Monday, August 3, 2020

the three little bears!

A Trio of Bears!

After I publish a pattern like my newest pattern, Lil' Bear Hugs, ideas on pushing it further flood my head. I try very hard to keep the actual pattern sweet and simple, but that doesn't mean the creativity stops there. So, in the spirit of play, here is a fun detailing about this pattern. You too can create a trio of bears, the three little bears: Papa, Mama and Baby bear.

Each bear shown uses the exact same pattern instructions, knit and felted the same. The only differences are the yarn weights and the double point needle sizes used. In addition, once felted and stuffed, the bear is embellished using smaller size noses and eyes to accommodate each bear size. A little more freehand on the embellishing. 

The Papa Bear measures about 7.5-inch/19-cm tall, not including eh ears. The Mama Bear measures about 6-inch/15.24-cm tall, and the Baby Bear, about 4.5-inch/11.43-cm tall. The Lil' Bear Hugs pattern instructions are for a worsted weight yarn bear using size 10.5 double points (this is the largest bear shown). The next size bear uses sport weight yarn and size 8 double points and the littlest bear uses fingering weight yarn and size 5 double points as shown in the chart below.

I will be purchasing Nature Spun yarns in all these weights soon here, so if you too want to create your own trio of bears in matching colors, you can with a little help from me. Stay tuned! 

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

NEW! 5-mm glass eyes on wire pins

5-mm glass eyes on wire pins

The Lil' Bear Hugs pattern is launched, and I now have available for sale the black 5-mm glass eyes on wire pins in my Etsy shoppe. I love these eyes for their sparkle! The glass eye is obviously 5-mm wide and the pin length is about 1/2-inch. All you do is use a felting needle to poke an indent where you want the eye to pop into. A tapestry needle, especially a sharp-end one, works well too!

NOTE: The bear pattern instructions gives two options for the eyes: glass eyes or yarn eyes. Yarn eyes are recommended for younger children because of the danger of swallowing. 

Once the eyes are inserted into the bear's head, and the final desired position is determined, the next step is to glue it into position. Ease the eye out slightly from the head and apply a small amount of craft glue along the eye pin. Then insert the eye back into the head, pressing down slightly. Allow to air dry in this position. The glue will dry clear even if too much glue oozes out.

The glue I like to use is Crafter's Pick THE ULTIMATE. You can buy it at any craft store. This glue was recommended to me by the distributor of these glass eye pins.

So whatever your eye choice: glass or yarn, I got you covered for convenience. No need to shop around. Looking forward to seeing what you create!

Happy knitting!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

NEW! lil' bear hugs pattern

little bear hugs knitting pattern cover

lil' bear hugs PDF pattern

During these times of social distancing, Zoom meetings and a whole lot of virtual everything, what's most needed right about now is a good bear hug! Everyone we know could use a good bear hug.

And to help bring some sweetness to those we may be missing more than ever, I have created my new little comfort bear: Lil' Bear Hugs. It is my newest knit and felt pattern. In designing this bear, I turned to the process of felting because of the great texture of felted wool, and I wanted the little bear to be sturdy for continual hug ability over time. The felted bear measures about 7.5-inch/19-cm tall, not including the ears.

The pattern uses worsted weight yarn in two colors: the body color (76 yd/69.5-m) and the muzzle color (3 yd/2.74-m). The needle size is 10.5/6.5-mm double points. The bear's body is knit as one continuous piece. No sewing required! The pattern begins with knitting each leg separately then continuing up the body towards the head. The bear's muzzle, ears, arms and tail are each individually picked up and knit onto the body. Once felted, the face and paws are embellished using simple embroidery and needle felting. A hand-stitched ruffled-collar is created using a length of decorative ribbon.
close up of little bear hugs bear

bear with 5-mm glass eyes

The bear's paws consists of two parts: the yarn-paw lines and a craft-felt heart. The little heart is needle felted to the paw's underside. It is a perfect way to add a little extra loving to each bear hug! The bear eyes can be either glass or yarn. Because of the danger of swallowing, do not use glass eyes for bears of younger children. 

NOTE: For those interested in the glass eyes, they are 5-mm black glass eyes on wire pins and I sell them in sets in my Etsy store. 

Although, no one ever tires of a traditional brown-colored bear; its fun to play with a variety of yarn colors for each bear. Yarns with alpaca or mohair in them create fuzzy felted bears especially after being brushed with a nap riser brush.

My goal for early Autumn is to create a felted rabbit about the same size as the bear. Once published, I will begin designing clothes and accessories for both the rabbit and bear that will be interchangeable. 

For this pattern's recipe, I have included my most favorite blueberry muffin recipe. I have been playing with this recipe for some time and am happy with the final result. Hope you will too!

Once your little bear is finished, it is ready for gift giving! Box it up and mail him/her off to the next person on your list of special loved ones. What a surprise to receive a box of sweet bear hugs in the mail! Hugs to you!

Happy knitting!

Friday, February 14, 2020

candy corn endearments!

'sweet' deal today!
Happy Valentine's Day!
Wishing you a sweet one, full of knitting and maybe a chocolate or two!

