As much as I love crochet, if you want to make a proper, distinguished looking teddy bear, you need to get out the knitting needles.
Sandra Polley’s book ‘The Knitted Teddy Bear’ has 18 different patterns to choose from, in all shapes and sizes. The pictures in the book are adorable, especially the group shots. Every bear has a suitable name too which is a lovely touch. Once you start flicking through the book, you can’t wait to start, and the only trouble is picking which bear to make first!
So far, I’ve made a large bear called Robert (pictured above) and a smaller friend for him called Douglas (pictured below). They have a completely different look to the crochet teddy bears I’ve made. These knitted teddy bears are far more serious, reminiscent of traditional old fashioned teddy bears.
This reflects the extra work that goes into them, because these bears are actually quite tricky to make. For a start, most of the bears are made up of a large number of small pieces. These naturally have a lot of increasing and decreasing for shaping, so you need to keep your eye on the ball.
I found that the pattern format added to the complexity. The patterns are lengthy and all in the same font. Sometimes basic parts are spelt out row by row, whereas more complicated bits are just summarised with the likes of “inc on the next and every following nth row” etc which can leave you scribbling in the margins to figure out your row count.
I would also have appreciated some close up pictures to give guidance on assembling the bears. You just get a basic sketch here and there which is not much help. I was scratching my head at first wondering whether I even had the head gusset the right way round!
This said, most of the patterns follow the same techniques, so once you have made one bear, you get the hang of it. While you may grow a little nervous as your collection of knitted fragments grows, once you follow the pattern carefully, the end result is a bear you can be proud of which was well worth the effort.