Free Pattern: Knot Forgotten Knit Bear

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Make and donate a Knot Forgotten Knit Bear to give hope to a child living in extreme circumstances.​​​​​
FREE pattern - Knot Forgotten Knit Bear by Pear Dinkum

Hello, all! I’m back with another charity design for Knot Forgotten. It’s no secret I’m obsessed with the work of this organisation (see my previous post for more info), and I'm so excited to finally release this new collection of bears.

The Knot Forgotten Knit Bear is the second of my free designs for Knot Forgotten. He's based off the original crochet design by Justine Shapiro, which is available for purchase as part of the Knot Forgotten Crochet Pattern Collection.

Just for fun, in addition to the standard bear design, I've made three extra variations: a bear with pants, a bee bear, and a panda. I've included all the instructions below, with added notes and links to help you through. To make things even easier, I've also included a navigation menu so you can quickly jump to each section.

I also have a free owl pattern available, and am hoping to eventually release other knit equivalents of the Knot Forgotten crochet designs.

All toys donated are given to kids living in extremely difficult situations, such as those living in refugee camps, or the children of overseas Christians suffering persecution. While it's acknowledged that a toy won't bring change in itself, the toys are given as a source of comfort and a reminder that these precious children are SEEN and not forgotten.  

​​​​​​GET ​​​​​INVOLVED

If you're a crocheter and you're keen to get started, click below to buy a "Bear in A Bag" kit from the Knot Forgotten website!

Disclosure: I am in no way affiliated with Knot Forgotten or Open Doors AU/NZ, nor receive monetary compensation for contributing my designs. I simply love what these organisations are about and wholeheartedly encourage other makers to get involved. 

IMPORTANT

If you would like to make and donate a Knot Forgotten Knit Bear, please be aware that:


  • Your toys need to fit the specific size requirements in order to be accepted for travel. Height = 15-18cm; Width = 10-12cm
    Any toys larger than 18cm/7" (not including ears), will no longer be accepted.
  • Your toys should be stuffed loosely in order to compress easily in vacuum sealed bags (I believe this is more of an issue for crochet toys, as crocheted fabric is denser and more rigid than knitted fabric). To be safe, stuff only as much as needed for your knitted toys to hold their shape without distortion.

NOTES:


  • Toy dimensions: approx. 16cm high and 10cm wide using Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK* (50g = 125m), and a pair of 3.00mm needles
  • Worked flat: All pieces are worked flat on straight needles and seamed afterwards (feel free to knit back and forth on circular needles if you find them more comfortable)
  • Gauge/Tension: gauge is not important, and your stitches will stretch once your toy is stuffed. For reference, my gauge was 6 sts and 10 rows = 2.5cm (1 inch)
  • Casting on: Use the long tail cast on method

MATERIALS:


  • A pair of 3.00mm (US 2½) straight or circular knitting needles
  • A pair of 3.00mm (US 2½) double-pointed needles or circular needles (used to make an i-cord for the bee's antennae)
  • DK or light worsted yarn (8ply in Australia).
    I used a combination of Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK* and Paintbox Yarns Simply DK*
  • Stitch holder, wool needle, ball-head pins, scissors
  • Oddments of worsted, DK, 4ply (fingering) or embroidery floss for embroidering nose and eyes (I give a list of the yarn I used for each section)
  • Toy stuffing (approximately 30g)

ABBREVIATIONS:


beg = beginning

DK = double knitting or light worsted yarn (also known as 8ply in Australia)

g-st = garter stitch (two or more rows of knitting)

k2tog = knit two together (knit decrease)

RLI = Right Lifted Increase. I prefer to use this increase, but feel free to replace with any other increase method

st(s) = stitch(es)

st-st = stocking stitch or stockinette stitch (two or more rows alternating knit and purl stitches)

(…) nx = repeat the sequence in the square brackets by the number “n”

(…sts) = the number in the bracket at the end of each row indicates the number of stitches you should have on your right needle after completing the row

EXTRA TECHNIQUES:


Cut yarn, pull through and tie tightly:

This is used to bind off the top of the body after completing the last row, forming a circle. 

Cut working yarn, leaving a 15cm/6" tail, and thread onto a wool needle. Thread this tail through all remaining sts on needle and pull tightly, forming a closed circle. Thread tail back through sts a 2nd time and pull tightly to secure.

