09 August 2012

Bear Tracks

Hair Bear
Several years ago, I began making crocheted bears. I don't know why I did bears instead of mountain goats or kittens. Perhaps because their shaping was so easy? Even though bears weren't my very favorite animal, in no time, I was addicted.

I had many yarn leftovers perfect for small projects, and little bears are small projects.

Basket o' Bears
Setting up a bunch of bears for photos gave me new ideas. Initially I wanted to write "Hi!" with little bears. Later I decided to make a heart with bears. I even made a Christmas tree with bears!

Fuzzy Hi

Beary Christmas!

Beary, Beary Busy
After a while, I got brave and tried a bear of thread. Initially, I was worried I wouldn't be able to pull off the detail and keep the holes between stitches small enough to prevent the stuffing from showing. But once again, I was addicted.

Sunflower Bear
So it was time to reduce the recipe and try for even smaller.

True Love Bear
Now I was really in trouble. I had much more thread than yarn. And it takes far less thread than yarn to make a bear. The sky was the limit. No such thing as too many. I made a pastel rainbow of bears.

Playin' in the Flowers
I built a portable bear factory to carry with me on the train every day.

My Portable Bear Factory

Ever felt like you were hanging by a thread?

Chocolate Bears
I decided it was time to try my hand at a multi-colored thread bear. (I'd already made one of yarn, and it won honorable mention in a bear challenge!) Making a striped bear of thread proved very challenging due to knots and ends to hide. I didn't make any more striped bears.

Spare Parts Bear

Rainbow Bear
The time came to really test my mettle. I wanted to see just how small I could go. Size 20 thread and a size 12 hook (the smallest one I inherited from my grandmother) produced what I thought was the tinest bear I would ever make. Because it was so difficult, I swore I'd never make one that small again. Ever.

Everyone who makes a small bear compares it to a dime.

My own bear size comparison
Never again!

Look, Ma!  No hands!
They were fun to pose, fun to shoot, fun to give away. Snowflakes took over the place in my heart the bears had occupied, and I didn't make any more bears for a very long time. Took plenty of pictures of bears, but no more making bears for what felt like forever.

Bad News Bears

Hungry Bear

Sweet Bear

I never wanted to see my name in lights. Bears, however, are a different story...

Half Moon Pass Bears Discovered

Goin' to Beartown

Bears in Beartown

Snowflake Bear
Crocheters kept asking me for a pattern. So I finally wrote one (included in this year's Colorado/Wyoming Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society fundraiser snowflake booklet). Little Bear Peak Snowflake made me remember how much I love little bears.

Little Bear Peak Snowflake
This summer I was unexpectedly grounded from my bike and the stairs and all other fun athletic activities while my back adjusts to... changes. I had a whole bunch of new thread colors I hadn't tried out, so I began making bears again. Because I could. And because they make me smile.

more than a handful

topsy turvy bears
Meanwhile, my macro lens is still in the shop being repaired (going on three months now!!!), and it's driving me crazy. I've got so many bear photos I want to take!

I heart bears.
It's also Ravellenics time for just a little while longer. What could I do to challenge myself while I wait for the blocked Lanesplitter skirt to dry? What project would be difficult, mind-bending, finger-numbing, but so darned cute I couldn't resist? Well, how about size 80 thread and the size 15 crochet hook that hasn't yet gone through a proper workout??? Yes, I think that just might do.

bits and pieces

crochet away

nothing to grab onto

old thread, old eyes

another dime comparison

the tiniest
Too bad I don't have the best lens to really show this little gal off!

18 comments :

  1. They are all perfectly sweet and cute, and perfect. I've nearly finished my first teeny tiny crocheted cat, for my daughter, I don't usually use a pattern for toys but didn't have confidence to just jump in with this lol. I've a pattern to make myself a mini teddy next....I'm aiming to go smaller and smaller. Your work is as always inspiring. Hugs lin

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    1. Thank you, Lin! Are you going to post your tiny cat on your blog? I can't wait to see it!!!

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  2. WOW!!! So tiny! and so very cute!! debra

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  3. You have yourself "Bear Corners" what a delightful group, even with their very own line of accessories too! The little bike is too cute, but most of all the little puppet bears, how creative! I must confess my heart does go to the bears! I like your little bear care package to carry on the train, I also think you're very lucky to travel on a train everyday!That's not such an easy thing around here, although they are trying!

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    1. Thank you, Karen. I feel blessed to have the train because that means I don't have to drive!

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  4. You are crazy! But I love your little bears. I have attempted small things but find it hard to hold and see! You have inspired me to try again. Love the pink one with the 'hair'.

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    1. Yes, totally crazy. I'm not even saying "Never again!" this time. The tiny arms are a pain, but the rest of the project was fun. And you should have seen the looks I got on the train while making this little gal. But then again, maybe they were looking at that tiny hook as a potential weapon with all the bumps...

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  5. "Portable bear factory" is a WONDERFUL phrase. And congratulations on finishing your skirt.

    Of all these amazing shots, Hanging by a Thread is my favourite.

    Anyone can pursue "faster, higher, stronger". It takes a Snowcatcher to achieve "tinier, harder, cuter". :)

    P.S. Please tell me there's no such thing as #100 thread....

    P.P.S. Love the J.C. Penney price sticker on that last ball. 29 cents!

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    1. Thank you, Sue! I think I have a new motto: "Tinier, harder, cuter!"

      Wish I could still pick up crochet thread that cheap!

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  6. Oh, my gosh! No WAY could I do something that small! You are incredible! I love the pictures of the bears doing things...particularly they one where they are lined up on the rock up on the mountain like they just finished a 'challenge' climb! Now then, did I miss the pictures of the real bears????

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    1. Thanks, Marigold. You do know you're inspiring me to try a goat one day, don't you?

      Yes, you missed the real bear. He/She is here. The next day's Friday Funny is the cutest little goat ever!!!

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  7. Those as so cool. They would make a perfect gift for a granddaughter of which we have 11. If you ever decide to sell some let us know.

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  8. you are an amazing woman. How on earth can you do this. I have done small things to dolls houses, but nothing like this. They are so gorgeous.

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  9. Wow they are so cute and awesome! You must have a whole lot of patience :)

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  10. Having problems lately leaving a comment..I am sure it is my fault.
    You amaze me with your crocheting genius as well as your riding ability and your courage.

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  11. Ok. You just blew my socks off. I started reading and was all ready to write a comment about how your bears remind me of the wonderful bears my grandmother used to crochet (which were much less detailed than yours, by the way). But then your bear post took me on an unexpected odyssey. I am just astounded by your super tiny bears! Wow and yay for taking on such an awesome Ravellenics challenge!

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  12. I am consistently awed by how your art develops over time. You are truly a creative person. Keep playing.

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