It was too perfect to resist when I found this beautiful, heirloom-quality bear pattern on ravelry and it was called Owen. I had to make one. It was going to be a birthday present, then a Christmas present, and wound up being a after-new year’s present, but Owen didn’t mind my tardiness.
The pattern, written by Jane Watling, can be purchased here if you have an account on ravelry.com. Which is free, btw, if you don’t. The pattern is amazing, very well-written, and still hard. It requires a lot of attention. The method for joining the limbs, which are fully movable, is genius but very fiddly. I have already promised to make another of these for Owen’s best little friend, otherwise I might not rush back into this so quickly. The second one should be easier, though, on account of the yarn.
Boucle is a huge pain in the buns. I will absolutely admit that it looks great, but I’m not going near it again for a long time. It kept getting caught in my needles. Actually, only one of my yarns was boucle (I can’t find the special character for the e, there. You’ll have to use your imagination.). I used Garnstudios DROPS Alpaca Boucle, held with a strand of Knit Picks Palette. His palms and the bottoms of his feet are 2 strands of Palette.
The arms are joined using buttons, and I decided to use some from my Great-Grandmother’s button collection, which is housed in a giant, 5lb marshmallow tin at my mother’s house. (Why do marshmallows not come in 5lb tins anymore? I would buy that.) You can’t see the buttons, but I like knowing they’re there.
One piece of advice, if anyone wants to attempt one of these bears: make sure to really stuff the body well. I wanted his head and body to be squishy and cuddly, so I didn’t stuff them very firmly. I only realized my mistake when I was sewing on his legs. Without a firm body, his limbs are all loose and swing around. He can only sit up if I arrange him very carefully. Otherwise, he folds up and falls over. Just something to keep in mind.
Owen, my Owen, isn’t hugely attached to his bear, at least yet. He would rather read a book or drive a truck across the floor. (He said “tuck” for truck for the first time today, so exciting!) But I’m sure the bear will be very loved in the years to come.
Edit: Jane Watling, who wrote the pattern for this bear, has passed away, and her pattern seems to have gone with her. It is no longer available for purchase, though many folks still seem to want it. So, I am maybe violating copyright law and posting it here. If that strikes anyone as particularly wrong or illegal, let me know and I’ll take it down, but I’m wagering that no one will care much. Jane still gets all the credit, as it is her pattern, but I think it’s too nice not to be used anymore. *shrug* Anyway, here it is: