A year ago I was quite happily getting on with life, totally unaware that Birdham Bear was waiting in the wings. As the saying goes, ‘he wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye’!
He was conceived in Cumbria in May 2016 while I was on a retreat led by the amazing Kathryne-Alexis Weygand from Arizona. Returning from one of our many jaunts she suddenly turned off the country lane we were driving along and we found ourselves bouncing along a tiny track towards Crookabeck Farm. She had spotted a sign for a yarn shop and followed her intuition to go there.
I was particularly excited because knitting is one of my passions. On arrival Mary, the farmer, told us about her flock of Herdwick sheep and we met her angora goats. Then my world changed forever! She asked if we’d like to meet one of the lambs she was hand rearing. It sounds dramatic but I thought I would explode with excitement when she asked if I wanted to hold it. Looking at the little black creature in my arms I felt something burst open in me. It really was one of those ‘moments’ I will never forget.
After that we swarmed on the yarn shop and I found myself buying a beautiful herdwick / angora mix yarn. I knew I had to take some home but had no idea what I would do with it.
Fast forward to my return home; I was admiring the yarn and wondering what I would make with it. Loud and clear I ‘heard’ the answer – knit a teddy bear. So I did.
While working on it I could feel a real urgency to finish it, this teddy bear really wanted to be! Finally it was finished and I instantly fell in love with him (by then I knew it was a he). What to call him? Having recently moved to the village of Birdham in West Sussex it was obvious – Birdham Bear.
OK, so now I had a hand-knitted bear, what next? Knit him a sweater of course! Did you know that every bear should own at least one sweater?
And here he is, the original Birdham Bear, the inspiration for the adventure that is now unfolding.