Sunday, April 08, 2007

Bear legs

Sometimes you just want to knit a bear. There are a lot of patterns for knit teddies out there and I've made a couple, but this one, from Simple Knits for Cherished Babies, is a favorite. I love the proportions and the simplicity. It makes an elegant, petite teddy. That one is cashmere, but this one is silky Blue Sky Alpacas sportweight.

One thing I dislike about knitting stuffed things is the assembly. Even the most perfectly knitted pieces can match up into a mess if you don't take super care to assemble them properly. I suppose this is also true for knit garments, but errors are more evident in little things. Plus, who wants to spend so much time piecing tiny bits together when the knitting itself takes so little time? This pattern is knit in 7 pieces (!!) - forget it!

To save sanity and keep things interesting, I decided to revamp this little guy to be knit in the round. Sometimes seams are important to add structure, but for such a little stuffed thing they were unnecessary and just added opportunities for sloppiness. For the legs I used a Turkish cast-on (often used for toe-up socks; great tutorial here) and then switched to double-pointed needles to continue up the leg. I did the two legs separately, cutting the yarn on the first to do the second. I then joined them to knit the body in the round, like you would do if you were knitting a seamless sweater and needed to join the arms to the body for the yoke (i.e., knit across the front of the right leg, cast on 2 stitches, knit across the front of the second leg, continue around the back and do the same across the backs of the legs). It worked great! I will also knit the arms in the round but I am going to seam them on because I think there the seams add shape and character.

Just the thing to liberate me from my knitting rut!


Cabstand said...

That is really clever! I've been eying that pattern but the picture showing all the little pieces has been a turnoff. Nice job!

Liesl said...

I've always loved that bear. Can't wait to see how this one turns out!