From pram to playgroup, to PhD and parenthood, people have their teddy bears with them - and teddies make great gifts, too. Val Pierce has created a fab collection of 20 knitted bears in beautiful costumes which are perfect for all sorts of occasions. There's a bride and groom, a college-bound bear and a baby bear, and lots of other quirky costumes besides. There's a pumpkin bear for Halloween and a strawberry bear for summer, and bears which are celebrating hobbies like football and (of course) knitting. Clothes and bear bodies are knitted separately, so although the bears are not designed to be underssed, you can adapt the patterns provided to create a wardrobe of costumes for your teddy.
* Simply Knitting *
We couldn't resist this one to show hand knitters how to knit 20 little bears and then dress them up in a wonderful range of colourful outfits that will delight both adults and children. All the designs are based on the same simple knitted bear and instructions are provided. They're easy to follow for even novice knitters. Every bear has its own special character and you're sure to find at least one you just have to knit. The bears are suitable for adults as well as children. They make ideal gifts and there's nothing to stop you creating charactes of your own.
* Machine Knitting Monthly *
Bear fans rejoice! With this little book you'll learn how to create a simple bear to then dress up in a range of charming and comical outfits, handknitted by you. Each bear measures 20cm or 8 inches high and is easy enough even for novice knitters to complete. The outfits are what really give the bears their character, and our favourites are Hector Hiking Bear, complete with boots and a rucksack, and Grace Bride Bear, dressed up in a white gown. These bears make great gifts for adults and children, and the book will make a lovely gift for someone who wants to try knitting bears for the first time.
* Knit Today *
Here is another book that shows you what to do with all that leftover double knitting wool you have in your bag. You will probably need to buy a ball or two for the bears, although at 8" high the leftover yarn might do for this as well. There is a basic pattern for a bear at the start of this book, together with basic patterns for trousers, dress and shoes. But there are also twenty different ways to make up your bear in a different style, together with instructions on how to turn it into a panda and lots of other colored bears.
My favorite aspect of this (apart from the opportunities for fund raising and recycling) has to be the imagination involved in dreaming up the different looks. There is a Christmas bear, baby bear, bride and groom, panda and girl teddy in a pretty dress or two, but then there is also a bear in Hallowe'en garb (dressed as a pumpkin), fancy dress, teddy as a strawberry, a bee and a ladybird as well as a footballer, ballerina, along with various male attires. This is more a book for the intermediate knitter, as there is a certain amount of knitting know-how needed to make the bears look their best. Not all the bears seem to have exactly the same proportions, so some tweaks to the basic pattern are sometimes necessary. This will give you the experience to create yet more bears; one for everybody you know!
* Myshelf.com *