I am halfway done making a crocheted Care Bear for my niece and it's coming along quickly. (Head, two legs, one arm, and half a body in 2 days of diligent work.) The pattern is written fairly well and the shaping is accurate enough that if you can handle crocheting with fur, it looks almost like the real thing rather than "my mom made it for me because we can't afford a real one". Having been fooled by an off-brand Luck Bear in my own childhood, I am satisfied that this bear will pass a 5-year-old's standards. I used Berrocco Plush in pink for the body (I'm a glutton for punishment) and Plymouth Heaven for the belly & muzzle. I considered using plain old Encore, but I figured the hassle of working with the Plush would be worth it for the softness.

Complaint of the day: This pattern calls for, and I quote, "Medium worsted weight yarn. Body color - 2 skeins." TWO SKEINS OF WHAT?! A skein is not a preset size, where two 50 gram "pint balls" always equal a 100 gram "quart ball." I looked up the definition to make sure I wasn't mistaken and found almost the same wording every time: "a continuous length of yarn or cord of any desired length, in the form of a collapsible coil." Asking for two skeins of yarn could literally leave you with anywhere from 10 to 5,000 yards.

It's not just this pattern, either. People come into the Woolie Ewe all the time with them, mostly patterns from years ago but not always, that call for "two balls of yarn." Whoever published these patterns should be retroactively fired from their jobs. Along with the pattern writers that call for "2 ounces of baby yarn" without telling you what fiber content they intend for you to use. Cotton is WAY heavier than wool, so two balls of yarn, one in cotton and one in wool, both in the same weight and gauge, will give you drastically different yardages. Not to mention nowadays baby yarns are mostly synthetic to make them washable and hypoallergenic, so there's no telling what the subtle difference in weights are between acrylic, nylon, polyester, microfiber, and all their blends. I think the only reasonable occasion to not include yardage in the pattern is to purposely stop people from substituting. For example, If you are a yarn company and you want people to knit your patterns using only your yarn, I think it's ok as long as you specify "2 balls of So-n-so Brand yarn."

I want to sing it from the rooftops: Always go by yardage, not by weight! and You can't always substitute ball-for-ball, you have to do the math! and Unless you're prepared to scrap the whole project when you run out of yarn, quit being such a cheapskate and buy an extra ball!