Piotr the Polar Bear

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Here’s the little fella that got me into crochet in the first place…

What an innocent little face! This is Piotr the polar bear, from Edward’s Menagerie, a really excellent book from Toft. There are lots of animals in the book, and as I flicked through it there were so many that I wanted to make, but I decided to go for Piotr (not least because I had a couple of balls of this cream Blue Faced Leicester, which seemed ideal). I’d never done any crochet before, and there was some extreme frustration as I tried to DC6 into a ring… Not frustration because of the book, the instructions are very clear, but because I am inept.

Once I’d got into it though, it all made a lot of sense. You could probably follow the trajectory of my improvement pretty accurately if you studied Piotr carefully enough (which of course I won’t let anyone do). His body is much too big, partly because I found counting confusing, and partly because I overstuffed him. Thankfully the cream wool means the stuffing poking through his belly isn’t quite as obvious as it would be if he were a wolf or an elephant!

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His legs were all different lengths, but that was easily rectified. I left the head and ears until last, so I think they’re relatively even. The book has some helpful tips for putting the facial features on, including examples of when it all goes a little bit wrong (leading too poor Piotr looking sleepy or startled!), which was good for me because I’m hopeless at working out what’s wrong with things like that.

I’m not too sure what to do with little Piotr, so at the moment he’s sat on our bookshelf. I’d feel a bit bad giving him to someone, so maybe I’ll keep him as a reminder of the start of my crochet habit… What do you do with things you’re not totally happy with, but can’t bear to throw away?

My next victim will be Bridget the elephant! This caused a surprising amount of controversy at our Thursday night knitting and crochet club – apparently some people refuse to believe that an elephant can be a girl. Nevertheless, here she is in her partial state.

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Tell me, do you believe in lady-elephants? Are there some (cuddly) animals that just can’t be girls?

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