29 August 2013

The End of the Skein

Spare Parts Bear

I've been making bears (mostly from leftovers) since October 2008. As I tried to use up some of the worsted weight yarn I've had in storage for years, I occasionally would start a bear and run out of yarn before I finished. A lot of my yarn is so outdated, I can't match it at all anymore. I wound up with a bunch of spare parts by Christmas of 2008 and wasn't quite sure what to do with them until the Bargain Basement Bear Challenge was announced in 2009.

This was my entry (which garnered an honorable mention) in that contest, which challenged fiber artists to create a bear with only what they could find already in their stash, no new materials allowed.

My Spare Parts Bear was made from white yarn left over from a sweater I knitted right after the 2002 Olympics, inspired by the snowflake design in that year's logo. The peach and purple yarn were left over from an afghan I made in 1998. The blue was left over from a baby blanket I made in the early 1990s. The yellow was left over from hair for a doll I made in the mid-1980s. The seriously old-fashioned "ocean mist" green was left over from a vest I made in the early 1980s.

The glow-in-the-dark pony bead eyes were left over from a 1998 trip to Alaska with my kids, who fell in love with beaded Inuit T-shirts I could not afford. I bought bargain Alaska T-shirts from a discount store, cut several inches into the hem on each to form fringe and then taught my kids (and neices) how to string pony beads onto the fringe and tie a knot. The finished project was every bit as good as the expensive shirts I couldn't afford, and the beads glowed in the dark, to boot!

My Spare Parts Bear's bow is left over from when I could buy five spools of ribbon for $1. I can't even remember when I bought them, only that I bought 20 spools for $4, and I've been slowly whittling away at that collection all these years. (Yes, I still have a bit left!)

The stuffing is the orange-scented cotton found in chewable vitamin bottles.

This bear was fun to design, and I'm so glad I no longer have a completely full drawer of spare bear parts anymore!


  1. Nice job as you mix and match away, using all at hand, even stuffing from vitamin bottles haha

  2. Hey - I was all set to say he's adorable but I see Vicki beat me to it. :)

    He really is - and there's a charm about a multi-coloured bear that single colour bears lack.

    So fun that you remember where the yarn and beads came from - I can do that too with almost all my yarn and beads. A little trip down memory lane.

    P.S. I saw some real bears today at a small local zoo, but yours is much cuter!

  3. That bear is "to die for" cute! I cannot imagine not adding to my stash and only using what I have (which is like a small yarn store). For some reason, I need what this store or that store is selling.
    As Mrs. Micawber said, "A little trip down memory lane".....with the yarn and beads used in the multi-colored bear.
    Your bicycle miles are looking good at 1,596!!!


Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

All spam is promptly and cheerfully deleted without ever appearing in print.

If you are unable to leave a comment and need to contact me, please use the email address in the sidebar. Thank you!

Related Posts with Thumbnails