Hat with bear ears

After buying the lavender yarn, I thought of making Lee Bay another sweater. I was planning to make the bottom edge ribbed, and give stockinette stitch another try. I wondered if I should make it a hoodie, but then decided to make the hat separate, and that’s what I ended up making. It took me at least four tries before I got it to work.

The hat does make him top heavy.

He looks so adorable with the big ears! The hat makes him top heavy, so he falls over easily when wearing it. 😀

I first made the ears, by making a smaller version of the ears in this pattern. Then I was inspired to make the hooded part by this pattern for a hooded scarf with cat ears. Since Lee Bay’s ears are on the top of his head, I needed to make room for them in the hat. Otherwise, it would just look lumpy. That’s when I looked up how to make holes in knitting, and came across vertical button holes. That was just what I needed!

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Lee Bay is all snug and warm now, except for his bottom. His shape isn’t quite right for pants. Maybe the next thing I should knit for him is a onesie? 😛

It took me a few tries before I got an adequate number of decreases, so that the hat fit around his ears without extra bulk. Even though it was advised to use the tails to reinforce the button hole, I ended up not doing that, because it made the hole too tight for his ear. Besides, I wasn’t going to actually use it for a button, so it wasn’t going to be subjected to lots of wear. The hole also became tighter after I sewed the ears on.

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The ears often like to get pointy on their own, giving him cat ears (or horns). 😛

Lastly, I used mattress stitch to sew both halves of the hat together. It is a bit snug, so if I were to make another one for Lee Bay, I would add another stitch to both halves.

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There is a visible line where I had taken it apart but put the stitches back on the needle in the wrong orientation. I’m learning.

I had actually finished making this three weeks ago, but for the past two weeks I have been extremely tired, which is why I haven’t gotten around to posting this until now.

My Second Knit Project: Stuffed Animal Vest

For my second knitting project, I decided to make a vest for my dear old plush bear, Lee Bay. I chose a vest because Lee Bay has stubby little arms that don’t really need sleeves.

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I started by casting on 30 stitches and making a rectangle for the backside of the vest. Since Lee Bay is proportioned like a gummy bear, his backside requires more material to cover than his front.

To make the front, I started with the right (his left) side. I cast on 14 stitches and decreased them as I went up to make room for his arm. On my first try, I forgot to add the button hole, inadvertently making Lee Bay a she-bear. (I’ve always thought of Lee Bay as a he, but have been uncertain about it in recent years. I’m being silly.) I ended up redoing it because even though garter stitch doesn’t have a “wrong” side, it wasn’t until afterward that I noticed that the cast on stitches looked better from one side than the other.

I didn’t watch this whole video on knitting a baby peacoat, but from the parts I saw, I was introduced to casting on additional stitches after starting the project, which is what I did for making the parts that go over his arms.

I decided to use another one of those wooden beads for the button, since it really doesn’t matter how secure the button is in this case. I learned how to knit a one row button hole from this video. I had to experiment several times to get the correct hole size, because the hole got wider as I made subsequent rows. (When I first completed it, the yarn above was still tightly wound around the needle, but after adding more rows, the fabric could stretch.) Consequently, I had to decrease the size of the hole, so that it wouldn’t be too loose for the bead.

For the left side, I did the opposite of what I had done for the right side. Then I sewed all three pieces together. I didn’t realize how much stretch the knit fabric would have, so if I were to make something like this again, I would cast on fewer stitches, since this vest doesn’t fit as snugly as I had hoped, but it’s good enough.

My favorite inanimate object

You may have seen pictures of Lee Bay on my blog before, but I have never actually introduced him, so now I will.

Meet Lee Bay!

I thought he looked very happy at the moment, so I took this photo.

Lee Bay is a 29-year-old plush bear that I love dearly. Please don’t ask me what his name means because I have no idea what my 3-year-old mind was thinking at the time. I also am not sure why he has always been a he-bear in my mind. To my amusement, last summer I learned that there is actually a place named Lee Bay!

My mom bought him at TG&Y for my sister, right around Easter of 1985, who later reluctantly ceded him to me. When I say Lee Bay is 29 years old, I mean that we’ve had him for that long. I don’t know how old he really is, but he definitely is older than I. Never did my mom imagine that this $2.99 plush bear would mean so much to me.


Pictures of Lee Bay from when he was new.

Although his fur has faded and fallen out in some areas, and the piece of felt that is his tongue became elongated (it fell off once and my sister stitched it back on), I think he is in pretty good condition for a stuffed animal his age (that children played with regularly).

Out of all inanimate objects, Lee Bay is my favorite. I don’t believe I will be able to find a replica, so he can’t easily be replaced. Unfortunately, the words on his tag have come off a long time ago, so I don’t have any information about him. All I know is that he was made in Korea. I am curious about the person who designed this bear. How did the designer come up with that face that draws me to him?

Unlike other toys that I eventually grew tired of, Lee Bay always looks fresh to me everyday. He stays on my bed, and I hug him and talk to him (even though he can’t respond). But he’s there for me when I am alone and feeling sad at night, so he is a good friend.

Lee Bay retouched.

Originally posted on Xanga 7/7/2011 at 4:30 PM