Saturday, November 29, 2014

FO: Burton Bear for Nora

If you've been on facebook lately, no doubt one of your non-knitting friends with kids has posted the chunky animals cowls by Velvet Acorn Designs. Burton Bear and Failynn Fox are the two most popular. And, at least on my feed, it seemed like everyone was gushing over them, and begging the knitters they knew to make one.

While Nora's Daddy wasn't one of those people, I knew it'd be perfect for Nora. I went with Burton Bear, because I didn't have the colours for the fox, but I was pretty sure I had some chunky pink yarn that would work for Burton. (Pink bear? Why not!)

So I bought the pattern, only to discover it calls for super bulky! I toyed briefly with the idea of buying something, but I really wanted to use my stash if I could. So, I went up to check out what I had.

The chunky yarn I was thinking of was some Bernat Alpaca I'd bought eons ago. It was in a sale bin at Walmart, $1 a ball. I'd bought 10 with the intention of mixing it with some other novelty yarns in an afghan. And naturally, I never got around to it.

So earlier this week, I gave it another look and decided that if I doubled it, it should approximate something reasonably close to a super bulky
It worked out pretty well. The cowl knit up crazy fast - I did it over three evenings, but were I to sit down and work on it non stop, I'd estimate about hours for the total project.
The yarn is 70% alpaca and 30% acrylic so it's going to be nice and warm. The alpaca gives it a lovely halo. Though it was a bit of a pain to knit it doubled on such big needles.

I have my reservations about how well it's going to fit. It fits my head, so it won't be too small there; it's the shoulder area I'm worried about. Were I to make it again, I'd do a bigger cast on, then decrease more for the hood. The model in the pattern isn't wearing it with a coat. With one, I don't think it will fit over the shoulders. Worn underneath, I think it will be too bulky and uncomfortable. But we'll have to see when Nora tries it on. Her Daddy just hopes that it's a hat that she'll actually want to keep on.

I do have a couple small complaints about the pattern itself. It's another one of those pattern that, in order to change pattern size, you change needle size. This drives me crazy. What if you don't like the fabric that the larger, or smaller needle gives you? Then you have to make a billion adjustments to get the size you need.

Also, while this pattern gives a gauge, it's only for stitch count (no row count), only over one inch, and it doesn't specify for which size (critical in this case, since the sizes use different needles.)

I did whip up another pair of mittens to go with this cowl
 And yes... I crocheted another chain... and it's no prettier than the first...


kathy b said...

Glad you mentioned the pattern issues. I need all the help I can get. I love the finish and mittens....

Araignee said...

My sister dropped lots of hints to make her granddaughter a knitted fox hat but I declined as nicely as I could because knitting for someone who you don't ever see is impossible. I have no idea what size that baby is and measurements and me have a history and it's not pretty. I also noticed that the designer's hat was adorable but all the projects on Ravelry looked pretty crappy on real kids and not a model that was probably pinned into the hat for a prefect fit.
Your hat is adorable and the matching mittens are precious.

Anonymous said...

Nora is going to look adorable in her pink bear hat.