machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

Friday, February 8, 2013

Free Machine Knit Charity Bear

Darn.  I was going to be a better blogger this year and a whole 5 weeks have gone by.  I knit a shawl for my sister-in-law for Christmas and of course forgot to photo it.  I did a simple triangle and used one of Diana Sullivan's Enchanted Edges.  Really pretty.  Lots and lots of rows, though.  And I made some of Kris Basta's doubled wool felted slippers on my bulky machine for my brother-in-law because he's always cold due to Parkinson's.  And, let's see...a 1 x 1 rib scarf for my son.  That's about it for home-made knitted presents.  I had too much to do to prepare for Christmas company.  Seems like ages ago now, but it was a wonderful time.  Keeping up with the little one was an adventure.

Our machine knitting guild knits for many different charities.  My favorite one is the MN Visiting Nurses.  They help new mothers who don't otherwise have a lot of resources.  I thought it would be nice for them to give each new mother a tiny teddy bear.  I was inspired by this one I saw on Ravelry.  Hand knit, easily converted to machine knit.  If you want to make some, directions follow.

I got my idea here: Simple Knit Bear The Knitting Way: A Guide to Spiritual Self-Discovery           

by Linda Skolnik and Janice MacDaniels

© 2012 Janice MacDaniels (hand knitting version)

because everyone needs a little someone to love.

Machine: Any; Gauge: Any; Yarn: Any; Other materials: Fiber fill. How accommodating is that?! (I'll give my info as one example at the end.)

Directions: Body---Figure out with the yarn and machine you are using what stitches and rows would be needed to produce a rectangle that is about 6” wide and 8” long. Ewrap on and knit this rectangle. Transfer every other stitch to its neighbor and leave an 18” yarn tail. Take the stitches off on this piece of yarn. Cinch up the stitches---this will be the top of his head. If you can't get the stitches tight enough, sew back and forth to cover up the hole. Now with the same yarn, do a mattress stitch a little more than 1/3 down the length for the head. Generously stuff with fiber fill so the head is firm. Now take this same yarn and wind around twice to make a neck. (See picture on the left above.) Cinch it in and knot off. Don't cut yarn. Now finish mattress stitching the rest of the seam but don't close the bottom yet. Let the yarn dangle for later use. Ears: Hang stitches on the machine where one ear would be, knit a few rows and bind off. Leave a yarn tail of about 8”. Sew around the ear with a whip stitch and pull a little on the last stitch. The ear will curl to the front a little. Secure the end and run it down through the head to hide.  Hide the other yarn end in the interior. Repeat for other ear. Now stuff the body firmly with the fiberfill. Fold in the bottom about 3/8” and stitch closed with the rest of the yarn tail you abandoned using an invisible kind of seam. Make a belly button: Thread about 8” of yarn doubled onto your needle. Come up through the stuffing and make a French knot. When you go back through the knot, hide the yarn end in the stuffing and snip. Arms and legs: Use a separate piece of yarn to define the arms and legs. Use a back stitch and sew all the way through front to back. Hide yarn ends in the interior. Scarf: CO about 8-10 stitches, knit enough rows to go around the neck and tie a bow. The knitting will fold in on itself and be quicker to knit than an I cord. You can, of course, knit a fancier scarf or tie a pretty ribbon around his neck.

MY specifics: Standard Gauge machine, mystery cotton yarn I've used for dishcloths, T 3, Cast on 50 stitches, knit 100 rows. Ears, 6 stitches, 6 rows. Scarf, 8 stitches 150 rows. Recommend that you knit at a tighter tension than you might usually use for the yarn so that the fiber fill doesn't show through. You could decrease at the end of the ears and make it look like a cat rather than a bear. Optional: embroider face details. I think he's cute enough plain. You could use the purl side as the right side if you like it better. Mine's a little fatter than the example. I might need to work on the ears a little....  This was just bear #1. Many more to come.