So, here's the story...Last post I introduced Miss Elizabeth, then left you hanging. Well, here is the rest of the story. Miss Elizabeth is actually Elizabeth #2. The first Elizabeth was one of many, many bears created by my Nana. Never did I visit without seeing a cadre of bears sharing her living space. Why so many? She made some for family, some for sale, and some for charity! Occasionally grandchildren such as myself were allowed to pick out a bear or two to take home. Miss Elizabeth was one of the last two such bears I ever owned. Unfortunately, after keeping them for years and years, I succumbed to a moment of idiocy and allowed Elizabeth and her sister Zebratta to go into a yard sale. Dumb, dumb, dumb!
My sister has been claiming for years that she once wrote down the pattern as our Nana knit away on a bear. She observed each step and carefully recorded it. We had practically given up hope of this record ever resurfacing. Not long ago, however, I got a call:
"You'll never guess what I'm holding."
"No. You found it?!"
"Yes! I found the bear pattern!" Insert much squealing carrying on... Before the call was over my wonderful sister promised to recreate Elizabeth.
Miss Elizabeth's knitted pieces were all complete and ready to be assembled by the next time I saw my sister at the 2007 Pops by the Sea. (It was awesome - go next year if you get the chance. We sat in the cool shade of that big tree you can see on the right in this photo.). I got to insert the first bit of stuffing and consult on plumpness and the location of certain features. A fascinating discovery was how the pattern had evolved over the years. The bears from my sister's childhood were smaller, wore pants, and had suspenders! I suspect the growth and simplification of the pattern were a response to our Nana's advancing age. Larger is just easier to create with older hands and eyes. =-D So, we altered the pattern to reflect my childhood memories. By the end of the day, Elizabeth was ready to make the trip home. My sister gave her the first hug then handed her over. Squeeeeee!I have discovered that this Elizabeth is not shy. She has made herself right at home. Here she is mugging for the camera with one of my cats Peneenah.And here she is exploring my WIP basket. She just dove right in! After rummaging around for a while through the projects she found one that is almost done.
This scarf is the product of an experiment with stitch pattern and a killer deal on a skein of yarn at the Chain Link conference. All that is left is to find some coordinating yarn to create fringe. Luckily, cold weather is quite a ways away so I have time!
Miss Elizabeth is just the first of many bears that will be knitted. My Nana's skill, memory, and the joy she brought to others with these little bears will now go forward emerging from the needles of her granddaughter. Thank you KnitOwl for bringing the bears back to life and recreating one of my sweetest childhood memories! Love Ya!