Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


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Motley the Bear Crochet Pattern

Motley the Bear Crochet Pattern by Squirrel Picnic3Introducing Motley Bear! I made this bear for one of my dear friends who was donating her kidney to a relative. I wanted to provide her with a bear that exuded confidence while at the same time bringing a lot of colorful cheer while she was recovering. I think Mr. Motley pulls it off nicely.

This bear pattern is based on my original Sleepy Bear pattern, with one obvious difference — he’s all done up in stripes.

Motley Bear GreenA striped bear provides a great opportunity to use up some leftover yarn too. I made this green bear out of odds and ends of green yarn that I collected over the years. I even have another bear that I am crocheting as I go, adding a round at a time as I gather leftover yarn from other projects. If you start a stash-busting bear like I have, my biggest word of advice is to pin a card listing your place in the pattern to your bear each time you put him aside so you’ll know where you left off when you pick him up again.

When I work in stripes like this, I prefer to end each round by joining with a slst and then chaining 1 with the new color to start the next round. By pulling on the strand for the previous color, it creates almost perfect, non-jogging rounds. They aren’t entirely perfect though. You still end up with a noticeable seam that spirals down the back, but I always just make sure that this part is at the back when I sew on the arms and legs and face. I prefer this method because I am too lazy to fasten off one color and attach the new one in each round. If you have a different method for changing colors in a striping pattern, by all means use it… and please share it with me! I am always up for learning new techniques.

Here are some other techniques you might try:

June Gilbank of Planet June has some great video tutorials for an invisible join (the one I mentioned above that I am too lazy to do), a no-cut join, and a hybrid of the two.

Needle Noodles has a great photo tutorial for two slip-stitch methods of color changing.

Motley the Bear Crochet Pattern

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Sleepy Bear Crochet Pattern

Sleepy Bear by Squirrel PicnicI’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine. His name is Sleepy Bear.

“Hey, Sleepy Bear, wake up. There’s someone here who would like to meet you. Sleepy Bear?”

Well, you’ll have to excuse him. He’s a really sound sleeper. Since he can’t be disturbed, I’ll just tell you all about him.

I’ve been working on this pattern for almost a year now. I don’t think I’ve ever fiddled with a pattern that long! And I’ve made almost a dozen bears in the process. The first one I ever made I gave to a friend who had been hit by a car while riding his bike to work. He said the bear, which he named Buster, brought him a lot of comfort while he was recovering. I made another for my cousin’s first child and another for a friend out of yarn she had given me. The rest I plan to donate to the Children’s Hospital of Denver where they can bring some comfort to the patients.

I made Buster Bear for my friend while he was in the hospital. I made this bear with a very large head! It would become much smaller in future versions, especially once I started crocheting the head and body together.

I made Buster Bear for my friend while he was in the hospital. I made this bear with a very large head! It would become much smaller in future versions, especially once I started crocheting the head and body together.

This bear pattern is unique in one key way: the head and body are crocheted together. I have trouble sewing on heads, especially on larger animals like this one. It’s really hard to get them on perfectly straight. Do you have that trouble too? So with this pattern, you crochet the head, do a round in the front loops only to create the neck and then continue with the body. I think you’ll really like this detail.

This is the bear I made for my cousin’s first child. In addition to trying out stripes, with this bear, I wanted to try out a smaller head. It’s getting closer to what would become Sleepy Bear.

 

Another distinguishing feature of this pattern is the way the appendages are sewn on. Each includes instructions to close up the end. By crocheting the arms and legs and ears closed, you are able to sew them on through that row of single crochet loops. It’s easy! I like for my bears arms and legs to face forward when they are sitting down, so I sew the legs on at an angle on the bottom and the arms on the sides so that they point forward. I’ve included photos to show this placement in case you want to make your bear like mine, but feel free to play around with the placement to find the positioning you like best.

I hope you enjoy making a Sleepy Bear. Share photos of your bear with me at squirrelpicnic(at)gmail(dot)com, and I’ll feature them here!

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New for Sleepy Bear!

Sleepy Bear’s Naptime Accessories

Any nap just wouldn’t be complete without a nightcap and blanky.

Check out these new free crochet patterns for Sleepy Bear accessories.

Sleepy Bear's Naptime Accessories Crochet Patterns

“The Story of Sleepy Bear” by Maureen Speerly

A humble and bighearted bear experiences love and loss, but heals his broken heart through the act of giving.

Print out a copy of the story to go with your Sleepy Bear.

The Story of Sleepy Bear

Crochet Sleepy Bears to Show You Care

Join us in making Sleepy Bears for children in need this holiday season.

Sleepy Bear with Heart Pocket to Hold His Story

Sleepy Bear Crochet Pattern

Sleepy Bear Crochet Pattern by Squirrel Picnic Continue reading