April 18, 2016

Iorek the Polar Bear

As I mentioned before, for my birthday a friend gifted me some yarn from her stash. I actually love to see what yarn others have collected, as it is a sign of their own tastes.

Two of the four skeins she gave me are Araucania brand yarn in Nature Cotton in white. The yarn of course has since been discontinued, but it is a really nice cotton yarn that is super soft. It is classified as bulky, but as bulky yarns have become super popular lately, that classification is not really super helpful anymore as anything from a little thicker than worsted to something the thickness of rope can fall into the bulky category. It is somewhat smooth, but has a hand spun look to it with variations in thickness. Those variations are really disparate, being super thin at some times and puffy at others. Made for an interesting time while working up the rounds, and I am hoping he ends up looking a bit rough... more bear like I guess.
some bits thin, some pretty loose
For some reason I looked at it and thought polar bear and set out to find a pattern for one I liked.
I decided to go with Leopold, the Polar bear by Amourfou. I just really liked his bowling pin shape, super cute ears, and off center nose. The pattern does not specify how much yarn he takes to make, but I'm just going to go for it and hope I have enough. Also, I decided to make mine a little larger than hers, since she used worsted and a 3mm hook and I am going to go with my bulky yarn and a I/5.5mm hook.

I started with the body to see how the yarn would look in a large area and see how it worked up. It was a bit tricky and the shape isn't as perfect as it would be if the yarn was a consistent thickness, but I thought it looked pretty good. Some places where it thinned, there is a larger gap in the fabric than there might otherwise be, but yeah, cute.

Since the body is still open once you complete the legs I was able to then make the snout, stuff the body, sew it on, and place the safety eyes, making sure that it was centered to the legs. I like the way the legs are finished, with a disk and sc around, as it lets him stand a bit easier on his own, but I think I might have made them a bit longer so they are more pronounced. As it is, they kind of blend into his bowling ball shape, but that's part of what makes him so cute.

he has legs there at the bottom, hard to tell though.
The arms were a cinch and I set them a bit low just like shown. Love how cute it makes him.

I worked up a simple scarf with some leftover blue acrylic yarn. I gave it a tiny bit of texture with two ribs, and then added a fringe at each end. Once I actually got it around his neck, I realized it was pretty short to do any cool ties or anything, so I just knotted it for the photos. If you are wanting to make one and do cool scarf knots, I would recommend making it doubly long and perhaps use baby weight yarn and a 4mm hook.

Double Ribbed Scarf (for toys) (with 5mm hook, worsted weight acrylic yarn)
Chain 100+1 to turn,
R1. Work 100 sc along length, ch 1 and turn.
R2. Work 100 slip stitch along, ch 1 and turn.
R3. same as r1
R4. same as r2
R5. same as r1, bind off
Cut small strips and loop through ends to make fringe.

Personally, I felt that just making a polar bear was pretty boring. So my sister in law had a good idea: make it an armored polar bear! Hence his name, Iorek, named after the armored bear in the book the Golden Compass. Next week I'll show you his armor.

Iorek took about 6 hours to make, stuff and assemble. Scarf another hour and a half.
Size: About 10" tall
Difficulty: Easy