Introducing: Bradac


I'm pretty sure I've mentioned here before that I learned to knit from a teddy bear kit in 2005 and many of the first things I made were another bear, an elephant, and a flying pig. Though I moved on from my initial focus on knitting softies, stuffed animals are still knitting comfort food to me.


While my usual excuse for knitting an animal is an impending birth, Bradac is just for me. I got the notion in my head to knit a Polar Bear and I went to Purl Diva in search of some yarn. I wanted a slightly off-white, superwash wool and the Lambs Pride worsted from Brown Sheep fit the bill perfectly.


Named for a college roommate who's fond of the creatures, Bradac is knit seamlessly in the round from nose to tail.  Most details, like the ears, are worked in short rows, while the legs are knit with scrap yarn and then picked up and worked in a similar fashion to an afterthought thumb or heel.


The bear is stuffed as you go and measures approximately 12 inches from nose to tail and takes 200 yards of worsted weight yarn, plus some additional contrast yarn for the face and scarf.

Bradac is available for purchase for $5.00 USD

or you can queue it up on Ravelry.


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Zoo Day!

So to finish up our 4th of July weekend, Mr. Cleaver and I headed to Lincoln Park for the Green City Market and the Lincoln Park Zoo on the 5th (and yes I know there's still Sunday, but that was dedicated to the Men's Wimbleton Final). Having finally gotten the memory card for my shiny new Pentax K200D, I thought this would be a great opportunity to take it out for a spin.

This is the one picture I took at the Market:

Green City Market

But before you worry about not getting a chance to use my camera much, I took over 650 pictures at the Zoo. Don't worry I won't make you look at them all. (I edited it down to 40 on my computer in any case).

Because we were going directly from the market to the zoo, we didn't want to purchase a whole lot of stuff and couldn't really get anything perishable. We did pick up some rosemary and a half-pint of raspberries, the latter of which served to perk up that overly dry birthday cake.

We picked a perfect day to go the zoo: the weather was gorgoreous and nearly all the animals were awake an active.

The trainers came out and played with the seals:


[wp_caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="357" caption="Della the Grey Seal"]Della the Grey Seal[/wp_caption]

The big cats were alert, if not on the prowl:

[wp_caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="334" caption="Tiger Tiger Burning Bright"]Tiger Tiger Burning Bright[/wp_caption]

The chimps people watched:

[wp_caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Keo the Chimp"]Keo the Chimp[/wp_caption]

And the polar bears swam:


and swam:


and swam:


(I took about 100 photos of the polar bears alone - I though it would make a good subject for my "In Motion" photos for the swap.)

It was also a great day for knocking stuff off our Chicago-to-do list: we hit the Green City Market and we rode the carousel at zoo and as you may or may not know, my love for carousels knows no bounds.

 John on the Carousel

We've got about 6 or so things left on the list, which is good, because we've finally set a moving date : the week of August 18!

If you're interested in seeing more of our day at the zoo, you can check out my flickr set here.


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