Friday, October 25, 2013

Simple Charity Bear Knitting Pattern

As promised - a simple bear knitting pattern. This really is a simple pattern - even beginner knitters will find it easy to follow. The pattern is a culmination of several which I found on charity knitting sites and should only be used to knit bears which are going to charity - not to be sold for profit.

The Bear Recipe

The first bear I knitted with this pattern - I doubled up the
wool (double knitting) which made the "knit" nice and thick and probably
more durable...
The bear is knitted in one piece from foot to foot and then folded and joined with one seam along the side of the head, around the arms and sides of the body and along the bottom of the toes. 

Experiment with needle and wool sizes to get the perfect sized bear. I used double knit wool and 4.5mm needles on the first bear that I made to this pattern which came out at approximately 20cm from head to toe. The second bear I used bigger needles (6mm) and fatter wool and the bear once finished will be around 30cm I think.
The second bear in making!

Use any colours, and and knitting stitches that you like (garter, stocking stitch, ribbing...or a combination - all work well!).

  1. Start with the legs: Cast on 8 stitches, knit 16 rows
  2. Store these stitches either on one end of your knitting needle or on a stitch holder/ safety pin
  3. Cast on another 8 stitches, knit 16 rows
  4. Join the legs & knit the body: Don't break/ cut the wool at the end of the second leg. Knit the next row across all 16 stitches, knit another 11 rows (12 in total)
  5. Knit the arms & body: Cast on 10 stitches at the start of the next 2 rows (making the arms). By the end of the second row there will be 10 (arm) + 16 (body) + 10 (arm) = 36 stitches. Knit 6 rows
  6. Cast off 10 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows
  7. Knit the head: Knit 32 rows (front and back of head)
  8. Knit arms & back: Cast on 10 stitches at the start of the next 2 rows (making the arms). By the end of the second row there will be 10 (arm) + 16 (body) + 10 (arm) = 36 stitches. Knit 6 row.
  9. Cast off 10 stitches at the beginning of the next 2 rows
  10. Knit body: Knit 12 rows
  11. Knit legs: Knit the first 8 stitches on the needles, place the remaining 8 on a stitch holder/ safety pin. Knit another 15 rows (16 in total) and cast off
  12. Put the stitches from the holder back on to the needles and knit 16 rows, cast off
Knitting done! Time to put the bear together:
Fold the bear in half lining up the legs and arms. Using the same wool as you knitted the bear with sew from the top of one of the ears, all the way around the shape of the bear until you reach the bottom of the head at the other side to your starting point.
Stuff the bear with suitable stuffing making sure you get stuffing right into the ends of the arms and legs.
Complete stitching the seams together up the side of the head to complete to prevent the stuffing popping out!
If you're feeling creative you can use the same yarn to accentuate the shape of the head and ears: weave the yarn into the bears neck and pull tightly to draw in the shape of the neck. Tie off/ work in the end of the wool. For the ears: push the needle through the corner of the bears head and back again, pull the yarn tight to pull in the shape of the head and create ears. Work in the ends.
A close up of the embroidery on the face
Use a dark embroidery thread or wool to create the face of the bear - sew loops to create the nose, a mouth and eyes. Although it's lovely to use buttons and beads for eyes and features, these bears are going to small children and should have nothing on them that can fall off and cause a choking hazard. Please do not use buttons or beads. 

Easy! :)

If you have any questions about the pattern or if anything is unclear please comment below and I will do my best to help. 

Bears (either stuffed and finished or un-stuffed "flat" bears) can be posted to:
Friends of Chintsa
PO Box 19,
Chintsa East,
South Africa

Thanks for your support and happy knitting!

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