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.
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.
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
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
2 black beads, for eyes
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
With A and single-pointed needles, cast on 9 sts. (Note: Leave 30 cm/12-in yarn end.)
Rows 1, 3 and 5: Knit.
Rows 2 and 4: K1, p1 in each st to end of row.
Row 6: Purl, inc 12 sts evenly across row. 48 sts now on needle.
Rows 7 to 20: Work even in St st.
Row 21: K10, [k2tog] 14 times, k10. 34 sts now on needle.
Rows 22 and 24: Purl.
Row 23: K10, [k2tog] 7 times, k10. 27 sts now on needle.
Row 25: K11, k2tog, k1, k2tog, k11. 25 sts now on needle.
Change to colour B.
Rows 26 to 35 (snout): Work even in St st. Break yarn, leaving 30 cm end; thread onto tapestry needle.
To graft snout: Slip first 10 sts onto first double-pointed needle; slip next 5 sts onto second double-pointed needle; slip rem 10 sts onto third double-pointed needle. Hold first and third double-pointed needles, right sides together. With threaded tapestry needle, pick up first st from third needle, knitwise; then pick up first st from first needle, purlwise. Repeat across needles until all 20 sts are picked up. Gently pull yarn through sts, closing vertical seam.
Fold second needle (having 5 sts) approx 3 sts down, with centre st at vertical seam. With threaded tapestry needle, tack each st in place, closing horizontal seam. (Note:Seams form T-shaped snout.)
Thread end from cast-on edge onto tapestry needle; pick up cast-on sts, pull up and secure. Partially sew head and snout seam. Stuff head firmly, being careful to stuff snout squarely. Sew closed. (Note: If chin is too pointy, shape it with stitches.)
With A and single-pointed needles, cast on 9 sts.
Row 1: Knit.
Rows 2 and 4: Purl.
Row 3: K2tog, k5, k2tog.
Row 5: K2tog, k3, k2tog.
Cast off purlwise.
Make 1 more ear using A, and 2 more using B, for linings.
Sew each ear and lining together around edges. Sew ears in place as shown in photo.
Page 2 of 4 -- Learn how to knit the bear's body and legs on page 3
(Note: Body is knit from top to bottom, but chart is worked from bottom to top.)
With C and single-pointed needles, cast on 20 sts.
Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: K1, p1 in each st. 40 sts now on needle.
Rows 3 to 27: Work 25 rows of chart.
Row 28: With C, purl.
Row 29: With A, knit.
Row 1: P20. Place rem 20 sts on stitch holder for second leg. Turn.
Row 2: Cast on 7 sts for thigh gusset. K27. 27 sts now on needle.
Row 3: Purl.
Row 4: K1, k2tog. Knit to end of row.
Row 5: Purl.
Rows 6 to 17: Rep rows 4 and 5. 20 sts now on needle.
Rows 18 to 25: Work even in St st.
Row 26: [K1, p1, k1 in each st] 10 times, k10. 40 sts now on needle.
Rows 27 to 35: Work even in St st. Cast off.
Slip 20 sts on stitch holder onto single-pointed needle so right side of work is facing. Join new ball of A at right-hand edge.
Row 1: K20. Pick up and knit 7 sts from thigh gusset of first leg. 27 sts now on needle.
Row 2: Purl.
Row 3: K24, K2tog, K1.
Rows 4 to 15: Rep rows 2 and 3. 20 sts now on needle.
Rows 16 to 25: Work even in St st.
Row 26: (P1, k1, p1 in each st) 10 times, p10. 40 sts now on needle.
Rows 27 to 35: Work even in St st.
Soles (Make 2)
With B and single-pointed needles, cast on 3 sts.
Row 1: Knit.
Rows 2 and 4: Purl.
Rows 3 and 5: Knit, inc 1 st at each end of needle. 7 sts now on needle.
Rows 6 to 14: Work even in St st.
Row 15: K2tog, k3, k2tog.
Rows 16 and 18: Purl.
Row 17: K2tog, k1, k2tog.
Row 19: Cast off.
Sew leg seams and back seam. Fit 1 sole inside bottom edge of each leg; sew in place.
Firmly stuff legs and body, forming a tummy if desired. With threaded tapestry needle, pick up cast-on sts around neck edge and gently pull up thread to gather; sew closed.
Page 3 of 4 -- Learn how to add the bear's arms plus the finishing touches on page 4
**With C and single-pointed needles, cast on 20 sts.
Rows 1 to 25: Work 25 rows of chart (see link below image).**
Row 26: With C, purl.
Row 27 (paws): With A, k10; with B, k10.
Rows 28 to 36: With A and B, continue even in St st.
Row 37: With A and B, [k2tog] to end of row. 10 sts now on needle.
Row 38: With A and B, purl.
Break A and thread end through tapestry needle; slip through first 5 sts. Break B; tie off A with B. Thread tapestry needle with B; slip through last 5 sts. Pull up tightly and secure.
Sew arm seam, leaving top edge open. Stuff firmly. With threaded tapestry needle, pick up cast-on sts around top edge and gently pull up thread to gather and secure.
Work as for first arm from ** to **.
Row 26: With A, p10; with B, p10.
Rows 27 to 37: With A and B, continue even in St st.
Row 38: With A and B, [p2tog] to end of row. Finish as for first arm.
Sew head to body. Sew on eyes just above snout. Following diagram and with black yarn, satin-stitch nose; straight stitch mouth, forming smile with 2 catch stitches.
Thread tapestry needle with C; insert into inside top edge of 1 arm, then bring needle out at inside of arm 1 cm (3/8 in) down. Push needle through body to inside of other arm 1 cm down from top edge. Bring needle out and stitch back through body to other arm. Repeat several times to make movable joint. Curve arms by gently pulling into desired shape.
Page 4 of 4