Bear essentials: Cute knitted bears

Knit these cuddly little companions and put a smile on someone's face.

By Jo Calvert

Bear essentials

Knit a bare bear, a dressed-up bear, a bear pair or bears by the bunch. The big size is an armful, the small size is perfect for a pocket -- and a single pattern is all you need. Edmonton's expert knitter and designer Noreen Crone Findlay shows you how to stitch these bears from scraps. Simply switching needles and yarn gives you different sizes –- and the sweaters add a special touch. They're so downright delightful, you'll want to knit them by the dozen.

SWEATERED BEAR
Bears are worked in stocking stitch throughout. Recommended for experienced knitters.

Small bear in photograph is approx 16.5 cm (6-1/2 in) tall; large unsweatered bear is 28 cm (11 in) tall.

Click here for a bigger image of the bears, plus the knitting colour chart.

Abbreviations:
beg = begin(ning)
cm = centimetre(s)
in(s) = inch(es)
inc = increase(s)(d)(ing)
k = knit
ktog = knit together
mm = millimetre(s)
p = purl
rem = remain(ing)
rep(s) = repeat(s)
st(s) = stitch(es)
St st = stocking stitch

You Need:
Note: Size of bear varies with size of yarn and needles used. Small bear was knit with embroidery floss and 2 mm needles. Large unsweatered bear was knit with 2-ply sport-weight yarn and 3.5 mm needles. Use needles that produce a suitable tension for your yarn.

Yarn as follows:
- Colour A, for body
- Colour B, for snout, ears, paw pads
- Colour C, for main colour in sweater
- Colours D, E, F, G, H, I, J, for contrasting colors in sweater
Scrap of black yarn, for nose and mouth
Pair of single-pointed needles
3 double-pointed needles
Polyester fibrefill
2 black beads, for eyes
Stitch holder
Tapestry needle

To Make:
Note: When working chart, carry colours loosely across a maximum of 3 sts at back of work. When carrying colour across more than 3 sts, weave it over and under colour in use at every 4th st or at centre point of sts it passes over.

When working chart, work knit rows from right to left and purl rows from left to right.

If knitting unsweatered bear, knit equivalent number of chart rows in main colour.

To avoid hole when changing colours, pass colour to be used under and around to right of colour just used.

Page 1 of 4 -- Learn how to knit the bear's head and ears on page 2

All rights reserved. Transcontinental Media G.P. © 2014