Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Foo Man Choo-Chew Bear

Project : Foo Man Choo-Chew Bear
Date : March 2009
Materials : Yarn (3 types), fabric (2 types), wool (2 types), some wire, 2 beads, thread, stuffing, a battery, part of an old t-shirt, some tiny glass stones, a cat toy, stuffing
Tools : Crochet hooks, needle, pliers, sissors, needle felting needle
Finished Product:
Foo Man Choo-Chew BearFoo Man Choo-Chew Bear
Foo Man Choo-Chew BearFoo Man Choo-Chew Bear

Upon acquiring a neat skein of yarn, just start working on making something- anything. You can never go wrong with a fist-sized round-ish shape (a kidney shape would be better, but in this case the yarn was just too crazy/bitchy to take much shaping). Later, when you realize you've crocheted a lump, try to jazz it up by sticking a spherical rattly cat toy inside it. Hey, now it's a lump that rattles when you shake it! Make sure you line the inside of the creature with some fabric (old t-shirt) so that the stuffing doesn't ooze out. Oh, add some stuffing. Leave the bottom open for last-minute modifications later.

Switch to a softer, easier to use yarn and crochet up a stump of a head. When you get to the jaw level (top of the jaw), stop and sew down a mouth. Do this by folding some cardboard in half, trimming it to the right shape, taping tiny magnets to either side of it (the "outside" of the folded cardboard), covering it with red fabric, then sewing half of it down onto the yarn jaw. The magnets should cause the mouth to snap closed. When resuming crocheting, rather then grabbing the stitches the mouth is sewn to, make a chain as long as the circumstance of the mouth and work from that. Continue crocheting up and around. When you get half-way up the head, sew the upper-jaw yarn to the top half of the folded mouth. Now go back and finish the head (stuffing the whole time as you go).

Aim to make some stubby legs. Do a tiny pair on the front (in the end, they'll be the middle pair). Crochet them with a thick easy yarn- nothing complicated, just a tube. Then do the hind pair- crochet just far enough so that its ass isn't resting on the ground when it stands. Add a battery to the monster's rump to make sure it stays balanced. Close up the tummy.

Finish the legs by stuffing them, adding a couple glass stones/magic counters, then using tiny scraps of fabric to sew the legs closed at the end. Then add the forearms by sticking some wire through and crocheting down it. Make sure to bend the wire into loops at the end and crochet through & around the loops (it still wont prevent the wire from occasionally poking out, but it helps and hides any sharp points)

The main body is done! Now to add flair- select some really bulbus vaguely green beads, sew them to the head. Realize it's kind of hard to pry open the mouth so add a little mustache and goatee to grab onto. Note the vaguly oriental look the facial hair adds and cut & sew some fabric scraps down over the eyes to give it a heavier glaze. Looks more ancient and wise that way. No eyelids = stupid and/or anime looking. Fin.

Thoughts :
Bought the yarn totally randomly on trip to NY. Started crocheting it at a friend's house out there and found it fun (if not really a look I love). Came home and was compelled to finish it asap. I like how simple and carefree it is. The magnet mouth + wire arms makes him great to hold a note and a pen. Good office desk companion. Very random, very quick (for crochet at least).

Before he was given a face, Adam said he looked like an inset bear. The facial hair - added so the mouth was easier to open - was labeled as being foo man choo like. He has a mouth to hold and/or chew things. Thus the name.

It was unclear whether the bulbous shapes populating its back were the results of a terrible disease or merely the artifacts of an untidy hide. The creature's steps were short and far from graceful. Thin arms dangled down from its curving chest and swayed limply before it with every lurching movement. They continued to swing back and forth even after it came to a stop.

If perhaps it wore an expression as ridiculous as its form, she could laugh at it and dismiss it as joke. But of course there was only a sorrowful gaze offered over the top of the envelope it carried. Gingerly- hesitant to touch it- she tugged the letter free from its mouth before quickly stepping back to the other side of the road. Heaving what sounded like a deeply depressed sigh in miniature, the little thing rocked and swayed itself around and somehow managed to stumble back into the bushes.

1 comment:

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