Today, we said a temporary good bye to a very good person to have around you, as our friend (and colleague) Jen left to have her baby. It only seems about 5 minutes since she announced her pregnancy, but yet here we are, 6 months later and there's only two weeks before the little one arrives.
We did a collection, and really splashed out on some lovely things. But some of us also got our own little gifts, and I wanted to use my new found crochet skills to create something special.
Until now I had been crocheting from patterns I found on the Internet, but I recently bought a book of crochet - Cute & Easy Crochet by Nicki Trench. I got it from our work drop from The Book People for the absolute bargain price of £4, and had a flick through almost every day planning projects.
The bear pattern really stood out, and even though it was in the section with the highest level of difficulty, I had a good feeling about it, as the pattern looked fairly simple.
As Jen doesn't know the sex of her baby, I decided a neutral colour was the way to go, and really thought that a cream bear would be very lovely, so I got some nice soft double knit wool from Leeds Market, and off I went.
Bear was constructed in two main sections for body and head, stuffing each before the crochet is finished. Eyes are added before the head is stuffed, and I bought a bag of safety eyes from Hobbycraft rather than stitching eyes on. The ears were stitched as four individual pieces. Each ear was assembled by double crocheting two pieces together, and then stitching onto the head with more wool (I used the loose ends to do this rather than cut fresh wool). Here is the body and head, once the ears had been assembled:
You can see his little face starting to take shape here, but to complete his personality, he needed a nose and a mouth. My other hobbies helped here. I like to embroider, but also in the past have had a go at making teddy bears. This was during the phase my Mum went through of making jointed teddy bears, and I used one of her books to make a couple of very simple non-jointed mini-bears out of some offcuts of mohair she had left. Anyway, the point is that as part of this crafting I learnt how to embroider noses and mouths on bears. This came in very handy as I free styled this little guy's face. After embroidering the expression on, I drew the thread through his head to come out where the head will be stitched onto the body, so I could tie a knot, and hide it in the join. You can just see the thread hanging down under the head in this picture of his finished face:
Then I just had to position the limbs on his body and stitch! I finished him off with a fetching green bow (baby neutral again!), and he was ready to meet Jen and her bump!
I was a little bit sad to see him go, but I know that Jen's little one will be the best parent for him in the future! (And I might make one of my own!)