My Virtual Sanity

Have you ever felt the need to share your thoughts with virtual strangers just so you can pretend that you have adult conversations during the day? Well, that's what I'm about to do. Be prepaired for my life as a stay at home, obsessive knitter, and my attempts to stay connected with the rest of the world.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Too many pieces

Well, I finally finished all the pieces for the Aviator bear from Debbie Bliss's Teddy Bears. There are WAY too many pieces to this bear. I've spent most of today putting the pieces together, and am missing the knitting part. The knitting was fun, the putting together really is not. I'm looking forward to getting this guy stuffed and starting on his clothes.

Remember those plastic bags I talked about? Well, here's my Bag-O-Teddy.

I made this bear in some Red Heart Supersaver Yarn that I had in my stash. It's durable, and washable. I figure it's pretty good yarn for a kid's teddy bear. My problem was that EVERYTHING rolled it's self up into little tubes as soon as I had knit them. I know this is common with things made in stockingette. I even relied on the roll factor when I made my roll brimmed hat, it's just REALLY annoying when I now have to piece things together. Rolled up little balls of knitting do not piece together very well...... That brings us to the ironing board. I don't iron. You can ask my husband. I buy the wrinkle releaser stuff, or I put it back in the dryer. My husband just laughed at me when after putting the kids to bed last night I hauled out the iron and looked all excited. "I've been waiting to do this all day!" I said. He just laughed. I don't want a very hot iron sitting on a flimsy table when I have 2 little kids up, so I had to wait until they went to bed.

Red Heart yarn says on the label not to iron it. Well, technically I didn't iron it. I filled the iron up with water, set it on the highest steam setting, and hovered over the knitting letting it steam the fabric. If you actually iron the fabric, it squishes the stitches and makes it all flat. I did test the iron on a small sample of knitting I had done earlier in the yarn. It was an ear that I missed a row or something, and was too small. Since I had already cut the yarn, I just threw it away, but it served it's purpose as my test swatch.

I have to say, that this is the first time I've ever steamed my knitting and I am astounded at the results! Before steaming, the fabric was stiff and rather harsh. After steaming, it feels like it's made out of a totally different yarn, even now a day later. It lays beautifully flat, developed a linen like drape, and is incredibly supple. It's still Red heart, so I'm not going to say it's exactly soft, but it's amazing what a little steam did for it.

Here's what the pieces looked like after their little steaming:
One of the things that I do not like about Debbie Bliss's pattern is that she does not include diagrams on what the pieces look like. I have therefore labeled everything just in case you want to make this bear too. Now you have some idea of what the pieces should look like (isn't Photoshop fun?). I am a little concerned with the body pieces. They aren't much longer than the legs, and when sewn together made a rather short fat body. I'm not sure if I left out some rows, or if it is supposed to be that way. I'll post pics of stuffed and assembled pieces once I get them all finished.


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