Here are 10 free knitted teddy bear patterns ranging from all in one knitted patterns, 2 pieces to multiple pieces heirlooms.
Why Knitted Teddy Bears
Knitted teddy bears make great gifts, especially for non-knitters. Unlike socks, sweaters, and even scarves, you do not have to worry about the sizes of the bears and the recipients’ fashion preferences. Besides, I think all kids (big or small) love teddy bears.
The smaller-sized teddy bears are great yarn busters as they often need only 50 yards or less. Small bears usually come with a vest, dress, or some accessories. Learning to make miniature clothes can be a great jumpstart to making a life-sized one.
Oh, most teddy bears do not require blocking. Yay!
Teddy Bear Knitting Tips
Choose acrylic yarn or superwash wool to knit teddy bears so they can be washed in a washing machine without worrying about shrinkage or piling.
The facial expression on a teddy bear vary. I like to make sure my teddy bears are smiling or sort of smiling. For eyes, you can sew on buttons, safety eyes, felt discs, or embroider them. Safety eyes or embroidered eyes are best for teddies meant for small children. The same goes for the nose. For embroidery, I have seen a bear with a pink silky ribbon for a nose. Very sweet. Here is a blog post by Simply Notables on creating eyes and noses using needle felting. She felted a little heart for the nose. Really cute.
Teddy bear knitting patterns may seem complicated but don’t feel intimidated. There are instructions for different pieces but each piece is pretty quick and easy to knit.
Be organized. Keep all completed pieces in a project bag or ziplock bag. That way, you won’t misplace anything.
Section 1: All In One Knitted Teddy Bear Patterns
Learn how to knit a teddy bear in one piece with the following patterns.
1. One Seam Teddy Bear Knitting Pattern
This teddy bear is knitted in one piece from head to toe using double-pointed needles. The only thing to seam up is between the legs. You must know how to knit in the round using double-pointed needles or magic loop or 2 circular needles. Unless you want to knit the teddy in the single colour, you also need to know how to change colour.
I think the instruction is pretty straightforward.
This pattern is available at ax174.blogspot.sg.
2. Blue’s Big Hug Bear
The big hug bear is knitted in one piece starting at the feet. It is knitted as a flat piece and then folded at the head and sewn into shape.
It is the first time I have seen a pattern that folds at the head. It is unusual for me and I am concerned about the shaping of the head. Since it is a small project, it does not take a lot of time to try it out and see how well this works out.
This pattern has been archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20210506133243/http://www.barddance.org/knittering/bluesbighugbear.htm
3. Arne & Carlos’ 6369 Teddy
This teddy is sort of knitted in one piece.
What do I mean? The legs and arms are knitted separately but are then knitted into the body as the body gets knitted up. So, there isn’t much sewing up which I like.
The choice of a variegated yarn produces a teddy that looks like it was done up in intarsia but it is not. If you use a solid colour yarn, you will get a one-colour bear. Stuff well to bring out the colourwork and the face of the bear. It is cuter if it is fuller.
This pdf pattern is available at https://schachenmayr.com/en/free-patterns/teddy-6369
4. Simply Notable’s Magic Loop Teddy
This is one of the smartest knit-in-one-piece teddy bears I have come across.
Most teddy bears that are knitted in one piece tend to be quite flat. But with some smart placement of increases, this teddy offers more curves. At 9 to 10 inches tall, this is a well-sized teddy.
You will need to know how to knit increases.
This pattern is available at http://www.simplynotable.com/2014/knit-one-piece-teddy-bear-pattern/
Section 2: Teddy Bear Patterns that Need Making Up
5. Martin’s Three Bear Family
Designed by Martin Storey for Rowan Yarns, this set of bears reminds me of Mr Bean’s bear except they are in pastel colours. I should knit a few of these. They look extremely huggable.
This pdf pattern is available at Englishyarns.co.uk.
6. Sarah’s Mr Bean Style Teddy Bear
Did I say the Three Bear Family resembles Mr. Bean’s bear? I think Sarah’s pattern bears a striking resemblance. You should knit this if you are a Mr Bean’s fan. There are a fair number of pieces to knit and sew up. But I think it is manageable.
This pattern is available at http://www.knitting-and.com/knitting/patterns/toys/beanbear.htm
7. Annalisa’s Knitted Bear Pattoz
Pattoz looks European. That’s the reason he is included in this list. ;P. He reminds me of Ernest from Ernest and Celestine, a series of illustrated storybooks by Gabrielle Vincent. One of the stories has been turned into an animated film by Benjamin Renner. See the trailer below.
Instructions are given for the head, body, legs, forearms, and ears (which are picked up from the head YAY!) Annalisa the designer gave clear instructions on how to position the legs so that the bear can sit properly. She also provided instructions for the cute sweater Pattoz is wearing.
Your bear is already handsome, but he’ll be nicer if you’ll knit him a sweaterAnnalisa Dione aknittingbear 2013
This free bear knitting pattern is available at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pattoz-the-knitted-bear
8. Michele’s Ruby Bear
This is like the classic Gingrich teddy bear. All the parts are knitted up separately and then sewn together. If you don’t want a floppy bear, you will need to stuff it full, sew up tightly and boldly. But I do really like the shape of the head and body. A classic.
This pattern is available at Premier Yarns.
9. Sandra Polley’s Catherine
Sandra Polley is a designer of knitted teddy bears and animals. She has published a couple of books on knitting teddy bears. The one that I have in my collection is The Knitted Teddy Bear: Make Your Own Heirloom Toys with Dozens of Patterns for Unique Clothing and Accessories (affiliate link).
It is a pleasant surprise to see Catherine’s pattern free on the Internet. It is in the web archive though and I am not sure how long it will remain so.
Catherine is a big huggable teddy bear with a pretty white dress. If you are serious about learning how to properly knit teddy bears, Sandra Polley’s bears are a good start.
This free archived pdf pattern is available at Sandra’s Catherine.
10. Berroco’s Foliage Bear
This teddy is knitted in reverse stockinette stitch. It gives the bear a rougher texture. It is different and I like it. Berroco has stated that this is for an experienced knitter. Proceed with caution okay?
It is knitted in 2 pieces; front and back. Doesn’t look so right? Personally, I think the knitter must have great sewing skills. ;P
This pattern is available at Foliage bear.