Sunday, 24 June 2012

Bear in a Sweater

I have had a small piece of old mohair for some time, I am not sure exactly what it was but there seems to have been a slight pattern to it and by the time it came to me it had some considerable wear.   Of course it suited a traditional bear and I worked out a pattern to use just about all of it, by the time it grew into a bear the pattern faded into part of the overall effect which is quite worn with some bald areas and variations in pile and shade.

I need to make a lighter bear to ease the strain of some larger firmly constructed bears I have had to work on recently so he was made alongside other work to give my hands a little break from the firmest stuffing requirements but remain productive.

I have filled him with traditional excelsior wood wool which I have left a little loose so he has a crunchy feel so characteristic of a vintage bear.  I have left his joints quite loose to avoid stressing the old fabric too much.

Now a dressed bear is something I have rarely attempted and I must at this point confess I didn't make the sweater but I had better explain why he is wearing it.

Having made this very worn looking bear I decided that he should wear some sort of clothing to help protect him in the same way that vintage bears are often given a sweater or waistcoat to cover bald patches and help prevent further wear.

My mum knitted the sweater some years ago;  I asked her for a jumper for one bear and she got rather carried away and I ended with a bag full of them, some of the colours were rather surprising; Mum's eyesight was failing but she had learned to knit without looking at the work and  many of the little sweaters still displayed her skill with cables, fancy stitches etc. When Mum passed away the bear sweaters joined various other treasures and were in danger of being hidden away  but I think it is more sensible to occasionally give one to a deserving bear, assuming I can find one to fit...  I am very sentimental about such things so it has taken a while to pluck up the courage to break into the remaining supply of jumpers.

So that is a rather long winded explanation of how the worn vintage looking bear came to be wearing a sweater, he is very much a one-off since the genuinely old and worn mohair cannot be repeated and the supply of mum's little sweaters now very limited.

I have tried to give him a dignified but friendly expression and so finally here is a picture to show that, even though he is quite soft and loosely jointed, he will stand without extra support: However, I suspect he would find this tiring for long periods unattended so prefers to sit :-)

He is available for purchase and you may e.mail me at or check my website for more information.

Washed and Brushed

Suzanne came to visit us on Saturday so the dogs had baths had their ears cleaned and were brushed and groomed.  The house and "garden" also had a thorough sort out so we would be ready to receive a guest and it seemed like a good idea to
record this brief moment of complete tidiness on film :-).

Suzanne is very good at getting dogs to pose for the camera and she persuaded Posh and Angus to sit relatively still in front of the nice spot in my yard so this is my excuse to share some of the pictures of my wonderful hairy friends.