Learn to knit your own gorgeous bears with these easy-to-follow knitting patterns from bestselling knitting writer Fiona Goble. The patterns are suitable for almost everyone, whether adventurous beginner or expert. You can create a single-colour bear, a two-tone bear, a striped bear and even a panda – all from one basic pattern. There are also instructions to create a host of clothes, including bride & groom outfits, a graduation outfit, a Santa costume, a ballet outfit, and a sports outfit. If you’re after a cute dress, nightshirt, coat, hat, sweater or dungarees – you’ll find patterns for these, too. The designs can be personalized and you can ‘mix and match’ items to create the perfect gift, not just for new babies and children, but for all bear lovers and almost any occasion! The teddy bears and outfits are all knitted using light worsted/double knitting/8-ply yarn and size US3 (3.25mm) straight knitting needles. The bears are about 7in/18cm tall. The patterns include both US and UK knitting terms.
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
WHEN DID YOU LEARN TO KNIT?
More years’ ago than I now care to remember! My Mum’s twin sister Sheelagh taught me when I was about seven years old, just before she emigrated from the UK to Canada.
HOW DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS?
Partly from the toys and dolls I loved when I was little, but I’m also as addicted to online browsing all the beautiful creative websites out there as anyone else.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT KNITTING?
With toys and dolls, which are my knitting of choice, it’s about seeing the little creatures develop their own personality when you sew them together and embroider the features. I’m always amazed that you can create something so cute from just some oddments of yarn and a pair of needles. There’s a bit of effort needed too… but really, not that much.
WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE TO BEGINNER KNITTERS?
Like any skill, knitting takes a bit of patience. So start with something small. Think baby hats, fingerless mitts or a knitted lavender bag… definitely not a scarf. They’re simple but they take too long for beginners. And choose some lovely yarn. If you’re putting in all that effort, you’ll appreciate it!
WHICH OF YOUR KNITTING BOOKS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
Well it has to be my Knit Your Own Royal Wedding back in 2011 when William and Kate tied the knot. Suddenly I found myself being interviewed by newspapers and magazines across the world… I still find it hard to believe. And frankly, it's going to be hard for me to top that!
WHAT WAS THE FIRST PATTERN YOU EVER DESIGNED?
Apart from some pretty dodgy dolls’ clothes when I was about eight, it was a pink and blue striped owl. I still have it perched on a shelf in my little work room upstairs. The first knitting book I designed was called Knitivity which was a knitted nativity.
WHAT NOTIONS CAN'T YOU MANAGE WITHOUT?
I’m actually quite a good improviser but I was quite annoyed recently when I lost one of my favourite very short knitting needles which are ideal for knitting small items. Thankfully my son eventually found it by accident, behind my row of knitting reference books.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE KNITTING STITCHES?
I love simple combinations of stitches like wide ribbing stitch and waffle stitch. They’ve got enough interest to keep you alert but are still simple enough to keep mistakes and unravelling to a minimum.
WHAT'S THE MOST IRRITATING THING THAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU'RE KNITTING?
Well there’s the obvious one of knots in a ball of yarn that you don’t see till you’re mid-row. But I also don’t much like super-shaggy yarns because you can’t usually see where you’ve made a mistake and they’re impossible to unravel!