Create for a Cause

Knitting Without Borders

7“x8“

    A little girl in Africa suffering from AIDS asked that she be buried with her bear that had been donated by the Mother Bear Project organization. The bear had been her only friend. She found comfort in the idea that she wasn’t alone. Loredana Delucchi, a Senior Systems Analyst at the NYU School of Medicine, was so touched by the little girl’s story that she knit 250 bears. She donated her first gift for the hospitalized children at the Shoe4Africa hospital in Kenya — East Africa’s first public children’s hospital.
    Loredana hoped that the bears would deliver comfort to the children about to undergo medical treatments. As she continued knitting more bears, her co-workers, family members and friends started to voluntarily join the effort. That’s how Knitting Without Borders came to be. So far, thanks to Loredana’s efforts, more than 3,800 bears have been distributed worldwide to sick children seeking a friend. Bears are being donated to Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, North America, South America and wherever they’re needed. It’s Loredana’s hope that these small and easy-to-make toys will touch the hearts of many and provide joy for all.
    The need for knitted bears is never ending. Knitting Without Borders has ongoing projects to collect and distribute these bears. Their current projects include bears for children in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. You can send the bears to Knitting Without Borders or to a project ambassador in your area. An ambassador can be you, a friend, co-worker or family members who is about to travel to a location where you would like to donate the bears or an organization that provides medical assistance in remote places. Once you’ve completed the toys, contact Knitting Without Borders through their website and they will provide an address to send your bears to.
    We’re calling all Craft Ideas readers to get involved by creating unique, handmade bears to remind children undergoing surgery that they have a cuddly friend they can depend on. Whereas these bears can’t cure the children’s sickness, they are a tremendous help in the healing process. Not a knitter? Visit knittingwithoutborders.jigsy.com for a crochet version of the bear pattern.
    As always, we’d love to hear from you! Send photos of your bears to editorial@craftideas.com. We’ll post updated information on our social site throughout the months. Please contact us if you know of a great organization that is promoting creative, crafty call-outs, or one that needs our readers’ help. Happy crafting!

Materials 

Soft worsted weight yarn
Poly-fil



Tools

Knitting needles, size 7 or 8
Sewing needle and matching thread
Pins

Abbreviations

CO = cast on
BO = bind off
St(s) = stitch(es)
Abbreviations
CO = cast on
BO = bind off
St(s) = stitch(es)

LEGS

CO 8 sts and knit 16 rows for first leg. Break off yarn.
CO 8 sts on the same needle for second leg. Knit 16 rows.
Knit across both legs to join.
Knit 8 rows.

ARMS

CO 8 more sts and knit to end of row for first arm.
CO 8 more sts and knit to end of row for second arm.
Knit 8 rows.
BO 8 sts to close first arm and knit to end of row.
BO 8 sts to close second arm and knit to end of row. 16 sts.
Knit 38 rows.
CO 8 more sts and knit to end of row for first arm.
CO 8 more sts and knit to end of row for second arm.
Knit 8 rows .
BO 8 stitches to close the first arm and knit to end of row.
BO 8 stitches to close the second arm and knit to end of row.
Knit 8 rows.

LEGS

Knit only first 8 sts and then use pin to temporarily hold next 8 sts.
Knit 16 rows and BO.
Return to 8 sts on temporary pin, knit 16 rows and cast off.

FINISH

Fold knitted piece in half lengthwise. The fold becomes head top. Embroider eyes, nose and smile with sewing needle and thread. Join seam around bear leaving small gap between legs to insert poly-fil. Turn right side out. Stuff bear and sew opening close. Sew string of yarn all around neck, pull yarn to shape neck and secure ends. Backstitch diagonal line across each head corner to form ears. To knit bear scarf, CO 60 stitches, knit 6 rows and BO. Tie around bear’s neck and secure in place.
Note: For the children’s safety, please do not attach buttons or any other objects. Use only yarn and poly-fil.
knitted bear