Today I have a Valentine special for you: buy two of my PDF patterns and get a Valentine PDF pattern of your choice for FREE. My Valentine patterns include: Owl-Be-Yours!, Woolly Candy Corn, and Woolly Sweet-Hearts. The special runs through today, February 14, midnight Central Time.

In order to receive the special deal, order two PDF patterns either on my website, Etsy or Ravelry. In addition, send me a note with your pattern request. I will email the pattern file to you.

Wishing you a sweet one!

Happy knitting!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

a spotted owl tummy design

NEW! Owl-Be-Yours! Pincushion pattern
Sometimes when I am creating a pattern, I can get carried away with all the possible ideas and detailing. But in the end, I always have to cut something. It simply becomes too much for one pattern. The same for my latest pattern, Owl-Be-Yours! What did I cut from this pattern? The owl's spotted tummy idea. So here it is now!

In the scheme of things, it isn't necessary to create a spotted tummy on your little valentine owl, but it is kind of cute. I embroidered duplicate stitches around his belly with a contrasting yarn, such as a cream as shown in the photo. The finished duplicate stitches will appear as little hearts in the end -- further detailing for the valentine-theme.

Classic Elite Yarns says, "A duplicate stitch is an embroidery technique that covers a knit stitch with a different color yarn." That means, yarn covers the original knit stitch, to create little V's. In this case, the felting process will soften the v's so they blend with the overall wool (it will be smooth with the owl's body). The more contrasting the color yarn, the more the spots will stand out after felting. 

So let me walk through on how to create a duplicate stitch:
step-by-step instructions on how to create a duplicate stitch

1.  Thread a tapestry needle with a 100% wool worsted weight yarn in desired color. Come up from the inside the owl into the desired position, the base of a knit stitch, the base of one of the V's.

2.  Insert the tapestry needle then under both loops of the stitch in the row above it, and pull the needle through.

3.  Insert the needle into the base of the V stitch again, and then direct the needle up to the next position, two stitches above it. 

4.  Pull the yarn so it lays  loosely over the top of your work, not too tight that it disappears. This completes one duplicate stitch. Work completely on the surface of the owl, embroidering one duplicate stitch after another until the desired pattern is achieved.  

5.  Create duplicate stitches about your owl's tummy either randomly or as a circle shown in photo 5. Be sure to skip a stitch and a row between each duplicate stitch! As the owl felts so will the stitches, so give them room to felt. 

For a good video on how to create a duplicate stitch, check out: Knit Purl Hunter. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to contact me.

Did you miss making an owl for this Valentine's Day? Don't worry, this little owl is perfect for any time of the year!

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

bee-mine valentine!

woolly sweet-hearts pattern
Valentine's day is coming fast and furious. But you still have time to knit up a dozen or so of these Woolly Sweet-Hearts for all the special loves in your life. They are a quick knit & felt design and they make great valentines, with words or not!

In the photo above, the word 'mine' was needle felted onto the finished heart using cream perle embroidery floss and a 40-gauge felting needle. The finer tip needle gives more accuracy, smaller holes, for needle felting something like this. The simpler the phrase the better!
clay bee buttons

For a whimsical selection of bee buttons, Just Another Button Company has little clay bee buttons in several designs and sizes. Check out my Etsy shoppe for all the BEE buttons shown in the photo right. All these buttons shown are the perfect size for a project like this.

For a fun way to present the finished heart is by placing it in a small kraft brown box with lid (3.5 x 3.5 x 2-inches). Place a little brown or white raffia in the box and nestle the decorated heart inside. Stamp the outside of the box using fun rubber stamps in valentine-themed prints. I used a brown ink pad for the stamping, covering the top and sides with hearts and flowers. Tied with twine and a tiny note card.

If you don't have time to knit and felt one, I have a few finished hearts-in-a-box still available for sale: Bee-Mine Valentine.

Either way, you have a few ideas to get your creative juices knitting in the valentine theme. Not like you need another idea, right?

Happy knitting!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

NEW! owl-be-yours! pincushion pattern

owl-be-yours! pincushion
February is fast approaching, little over a week away. My February pincushion pattern is officially ready! Owl-Be-Yours! pincushion is my sixth pincushion of the month pattern finished, only 6 more to go.

I love this little guy, his big eyes, and how his wings are tucked behind, holding a little valentine and tiny envelope, just waiting for you to take notice and ask: what do you have there?

The knit and felt owl measures about 4-inches tall. He is knit as one continuous piece. It begins at the base and works upward to the top. The owl's mask, wings and tail stitches are each individually picked up and knit. Once felted, the eyes are embellished using simple needle felting and embroidery. The wool roving beak is created and attached using needle felting.
valentine & envelope

Decorative heart-themed pins and a hand-made valentine are the final accents to the finished owl pincushion. The mini-pins set is from Just Another Button Company. I have created a custom-selected set that is only available in my Etsy Shoppe: red & white valentine pins.

Create a sweet little owl pincushion just in time for Valentine's Day! And yes, you have plenty of time. It knits and felts up quick and is ready for embellishing in hours.

Happy knitting!