Here are 17 free knitted teddy bear patterns ranging from all- in-one knitted patterns, 2-piece cuties, to 20- piece 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.
All In One Knitted Teddy Bear Patterns
Learn how to knit a teddy bear in one piece with the following patterns.
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. Find the free web-based pattern at ax174.blogspot.
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.
Knit Teddy Bear Family
Crafty Patti has a Knit Along video tutorial for her all-in-one piece teddy bear. It is similar to Blue’s Big Hug Bear in that it is knitted in one piece from feet to feet and folded at the head. The major difference is that this is done in garter stitch.
I find garter stitch edges easier to sew up. This teddy is extremely child friendly.
The full written instructions are in the Description of the video.
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.
The designer Julie Tarsha offers a 2-hour long Knit Along video tutorial. You can follow it for free.
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.
Teddy Bear Patterns that Need Making Up
The list is organized according to the number of parts needed.
Berroco’s Foliage Bear (2 parts)
This teddy is knitted in 2 pieces; front and back. Doesn’t look so right? Personally, I think the knitter must have great sewing skills. ;P
It is also knitted in reverse stockinette stitch. Quite rare with knitted teddies. It gives the bear a rougher texture. It is different and I like it. Berroco has stated that this is for an experienced knitter.
Trauma Teddy (2 parts)
The Trauma teddy was a creation of the Australian Red Cross to help comfort children through times of crisis. Find the full story at The Trauma Teddy story | Australian Red Cross. Download the written pattern here, although the video below contains the instructions too.
Trauma teddy is knitted in 2 parts in garter stitch and then sewn up and stuffed.
My Lovely Bear (5 parts)
I really like the vibrant colours used for this Korean bear. It is made up of 5 parts: Body, head and legs are knitted in one piece, 2 ears, and 2 arms. A sixth piece if you count the green scarf.
Iruda’s English instructions are easy to follow. I picked up a few useful shaping techniques from her video. There are 2 videos. The first one on making the main body. The second on the rest of the parts.
Norwegian Teddy Bear (6 parts)
This teddy is knitted in 6 pieces. The legs, body and head are knitted in 2 pieces, the front and back. The arms and ears are knitted separately and sewn on later. Instructions on the sequence of putting the pieces together are given.
This teddy bear is knitted with Schachenmayr’s Bravo Baby 185 in a beautiful Norwegian design. The colorwork pattern comes directly out of the yarn ball. It is possible to use other variegated yarns or solid colours.
Annalisa’s Knitted Bear Pattoz (7 parts)
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.
This teddy has 7 parts including one for the sweater. 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.
Tesiki and Teri (6 parts)
This is another knit along video tutorial. Tesiki or Teri has 6 parts. Part 2 contains detailed instructions on making up the face. The placement of the ears and facial expressions are clearly demonstrated. Even though the video is in Korean, there are timely English instructions. A great way to learn to knit teddy bears for intermediate knitters.
Michele’s Ruby Bear (8 parts)
This is like the classic Gingrich teddy bear. All the 8 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. Find the free web-based pattern at Premier Yarns.
Bloom Bear (8 parts)
Bloom bear is designed with the Premier Yarns Bloom Chunky in mind. All the pieces are knitted flat first. The shapes are created after sewing up the sides.
Bloom bear has 8 parts: head, body, ears, arms, legs. The instructions for putting the parts together are not as detailed. Do consult the instructions for Ruby Bear.
Charles Bear (9 parts)
Charles Bear was designed to commemorate the coronation of King Charles. The bear itself consists of 9 parts: head, body, legs, ears, arms, and nose. They are all knitted flat.
The robe has 4 parts, and the crown has 2 parts. The body and head use garter stitch while the snout and soles are in stockinette stitch. Find the free PDF pattern at Lovecrafts.
The Cutest Polar Bear (9 parts)
This polar bear is designed by Amanda Saladin using Red Heart’s Hygge fur yarn [affiliate link]. There are 9 parts: head, body, 2 ears, 2 arms, 2 legs, 1 tail. Each part is stuffed and sewn up individually and then assembled.
The yarn used resembles eyelash yarn but is much softer. It is not difficult to knit but frogging can be challenging.
The instructions are clear and well-spaced out. A group picture of all the parts would have been a nice touch. A video tutorial is available. It is not a knit-along but a quick summary and explanation of some tricky parts.
Martin’s Three Bear Family (10 parts)
Designed by Martin Storey for Rowan Yarns, this set of bears reminds me of Mr Bean’s bear except they are in pastel colours. They look extremely huggable.
Knitted in 10 parts. Front and back for the head and body, 2 arms, 2 legs, 4 pieces for the ears.
Sarah’s Mr Bean Style Teddy Bear (14 parts)
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 14 pieces to knit and make up. But I think it is manageable.
Sandra Polley’s Catherine (20 parts)
Sandra Polley is a designer of knitted teddy bears and animals. She has published a couple of books on knitting teddy bears [https://amzn.to/2YZKNYl]. 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 [https://amzn.to/3upfAuj].
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. Find the free pdf pattern at Web Archive.
We have come to the end of this post. I hope you found what you are looking for. Let me know, okay?