Wednesday, 17 April 2013

He is Not a Tame Bear

Last week I shared my Bad Bear family with you. The final addition to the dysfunctional bunch is a bear called Theobold. I had the idea to make a BB in a larger size. I had been knitting the tea cosies for some time and I also had been experimenting with other patterns. So I thought, rather than make a larger version out of felt I would have a go at knitting one.

As with SomeBunny, I adapted a knitting pattern for a small basic doll. I made the arms and legs thicker and a little longer. I made up a pattern for his ears and knit everything except his face and his paws using one strand of normal wool and one strand of the textured hairy wool I had also used for the Snugs. This turned out to be a really good rendering of a teddy bears fur and helped to make him soft and appealing.

When the bear’s body was knitted, stuffed and sewn, I had before me, a prepared blank canvas to transform into the personality and characteristics of the Bad Bear family lineage. When I set out to make him I was determined to make a mean bear, a real curmudgeon if ever there was one. But when I saw the finished form, all plump and furry with long dangling limbs and pointy ears, I began to have second thoughts. Wouldn’t it be nicer to have a good bear, a friendly bear or a wholesome bear?? Was it time to put these so-called BAD bears aside and embrace something more positive?

Well, the answer is clearly NO! I decided there were plenty of ‘good’ bears out there and I wanted to finish what I had started by creating a soft toy that wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

To me, Theobold seems to be a young Bad Bear. He is still a little fresh-faced. He is lacking any physical scars or patching up that is evident on some of the other bears’ faces and bodies. He has two button eyes, one bigger than the other to show he is a bit off-beat. He has a crooked mouth full of pointy teeth and flushed red cheeks that show he has just been up to no good. He has a furrowed brow that is contemplating his next move but I don’t think he is always a big thinker. I think he is more impulsive and spontaneous than some of the big-wigs in the Bad Bear crew; think henchman rather Don.

 Even with all his misgivings I still think he is pretty cute. If you were playing a game of cops and robbers I think he would make an excellent villain or if you were going on a mysterious journey he could turn up as the lovable rogue turned back-stabbing pirate. At the end of the day, I think you could give him a hug but he might forget himself and try to bite you. Life is full of complexity after all.

So here he is; raucous and belligerent, wild and wilful, an unbearably BAD bear. I don’t think he does his homework, I don’t think he does what he is told and he is very, very unreasonable. If your child picked him up somewhere and he has come into your home, I would say watch out for this mischievous mite. The next time you find your favourite vase smashed on the ground and your child says with big innocent eyes “Theobold did it!” trust those eyes. There is no knowing what he will be up to next.     

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