Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Tutorial - How to knit a teeny teddy

These little bears are very easy to make, and can be made using any yarn and needles. Just make sure you choose needles that are slightly smaller than recommended for the yarn. The bears in these photos were made using 3.25mm needles, and are about 5cm tall. Thicker yarn will make a larger bear!

Terms and Abbreviations
k - knit
st - stitch 
garter stitch - knit every row

Knitting the Bear
The bear is knitted in one piece in garter stitch, then folded in half and sewn together.
Cast on 4 sts 
k 6 rows. Cut the yarn and leave the leg on one needle.
On the same needle, cast on 4 sts
k 6 rows: the two legs will now be on the same needle

K across 8 leg sts (use cut end as well as working yarn for two sts at join) 
k 4 rows 
Turn, cast on 4 sts. 
K 1 row, turn, cast on 4 sts (16 sts)
K 3 more rows 
Turn, cast off 4 sts.
K to the end of the row, turn, cast off 4 sts (8 sts)

K 16 rows (8 for his face, 8 for the back of his head)
Turn, cast on 4 sts. 
K 1 row, turn, cast on 4 sts (16 sts) 
K 3 more rows
Turn, cast off 4 sts. 
K to the end of the row, turn, cast off 4 sts (8 sts)
K 4 rows
K 6 rows on 4 sts, leaving remaining 4 sts on needle. Cast off.
K 6 rows on remaining 4 sts. Cast off.

Making up the Bear
Fold the bear in half lengthways.

Sew the side seams from the corners of the foot around the arm and to the ear. Then sew the inside leg edges together, leaving a hole to stuff the teddy through his crotch.

Turn the bear inside out, making sure that the ends of the yarn at the inside leg are on the outside - so that you can sew the hole up when the bear is stuffed. First fill the head with enough stuffing so that the head is round. Thread a piece of yarn through a middle stitch on the the same level as the shoulders. 

Thread the yarn all the way around the neck and pull tight, until the head is round and the arms lift up slightly.
Tie a double knot.

Next stuff the arms, then the tummy and finally the legs. When the teddy is nice and fat, sew up the hole and tie a double knot.

The Bear’s Face
The next stage is the most difficult, and also the stage allowing you most artistic licence. This is where the magic will happen that makes your teddy bear an individual.
Make the teddy’s ears by pulling the corners of the head out a little and sewing a piece of yarn firmly through a few times, leaving a little dimple. 

Now choose which side of the head will be the front - and use a darker piece of yarn to make a face. Here are some instructions - but you will doubtless find your own way of stitching a face.

Select a stitch which is in the middle of the bear’s face widthways, and slightly lower than the middle lengthways. Leaving a long tail, thread from right to left through the stitch several times, until you have a nose.

Thread the yarn underneath the nose stitches in the middle of the nose, and down through the head to come out at a stitch that will be the bottom of the mouth. Then take the thread back down through the same place in the nose. Then take it through the head to the come out at the side of the mouth.

Put the needle back in at the mouth-bottom, and then repeat for the other side of the mouth. Now you have a nose, and a nice little smile. Thread the yarn from the bottom of the mouth through the teddy to where you would like the eye to be.

Usually a teddy’s eyes are fairly close to the nose and fairly small. Make a couple of stitches, until the eye is the right size, then take the yarn through the head to the other eye. It is a good idea to count the stitches between the nose and the first eye and make sure the second eye the same distance away. Make sure the stitches are not too loose, and also not too tight or the stitches will disappear.

When you have finished all the stitching, hide the ends by threading them through the bear, pulling them tight, and cutting the end off - so that a long end will remain hidden inside the bear.

And now you have a perfect little bear! 

Ready knitted teeny weeny bears are available in my shopThis pattern will be available in a kit forms soon, with handspun yarn, stuffing and needles :-)

My thanks to the test knitters!:


  1. This is wonderful!!! How cute are these teddies???

    I have a teeny penguin that a great-aunt knitted for me when I was a toddler, and I still find it comforting to hold at times!


  2. They're sooo cute!! I've shared this tutorial on my Facebook :)

  3. I think these teds are really cute - and so simple :-)

    That must be the greatest appreciation a knitter could ever get Bluebell - that a knitted gift is still being cuddled when the toddler is grown up!

    Thanks for sharing De Estraperlo :-) It's good to spread the word about teddies - they're good for the soul :-)

  4. how cute are these! thanks for the tutorial. my daughter has asked for some tiny knitted toys so now I can have a go. Lucyxx

  5. My daughter loves tiny knitted toys too - There's something so compelling about a little bear that nestles into the palm of your hand :-)