Tuesday, October 30, 2007

If a bear takes a knit in the woods...

Baby Bobbi Bear1
Shhhh, be vewy qwuiet...

Who's that hiding there in the weezawoods? Could it be...
Baby Bobbi Bear2
Weh hunting wabbits...

That devilishly sneaky knanimal...
Baby Bobbi Bear3
Damn, ya caught me!

Why yes! It's the Baby Bobbi Bear! Captured for the first time on film, live in its natural habitat!

Beary cute
For LHN's (Little Honorary Nephew) first birthday present, I originally planned to knit him a fancy-schmancy gansey sweater. Then I read through the pattern and realized, man, that's a crapton of work for something he's going to outgrow in a week. So, back to the project binder I went and dug out this adorable little creature, which had gone into pattern hibernation last fall.

It's very well-written, clear and easy to follow. I do question the gauge, however - on size 9 needles at 4sti, it seems like the fabric would be way too loose for a stuffed toy. Which is why I knitted mine on size 4 needles at a much tighter gauge (that I er, didn't measure and now he's all stuffed and everything. But trust me, it's much tighter).

But of course, I made a few other mods as well - first, I used provisional cast on to avoid the bumpy ridge at the butt from picking up stitches off a long tail (ha!) cast-on. This was my first pass at the PCO, and I can say, without a doubt, that I totally, completely SUCK at it.

I tried it every which way, on different size needles, on waste yarn, on an Addi circ, on a KP circ, you name it. But every time, the stitches ended up twisted, too loose, too tight, or just generally effed up. Finally, I tied the two ends of the waste yarn together after the last stitch - tight enough to keep the stitches from getting twisted but not so tight as to stretch them out - and that seemed do the trick.

Until, that is, I went back to pick up the provisional cast on stitches, which still ended up wonky and uneven and just plain crap. Luckily, it ended up working out just fine as all I had to do was tink back an extra row to get at some nice, even stitches. Regardless, it's safe to say I won't be using
that technique again anytime soon.
Baby Bobbi Bear5
Hmmm, I wonder if there's any food in he...hey, what are you...aaaw man. This is so humiliating.

What else? Let's see...
  • Made the body about 1/2" longer than the pattern called for (which was completely unintentional, I was just knitting along and by the time I realized, didn't see a need to tink back the extra length)
  • Sewed his... er... nether regions... shut before knitting the head instead of waiting 'til afterwards (easier that way)
  • Ditched the duplicate stitch around the neck (don't really see the point, his neck is so chubby, it doesn't really need reinforcement)
  • Since I went with the PCO, used regular wrap & turn short rows for the butt
  • Knitted the arms separately and mattress stitched them on (it was WAY too difficult to do this after he was stuffed - probably because I *might* have overstuffed him)
  • Embroidered on a little mouth to make him more happy and cheery
The pattern calls for you to knit body, legs, head, stuff him, then do the arms last. Next time, though, I'll probably knit the head last - it was difficult to stuff him just through the armholes, and trying to pick up stitches for the arms on an already-stuffed bear was a... erm... bear. (baaaahahahahahahaha!) Hence why I knitted the arms separately and mattress stitched them on. I'd also knit a few extra rows after picking up all the wrapped stitches in the caboose to give him more of a badonkadonk.
Baby Bobbi Bear4
Time to board the TARDIS for my next adventure!

Dr. Who Bear
Cute as he was, he needed a little something extra, so I dove into my overs bowl and knitted him a simple, Dr. Who-length garter-stitch scarf using leftover Spunky Eclectic from my Ampersand socks. Counterintuitive as it may seem, it's easier to cast on a bazillion stitches and knit a handful of rows than it is to cast on a handful of stitches and knit a bazillion rows. Ask me how I know this. :P

Tell me a yarn
HooBob is made with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, which you may have guessed by now is my all-time favorite worsted weight wool. Seriously, can't get enough of this stuff.

It took just about every inch of yardage from one skein with just a few scraps left over. The embroidery (which took several curse-the-paint-off-the-wall tries to get it even close to symmetrical) is a bit of Karabella Aurora 8.

Once he was completely assembled, I filled a small squirt bottle with some Euculan and water, shook it up, and give him an allover mist. Just enough to get the yarn damp. Since Euculan is a no-rinse wash, I was able to give him a nice little bath and gentle blocking, without soaking the stuffing!

Wrap it up
Oh, he so damn cute, I almost can't stand it! Hopefully LHN will have lots of snuggly nights with this little guy by his side. I'll have to wrap him up today and put him out of sight before the party on Saturday. Otherwise, I might be tempted to keep him!
Baby Bobbi Bear6
Pattern: Baby Bobbi Bear
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Chino (1 skein), Karabella Aurora 8 (embroidery), Spunky Eclectic SuperSock (scarf)
Needles: Size 4 for bear, size 1.5 for scarf
Mods: A few minor ones, see above!


Blogger chemgrrl said...

Awww...he's so cute! I just wuv his little scarf woogums woogums!

Oops, slipped into babytalk there. Unavoidable. So sorry.

Hey, you didn't knit him a little rabbit friend. Isn't he going to need one eventually?

2:30 PM  
Blogger SJ said...

He is so adorable! I would totally make one, except then I would not be able to part with him. And I think my husband might start to question my sanity if the grown woman he married started accumulating stuffed animals.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Bezzie said...


I know I do the PCO wrong, but the wrong way works for me!

6:48 PM  
Blogger Georgiann said...

Hoobob is the cutest, and that scarf just makes him perfect.

7:27 PM  
Blogger Batty said...

He is so very cute! You're right, he needed a little something extra, and the scarf sure livened up the otherwise fairly monotonous bearscape. I think I need to knit one too. But first, I have to make a little Pasha penguin for the husband... complete with an anti-Windows sign.

6:38 AM  
Blogger The_Add_Knitter said...

Hilarious title! He is such an adorable pal, nice work!

4:56 AM  
Blogger Bobbi said...

that bear is so cute! I love it! great job!

7:51 AM  

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