Knitted teddy bears and crochet teddy bears have an undeniable charm about them. They are more homely than a traditional teddy bear and they can be made without the purchasing of any expensive furs. They are also just as durable as a regular teddy bear if well made and cared for and can last for tens of years. Arguably, knitted and crochet bears also look better as a decoration than regular teddy bears, and so can make for great gifts for older members of the family who may place them around the house.
Here are some examples of Knitted and Crochet Teddy Bears we have found on the web:-
To get started and to make your own knitted soft toys, there are a few things you need to keep in mind; first of all, if this is your first time, the chances of your bear being perfect are slim. The old saying practice makes perfect has never been more relevant than when knitting a teddy bear. The second thing you need to keep in mind is that whilst your imagination can run wild and you can try out new and unorthodox things, it is always best to stick to what advice seasoned teddy bear makers offer. This will ensure that you limit your mistakes and don’t waste any materials.
By making your own teddy bears you will gain a lifelong skill and the ability to give gifts to your loved ones which are made from your heart rather than bought with your head. This is one of the main reasons that people go in to knitting and carry on this hobby for the rest of their life. You will also be able to knit household items, such as dinner plate mats, shower mats and mittens to wear when it’s cold.
Here is what you should do in order to get started and make your very own knitted and crochet soft toys.
1. Get a knitting pattern
Knitting patterns are essentially guides. Whereas with the making of a traditional fabric bear you will cut out shapes in fabric and stitch them to create the soft toy based from a template, knitting patterns are different in that they offer up instructions for you to create your bear.
The best kitting patterns are always visual. This means that knitting patterns with images, video or audio are perfect. Unless you have been knitting for a long time chances are you’re unlikely to understand some of the phrases used in kitting patterns, such as ” K 5, k twice into next, K 8″.
There are several websites which provide top quality soft toy knitting patterns for free. Knitting Pattern Central offers up a hundred or so and Tip Nut has 30+ stuffed animal and doll patterns to check out. Also Fave Crafts have a great teddy bear pattern for beginners as well as hundreds of other knitting patterns for other items when you have mastered the teddy bear!
A good pattern, as well as being visual, will provide you with a comprehensive list of the equipment you need and the materials required to make your soft toy. This is why we recommend finding the ideal knitting pattern prior to sourcing your materials so that you know exactly what you need.
Once you have a knitting pattern you can proceed to the next step.
2. Gather your materials and equipment
Your knitting pattern will tell you what materials and equipment you need to make the soft toy. These usually consist of:
- Knitting needles (4mm and 2mm)
- Stitch marker
- Yarn needle
- Filler for the bear
- Wool or yarn (the type will depend on the bear you are knitting)
It is always best to double check that you have all of the materials you need to complete a project before you start it.
3. Follow the instructions on your pattern
This step requires you to take your materials and make use of them. This almost always starts with casting a total amount of stitches across your knitting needles, and then knitting around the stitches to form a small tube. The starting instructions for a simple bear are:
Cast on a total of 24 stitches.
Knit around until your tube is approx 4″ long.
Bind off your knitting leaving a long tail to sew up the seam.
Use the long tail to sew up one end of your tube with your yarn needle.
If you are a beginner we really recommend using the free Easy Knit Teddy Bear pattern from Fave Crafts linked to above. That pattern is super easy to follow with great images to help you along the way.
During the process of creating your bear you may experiment with different coloured yarns. This will not affect the structure of your bear in the slightest. Although you can experiment with different yarns it is important that you stay strict to the size instructions offered up in your pattern as these are there to create a symmetrical and in-proportion soft toy. If you do not take good notice of these you may find yourself with a bear that looks like it came out of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
If you prefer dolls to teddy bears, check out TootyLou on Facebook. Here you will find lots of gorgeous knitted / crochet dolls for children that are made to order. You can also find some lovely handmade knitted toys on craft shopping sites like Etsy and Folksy
5. Trial and error
Knitting and Crocheting takes time and patience to perfect and knitting or crocheting a hat is not the same as knitting a teddy bear. Use your first soft toy that you’ve knitted as the building blocks for your next project. As you knit more and more you will get faster and more capable and the quality of your work will increase. You might find that the pattern you have chosen to use for your soft toy isn’t as easy as you’d have liked half way through; we say stick to it and follow it through, because although your bear may not be retail quality, it will help you get better through valuable experience.
Do you love knitting? How often do you find yourself making knitted teddy bears and soft toys? Be sure to share your experiences with Ready Teddy Go by commenting below.
If you prefer doing Crochet over Knitting then checkout this YouTube video that shows you step by step on how to make a Crochet Teddy Bear