I’m always looking for amazing patterns, and I love when I can find some feedback about a pattern before I try it. This lets me know of any possible hiccups others have found, confusing stitches or wording, and just a general idea of how a finished object will look.
So here on the blog I will be doing pattern reviews. I work with free and paid patterns, and most are found through Ravelry. I have amazing respect for every pattern designer because I know the work they put into testing and writing out patterns. So any hiccups I find in patterns are not a criticism to the designer, but more probably related to the way I prefer things to be written. I think most crochet or knit artists have a certain way they like pattern verbiage to be.
Recently I made a Paddington Bear amigurumi for my mother-in-law. She has loved this character since childhood. I thought a little Paddington would be the perfect gift.
I found a free pattern from Yellow, Pink, and Sparkly on Ravelry and decided I liked the look of this bear the best. He looks vintage to me, especially with the pointed sort of muzzle.
I ordered a heathered brown wool from Knitpicks to add to the vintage look (Briar Heathered, Wool of the Andes), and used a red cotton (Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton) for the hat and a blue acrylic for the coat (Royal, I Love This Yarn).
A few things to note about the pattern: 1) It’s written in UK terms. So double crochet (dc) is actually a single crochet (sc). 2) It is worked in joined rounds in the pattern. I decided not to join and just worked it in a spiral as I do all my amigurumi. By doing this I avoid a seam along the pieces. 3) The pattern states it is made with DK weight yarn and a 3mm and 3.5mm hook. I used worsted weight and a 3.5mm and 3.75mm hook. 4) The pattern can be a bit confusing in spots and repeated rows are not always written the same way. To keep myself from missing things I printed it, then highlighted row starts and marked repeats (repeat 7 rows, etc). Honestly I do this with most patterns because I have a problem with missing repeats.
There were a few points in the pattern where I questioned if it would turn out correctly, but it always did. The feet for instance looked so small to me, but once stuffed and added to the body they looked perfect. I also wasn’t sure about the ears, given the UK/US stitch terminology difference but they turned out fine too.
The hat was maybe a tad large (I took out the last two rounds), but it could have been because the cotton yarn doesn’t stretch as much as the wool used for the body and didn’t crochet as tightly (I have super tight tension when I crochet). But the hat he wears is floppy anyway so I think it worked out fine. I just stitched up the brim in the front so he can’t hide his adorable face.
The coat pattern was really lovely, even if I did get a little confused. For starters the first chain is 81 stitches…and that wraps around him almost twice over! So of course I fretted and worried…and didn’t stop to read the next line. Once you chain, the first row decreses down to the perfect size. So basically, I need to read ahead before I fret. 😉
Once you get to making the arm holes the directions were a bit hard for me regarding what was the left and right side of the work (since the sides are the same) but it worked out in the end. I ended up on the wrong end of the arm hole, but I just fastened off and then started again at the jacket edge. Crisis averted!
The hood was a bit large (especially since it won’t be used) so I stopped it 5 rows early, seamed, and then folded it so the pointed end was tucked up and out of sight. Then I stitched it down to the jacket in one small area so that it wouldn’t get unruly.
The toggles were easy to attach and I shortened my loops from the the stated size since I think my toggles are smaller than the original pattern.
All in all, I am super happy with the bear and the pattern. Finding great free patterns is always awesome, especially for popular characters like this guy.
From the Desk of MamaBice_Makes