Why Knit Teddy Bears?
Knitted teddy bears make great gifts, especially for non-knitters. Unlike socks, sweaters and even scarves, you don’t have to worry about the sizes of the bears and the recipients’ fashion preferences. Besides, I think all kids (big or small) love teddy bears.
The smaller-sized teddy bears are great yarn busters as they often need only 50 yards or less. Small bears usually come with a vest, dress or some accessories. Learning to make miniature clothes can be a great jumpstart to making a life-sized one.
Oh, most teddy bears do not require blocking. Yay!
Teddy Bear Knitting Tips
Choose acrylic yarn or superwash wool to knit teddy bears so they can be washed in a washing machine without worrying about shrinkage or piling.
The facial expression on a teddy bear vary. I like to make sure my teddy bears are smiling or sort of smiling. For eyes, you can sew on buttons, safety eyes, felt discs, or embroider them. Safety eyes or embroidered eyes are best for teddies meant for small children. The same goes for the nose. For embroidery, I have seen a bear with a pink silky ribbon for a nose. Very sweet. Here is a blog post by Simply Notables on creating eyes and noses using needle felting. She felted a little heart for the nose. Really cute.
Teddy bear knitting patterns tend to be long but don’t feel intimidated. There are probably instructions for different pieces but each piece is pretty quick and easy to knit.
Be organized. Keep all completed pieces in a project bag or ziplock bag. That way, you won’t misplace anything.
Knitted In One Piece Patterns
The following patterns are for teddy bears knitted up in one piece.
1. One Seam Teddy Bear Knitting Pattern
This teddy bear is knitted in one piece from head to toe using double-pointed needles. The only thing to seam up is between the legs. You must know how to knit in the round using double-pointed needles or magic loop or 2 circular needles. Unless you want to knit the teddy in the single colour, you also need to know how to change colour.
I think the instruction is pretty straightfoward. What do you think?
Pattern: One Seam Teddy
2. Blue’s Big Hug Bear
The big hug bear is knitted in one piece starting at the feet. It is knitted as a flat piece and then folded at the head and sewn into shape. Interesting construction for a teddy bear.
Pattern: Big Hug Bear
3. Arne & Carlos’ 6369 Teddy
This teddy is sort of knitted in one piece. What do I mean? The legs and arms are knitted separately but are then knitted into the body as the body gets knitted up. So, there isn’t much sewing up which I like.
The choice of a variegated yarn produces a teddy that looks like it was done up in intarsia but it is not. If you use a solid colour yarn, you will get a one-colour bear. Stuff well to bring out the colourwork and the face of the bear. It is cuter if it is fuller.
Pattern: Arne & Carlos 6369 Teddy Bear (pdf)
4. Simply Notable’s Magic Loop Teddy
Most teddy bears that are knitted in one piece tends to be quite flat. With some smart placement of increases, this knitted-in-one-piece teddy offers more curves. At 9 to 10 inch tall, this is a well-sized teddy. You will need to know how to knit increases.
Pattern: Magic Loop Teddy Bear
Making Up and Attaching Needed Patterns
The following patterns are for teddies that you need to make up. Instructions given could include legs, arms, feet, ears, accessories and etc.
5. Martin’s Three Bear Family
Pattern: Three Bear Family (pdf)
Designed by Martin Storey for Rowan Yarns, this set of bears reminds me of Mr Bean’s bear with buttons for eyes except they are in pastel colours. I have such a huge stash of buttons, I should knit a few of these. They look extremely hug-able.
6. Sarah’s Mr Bean Style Teddy Bear
Pattern: Sarah’s Mr Bean Style Teddy Bear
Did I say the Three Bear Family resembles Mr Bean’s bear? I think Sarah’s pattern bears striking resemblance. You should knit this if you are a Mr Bean’s fan or know a fan. There are a fair number of pieces to knit and sew up. But I think it is manageable.
7. Annalisa’s Knitted Bear Pattoz
Pattoz looks European. That’s the reason he is included in this list. ;P. He reminds me of Ernest from Ernest and Celestine. A series of illustrated storybooks by Gabrielle Vincent. One of the stories has been turned into an animated film by Benjamin Renner. See the trailer below.
Pattern: Pattoz the Knitted Bear
8. Michele’s Ruby Bear
This is like the classic Gingrich teddy bear. All the parts are knitted up separately and then sewn together. If you don’t want a floppy bear, you will need to stuff it full, sew up tightly and boldly. But I do really like the shape of the head and body. A classic.
Pattern: Ruby Bear (pdf)
9. Sandra Polley’s Catherine
It is a pleasant surprise to see Sandra’s patterns free on the Internet. Both bears are featured in one of her books titled The Knitted Teddy Bear: Make your own heirloom Toys, with dozens of patterns for unique clothing
Pattern: Catherine (pdf)
10. Berroco’s Foliage Bear
Like Oliver, this teddy is also in reverse stockinette stitch. It gives the bear a rougher texture. It is different and I like it. Berroco has stated that this is for an experienced knitter. Proceed with caution hehehe. It is also probably the only bear here that is knitted in 2 pieces; front and back and didn’t look it. Personally, I think the knitter must have great sewing skills. ;P
Pattern: Foliage Bear
That’s all to this list for now. If I find any new ones, I will add it here. In the meantime…