Who doesn’t love Winnie-the-Pooh? I mean, just look at him……
He’s adorable. And the fact that I’m roughly shaped like him makes me love him all the more.
Some of my earliest memories are of Winnie-the-Pooh. My room as a baby through age 6 was done entirely of Winnie-the-Pooh (at which time it switched to Strawberry Shortcake). And when I became a mother myself, I decorated my daughter’s room in a Pooh theme. Pooh and gang have always been some of my all time favorite characters.
When the film “Christopher Robin” came out this summer about the grown up companion to Pooh bear, it seemed like there was a resurgence in all things Hundred Acres Wood: My daughter dug out my old Eeyore toys, and suddenly the tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff was on just about everything again. Excited to try my hand at making my own Pooh and friends set, I bought some patterns from my favorite place on earth…Etsy. However, I got into other projects and my poor Pooh team had to wait.
Right before Labor Day, I received a custom order for a large Winnie the Pooh and a miniature version. Knowing that we were going away for the weekend, I thought this would be the perfect project to take along with me. My husband and daughter would be down at the pool (I don’t usually get into a swimsuit), so I would have plenty of time to work. I could knock this out in a long weekend. Oh sweet summer child……
Fast forward to 10 days, two skeins of yarn, five reworks, and many tears shed later and I finally was able to finish Pooh, who I believe is my largest Luvvie to date. So what were the issues? Why did I almost quit at least five times a day? A lot of it came down to the pattern…and some of it my own interpretations and insecurities.
As I just wrote about before I started work on Pooh, having a great pattern is key to crochet success. However, because I know what should be done but am not the greatest at taking my own advice, I was in the hole from the beginning. Well, not from the absolute beginning.
In the start, things were fairly straightforward: Make the ears (basic increasing and decreasing in the round – check); make the arms (more basic increasing and decreasing in the round – check, check); make the legs (more of the same….this is going to be easy-peasy – check, check, check).
And then all progress promptly ground to a screeching halt.
When it came to starting on the body, I actually was okay – again basic increasing in the round, but then it came time to attach the legs – unlike most amigurumi where the limbs are attached by sewing after the fact, this piece has everything joined by crochet. I’ve joined pieces by crochet before, so it isn’t that unfamiliar a technique, but the way she wanted the pieces attached was just bizarre. There were chain spaces and skipped stitches and going back to pick up skipped loops from previous rounds. The first time I attached the legs, the one I attached on the wrong side and the other was backwards – it was not my finest moment.
And though I crochet to help me with anxiety and depression, there are two other things that crochet doesn’t always help me with, and that is perfectionist tendencies and being quick to anger (especially with myself when I don’t understand something). And this was definitely something that I wasn’t understanding and that I wanted to be perfect because it is an iconic character.
Even looking at this (because of my perfectionist tendencies) I can see where some of the rounds didn’t quite line up right.
There were many stages along the way that I ripped out large sections of my progress and started again…and again…and again.
Even as I got further along in the project, there were many times I was ready to scrap the whole thing and start over – or to email the customer and say this was just beyond my capabilities at this level of my crochet career. Surprisingly (for me), I didn’t do either. I just kept plugging along; until finally:
I had a Pooh (adjacent) bear. He’s not as tubby as he probably could have been (I was afraid to overstuff and have the filling peeking through the stitches), and his muzzle got a little pinched and wonky (again I got a little confused with the pattern and no redoing was going to help), but I can look at him and see a bear that resembles Pooh. Of course things got a little bit better after he got his sweater (the first ever sweater I’ve made, and it was for a bear):
All in all, he’s not bad. I can look at him and still see some of the imperfections, but I can also see Winnie the Pooh. I’ve learned a lot from using this pattern, and if and when I make Pooh again, I can use this to make him even better. Hopefully, I won’t have quite so many tears the next time around.
But he still made me smile in the end.
Hugs and cuddles,