Mama Bear

Mamaponcho! Is done.

Yarn Review: Cascade’s “Eco Wool” is an economical bulky weight wool that comes in many natural shades and lots of bright colors. It’s pretty straight forward wool, but it’s spun very fluffily, so I’m surprised at how soft it was. Still, I’m glad I used Cascade’s “Eco Duo” for the collar, because this stuff is super soft even on baby necks. It’s a bit hairy, but that’s alpaca for you. And I didn’t know this when I bought it, but it stripes! I did my best to use this to my advantage, putting a darker stripe near the body.

Pattern review: the “Babywearer” Pattern from Little Turtle Knits is not winning any awards for me. As an indie designer myself, I expect patterns to be a little better proofread, and nowhere near this expensive. The bit about the shoulder length was very badly written (or I’m just a moron), resulting in me having to knit most of the thing twice. However, this is the only pattern of its kind that I could find, and it includes a multitude of sizes and weights. I would only recommend you buy this if you are very comfortable using your own intuition about knitting top-down things. As a piece, it was fun to knit (even twice), since it went very fast (I would not knit one in smaller than a bulky weight unless I had to pick one project to take with me to Gilligan’s Island).

Details on the changes, if you want to make it:

  • Because I wanted the I-cord edge of the diamond to blend into the i-cord bind off at the bottom, I experimented with both and ended up changing them. I then used severe blocking to make the “point” a little more pointy; as is it would have been lopped-off looking. I believe I did the decreases as “Sl 3 wyib; K1; K2tog; K until 6 remain; SSK; K4” on the RS, then “Sl 3 wyif; P to end” on WS. The transition to bind off was awkward; i just had to mess with it ’till I got it right. But the I-cord bind off itself, as I did it, was “K3; SSK” then slide the stitches back to the other side of the needle to repeat.
  • I made the collar waaaaay wider than recommended (it needs to get a human head through, after all) and did the collar by picking out the cast on edge and knitting upward in garter stitch, decreasing on each side of each edge every other row. Bound off loosely after 10 rows. All this was with worsted weight on US 8s.
  • I did a bunch of other things – I put the opening to the pouch higher; I did way more decreases at the bottom of the pouch; I made it a little shorter than recommended so that with severe blocking and the weight of all that fabric, it would not sag to become too big. I obeyed most of the other things as far as gauge, and how to do the actual increases and decreases went. So yeah – buy the pattern if you want to make the thing, but only if you know what you’re doing.

That said, I love the product. And it was a great learning experience. When it applies, I will have to make myself one. But this one will be winging its way to Michelle as soon as I get it into the post. Thanks for letting me do this, Michelle, and being such an awesome earthy-momma role model!

Thanks to Bells the Bear for helping me model. I know Bells is a slightly awkward name. What can I say; I was young, and at the time, he had a “brother” named Jingle.

3 thoughts on “Mama Bear

  1. Gah! I was hoping this pattern would work. I’m preggers and use slings and carriers frequently and thought this would be perfect. I know I don’t have enough experience to tweak the pattern (not to mention, it’d irritate me after paying for the pattern to have to do that) based on your description. If you decide to write a pattern for a similar object, let me know, I’d be interested, your FO looks great!


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