Writing on the grading book is temporarily on hold again. I ran across two more books on grading and size development and I've been working my way through some pretty in depth information. The good news is that a lot of what I have written thus far is supported by academic experts. There are some interesting bits of information too, so I've got a list of possible blog topics for the future on grading and sizing.
In the mean time, I started working on a teddy bear with left overs from my last pair of socks. The pattern is Susan B. Anderson's Baby Bear made with sock yarn. In the picture above, I have the body done and I've started on the head. It will be tight with the left over yardage, but I think I will have just enough.
The pattern calls for poly pellets, which are weighted, slightly flat plastic beads. The beads give the toy weight so that it can sit up. I did not use these on my last knitted toy because I could not find them locally. I wish I had used them because the toy really could have used a bit of weight. My biggest concern with these is that they may work their way through the knitted fabric. If I were to use them, I would go down a needle size and knit a denser fabric. These beads are also a bit more expensive than other options.
My grandmother once made a stuffed toy for me and used dry beans. Dry beans work great, but it also means you cannot wash the toy. The mom of the intended recipient will probably want to wash the bear because I can see it being dragged everywhere. I tried the beans in the bear above and the body sits nicely, but I'll be replacing the beans with my third choice below.
Pony beads. These measure 9mm and are a little larger than the poly pellets. They are also cheap and would probably survive a spin in the washer. I'm not sure they are as heavy as the poly pellets or the beans. I ordered a large bag and will give it a try. I'll post another blog when the bear is finished.