Baby’s bed buddy

Evelyn came to visit her grandmother. Grandmother Me. Evelyn is two. Evelyn’s parents were comfortable with her still sleeping in her Guava. Well, she doesn’t sleep in an actual guava. She sleeps in a Lotus when she visits. OK. She sleeps in a Guava Family Lotus. It’s a…a…fancy Pack ‘n Play. It seemed sturdier to me, when I purchased it for her brother. It has served well for visits.

Anyway, Evelyn’s favorite stuffie is not something handmade. It’s a doll. Sort of an odd doll, actually. She goes by the name of “Baby” or “Baby Doll” or sometimes “Doll Baby.” Whatever you do, do not even think of separating Evelyn from Baby.

The Guava Lotus looked a little empty for a just-turned two year old. I thought Baby might like a pillow and a blanket. So I knit them. The blanket is actually Dishcloth Diva Deb  Buckingham’s pattern, Neutrals. Baby’s Neutrals is hot pink though. It suits her better. And the pillow is just a two motif, folded-in-half Neutrals.

I had a little extra time waiting for the young ones and their parents to arrive, so I added a teddy bear for Baby to sleep with. This one is a teeny version of Lesley Anne Price’s fine pattern, “The Bears.” I knit him with leftover sock yarn, Quaere Fibre‘s sportweight, in the Spring Flowers colorway. You just never know when those little bits of leftovers can come in handy. I knitted Teeny on size one needles. One leg is the width of a U.S. dime. So, very very teeny.

Baby only seems to have eyes for Evelyn. Baby ignored her new bedding and toy. But Evelyn was quite taken with this little set. She mostly kept them in her Guava Lotus. During Evelyn and her family’s week-long visit, I regularly found Teeny tucked under his blankie. Teeny couldn’t quite get the hang of the pillow thing, but all told this grandmother declares her knitting effort a success.

Oh Juicy!

Black Sheep Knitters Guild had its annual “Brown Bag Swap” a few months ago. You probably already know how that goes. Bring a gift, pick a gift, steal somebody else’s gift, or pick a new one. I generally favor the strategy of picking a gift that isn’t nicely wrapped. After all, maybe you can tell a book by its lack of cover. It’s a fun diversion.

I’ve never knit with Bad Amy. This Indie dyer‘s yarns tend to sell out quickly. And she runs yarn clubs that have a lot of competition to get into. Someone-who-will-not-be-named put this self-striping skein of the “Oh Juicy” colorway into the swap. Oh Lordy! A gift can only be stolen twice and then it lands where it landed. Oh Juicy was chosen. But the giftee didn’t get to keep it. Steal #1. When my swap number was called soon after, it was Steal #2. And so Oh Juicy stayed with me. Lovely stuff. 80% merino, 20% nylon. Should hold up well.

This is my Oh, Juicy knit up in Virginia Rose-Jeane’s great free pattern, Vanilla Latte Socks. It’s one of the most knit free sock patterns on Ravelry: 7685 projects posted. It is top-down knit, designed to be worked on magic-loop or two circulars. But it is very easily adaptable to double pointed needles. That’s my preference.

I knitted the largest size, on 72 stitches, using US size one needles. I chose the “eye of partridge” stitch for the heel and the rounded toe.

A perfect fit.

And, if the sock fits, wear it. These are mine, for sure.

The skein is generous. I needed only 14 grams of the 25-gram contrast yarn. And I had 20 grams left of the 100 gram skein of the main color.

There was enough yarn left for an Oh, Juicy bear.

This is my old stand-by bear pattern, from Lesley Ann Price’s “Kids Knits” book. You’ll have to search the library stacks to find that one. Thirteen of the eighteen Rav project pages on this bear are mine. And that’s not all I’ve made. In the last 20 years or so, I’ve probably knit a hundred of these guys! The bear is knit flat, in one piece (after you join the legs on the needles). Very little seaming. Piece ‘o cake. My Juicy has already been gifted to a little guy.

Old bears, new duds


I’ve knit about a zillion of these since this set was knit circa 1987. I’m only exaggerating a tad. I’ve posted photos on Ravelry showing 30 of these bears that I’ve knitted over the years. My son was a toddler when I knit this trio. He turned 30 recently and has a toddler of his own now.

This is Lesley Anne Price’s, “The Bears,” from her 1984 Ballantine-published book, Kids’ Knits. Unfortunately the book is out-of-print now. If you can find it at your library or on Ebay it’s definitely worth a look-see. These bears are just one pattern among many that merit a knitter’s attention.

These bears didn’t always look so felted and mangled. They used to be quite the fine fellows, decked out in sweaters or vests. Recently I decided some hot water and a bit of felting would be a good thing to be sure that they’d be rid of all their decades-old dust. And clearly they needed some new duds.

Look at them now!

old_bearsPapa, Mama and Baby Bear are lookin’ fine! Soon they will be gifted to my son’s children. And so that big wheel just spins and spins.

Here’s a closer look at Papa Bear and his sweater, which is Jacquelyn Smythe’s contribution to another out-of print publication: The Designer Collection (for Bears). It is a collection of outfits sized for smallish bears and was a fund-raiser for The Children’s Aid Society. In addition to Smythe, there are patterns from Meg Swanson like this one, modeled by a bunny I knit for Isaac. The list of luminaries who contributed to this 1993 pamphlet, edited by Judith Shangold, includes Kaffe Fassett, Norah Gaughan, Nicki Epstein, Nancy Marchant, and Deborah Newton.


All the new finery is knit in Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash. Papa Bear is pleased and hasn’t even complained that his head had to be a bit squashed to fit into his roll-neck sweater.

papa_bearMama Bear spent three nearly three decades wearing a rather unsightly garter stitch vest and so she requested something fancier this time.


This is Judith Shangold’s sundress pattern from one of her Bear in Sheep’s Clothing pamphlets. I know you don’t really want to hear it but, yes, it’s out-of-print too. At first Mama Bear was skeptical that this was going to be much better than her old garter stitch vest. But once she tried it on she pronounced it almost perfect.


She’s been heard to mumble that I could have done better with the back straps. And she thought Papa Bear might have appreciated a less modest neckline.


I told her she could just wear it backward if she wanted to be daring. Besides, I tend to knit these small bears without facial features and it’s hard to tell if she’s coming or going since the family came out of the washer and dryer. (But I suppose she and Papa Bear know the difference,)

And here’s Baby Bear’s vest.


There are actually two Shangold Bear in Sheep’s Clothing pamphlets, one published in 1991 (and that’s where the vest pattern is from) and one in 1992. Such a sweet easy pattern.


My son’s son won’t be two until October and my son’s daughter turns two months soon. I’m planning for the perfect occasion to gift these guys to the children. I’d sort of like them to know that they were their dad’s stuffed buddies too.

These stitches we knit? Pretty special stuff sometimes.