I knit mostly for myself and my immediate family. The kids get sweaters, my mother-in-law gets socks, other family get hats…sometimes. Maybe it’s selfish, but considering that much of what I knit is for my own patterns, I call it business.
But when my Aunt asked me to knit a sweater for a bear, I just could not say no. People rarely ask me to knit things for them* so I was pretty excited about it. My Aunt made the bear herself (a long time ago it seems, since I had to make some repairs to it) and she wanted to give it to her first great grandbaby, with a personalized sweater.
*Except for the random acquaintance who wants a hat but has absolutely no idea what goes into knitting a hat. You don’t know how many people from my hometown have asked me to knit them a Buffalo Bills hat! I usually either quote them the fair price of $300 or show them this picture.
Anyway. I knit a vest for a bear!
The name on his belly is “paxtyn”. How cute is that name? I briefly considered doing a proper sweater, but the shape of the bear’s arms seemed better suited to a vest.
I spent a lot of time trying to come up with the design. At first I thought I’d do something stripety in worsted weight yarn, but I thought the vest would be better out of a thinner yarn. I ended up using Ultra Alpaca Light.
There were, ahem, gauge issues. After knitting the “paxtyn” section I took the knitting off the needle and realized it was about 5 inches too wide. Although I thought I’d avoid the use of a steek for such a small sweater, I reinforced the knitting and cut out the extra fabric. That made for some extra finishing work, but I’m really, really pleased with how it came out.
Knitting a vest for a bear for my first cousin twice removed was pretty fun, I’ll have to say. The knitting was quick and the design of it stretched my brain just a little. That’s always good, right? Figuring out all the little parts to make it look just so. I also thought about the new baby and his mom a lot, and that, I realize, is the fun of knitting for others.
I sure hope they love having the old bear and its new vest. I sure loved making it.