DIY & Crafts

Bear's Christmas Surprise

Bear's Christmas Surprise


DIY & Crafts

Bear's Christmas Surprise

BEAR HAD A BIG PROBLEM! One winter, when he was very little, he got lost outdoors and he spent three very chilly, very long and very wet days under a blanket of snow. He was found and brought back home again, but he was cold all the time every day after that. Without a doubt, summer was his favourite season. Basking in the sun, he would almost feel warm. Sometimes.

During the spring and fall he shivered. During the winter, when most bears happily hibernate in a damp, dark cave, he searched for a warm, dry place to sleep.

The only things Bear loved about winter were the coloured lights twinkling on the Christmas tree and the dancing flames in the fireplace. But coloured lights are always packed away after Christmas. And fires – well, once he got too close to a fire and his singed fur got so smelly he was banished to the back of the closet for a whole week. So he spent most winter days and nights at the foot of the bed, trying to snuggle with the other toys, too cold to play.

One November night Bear was shivering so mightily that the small mouse squeaked, "Earthquake!" and woke all the other toys. After quite a commotion, they realized it was a Bear-shake, not an earthquake, and they decided something had to be done. An end-of-the-bed discussion ensued, and all the toys thought about ways to warm him up.

"Curling into a little ball keeps me cosy," said a calmed-down Mouse.

"I find that if I rock and rock, I warm up, even when there's a draft on my back," offered Rocking Horse.

"I swing from the lamp," Monkey laughed, "or turn 15 somersaults!"

"I like to chase my tail," Dog added.

"I jump, jump, jump, jump around and around," puffed Rabbit.

Bear tried every single idea but nothing helped. His teeth still chattered. He still shivered. He still felt too miserable to have fun with his friends. Even when his outside warmed up, his inside stayed cold.

The other toys fed Bear hot chicken soup. But it didn't warm him. They bundled him in blankets. It didn't work. They all piled on top of him to sleep. That did work, but some of the smaller toys worried that they would be squashed, so they stopped. Then they tried giving him hugs. Great big bear hugs! That worked!

Everyone celebrated for a day or two. But Bear soon realized no one could be hugged all day and all night. There were too many things for the other toys to do, too many games to play. So Bear stayed all alone, shivering at the foot of the bed.

As the winter weather got colder and colder, and Christmas closer and closer, the toys kept trying to think of a way to warm up Bear. Finally they came up with a very special, very secret plan. Dolly cut fleece from Lamb's woolly coat. Mouse spun the fleece into yarn and Dog dyed the yarn into many colors. Monkey knit and knit and knit. By Christmas Eve, it was done – a sweater made of love and hugs and warm, warm Lamb's wool.

On Christmas morning, all the toys gathered round Bear and, with great excitement, presented him with his new sweater. He was so surprised. He pulled it on, and after only a moment or two he was warm — inside and out. He was especially happy as he smiled down at the colours twinkling all around his fat tummy like a string of Christmas lights.

The toys were so delighted that they all recited a rhyme:

It fits just right,
All day, all night.
Now he only shivers with delight.

Only Lamb didn't join in. She was off in the corner by herself, looking in a mirror and wondering how long it would take for her wool to grow back!

Finished bear is approx 50 cm (19-3/4 in) tall.

You need:
Download the Twinkle Motif chart (PDF format requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader)

.60 m off-white fake fur with 2.5 cm (1-in) pile, 115 cm wide
Matching thread and buttonhole twist thread
Blue embroidery floss
2 blue snap-on glass eyes, 16 mm in diameter
Polyester fibrefill
Water-soluble fabric marker
Darning needle, 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 in) long
Brown paper

To make:
Notes: Enlarge pattern by squaring method as follows: On brown paper, draw grid of horizontal and vertical lines 2.5 cm. (1 in) apart. Each square on diagram equals a 2.5 cm square on your paper. Enlarge by drawing each line of the design onto the corresponding square on your paper. Transfer any markings. Seam allowance is included.

Cut all pattern pieces with nap running in same direction. To determine direction of nap, stroke fabric along length to see which direction feels the smoothest and makes it lie the flattest. Snip through fabric backing with scissor tips only, to avoid cutting pile.

Along edges, smooth pile toward centre of each piece; stitch pieces, right sides together, using closely spaced machine stitch and 6 mm (1/4-in) seam allowance, unless otherwise indicated.

Backstitch at beginning and end of each seam. To fluff pile along seam lines, pick it out of stitching with darning needle if necessary. Carefully clip or notch seam allowances at corners and curves.

1. Lay pattern pieces on wrong side of single thickness of fur, reversing pieces as indicated. Trace around each piece with marker and transfer any markings. Cut out.

On head gusset (snout section only), snout, soles and both (inside) ear pieces, trim pile to approx 6 mm.

