Knitting with Trepidation

A couple weeks ago I was lamenting to T that my blog was in bad need of an overhaul. (Not that I even blog that much anymore … but maybe if I had a new site I would??) Half-jokingly, T suggested I rename my blog “Knitting with Trepidation.” And I think that pretty much sums it up. I’ve been knitting for a few years now (I learned to knit when I was 11 (thanks, Gramma!) and then picked up the needles and re-learned when I was 21 and living in Seattle (alone), but it’s only been in the past couple years or so that I really got serious (obsessed?) about it.), but I still consider myself a beginner. Or maybe an experienced beginner. Sure, I’ve done cables and stripes and entrelac and I’ve even knit a few sweaters, but I haven’t learned any new techniques in a while. I tried to teach myself the provisional cast-on last week and failed miserably – luckily I realized my project didn’t really require it, fair isle scares me, and I still end up frogging almost all my projects to get finally them right. Now, granted, there are valuable lessons to be learned there and I take a lot of pride in being able to fix my own mistakes, but I wish I could just get through a friggin project without ripping it all out first.

Even a small project, like maybe a Baby Bobbi Bear!?!

But, no. Not this time.

I started knitting this little guy a couple weeks ago, and I had knit up to the middle of his head before I realized my fabric was just way too loose for a stuffed animal.

(I weighed him because I wanted to see how much I had knit, and whether I could just start knitting anew from the loose end of the ball (left) instead of having to unravel the whole thing right then and there. Looking back, I wish I had just frogged him (would’ve been less messy later on), but at this point, I couldn’t bear the thought of doing that just yet.)

So how did this happen? I hadn’t swatched (tsk, tsk) and just went by the suggested needle size on the label. (When am I going to learn that I knit loosely as it is?? I always have issues with things being too big.) So there were large, gaping holes in the head from the increases. My worst fear was that my friend’s baby would stick his fingers into one of those holes and start eating the stuffing! So, I frogged and re-knit on smaller needles (see how much better the leg on the right looks?).

Everything was going fine until I got to the head again. I had originally done the increases as described in the pattern, but the resulting holes were ginormous, so I decided to increase the Elizabeth Zimmerman way (see M1A and M1T). I’ve been increasing like this for a couple of years now, and I’ve used these increases on ALL the raglan sweaters I’ve ever knit, but for some reason, this time, I couldn’t get the twisting right. I kept doing it backwards.

I knit the head no less than FIVE TIMES before I finally got it down.

I eventually employed some pretty stitch markers to help guide — and distract — me.

And wouldn’t you know, I finally got them right by not thinking about it. I just sat back and let my hands work. Kinda amazing.

I hope I’m not making this pattern sound more difficult than it is, because it really is craftily constructed so there’s minimal finishing, but I’m just a little thick sometimes. 🙂 Also, I realize this is just a stuffed animal, so one may wonder why I care so much, but I guess I dream that this may become the child’s favorite toy, and I really do want it to outlast the child’s favor for it.

I wish I could post some FO pics, but I’m not finished yet (just have to knit up the ears and sew on the face). And I realized this morning that I have misplaced that last little nubbin of yarn (!!!), so I’ll have to run out to JoAnn to get more. I’ll update the post when I have some more pics.

ETA: Bobbi Bear is done!

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