In keeping with my doll motif, I wanted to write about the knit project I am most proud of: The Baxter the Bearcat Doll. He’s of my own design and, although there are things I would change about him, I couldn’t be prouder.
You may be thinking, “Wow! She loved her school mascot so much she made a doll out of him.” Well, that’s not the case. I didn’t go to Binghamton U–I went to Hunter College in New York City…Go Hawks!–but my boyfriend went there. Chris, being a sports producer & photographer, loves sports and while in college saw The Bearcats win the conference championship and get to the first round of the NCAA tournament. He often talks about college and Binghamton basketball games as one of the greatest times of his life–so I decided to make him a doll for Christmas. I also made him a Binghamton inspired hat, a scarf & gloves to go with but more on that in the future.
It was truly a labor of love. I made two other prototypes before finally getting it right on the third try. Baxter is about 18 inches tall and was knit entirely in the round using size 6 (4mm) double pointed needles so that there are no seems. I used about skein and a half of gray and less than one skein of white worsted weight yarn for the main doll and some scrap yarn in black, red, and green for the detailing of the face.
The jersey and shorts are knit in garter stitch to make it stand out from stockinette stitching on the doll. I ordered a Binghamton U patch online from someplace in Asia–the school is just a little over 5 hours from my house by car and believe it or not but I could not get the damn bookstore to mail out a patch for me–and ironed it onto the front of the jersey. In the back of the jersey is a felted 1–because Baxter is 1 on the team.
Once I figured out how to seamlessly get the legs and arms on the doll, the main body was the easy part. The hard part was making the head look like the real Baxter’s. I knitted a couple of different shapes and ended up with a pair of triangles for the ears and two sets of semi circles for the flap things going down the side of his head behind his cheeks. I made a snout that one would usually see on a dog for his nose and mouth and found a nice tutorial online that helped me get the fuzzy cheeks.
So, what do you think? Does he look like the real thing? Let me know what you think in the comments below!