Gather together and tighten cast on stitches:

This is used to turn the straight cast on edge of the feet, ears and muzzle into a circular shape, ready for sewing the row edges closed.

Thread wool needle with cast on tail. Starting at the opposite end (see NOTE below), gather up all sts by threading needle though each of the outer loops of the cast on edge (fig. 1)TIP: Think of each st as two legs "/\", where your needle is inserted between the legs, picking up the right leg only.

Pull tail to gather up the sts tightly (fig. 2 and 3). Then secure by threading tail through all sts a second time, pulling tightly to keep the centre from reopening (fig. 4, 5 and 6).

NOTE: Alternatively, you can start gathering from from the same end. This will produce a tighter result, but will affect the finished size of your ears and muzzle. 

fig. 1

fig. 2

fig. 3

fig. 4

fig. 5

fig. 6

BEAR 1 "Standard Bear"


Original bear - Knot Forgotten Knit Bear

Above bear made using Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK*


A = Soft Fudge (410) = legs, body, ears, muzzle
B = Lime Green (429) = shirt
C = Misty Grey (404) = 
shirt


Oddments used for eyes, nose, mouth and cheeks:

Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK: Pure Black (402); Raspberry Pink (444)

La Mia Baby Cotton: Pink - L046

LEGS (make two):
Bear 1 "Standard Bear"


Worked from the bottom of the feet to the top of the leg.


With A, cast on 11 sts, leaving a 10cm (4”) tail for closing the foot
R1: (wrong side) purl  
R2: k1, (RLI, k1) 9x, k1 (20 sts)  

R3: purl

R4: k1, (RLI, k3) 6x, k1 (26 sts)

R5-19: beg with purl, st-st for 15 rows


LEG 1: cut yarn and transfer leg to a stitch holder or spare needle.
LEG 2: cut yarn. With both legs facing right side, transfer LEG 1 back to left needle with LEG 2, and continue through to body.

BODY:
Bear 1 "Standard Bear"


Worked from the top of the legs to the top of the head.

R20-21: Continuing with A and, beg with knit, st-st for two rows (52 sts)
R22-39: Cut A and switch to B. Beg with knit, work the next 18 rows of st-st in stripes (2 rows B, two rows C)
R40-61: Cut B and C. Switch to A. Beg with knit, st-st for 22 rows
R62: k2, (k2tog, k4) 8x, k2 (44 sts)
R63: purl
R64: k2, (k2tog, k3) 8x, k2 (36 sts)
R65: purl
R66: k2, (k2tog, k2) 8x, k2 (28 sts)
R67: purl
R68: k2, (k2tog, k1) 8x, k2 (20 sts)
R69: purl
R70: k2tog across entire row (10 sts)

Cut yarn, pull through and tie tightly.
Make ears and muzzle using yarn A.

BEAR 2 "Bear with Pants"


Bear with pants - Knot Forgotten Knit Bear

Above bear made using Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK*

A = Light Caramel (409) - feet, muzzle
B = Lime Green (429) - pants, bow-tie
C = Misty Grey (404) - pants
D = Coffee Bean (411) - head, ears

Oddments used for eyes, nose, mouth and cheeks:
Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK: Pure Black (402); Raspberry Pink (444)
La Mia Baby Cotton: Pink - L046

LEGS (make two):
Bear 2 "Bear with Pants"


Worked from the bottom of the feet to the top of the leg.

With A, cast on 11 sts, leaving a 10cm (4”) tail for closing the foot
R1: (wrong side) purl  
R2: k1, (RLI, k1) 9x, k1 (20 sts)
R3: purl
R4: k1, (RLI, k3) 6x, k1 (26 sts)
R5-7: beg with purl, st-st for 5 rows
R8-19: Cut A and switch to B. beg with knit, work the next 12 rows in st-st, alternating between colours B and C every four rows.

LEG 1: cut yarn and transfer leg to a stitch holder or spare needle.
LEG 2: cut yarn. With both legs facing right side, transfer LEG 1 back to left needle with LEG 2, and continue through to body.

BODY:
Bear 2 "Bear with Pants"


Worked from the top of the legs to the top of the head.

