I've had some time to really knuckle down on the Polar Chullo this weekend., and have made quit a bit of progress. Recently, I finished a section that's really what this hat is all about -- Polar Bears!
The design features two rows of Polar Bears -- eight on the lower level, which I've just finished, and six on the upper level, lumbering in the opposite direction. The design is cleverly done -- each alternating bear on a level is walking with a different seal-mangling paw poised forward. I had a color scheme in mind which I think works great big-picture-wise, but I didn't think about the lack of contrast between the Granite and Natural White colors. So I used some unplied yarn to embroider on some eyes and noses. It seems to help enhance their bear-ness, plus it gives each one a little personality. I think the bear on the left above needs to lay off the eye liner a bit. Although they're more visible now, I'm imagining these bears walking through a misty polar landscape. That helps.
One of the tips in the pattern isn't working for me. It suggests working in the tail of both the new and old yarns working toward the left after the color change. This leaves a sloppy seam at the row change, or at least it does the way I'm doing it, so I'm shifting to my old school method of weaving in the new color before the change and weaving in the old color after the change. I'll try some sort of seaming trick to fix the part I've already done later.