Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Broadway Baby Bears

Last week I happened to notice mighty Wendy's mention of Phyl's Bear Drive (and her covetable drawing, now concluded) and got busy on Stripe and Pink.

Pink Bear and Stripe Bear

Stripe was knitted according to Phyl's pattern, flat in one piece from feet to head and back down again, using Coeur Rouge oddments. In the photo, the unconfined stockinette stitch has rolled up, making Stripe look very thin. Pink, with garter stitch paws, was knit in the round from feet to head, using formerly Unloved Sock Yarn (Regia 6-ply) and more Coeur Rouge oddments. I'm especially happy formerly unloved yarn has become a little bear for a child to love. Each bear is shown with with a small heart sachet filled with lavender because I always put a little heart in my bears.

Stripe Bear in process   Pink Bear in process

Knitting flat has the advantage of speed, but the drawback of lots of seaming and the awkwardness of stuffing through the relatively small crotch opening. Knitting in the round is slower and requires some grafting, but no sewing, plus stuffing is through the relatively large head opening. For me, grafting goes as fast as mattress stitching, so although Stripe was started first, Pink was finished first.

After knitting, sewing or grafting, stuffing, and more sewing or grafting came the ordeal of stitching the face. I'm not good at faces. My bears generally get six or seven faces with Picasso-type multiple perspective facial features before everything looks right. I define the neck and ears first, add accessories, then stitch the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Here's Pink...

Pink Bear sans face   Pink Bear with defined neck and ears plus scarf   Pink Bear with fifth face

... and Stripe.

Stripe Bear sans face   Stripe Bear with defined neck and ears plus scarf   Stripe Bear with sixth face

DH saw an earlier version of Pink and made that husbandly pause that means spousal loyalty and a desire for continued hot suppers are warring with a waggish desire for freedom of expression. Finally he said, "He looks like Gordon MacRae, in Carousel." Hrmph. Billy Bigelow never wore pink sweaters. Pink is a girl. (Pink got a new face.)

The rest of the evening was spent earnestly trying to select the greatest Broadway musical of all time, complete with a revue by Pink and Stripe, who sounded strangely like John Raitt and Jerry Orbach, even when they felt pretty. Which left open the question: What is the greatest Broadway musical of all time?


Shhhh Secret Pal said...

Absolutely adorable! You did a SUPER job and I love their little faces!

Phyl said...

The bears look great. Thank you so much for knitting them!

MissyJoon said...

Those socks are so fabulous--I will be your sock pal ANY day!

And your bears are adorable!!! I knitted one like this and I think they are so sweet!