Plymouth Encore Worsted (or any machine washable worsted yarn) in 3 colors: main color (MC, for hands, feet and face of bear), trouser color (TC) and sweater color (SC); a fist-sized ball of each color is sufficient
straight needles, 1 pair U.S. size 7
small amount of lightweight yarn or embroidery floss to embroider face
Stitches used: garter, stockinette (St st).
Gauge is not crucial.
Note: Bear is worked in one piece, beginning with the front leg (figure A) and trouser, front sweater, front and back head, back sweater and back trouser and leg. Arms are picked up and knit later.
Leg and trouser:
With MC, cast on 10
Knit 10 rows in garter stitch
Change to TC and knit 20 rows in St st (figure B)
Keeping the first leg on the needle, repeat steps 1-3 to knit the second leg the same way (figure C).
With TC, knit across all 20 stitches (both legs) and continue 16 rows in St st to finish trouser.
Change to SC, work 20 rows in St st (or work in any stitch pattern of your choice: seed stitch, cables or stripes, for example).
Head and back of bear:
Change to MC and work in either St st or garter stitch for 5-1/2". St st is nice for detailed faces, but garter stitch makes a "furry" face.
Change to SC and reverse the steps (sweater, trouser, and leg) to complete the back of the bear.
Cast on 60 stitches in SC or coordinating color.
Knit 3 rows and cast off.
Skirt option (for girl bear):
Hold the bear with the feet facing away from you and, with TC, pick up and knit 28 stitches evenly across the waist.
Purl 1 row.
In next row, knit 1 stitch, increase 1 stitch all the way across.
Purl the next row.
Continuing in St st, work 14 more rows or to desired length.
Putting it together and adding arms:
Change to a contrasting color and knit 1 row.
Knit the next row (will form ridges on the right side of the hem).
Purl 1 row. Continue steps 2-3 until 3 ridges have been made.
Bind off as if to knit on a purl row. This will make the hem curl under.
Add the skirt on the other side in the same manner.
Fold bear in half along the middle of the head section. Stitch together the sides of the head.
With SC, pick up 8 stitches along the front edge and 8 stitches along the back edge on either side of the neck (16 stitches; see diagram).
Knit 16 rows in SC and sweater pattern.
Change to MC and knit 10 rows.
Sew up side seams, leaving opening in crotch for stuffing (figure D). Stuff the bear, but don't make it very stiff or fat (figure E). Sew crotch shut. Sew a running stitch around the neck and draw it up to shape the neck.
Face, scarf and tag
Embroider a face with yarn or embroidery floss.
Sew diagonally across top corners of head and "pinch" ears for a rounded look.
Tie scarf around neck and anchor securely to back of neck.
Write your first name on the tag; attach it to the completed bear's wrist with yarn. (Tags can be obtained from the Mother Bear Project, or a volunteer will sign your name to a tag and attach it once you've sent in your bear.)
A red felt heart will be sewn on the chest before shipping.
Send completed bears to the following address:
Mother Bear Project
P.O. Box 62188
Minneapolis, MN 55426
Please also include a $3 contribution to help cover shipping costs.