Greetings, this page is about creatures, those that we want to hug and others that scare us!
My friend, GeorgiaBear, introduced me to the bear world. My niece, Eileen, introduced me to the world of dolls. After attending bear and dolls shows with my niece and enjoying GeorgiaBear's huge collection of bears, I collected a few miniature bears and dolls at the shows. I started a subscription with Bears and Friends magazine and I was snared! I wanted to make my own bears.
One issue of Bears and Friends included a crocheted bear how-to pattern by Berta Hesen-Minten. I made three bears using her pattern, all with various thread and yarn fibers. Binkie is 4 1/2" tall made of rayon yarn, Lola is 5" of a mixed synthetic yarn and Bright Eyes is 3" made of Jean Stitch and Fine Metallics thread. Although I used the same pattern for them, they all look different. Bright Eyes is not finished and you can see the basics pattern a little easier. The other two have face changes, their feet are larger than the pattern and lots of other differences that just happened as I went along.
Binkie is the mauve bear. Lola is the turquoise and pink bear. Bright Eyes is all turquoise.
From my own pattern, I made Reggie, a 6" bear of variegated brown/gold/rose mohair and fancy fibers. I crocheted the face with a fuzzy YLI Monet thread. I used another darker colored Monet thread for the paws and feet. The paws took a lot of time because I crocheted the palms and all the digits individually. I made this a very happy bear with an open mouth and big wide eyes with huge eyebrows. How do you like Reggie?
I made my 4th bear with a thick bulky variegated yarn and carried a thinner matching yarn along with it. The bulky yarn was very difficult to make a bear so small, 8 1/2;" it actually should be used to make a much larger bear to get the proper scale. I like to experiment so I did not really care if I was working to scale or not. I used the thinner yarn for the inside of the ears and a matching mohair for the hair. I used Monet thread worked for the paws and it was difficult to make them because I was working from very thick yarn to thin thread. I placed Wilbur, The Egg Warmer, in a sitting position. I found a nest I had crocheted a while back and set it on Wilbur. Next I crocheted a large egg of mohair and put it in the nest. Wilbur is looking at his little black bear friend, who is the egg timer. I purchased the little black bear, Eggbert, at a bear and doll show. Check Wilbur out!
You will find several websites for thread crocheted bears and patterns. Search the internet using the words "thread bears", "crocheted teddy bears, " "crocheted miniature bears" and you will find many links and web rings. These websites often include other creatures in addition to bears. Also check eBay for bears, patterns and other critters. One of my viewers has been emailing me and also has a bear website. I went back through my email and tried to find it with no luck. When she sends me her website again, I will include it.
Here are four excellent websites:
Berta Hesen-Minten, bears and patterns, www.threadteds.com.
Edith Molina's bear patterns, www.angelfire.com/stars5/threadbears/
Shelley K. Bossert bears, http://www.ursaminorminiatures.com/Thread.html
Noreen Crone-Findlay bear patterns, http://www.crone-findlay.com/crochetedteddybears.html
All these bears were a learning experience and I quickly decided I wanted to create more complex figures with real pizzazz. Wo-Wo-Wo-Wanda, my werewolf girl, was my next experiment.
I started with the head. First I crocheted with rayon eyelash and begin to create a round form, not knowing exactly what was going to evolve. The head took on a wolf face and I soon realized it would be a werewolf head. I used an articulated body frame, wrapped it with a ribbon fabric and stitched the edges together. Then I begin crocheting and covering the body with a combination of mohair and rayon eyelash. I made a bust and rear end, stuffed them and covered them with mohair. Wanda slowly began to materialize before my eyes. She is 12" high. I still had the eyes and mouth to complete plus paws. I crocheted over the appendages with Monet thread and then used gold filled wire to make the claws. I visited my local bead store, found lip charms and one of them worked perfect. I stitched on two red glass leaves for the eyes and Wanda appeared. I also covered a metal stand and embellished it so it looks like a habitat behind Wanda. The glass leaf eyes were perfect. The lips make her humorous and the eyes make her a little scary. I am very pleased with my creation. She looks like she is alive and moving. I want to make more furry creatures using articulated frames. Wanda can be posed in various positions on her habitat stand and also posed in sitting positions with out the stand.
You have to admit, she is wonderful!
I have made a variety of dolls and figures since I was a small child. We did not always have money to buy dolls, so I made them myself.
crocheted Lulu, 3 1/2" tall, from vintage French
metallic wire. Lulu has a pin back so I can wear her. I added some
15/0 beads for her hair and two for her eyes. Since the color matches
the metallic wire, you can't really see them unless you are holding the figure.
She could be whatever you want her to be, just a tiny little female figure or a
goddess. I made her body first, then the head, legs, arms and boobs and stitched them all together. I
made her while I was at a thread
show in Atlanta, Georgia.
Crochet Carmen, "CC," started with Teresa's hand painted, fabric stitched figure. She was already stuffed and would be considered a figure blank because she had no features or embellishment. She is painted in yellows and reds. I had her sitting around for 2 years before I had an idea of how to embellish her. I used one of my mother's old crocheted motifs and another vintage crocheted piece I received at one of my fiber organization meetings to dress her. I painted her face and then did not like the way it looked, so my mother's motif went over her face. I liked the results. These pieces are crocheted in a natural crochet thread, size 10. I used some variegated wool yarn in circular forms to stitch onto her and crocheted her some hair with it and another fancy yarn. I had a kitty button and put it next to her face with a miniature doily underneath so she looks like she is sitting on Carmen's shoulder. Beads were added for embellishment. Carmen originally was not posed. I put her in a sitting position so I could put a little crocheted floral basket in her lap and attach crochet motifs to the other hand. Carmen is 12" tall when laid flat. She did not like a lot of the little doodads I put on her, and they would drop off before I could sew them down; eventually I mad several crocheted circular motifs and she liked them. I added some tiny yarn balls to her basket and made a shawl out of the same fiber as her hair. Crochet Carmen allowed me to add a little beading but prefers to be embellished primarily with fiber.
Mermaids - Kathlyn Moss and I have traded dolls for years now. I send her something I made and she sends me one of her creations. Recently, she sent me a two-sided paperdoll mermaid. A different mermaid is on each side. I love mermaids and I have her hanging around in my workroom along with the other paperdoll she sent me. They are made with a heavy card stock, hand painted, and have moveable arms and fin. It is such fun to trade because neither of use have a time frame to giving to each other. I cherish our friendship.
There is a joy in making these creatures and a real a pleasure seeing them evolve. A part of one's childhood comes to the forefront, with remembrances of stories that made us happy and those that scared us. Catching a bid of childhood is a renewal of life.
See you next time at my Creature Corner