going to work from home today, and hope that I can still get out of the house to go to dance class tonight.

So here's the distraction I mentioned in my last post. I noticed the Best Friend Bear pattern in the Holiday Gift special edition of Interweave Knits a while back. And I just happened to have some brown wool in the vintage stash. What made me want to knit it NOW was that I recently found out that some close family friends back home in Newfoundland will be coming to Ottawa next month because their 6-year-old daughter needs heart surgery. Scarey stuff. It's made a little worse by the fact that they know hardly anyone in town (there's just us and one relative), they have hardly ever travelled, and don't like big cities much. I'll of course be there, trying to help them find their way around town, and visiting the hospital when I can. And I thought, who could be more deserving of a hand-knit teddy bear than that little girl?

I ran out of the main brown colour. I guess I overestimated the partial skein I was using. But I think it will still work as a raggedy kind of bear. The ears are lighter, the arms (knit since this photo was taken) are slightly darker brown. My favourite part is the little top-down raglan sweater, which is out of a few vintage skeins of tapestry wool! This pattern was great for practicing a bunch of my little-used knitting skills. It starts with a provisional crochet cast-on, and then is knit from the neck down with lots of short-row shaping, and then the neck stitches are released and picked up to knit the head. And then you do a top-down raglan in miniature on dpns. It's like a whole technique class in one little project, and I'll never have to wear to show off my mistakes!

The project is halted right now because I ran out of stuffing. I need to make a trip to WalMart or Michael's, both of which are located out in the boonies, and usually require a major bus/train expedition.

Once I see how the sweater fits the fully stuffed bear, I might make a second sweater. The pattern gives two sweater options, and I think both are adorable. And every bear needs a wardrobe, right? I'm just a little concerned that if it's a tight fit, then changing sweaters frequently (as a 6-year-old is likely to do), might cause undue stress and wear on the little guy's arm joints and head. So I'll wait and see.

I'm making good progress on hubby's sweater. The front is just a couple of rows away from the shoulder bind off. I need to recalculate the sleeve size a little bit before I start them - I've been fiddling a bit with the pattern dimensions. But the end is in sight. There's no sunlight to speak of today, so the progress photo will have to wait.

And now, off to make a pot of tea and settle down to work for the day.



Blogger Glenna C said...

by the time the snow hits you it might not be too bad - apparently Hamilton got the worst dump, and we're not so bad, only 20cm or so.

Oh, what a great teddy bear! And what an awesome friend you are. The wee raglan is also TOO adorable. I have been wanting to try some knitted toys for a while - it is forever on the 'someday' list!

10:11 a.m.  
Blogger Sarah said...

Can't wait to see the little guy completed, he looks fab and just perfect to keep the little girl company. Hope the snow was gentle.

11:54 a.m.  
Blogger Marianne said...

Well, Teddy has me smitten, can't wait to see him with his arms attached and sweater on, verra cute!
You are an exceptional woman.
Sarah took the words right out of my mind, I hope the snow was gentle also.

10:10 a.m.  
Blogger Karin said...

Teddy looks wonderful so far - can't wait to see him finished, I'm sure he'll be much appreciated.

8:04 p.m.  
Blogger Kelly said...

Well, the supposed storm wasn't too bad at all. It snowed steadily all day, but with no wind to blow it around, it wasn't really "stormy" by my east-coast definition! It was however, enough to hopelessly snarl city transit, so when DH headed out to pick up a few things for a Valentine's dinner, he was gone almost three hours, and ultimately ended up walking to the grocery store. It's been in the minus-35 C range (with windchill) ever since! Brr, Ottawa is cold!

Thanks for the compliments on the bear! I can't wait to see what it will look like fully assembled too. I still have to track down some stuffing.

9:13 a.m.  

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