When making a bear; I used a pattern from a StitchCraft book. You start by making two arms, legs and torso and a head, then stitch them together to make the four separate pieces, before stuffing and completing the basic body shape, like this. The knitting of the pieces was dull, and following a pattern is apparently not my strong suit. Although the stitching together was alright, trying to keep the stuffing in at the same time was awkward at best.
After finishing that, you add a nose, mouth and eyes. I followed the books advice in giving the bear beads for eyes, however they just look daft, they’re like two little antennae sticking out of its face. I’m going try with just using some black thread or wool later.
This makes a ‘basic bear’, which you can then style with whichever add ons you like. I think the pattern works, but is time-consuming and repetitive. With my first bear, I somehow ended up with quite a large bear compared to the second and third ones, I think it was the wool type; the white was baby knit, and the cream and brown were double-knit. Overall its better to listen to the book specifically and the different types of wool are a thing I need to pay attention to and not just find a pattern and use what wool I have to make it, although it is an expensive hobby.
The first bear I made ended up with stitching on, for lack of anything else to put on him. The second I followed the pattern for a bride bear, with a white dress, bow and flowers.The flowers and bow are easy enough to get ahold of from any sewing or craft shop, the dress followed the pattern in the book, which is also rather awkward but works ridiculously well.
You must first knit the bodice, front and back, the knit the skirt by picking up several stitches along the bottom of the bodice, everything is in knit/perl, the only difference between the green dress and the white, is that the white had to be longer according to my trustworthy pattern. When I knitted the third bear, I wanted to try the dress again, specifically since it was strange to try to pick up cast off stitches for me, the apron on the third bear was just a plus to experiment with other decorations. and follows a simple 3 lines, for the top before cutting down stitches to knit/perl, whilst creating an edge with 4 knit stitches at the start and end of each line. The only other thing I made was shoes, which are the most annoying item to knit ever. They are a tiny 28 stitches wide, which gets cut down halfway through its 14 lines. Even as I used size 10 UK needles, it was fiddly work.
The bears bare overall at least some experience, and the pattern could be adapted for other creatures or dolls. The different add ons and extras for each doll is also practice in the different stitches and abbreviations; which this website was a lifesaver for explaining. I like the end product, if only because I made it, but also for its very ‘traditional’ knit style, as everyone who knits has probably, if not should, knit a bear at some point or other. Which is a good thing.