another bear

Two years ago, almost exactly, I posted about a bear vest that I knit as a baby present (for my first cousin twice removed, or whatever, I don’t even know if that’s right). To remind you, this is the one I knit two years ago. It says “paxtyn” but it’s hard to read because he’s narrow in the waist.

i knit for bears

Well, there was another baby this year, and another teddy bear came to live with me for a while and left with a personalized sweater vest. It took me a while to get started on this project but once I got it on the pins all went smoothly. There were no gauge issues this time, and therefore no steek was needed. It’s a simple vest, but cute, I think. My Aunt, who commissioned the vest for her great-grandbaby, says that it’s “displayed” with the other bear. No higher praise for a knitter, right?

This bear vest says “conley” and is knit in the same pattern and yarn so they’re matchy-matchy brothers. I never wrote the pattern down or anything, so when it came time to knit the second vest I referenced the pictures from the first vest. Check him out!

I knit for Bears II

I knit for Bears II

Cute, right? Part of the cuteness is definitely the bears, which I believe were handmade by my Aunt! These guys are family heirlooms and I’m honored to be a part of their story.

pictures of other people’s knitting

Versa Vest

Check out the two latest patterns from my partner in crime, Cindy Myska Colbert!

Above is the Versa Vest modeled, of course, by our Mallory. I say that like she’s partly mine. Mallory is leaving next fall to go to college and I don’t want to talk about it because then I’ll cry. But they’re partly tears of joy because I know she’ll have the time of her life. I’ll miss her. Maybe she’ll still tweet at me every once in a while.

Enough about that. Let’s look at Mallory’s feet, shall we? The other pattern is for the Tanzine Aura Socks!

Tanzine Aura Socks

Cindy wrote this sock pattern for her knitting students, and it is a perfect pattern if you’re a first time sock knitter. Lotsa great tips and tricks.

Remember, these are Cindy’s patterns, not mine. I just take the pictures and do the layout for her patterns. Cindy has recently started blogging, and you can read her knitfocused blog, Knit Happens. It’s a good read because she is a shaman, trust me.

Tanzine Aura Socks

Tanzine Aura Socks

Find the Tanzine Aura Socks pattern on Ravelry here!

And a few more pictures of the Versa Vest:

Versa Vest

Versa Vest

Last but not least, the designer herself, in her own design! I think she did a hair flip right before this picture.

VersaVest

on wool

It’s an ongoing battle in my house to get Jerry, who is five, to bundle up. Every morning when he gets dressed he always, always puts on shorts. I’ve told you about this once before, when I finished Jerry’s Pirate Sweater. He actually wore that sweater a few times, and it still fits him but the sleeves are a little short and he says it’s too scratchy.

Too scratchy? TOO SCRATCHY?!? How can wool be too scratchy!!!??? Sigh. I’ve never told him that wool is scratchy, lest he begin actually believing that. Secretly, I blame his radical new complaint on the outside influence of cartoons and kindergarten. But it’s probably not some rogue kindergartener or anti-woolly cartoon character who is passing along this nonsense to Jerry. I guess that he might actually feel the scratchiness himself and being five, he’s able to verbalize it quite well.

I was not going to take this lying down, so I devised a plan. More precisely, I designed a vest. Genius! No scratchy wool on his arms. Not too warm, but warmth-providing. With skulls! He’d have to like it if the vest had a skull on it, right?

skull cable vest

Vest pattern: Improvised based on my previous experience with vests.
Skull Cable: Free online chart from Hello Yarn.
Background stitch pattern: Based on this picture.
Yarn: Cascade Eco Wool, color 8063, less than one skein.
Gauge: 4 sts/inch, using size US 9 needles.
Size: 32″ chest circumference, 18″ from hem to shoulder.
Start: Nov. 10
Finish: Nov. 14

The answer to that last question is yes, he does like it. But there’s another question: Does he want to wear it because it has a skull on it? NO. Because it’s scratchy. The neck back, which I did not apply any shaping to, rises about an inch above his t-shirt, therefore allowing wool to come in direct contact with his skin.

skull cable vest

My first plan of attack is to apply by hand some fabric to the inside. I’ll try to make it look awesome on the inside, and undetectable from the outside. Or Ann, from my knitting group, suggested wet blocking the vest again and softening the neck back with hair conditioner. Has anyone ever tried that? I could also unravel and try shaping the back of the neck, but I have serious aversion to spending another four days on a project that only took four days in the first place.

skull cable vest

I love this vest!  I love the color and the fit and the skull and the ribbing and everything!  I really thought that I was making something that Jerry would also love, so it’s a big let down that he won’t even put it on for a few blog pictures.  I failed.  We can talk with our children until we’re blue in the face about the wonderful attributes of wool, but a scratchy neck is a scratchy neck.