Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Red Heart and Teddy Bears, part 1

Once upon a time, long, long ago, when I was a little girl, a local radio station had a give away every Easter.  The businesses that had advertising on the station received buckets and chance slips.  The prize?  A Wilbur Wabbit.  It was free to enter as the businesses hoped you would do shopping when you came in to put your chance slips in the bucket.  No, I didn't know that as a child.  

You probably have no clue about Wilbur.  But a quick check on-line shows there are still Wilburs around.  Here is a 1969 ad from the local newspaper featuring WiLBuR.  


Wilbur seemed to be a very large rabbit, 5 - 6 ft tall.  I'm not sure if I remember correctly or he just seemed that large.  Over the years, he shrank in size until he was about 3 ft tall.  He is no longer the Easter giveaway.  Now it's a large basket of candy.  Oh how times have changed.

However, back to the story.  Because my sister and I were in school when the shopping was done (kudos to mom and dad for not letting us get away with the gimmes by using this tactic), we didn't get to put in chances for a Wilbur.  I always wanted one.  I had carloads of small stuffed animals but nothing large.

After I learned to crochet I decided one summer to do a similar project of my own.  Wilbur was clearly for Easter or so I thought.  Teddy bears are universal and year round in my mind.  So I made a plan but not a pattern.  There was nothing out there at the time for a 6 ft tall bear, or any other kind of animal for that matter that I could find.  I also was unable to purchase sufficient yarn for this and so used remnants and scraps and whole balls as I could.  Poor bear was mostly pale yellow and a gingerbread color with loads of burnt orange, red, pink, royal blue, navy blue, black, kelly green, chocolate brown thrown in for good measure.

So here is the first part of the pattern.  35 + years later and working from memory.  The bear is no more and I have no clue how much yarn he actually used.  I also know that stuffing that bear with old clothes made him un-bear-ably heavy, probably 50 lbs.  I know I don't have a picture of it either, for good or for bad.  Sloppy stitch work, poor finishing, 4 legs 4 different sizes.  He was tall.  He was skinny.  His head was too big for his body.  He was mine.  He sat in the child size rocking chair in my bedroom until I moved out and got married.  I wonder what ever happened to him...... to be continued

Teddy Bear

Worsted Weight yarn, use scraps if you want a scrappy bear or at least 100 oz.
Size F hook, or size needed to get gauge
Tapestry or yarn needle

Gauge:  30 sts per 4 inch

Legs: Make 4

Ch 4, join with a sl st in first ch to form a ring.
Rd 1:  ch 3 (counts as a dc now and throughout), 11 dc in ring.  Join with a sl st in top of ch 3.
Rd 2:  ch3, dc in same st as ch 3, * 2 dc in each st around.  Join with a sl st in top of ch 3. (24 dc)
Rd 3: ch 3, 2 dc in next st, * dc in next st, 2 dc in following st.  Rep from * around.  Join with a sl st in top of ch 3.  (36 dc)
Rd 4: ch 3, dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, * dc in next 2 sts, 2 dc in following st.  Rep from * around.  Join with a sl st in top of ch 3 (48 dc)
Rd 5: ch 3, dc in next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st, * dc in next 3 sts, 2 dc in next st.  Rep from * around.  Join with a sl st in top of ch 3.  (60 dc)
Rd 6: ch 3, dc in next 3 sts, 2 dc in next st, * dc in next 4 sts, 2 dc in next st.  Rep from * around.  Join with a sl st in top of ch 3.  (72 dc)
Rd 7: ch 3, dc in next 4 sts, 2 dc in next st, * dc in next 5 sts, 2 dc in next st.   Rep from * around. Join with sl st in top of ch 3.  (84 dc)
Rd 8: ch 3, dc in next 5 sts, 2 dc in next st, * dc in next 6 sts, 2 dc in next st.  Rep from * around.  Join with sl st in top of ch 3.  (96 dc)
Rd 9: ch 3, dc in next 6 sts, 2 dc in next st, * dc in next 7 sts, 2 dc in next st.  Rep from * around.  Join with sl st in top of ch 3.  (108 dc)
Rd 10: ch 3, dc in next 7 sts, 2 dc in next st, * dc in next 8 sts, 2 dc in next st. Rep from * around.  Join with sl st in top of ch 3. (120 dc)
Rd 11:  working in the back loop only, ch 3, * dc in dc.  Rep from * around.
Rds 12 - ? :  ch 3, dc in each dc around.  Join with a sl st in top of ch 3.  (120 dc)  Rep Rd 12 until the leg is 23 inches from Rd 11.  

At the end of the leg, fasten off leaving a tail.  

Make all 4 legs.  Depending on your taste for bears, you can shrink or stretch the number of rounds for length.  Just make sure to keep your gauge on the more stitches per inch than less.  You don't want the stuffing to show through.  Plus it will wear better.