18-Year Crochet Project

It’s never too late to try again

‘Tine Zekis
4 min readJan 12, 2022


These Care Bears are as old as I was when I started making them!

Two handmade stuffed teddy bears. One is green with a four-leaf clover on its belly; the other is blue with a rain cloud on its belly.
Good Luck Bear (left) and Grumpy Bear (right), finally finished and ready to ship

When I was 18 years old, I attempted to spend my Winter Break crocheting stuffed Care Bears for two of my friends back at school. And here they are, 18 years later, completed and ready to send to their originally intended recipients.

I started crocheting when I was 8 years old. I mostly used pattern books to learn new stitches. For 10 years (on and off), I mostly crocheted blankets, along with lots of little shapes that I never finished sewing together.

A New Project

By my Freshman year in college, I was ready to tackle something new…or so I thought. I attempted my first ever stuffed animals: a couple of Care Bears intended for two of my Freshman floor-mates. Unfortunately, I made the grave mistake of telling them to expect these gifts in the near future.

The front cover of a crochet pattern book with 10 stuffed teddy bears of various colors.
The Care Bears crochet pattern book I bought 18 years ago, probably at Michaels Craft Store

Something about my gage was off. When I tried to attach the white bellies, they were too big for the rest of the body.

At the time, I didn’t have the crochet skills, or the confidence, to stray from the written pattern. So, frustrated and furious, I stored the teddy bear bodies and faceless heads in a box, along with the other supplies I had purchased for the project.

A Years-Long Journey

That box moved with me to each dorm for the rest of college. It moved with me to my first apartment. And then back to my parents’ house when I moved home for grad school. It moved in with me and my boyfriend.

After I got married, it traveled to my very own condo. And then to a single family home.

When I was trying to figure out where to store all of my crochet supplies in our new house, I came across these f*cking bears. When was I ever going to finish them?!

The Final Push

So, instead of storing them with the rest of my supplies, I put them into my “working project” bag and got to work. It was January, and I intended to finally…



‘Tine Zekis

Christine (‘Tine) Zekis is a keynote speaker, software engineer, and Imposter Syndrome coach. She champions diversity, equity, and belonging in tech.