2. Head: Stitch number dart along broken lines on each head piece. With A to A and B to B, stitch inner edge of 1 snout to each head piece. With back neck edges even and seam on 1 snout/ head piece aligned with broken line on gusset, stitch together around top of snout and head, down back of head to neck. Stitch other side edge of gusset to second snout/head piece in same manner. Stitch chin seam from snout tip to front-neck edge. Turn head right side out. Baste under 6 mm around neck opening. Firmly stuff snout and head.

Attach each eye securely where indicated by dots, following manufacturer's instructions.

3. Ears: Stitch each pair of ear pieces together, leaving open edge where indicated; turn right side out. Baste under 6 mm around opening.

4. Torso: Stitch front pieces together down centre-front edge only and back pieces together down centre back edge only. With C to C and D to D, Stitch armhole edge of 1 arm to each armhole edge of front and back, beginning and ending seam at X. With armhole seams aligned, pin front to back around arms only; stitch around each arm, pivot at armhole seam and stitch along shoulder.

5. Legs and feet: Stitch top edge of 1 foot top to bottom edge of each leg front. Stitch top edge of 1 heel to bottom edge of each leg back. With seams aligned, pin front to back down each side edge, from underarm to bottom edge of foot top/heel; stitch. Pin, then stitch, from bottom edge of foot top/heel up inside leg edge, around crotch and down to bottom edge.

Matching Xs, stitch each sole to bottom edge of 1 foot top/heel. Turn bear right side out. Baste under 6 mm around neck opening.

Keeping soles flat, firmly stuff feet, then stuff legs. Lightly stuff hands and arms, then firmly stuff body, creating round stomach.

6. Butt neck edges of head and body; pin. With 2 strands of buttonhole twist: slipstitch edges together, adding extra stuffing to firm up neck, if necessary; slipstitch unstuffed ears across head-gusset seams, approx 10 cm (4 in) apart, on top of head.

7. With 12 strands of floss: satin stitch nose at tip of snout, stitching a second layer to make it firm.

Surprise sweater
Sweater with inset sleeves and shoulder opening is worked in stocking stitch throughout, with bands of garter stitch at collar, cuffs and hem, and duplicate-stitched motifs. Standard abbreviations are used.

You need:
Download the pattern by clicking here (PDF format requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Patons True North DK yarn (50 g balls) as follows:*
Red (No. 5938), 2 balls, for body of sweater
Scraps of green (No. 5940), yellow (No. 5946), blue (No. 5919), lavender (No. 5931) and Aran (No. 5916), for duplicate-stitched twinkles
One pair 4 mm needles OR whichever needles you require to produce tension given below
Tapestry needle
Scrap of Velcro (both sides), approx 13 x 6 mm (1/2 x 1/4 ins)

*If desired, change sweater and stitching colors to child's favourites.

TENSION: 22 sts and 30 rows = 10 cm/4 ins in St st. Work to exact tension with specified yarn to obtain satisfactory results.

To save time, take the time to check tension.

To make:
Note: Work 2tog for each dec.

With red yarn, cast on 60 sts.

* Rows 1 to 7: Knit.
Row 8: Purl

Work in St st until work from beg measures 8 cm (3-1/4 ins), ending with right side facing for next row.* Dec 1 st at each end of needle on next row, then on every foll 4th row 7 times. 44 stitches now on needle.

Cast off 8 sts at beg of next and foll row. 28 stitches now on needle. Knit 6 rows even. Cast off.

With red yarn, cast on 74 sts. Rep from * to * as for front. Dec 1 st at each end of needle on next row, then on every foll alternate row 14 times. 44 stitches now on needle.

Cast off 8 sts at beg of next and foll row. 28 stitches now on needle. Knit 6 rows even. Cast off.

With red yarn, cast on 54 sts. Rep from * to * as for front. Dec 1 st at each end of needle on next row, then on every foll row 17 times. 18 stitches now on needle. Cast off.

With scrap yarns and tapestry needle, duplicate-stitch variously coloured and randomly spaced motifs onto sweater front, back and sleeves. Note: For each motif, use 1 colour for centre st, second colour for rem sts. Refer to Twinkle Motif chart when stitching.

To Finish:
Using press cloth, press each piece lightly from wrong side. Sew right shoulder seam. Beginning at side edge, sew left shoulder seam in 1 cm (3/8 in) only. Sew in sleeves along dec side edges of front and back. Sew side and sleeve seams. Sew 1 side of Velcro along each open shoulder section so front overlaps back.

It's easy to make your child a matching sweater, too. Simply purchase a ready-made pullover in the same colour as Bear's, then duplicate-stitch motifs.


Share X
DIY & Crafts

Bear's Christmas Surprise