R20-39: Switch to C. Beg with knit, work the next 18 rows of st-st in stripes (four rows C, four rows B) (52 sts)
R40–41: Cut C and switch to B. g-st for two rows
R42-61: Cut B and switch to D.  Beg with knit, st-st for 20 rows
R62: k2, (k2tog, k4) 8x, k2 (44 sts)
R63: purl
R64: k2, (k2tog, k3) 8x, k2 (36 sts)
R65: purl
R66: k2, (k2tog, k2) 8x, k2 (28 sts)
R67: purl
R68: k2, (k2tog, k1) 8x, k2 (20 sts)
R69: purl
R70: k2tog across entire row (10 sts)

Cut yarn, pull through and tie tightly.
Make
muzzle using yarn A and ears using yarn D.

BEAR 3 "Bee  Bear"


Bee Bear - Knot Forgotten Knit Bear

Above bear made using Paintbox Yarns Simply DK* (A and C) and 4 Seasons Marvel 8ply (B)


A = Buttercup Yellow (122) - legs, body, ears, muzzle
B = Bear (1072) - stripes, antennae
C = Paper White (100) - wings


Oddments used for eyes, nose, mouth and cheeks:

Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK: Pure Black (402)

La Mia Baby Cotton: Pink - L046

LEGS (make two):
Bear 3 "Bee Bear"


Worked from the bottom of the feet to the top of the leg.


With A, cast on 11 sts, leaving a 10cm (4”) tail for closing the foot
R1: (wrong side) purl  
R2: k1, (RLI, k1) 9x, k1 (20 sts)  

R3: purl

R4: k1, (RLI, k3) 6x, k1 (26 sts)

R5-19: beg with purl, st-st for 15 rows


LEG 1: cut yarn and transfer leg to a stitch holder or spare needle.
LEG 2: cut yarn. With both legs facing right side, transfer LEG 1 back to left needle with LEG 2, and continue through to body.

BODY:
Bear 3 "Bee Bear"


Worked from the top of the legs to the top of the head.


R20-21: Continuing with A and beg with knit, work the next two rows in st-st (52 sts)

R22–41: Drop A and switch to B. Beg with knit, work the next 20 rows in st-st (four rows B, four rows A)

R42-61: Cut B and switch to A.  Beg with knit, st-st for 20 rows

R62: k2, (k2tog, k4) 8x, k2 (44 sts)

R63: purl

R64: k2, (k2tog, k3) 8x, k2 (36 sts)

R65: purl

R66: k2, (k2tog, k2) 8x, k2 (28 sts)

R67: purl

R68: k2, (k2tog, k1) 8x, k2 (20 sts)

R69: purl

R70: k2tog across entire row (10 sts)

Cut yarn, pull through and tie tightly.
Make ears and muzzle using yarn A.


WINGS (make two):
Bear 3 "Bee Bear"


Worked from the centre to the outer edge.


With C, cast on 10 sts, leaving a 10cm (4") tail for sewing

R1: (wrong side) knit

R2: k1, (m1, k1) 8x, k1 (18 sts)

R3: knit

R4: k1, (m1, k2) 8x, k1 (26 sts)

R5: knit

R6: k1, (m1, k3) 8x, k1 (34 sts)

R7: knit

R8: k1, (m1, k4) 8x, k1 (42 sts)

R9: knit

R10: k1, (m1, k5) 8x, k1 (50 sts)

R11: knit

R12: k1, (m1, k6) 8x, k1 (58 sts)

R13: knit

Cast off in knit


Finishing wings:

Gather together and tighten cast on stitches.

Using the remaining tail, sew seam closed using mattress stitch.

ANTENNAE (make two):
Bear 3 "Bee Bear"


Worked from the bottom upwards.


Using A and a pair of 3.00mm double-pointed needles (or circular needles), cast on 3 sts, leaving a 10cm (4") tail for sewing. Knit an i-cord 10 rows in length, then cast off and weave in top end. Repeat steps for second antenna.

BEAR 4 "Panda"


Panda - Knot Forgotten Knit Bear

Above bear made using Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK* (A and C) and Paintbox Yarns Simply DK* (B)


A = Pure Black (402) - feet, body, ears, eye patches
B = Paper White (100) - legs, head, muzzle
C = Pillar Red (415) - hair bow


Oddments used for eyes, nose and mouth:

La Mia Baby Cotton: White - L001; Pink - L046
Sullivans Crochet Cotton 2ply Satin: Dark Chocolate Brown - 40373

LEGS (make two):
Bear 4 "Panda"


Worked from the bottom of the feet to the top of the leg.


