First Bear is Finished

Finished Bear

Today was our local CGOA Chapter meeting and I brought in my nearly finished bear. I facilitate the meetings, so I wanted to demonstrate how I sew my bears together. Kathy and Bear I had filled the arms and legs and head with stuffing and brought stuffing for the body. By the end of the meeting I had finished the bear and given him to my friend Kathy that is organizing this effort. Margie and her bears My friend Margie wins the prize for the most bears completed. She brought in all these bears. She said she cheated a little as these were bears she had made on a knitting loom and were just waiting to be finished with stuffing and bows. Kathy and I both said, they still count and will be very appreciated. Bear and Malabrigo Before my little bear left the shop, he had a cuddle with some wonderful Malabrigo. I am feeling very inspired with ideas about how I want to design my bear. Hopefully I will have a prototype worked up by Christmas time.

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Another Happy Birthday

Maple Leaves

I can’t believe it, but another birthday has come and gone. Now it really feels like Fall.

It was a great birthday, I spent the day with my family. We went to a photo studio and had some really nice pictures taken of the 4 of us, as well as a couple of just the boys. Next we headed down to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. We explored the new Whale Exhibit and saw the Imax movie “Journey to the South Pacific” which had some awesome under water footage. Afterward we headed home and stopped for dinner at a nice restaurant.

Barn and Pumpkins 3

Now Halloween is just around the corner with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays not far behind. That has me thinking about my gift list and sending off Christmas/New Years cards and letters.

If you are making gifts for folks this year you might find the following pattern helpful. I love getting homemade jams and jellies at Christmas time, and I’m always impressed with the various presentations. Got me thinking though about ways of creating a gift that would still serve a purpose after all the yummy stuff is eaten.

Crochet Chain Tie

I came up with a jar cover. Once all the jam or jelly is gone you still have a pretty jar that can be used to send out your own home-made goodies, or you can remove the little cover and use it as a bag.

Ribbon Tie

The tie for the cover can be crocheted or you can dress it up further by using a satin ribbon. In this example I used a 32 inch length of 1 1/2 inch wide ribbon.

SPARKLY JAR COVER

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

Jar Cover is 9”/ 22.5cm around x 5 1/4“/13.125cm long.

Fits a Pint size Mason Jar

YARN

Lion Brand Yarns, Vanna’s Glamour (96% Acrylic, 4% Metallic Polyester), 1.75oz/50g, 202 yds/185m

Color used for sample is: #150 Platinum, approximately 12g/49 yards were used for sample

CROCHET HOOKS

Size US G=6 / (4mm) or size needed to obtain gauge

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS

Stitch markers

Yarn needle

Pint Mason Jar

Optional:

GAUGE

First 3 rounds of pattern = 2.5” in diameter

SPECIAL STITCHES

V Stitch (V-st): (Dc, ch 1, dc) in indicated st or sp.

INSTRUCTIONS

Rnd 1: Ch 4 (counts as 1st dc and center), 11 dc in 4th ch from hook, sl st to top of beg ch-4. [12 dc]

Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as dc here and thru out), dc in same spot as join, 2 dc in next 11 sts, sl st to top of beg ch-3. [24 dc]

Rnd 3: Ch 3, 2 dc next st, (dc next st, 2 dc next st) 11 times, sl st to top of beg ch-3. [36 dc]

Rnd 4: Ch 1, sc in same spot as join, sc next 5 sts, 2 sc next st, (sc next 5 sts, 2 sc next st) 5 times, sl st to first sc of rnd. [42 sc]

Rnd 5: Ch 1, sc in each stitch around, sl st to first sc of rnd. [42 sc]

Rnd 6: Ch 3, dc in next 41 sts, sl st to top of beg ch-3. [42 dc]

Rnd 7: Ch 4 (counts as dc and ch-1), dc in same st as join, (sk 2 sts, V-st in next st) 13 times, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch-4. [14 V-sts]

Rnds 8 – 15: (Repeat Rnd 6 then Rnd 7) 4 times.

Tie (Make 1)

Ch 100 and fasten off

FINISHING

Weave in tails.

Weaving in ribbon

Thread the tie (or ribbon) thru the openings in the last round.  Slide the jar into the cover, tie a bow. Tie knots in the ends of the tie, cut off excess yarn.

I Love Yarn Day

Today has been declared “I Love Yarn Day”.  A celebration that I can truly get behind, since I really do love yarn.

As many of my readers know, since the start of the school year I’ve been spending my Wednesdays at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe. It’s one of my favorite places to hang out. Surrounded by yarn and other folks that love to play with yarn the hours go flying by, and inspiration always strikes.

Some of the great activities at LYS are all the charitable stitching being done for various organizations. My friend Kathy comes in most Wednesday with another friend and we all sit around the table working on our various projects. Lately Kathy has been working on knitting a Teddy Bear, she is making toys to give to graduates from the Front Range Community College’s Early Childhood Education program.

She asked me if I thought any of our local CGOA Chapter members would like to crochet some bears. Deadline for this project is November 1st, so not a lot of time. Fortunately there were chapter members up for the challenge. I brought some of my leftover yarns to donate to the effort and hunted down some patterns for bears. Both Red Heart and Lion Brand have some patterns available for 12 inch tall bears.

Red Heart's "Birthday Bear for a Prince"
Red Heart’s “Birthday Bear for a Prince”

I found this bear at the Red Heart website.

Lion Brand's "Bear in a Jif"
Lion Brand’s “Bear in a Jif”

And this bear at the Lion Brand website.

Before I got so busy designing and writing I used to crochet lots of charity projects. Blankets for Project Linus and premie hats for Save the Children were some of my favorite projects. I decided that I wanted to make some bears too, at least they are quicker projects than blankets.

So I’ve started with the bear from the Lion Brand website and I’ll be making the one from the Red Heart website next. It’s been really fun crocheting a project from someone else’s pattern for a change. I just have to follow along and pretty soon I’ll have a bear finished.

Pieces of LB Jif Bear_edited-2

Above is a photo of my progress so far, I’m finished crocheting all the pieces except his body.

I’ve actually been surprised at how quickly the crocheting for this project has gone. Of course, I had to tweak things a tiny bit. I’m crocheting his eyes and nose from size #10 cotton thread then sewing them on firmly, instead of using safety eyes and embroidering the nose. These bears will be in the hands of little ones, so I’m upping the cautious factor. Plus the crocheted eyes will be more washable than plastic eyes.

I’m also coming up with something a little different for his “scarf”.

A Bear for All Seasons Photo courtesy of Annie's/Crochet World
A Bear for All Seasons
Photo courtesy of Annie’s/Crochet World

Working on my bears made me realize that I need to design a teddy bear of my own. I’ve designed a little bear that was published in Crochet World in their December 2012 issue. But that bear is much smaller, I think my next bear needs to be snuggly size.

Okay, back to work on this bear. Hopefully I will have a photo of the finished bear very soon. Though I am reminding myself that it takes nearly as much time to put all the pieces together and stuff the bear as it does to crochet the bear.