Sunday, 2 January 2011

Old Bear

At 5.30 yesterday morning when our granddaughter woke it was far too early to do anything but to gather her into our bed and hope she would go back to sleep.  She had another idea and despite dummy and 'bannet'  she sat up and demanded grandpa's teddy.  I have no resistance at such an early hour and didn't really think about how worn and fragile a 60 year old bear is and it was not till we decided it was time to sit up and read Each Peach Pear Plum that I realised that poor ted's paws were so worn that his stuffing was leaking out with each hug.

So over the last couple of days teddy has been undergoing a makeover.

Firstly he had new soft leather palms and soles of the feet covering up the old cracked oiled cotton

Then JTH and I discussed teddy's eyes.  Should he have new shiny glass eyes like the eyes he had when he was new or just buttons to emphasise that this was conservation not restoration?  JTH, already unsure about my conservation work - was it right to have new paws?  vetoed new eyes and I'm inclined to agree

Bear has never worn clothes.  But GD likes to undress her toys and so I knitted a cardigan and scarf.  It was fun making up the pattern as I knitted. 

One of the things I like to do when I knit  is to have as few sewn seams as possible.  Instead of casting off the fronts and back I grafted the shoulder seams and left the neck stitches on a stitch holder before knitting the three rows garterstitch for the neck band.  I picked up the sleeves at the shoulder, knitting two rows of garter stitch to give the sleeves a hand grafted look and decreased down to the garter stitch cuffs.

After some debate I decided to use odd buttons in roughly the same colour as the little scarf.

He normally sits in safety on my jewelry box on top of my dressing table but for the time being he has been installed on the little apprentice piece chair in the sitting room


Anonymous said...

Now he is a beloved bear, taken care of so kindly

Florrie said...

Sweet little bear, comfortably worn out and squashed from all the cuddles he must have enjoyed from his the hand knitted outfit.

Happy New Year to you and your family.
florrie x

Little Blue Mouse said...

You've done a great job of his restoration and I love his cardigan and scarf. Having no eyes is a bit spooky for me, but if your grand daughter has never known him with eyes I can see her point.

Anonymous said...

No eyes! Oh man, I am not keen on the no eyes. It's Caron, btw; I have trouble with my google account

Catherine said...

Thank you for your lovely comments. I'm rethinking the eyes. But I need a solution that won't be swallowed. So either I have to find a way of sewing buttons on so they never come off or perhaps some embroidery

emmawindsor said...

You are very talented especially making up your own clothes patterns. I too hate the sewing up.

Pen Pen said...

What a treasure!!! I love his new cardigan and scarf. And I love him WITHOUT eyes... so precious!

Modisch Schreibt said...

I know this is nothing in relation to your post, but the cross stitch chair that the bear is sitting on it beautiful. I am so interested in the history/story behind it (if you know it!)

Catherine said...

Hi Modisch- The chair is what is called an apprentice piece, made by an apprentice chair maker and wood carver as his final graduation piece. I think it was made in the 1920s.

The man who carved it worked for my father-in-law. In my Tools of the Trade post I mentioned a little about my in-law's furniture making connections. The chair was given to my father-in-law when he retired over 30 years ago. My mother-in-law made the needlepoint covers and the chair used to sit in the corner of their sitting room.

My children loved to sit in the little chair when they were small and now my grand daughter does!

x C