01/04/2016

Tiny Jemima, knitted charity bear tutorial for a complete beginner

I have been learning to knit since the start of this year. My Local WI group launched a community project called Trauma Teddies. The aim is to provide to provide the Metropolitan Police in Hillingdon the means to pacify a child in a traumatic situation through donations of handmade toys and teddies. The project struck a chord with me and I decided to learn to knit so that I could get involved and donate some teddies myself.

I started out my kitting journey by following this simple charity bear pattern by Patricia Smith. I found that the weight of the first leg on my needle really off putting when knitting the second and also found the first full row of garter stitch that joins the legs together was really tricky.

My children requested bears with clothes on so I looked about on the web and found these adorable bear and clothes tutorials by Baldy Sheep on Etsy. It is now many hours of knitting fun later and I have learnt a whole lot of useful info about pretty combinations of pearl and knit stitch from the Baldy Sheep tutorials. I also found that kitting a teddy in two parts and stuffing from the head was much easier for a total beginner like me. While knitting teddy bear T shirts it dawned on me that if I could use the same technique to knit a bear from the head down to the toes it would eliminate all of the bits I found tricky with the first charity bear tutorial.

I decided to give knitting a bear from the head downwards a go. I based my pattern proportions loosely on a scaled down version of the Patrica Smith bear. The aim was to find a super simple way to be able to knit, sew and stuff a small bear from start to finish in just a couple of hours. Jemima is very sweet, she comes out at just 4 inches high when knitted on 4mm needles with DK wool.

Jemima Pattern
Head
Cast on 12 sts
Knit 12 rows
Knit 2 together, knit 8 st, knit 2 together (10 sts)
Knit 2 together, knit  6 st, knit 2 together (8 sts)

Arms 
Cast on 10 sts at the start of the next two rows (28 sts)
Knit 6 rows
Cast of 8 sts at the start of the next 2 rows (12 sts)

Body
Knit 12 rows

Legs
Knit 6 sts, turn your work
Knit 11 more rows of 6sts
Cast off
Rejoin your wool and knit 12 rows of the remaining 6 sts
Cast off

Repeat pattern again in a bright contrasting colour for the back of the Teddy

Eyes, nose and mouth
You can either do this first before stitching the front and back together or after your bear has been stitched and stuffed. Use Bullion stitch to make a bulky oval nose. Embroider on two small eyes and a mouth and secure all of the ends securely and neatly (I find it easier to embroider the face before sewing together so I can hide knots and weave wool ends in on the wrong side of the knitting).

Sewing and stuffing 
Weave all loose ends in the wrong side of the knitting. Place right sides of the bear together and starting at one side of the head, oversew around the edges of the whole bear leaving a couple of cm gap at the top head. Carefully turn your bear right side out and stuff with soft toy stuffing (available in all good craft shops). Carefully sew the small opening in the head closed.

Ears
Separate a small diagonal area on the top corner on each side of the head using running stitch. Sew over the running stitch line two or three times, secure running stitch with a couple of small stitches hidden in the seam. Hide the tail end of the wool inside your stuffed bear. Gently pull the ears to a more rounded shape.

Useful links.....

How to cast on : Long Tail Method by Knittinghelp.com
How to knit the Garter Stritch by PurlPlanet
How to knit: Casting off for beginners by tinselmint 
Knitting Help: Weaving in ends in Garter stitch by VeryPink Knits
Bullion knots by Mary Corbet
Finishing : Oversewing by Stylecraft Yarns
Face Embroidery on Knitted Toys by SusanBAnderson

Please do not sell bears made from this tutorial unless the are for charitable purposes.

Happy Knitting, Jolene x



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