Mother Bear Project

Mother Bear

I’ve finally packaged up my first contribution to the Mother Bear Project – a non-profit that distributes knit and crocheted bears to children affected by HIV/AIDS. I don’t remember where I first heard about the organization, but Knitting for Peace included an interview with founder/ director Amy.

This is the second toy I’ve made and this pattern is great for knitters of all levels. It’s pretty straight-forward for beginners and there’s room for experimentation with different stitch patterns and colour work for more advanced knitters. I’m going to get more into intarsia on the next one!!! There’s something about making cute things that I find so satisfying. I don’t know if I’ll bust into arigumi anytime soon though!



I picked up Knitalong tonight on my way home. Knitting with others for a common purpose – something I don’t do much of anymore. It made me miss my dearest knitting partner! We started knitting together over a decade ago and are now separated by many provinces and states. I guess that’s where an online knitalong would come in . . .

I really like the concept of knitting together for a common cause. The American Red Cross Museum has a great archive of military knitting patterns from World Wars I and II. The pdfs are scans of the original typed patterns. The paper has yellowed and the authors offer tips like, “Sometimes odd bits of yarn can be knit up quite attractively.” It’s One Skein for the Knit Your Bit set! I’ve been trying to come up with a way to use these patterns for a humanitarian cause like afghans for Afghans. I haven’t come up with a good concept yet though, other than helping people to keep warm while simultaneously putting a dent in your stash!

The authors of Knitalong talk about all types – from stitch ‘n’ bitch (could the plural really be bitches?) at cafés to competitive knitalongs at agricultural fairs. The section on giving shares some information on how to get involved in knitting for those in need. Knitting for Peace is a good place to look for that as well.

There are many, many projects that I can’t wait to start. I love the Blessingway Blanket by Hannah Cuviello and the Barn Raising Quilt. Both of them would be really fun to knit with other knitters – the different pieces that make up the Blessingway are divided by skill level. Thankfully there’s a sale on at Romni right now!

P.S. I just noticed that afghans for Afghans has a knit- and crochet-along.

Shawl from Ocean Falls

My Grandma sent me this beautiful shawl. Handwoven by one of her old friends from Ocean Falls – Sylvia Hiebert. Ocean Falls is a ghost town now but in the 1950s when my grandparents moved there there were more than 3,500 people. Most of them working for the mill.

Sylvia\'s shawl detail

I think the shawl is made of a mohair blend. So soft and, since my Grandma doesn’t wear shawls or scarves (as I learned the hard way after some hard kntting hours), it’s like new. Very fine and such a vibrant colour.

I think I remember meeting Sylvia once when I was very young. I was sad to hear that she passed away recently but I’m happy that my Grandma shared her fine work with me.

Tea Cozy

Tea Cozy

This was knit from the Tea Cozy pattern in Joelle Hoverson‘s Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. At the speed of my knitting none of the patterns I’ve tried have been last-minute, but the book is full of wonderful projects. I really have to visit her shop Purl the next time I’m in New York!

I used Lambs Pride in sapphire from Romni. I love the colour. But I was riddled with insecurity after completing it. I still can’t decide if it’s a bit too kitsch for its recipient . . . but fortune favours the bold, so I’ll give it a whirl.

Perfect Pie

Perfect pie shawl

I just got back from the post office where I mailed my latest project to a dear friend. It was a long, long time in the making (she can attest to that!). The Perfect Pie Shawl from Melanie Falick’s Weekend Knitting.

Perfect pie shawl

The pattern intimidated me a few years ago when I first received the book. I don’t know what scared me, maybe it was all that lace. I ended up finishing it off with a knit rickrack lace edging. The pattern calls for Koigu Premium Merino for the lace edging, and gives instructions for a crochet picot edging as well as the rickrack lace that I used. I wish I could have found the Koigu. I don’t know why it’s so hard to get in Ontario, especially considering the fact that their farm is in Chatsworth, Ontario.

Perfect pie shawl

I’m not crazy about working with mohair. It can be a pain to fix mistakes. I substituted the Berroco Mohair Classic called for with some Idena Dream Mohair I picked up at Romni Wools. This is definitely the first project I’ve worked on where I haven’t been cursing the mohair. It’s really soft and the wispy fibres didn’t get all matted looking!

Perfect pie shawl

This shawl was a lot of fun to make and I have to say I was pretty proud to see it finished!

Mr. Bear

Mr. Bear Full BodyThis bear is for little Jindra. It, or he, or she was a labour of love. I’m hoping that Jindra won’t want to take off and put on the lamb suit. I’m hoping he’ll just leave it on. Hiding the weird neck work I did.

Ugh. I just found this very helpful assembly post. Why didn’t I look for this before I butchered the neck. I ended up making a second gusset and attaching it to the neck opening.

I really like this book though – Debbie Bliss’ The Baby Knits Book. Really sweet and cozy things. And knitting with her cashmerino aran is really lovely.

Mr. Bear’s close up