With A, cast on 11 sts, leaving a 10cm (4”) tail for closing the foot
R1: (wrong side) purl  
R2: k1, (RLI, k1) 9x, k1 (20 sts)  

R3: purl

R4: k1, (RLI, k3) 6x, k1  (26 sts)

R5-15: beg with purl, st-st for 11 rows

R16-19: Cut A and switch to B. beg with knit, work the next four rows in st-st


LEG 1: cut yarn and transfer leg to a stitch holder or spare needle.
LEG 2: cut yarn. With both legs facing right side, transfer LEG 1 back to left needle with LEG 2, and continue through to body


BODY:
Bear 4 "Panda"


Worked from the top of the legs to the top of the head.


R20-29: Continuing with A and beg with knit, work the next 10 rows in st-st (52 sts)

R30–39: Cut A and switch to B. Beg with knit, work the next 10 rows in st-st

R40-61: Cut B and switch to A.  Beg with knit, st-st for 22 rows

R62: k2, (k2tog, k4) 8x, k2 (44 sts)

R63: purl

R64: k2, (k2tog, k3) 8x, k2 (36 sts)

R65: purl

R66: k2, (k2tog, k2) 8x, k2 (28 sts)

R67: purl

R68: k2, (k2tog, k1) 8x, k2 (20 sts)

R69: purl

R70: k2tog across entire row (10 sts)


Cut yarn, pull through and tie tightly.
Make 
muzzle using yarn B and ears using yarn A.


EYE PATCHES (make two):
Bear 4 "Panda"


Worked from the centre to the outer edge.


With A, cast on 13 sts, leaving a 10cm (4") tail for sewing. 
R1: (wrong side) purl
R2: k1, (RLI, k1) 11x, k1 (24 sts) 
Cast off in purl, leaving a long tail for sewing.


Finishing eye patches:

Gather together and tighten cast on stitches.

Continue using the cast on tail to sew seam closed with mattress stitch.
Now is a good time to embroider the eyes. I used a simple French knot, but you could also stitch a straight line, a V-shape or a curved line w/eyelashes. Secure on wrong side of work and trim ends.


NOTE: Seam line is the inner corner of each eye patch.


EARS (make two):
All bears


Worked from the tip of the ear to the bottom edge.


Cast on 13 sts, leaving a 10cm (4") tail for sewing.
R1: (wrong side) purl
R2: k1, (RLI, k1) 11x, k1 (24 sts) 
R3-9: beg with purl, st-st for seven rows
Cast off, leaving a long tail for sewing. 


Finishing ears:

Gather together and tighten cast on stitches.

Continue using cast on tail to sew seam closed with mattress stitch.


MUZZLE:
All bears


Worked from the centre to the outer edge.


Cast on 13 sts, leaving a 10cm (4") tail for sewing.
R1: (wrong side) purl
R2: k1, (RLI, k1) 11x, k1 (24 sts) 
R3: purl
R4: k2, (RLI, k4) 5x, k2 (29 sts) 
R5-7: beg with purl, st-st for three rows
Cast off, leaving a long tail for sewing.


Finishing muzzle:

Gather together and tighten cast on stitches. Continue using cast on tail to sew seam closed with mattress stitch.


BOW TIE/HAIR BOW:
Bear 2 & Bear 4


Cast on 10 sts, leaving a long tail for sewing.

R1: (wrong side) purl

R2-33: Beg with knit, st-st for 32 rows
Cast off, leaving a long tail for wrapping around bow and sewing to body.


Finishing bow:

Whip stitch cast on and cast off edges together to form a loop (wrong side facing inside). Position seam line back and centre, then use cast on/cast off tails to tightly tie a double knot around the bow's centre.

Wrap tails tightly around bow to cover seam line, and knot securely in the back.


ALL BEARS:


Seaming and stuffing the body:


  • Tidy up by double knotting and trimming all yarn ends on the body except the cast on/cast off tails.
  • Thread wool needle with cast on tail A. Beginning at the opposite end of the yarn tail, pick up the outer loops of the cast on edge (fig. 1). Pull tightly to close (fig. 2 and 3), then thread needle through a second time to secure (fig. 4 and 5). Pull tightly (fig. 6).

