This is one of those projects that demanded a lot more blood, sweat, and tears than anyone could rightly expect. However, I think it’s cute enough to be worth it.
Fortunately this worked up quickly. It’s a gift for my coworker, who is leaving this week to go on maternity leave. A while ago—maybe a year or so ago—this coworker came up to me and asked me to teach her how to knit. She picked it up pretty quickly, despite the fact that she was only doing it to kill the time and wasn’t inclined to be a yarn addict as such. She set herself to making a baby blanket for her new baby, and finished it last week, and it was fabulous. With that in mind, it seemed only right to knit her something.
Because I am a procrastinator, “something” turned out to be a bit of a trick. It couldn’t be a sweater, because that would take too long. A blanket was out of the question, of course. (Not just because she was making one already—I refuse to do a blanket on a short deadline.) Hats and things didn’t thrill me, especially since I knew she would be having a BIG baby in what has been a very warm winter. Warm stuff wouldn’t get a lot of use before it was grown out of. So, a toy. Toys are good. Toys aren’t sized. They can be carried around for a long time.
The pattern is Harry Bear by Berroco. The yarn for both the bear body and the scarf is Lion Brand Homespun (the brown is LB Homespun Thick & Quick, the red is standard LB Homespun.) I HATE THIS YARN. Don’t knit things out of this yarn, please, if you know what’s good for your hands and your soul. It’s one loose fluffy “roving” ply around one thread ply, and it’s nearly impossible to accurately pull stitches through without catching your needle on, or more likely through, bits of another stitch. It is aggravating and frustrating. The worst part is, I knew it would be. I’ve knit with Homespun before. But the Thick & Quick is even worse. And I chose it anyway, because the texture was necessary for this project. Still, next time I’m picking a different yarn.
The pattern was nice. Pretty easy to execute. I did this version exactly as written, two pieces in the flat which are then seamed together, because I’d left starting this until Wednesday and it needed to be done by Monday, and I didn’t want to have to think or fuss with the pattern on top of fussing with the yarn. Next time I’d probably do it in the round, though. The scarf is a simple 4-stitch wide single crochet thing. I’m still not great at crochet, but let’s not look too closely and it’s fine. Once I had tied on the scarf I tacked it down in the front and back to keep it from wandering away and getting lost. The eyes and nose were embroidered in black embroidery floss. The whole effect is, let’s go with “charmingly lopsided.” Hey, the kid won’t care.
It’s always a good sign when your mom wants to take it home. :)
Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun Thick & Quick in “Natural Stripes” (brown); Lion Brand Homespun in “Candy Apple Red”
Needles: US 6
Hook: I (aka “the blue one”—I have three crochet hooks total, and one is for beading, not crochet.)
Time to knit: 5 days
Summary: soft and squishy.
Meanwhile, I’m working on a few projects that are much more elaborate… hope to post these in the coming weeks, but here’s a preview if you’re curious what’s happening behind the scenes.