mammalian mutts

Teddy bears are for November.  Are they?  Let’s say that for the purposes of creative hooking in 2020, they are.  I have been making these for a while. Cute bears with big heads and bodies way too small to support their big thinking brains. There is evidence on this website, in a number of different places, feel free to check it out:  If you would like wonder over to HERE to see crochet creatures and therefore crochet bears related pages, or click HERE and follow the link for all the other blog posts containing more photos of brainy beauties, as and when they were created and included on the website. Some of the blog posts include background stories, some do not. As the blog has grown, so had wordcount in each post, seeminlgy…

The significance of the BEAR is described somewhat on the page above.  Today, I would like to reflect on the significance of MY BEARs… 

Why a big head and small body? 

Let’s see where these crochet ramblings takes us today, in reference to the above question:

Maybe it is exactly because they are in a way, not usable as toys.  They do not sit up, nor do they stand of their own accord.  Photographing them is a bit of a struggle.  They have to be propped up in all sorts of awkward ways, with the canvas behind them just at the right angle, and no breathing out in any direction to keep them steady, until the camera shutter clicks.

They are cute, I am told.  Vulnerable.  Tiny little creatures that need looking after.  I have recently photographed them inside my hands, originally, to show scale. As well as giving idea of the scale, the pictures also ended up showing the bears as if they are being born out of my hands.  In a peculiarly poetic metaphorical way, they are exactly that:  

Born out of my hands. 

i make them when i know they have a home to go to;

i give them names, and usually their individual unique name comes to me/ materializes in my thoughts as i finish embroidering their cute faces;

i am lazy and cheat, and make them smaller and smaller each time, sometimes with heavier yarn so that they are finished quicker, hoping that each one will be the last.

i find it less than enjoyable to constantly (frequently) weave ends in, and they are finished too quickly to really get any sense of rhythm and mindfulness out of the process of making them;

yet

i keep making them.

There is always another bear ready to be born at the back of my mind.

Why, i don’t actually know…  I wanted to explore this here, to give them a proper place to express what they mean to me. And to give them the space they deserve, as they have become a big part of my creative expression.

The shape itself is not new. I seem to always choose this in bears, no matter what material i make them from, see my MEMTEDS HERE.

I have first made something to this effect when i used some of faux fur fabric off cuts my nan was given a long time ago. I used the material to make small toy teddies in all the colours i could find, by copying one of my little sister’s teddies and reverse engineering a toy that i liked. That was millions of years ago, when dinosaurs ruled the earth… My memory fails me to determine whether it was a pre-scrunchie making or a post-scrunchie making exercise, but it was the 90s and i spoke no English then…

After these first ever bears I made, the idea of making bears sat there at the back of my mind as i was going about living my life. Clearly, teddy bear making was an idea brewing slowly but surely into what is now a fairly solid portfolio of big heads, small bodies and my heart and hard work going into them.

I am not actually the biggest fan of amigurumi crochet as a crochet maker.  I find it fiddly, annoying and full of weaving in ends with a thick needle that hurts my delicate fingers, so the creatures i make simply HAVE TO be darn cute for the effort to be worth it.

Somehow, i finish them.

Sometimes I swear a lot, sometimes I spent fruitful and fruitless time looking for the thimbles I have specially purchased to make this part easier and less painful, sometimes finding them amongst my crochet tools, other times not bothering to look…  Regardless, i go back for more of that annoyance and pain.. 

They are worth it in the end, ALWAYS!

For those of you who would like to make your own, who love making Amigurumi crochet, I have finally, after a social media request about two months ago, written the pattern for these smallest cuties. Find it on RAVELRY, in my pattern store HERE.

The original version of the teddy bear pattern is available HERE.  This original pattern has been written years ago, and it took me a long time to write the latest one, even though i have used this amended, even smaller and cuter version of the bear many a time, (examples HERE) since i wrote the first bear pattern. Did i mention i am lazy? I also find pattern writing far from my crochet related activity of choice. 

Originally, when i was considering crochet as a full time business occupation, pattern writing seemed to be a good way to share my creativity with others.  In reality i have discovered, if I have a crochet pattern to write, cleaning the back of the kitchen cupboards will very quickly make it up the priority list of things to get done, before I actually find myself sitting down at the computer vested in pattern writing.  From this, an indirect communication with myself, I know I will most likely not be a pattern writer/ designer any time soon. 

To sum up today’s blog post, i seem to have been talking about things i am not so keen on… The moral of the story being, with perseverance, the end result is worth it, long term….

I would now like to introduce the three latest additions to the extended family of bears that I AM keen on!  These three are now well settled in their new homes, being appreciated, whether they can sit still or stand up on their own or not, and there are more on the way, so keep your eyes and big brains peeled: 

Thank You for reading!

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