Sewing and stuffing the legs and body:


Knot off and trim all yarn tails corresponding to colour changes within the body (DO NOT cut cast on/cast off tails). Gather up cast on edge of LEG 1. Then, using either the cast on tail or a new length of yarn, sew LEG 1 closed using mattress stitch, finishing where the leg meets the body. Repeat for LEG 2, and begin stuffing legs.


Using either of the threads from LEG 1 or 2 (whichever is longer), continue using mattress stitch to close the body all the way to the top, stuffing as you go.

NOTE: If making toys for Knot Forgotten, measure your bear as you approach the top, making sure its height does not exceed 18cm (remove stuffing if necessary).


Knot together remaining thread with cast off tail left from closing the top of the body. Using a length of yarn matching the legs, sew gap closed between legs using horizontal mattress stitch. Bury and trim all remaining yarn tails by weaving into the body, taking care not to distort the stuffing.


TIP: If you notice any lumps or gaps in your finished stuffed body, smooth them out by inserting your needle in multiple points around the area, pushing and fluffing the stuffing up towards the surface.


Embroidering and attaching the muzzle:

With right side of muzzle facing and the seam line pointed downwards, embroider the nose in a "V" shape (I found this pictorial helpful). Using a separate thread, make two straight stitches in an upside-down "V" to form the mouth (if you prefer, you can also embroider the mouth after sewing and stuffing the muzzle). Knot off and trim ends.


Pin muzzle to head in desired position (mine was approx. 10 sts wide and 12 sts high). Sew in place, stuffing before closing.

Original bear face closeup - Knot Forgotten Knit Bear
Attaching the ears:


With seam line facing centre and back, pin ears into desired position on top of the body. Sew in place. 


Embroidering the eyes:


Use two pins to mark the position of your eyes on either side of the muzzle. I used this online tutorial to embroider my eyes, where each side of my "star" measured 2 sts or so in length (with finished eye being roughly 3x4 sts).


Embroidering the cheeks:


The cheeks are made by simply stitching 5 or more straight horizontal lines (roughly 2 sts in length and 3 sts in height) near the bottom outer corner of each eye.


Attaching the bow-tie/hair bow:


Bow-tie: Pin in desired position beneath the muzzle. Using the long tail from the centre of the bow, sew securely into place by weaving through the bow's middle section at the back. To help the bow sit flush against the body, make a few anchoring stitches on either side of the bow at the back. Knot off and bury all yarn ends.


Hair bow: Pin in desired position on either side of the head, directly in front of the ears. Using the long tail from the centre of the bow, sew securely into place by weaving through the bow's middle section at the back. Knot off and bury all yarn ends.


"Bee Bear" attaching the wings and antennae:


Wings: with right sides facing, pin the wings to the back of the body (the seam lines with dangling threads should be facing each other and angled towards the topmost body stripe).

Use the remaining threads and horizontal to vertical mattress stitch to sew one wing at a time down the centre of the back (about 10 sts in length).

To help the wings sit flush against the body, sew the first 6 or so sts of each wing's cast off edge above the central seam join to the body (forming a "V" shape). Knot off and bury all ends within the body.


TIP: When sewing along the cast off edge of each wing, do not sew directly into the sideways "V" of the cast off sts. Instead, use the row of horizontal "bumps" on the wrong side directly behind the cast off row. This will keep the edges of your wings nice and neat.

Bee Bear wings (back) - Knot Forgotten Knit Bear

Back of bee-bear (black lines show where wings are sewn to body)


Antennae: Pin antenna pieces in desired position on top of the head. Sew in place, then knot off and bury all yarn tails within the body.


"Panda" attaching the eye patches:


Pin eye patches to either side of muzzle and sew in place around the outer edge using the remaining yarn tails. Knot off and bury all ends within the body.


Panda and Bee-bear - Knot Forgotten Knit Bear (FREE pattern by Pear Dinkum)


Yay! Your Knot Forgotten Knit Bear is finished!

I hope you enjoyed making this little guy, and I'd love to see your finished bears. Simply tag me @PearDinkum on Instagram!



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