You can download a free pdf to print out here: Download Christmas tree bears from little cotton rabbits
2.25mm needles (size 1 US, UK/Canada 13)
a pair of double pointed needles 2.25mm (size 1 US, UK/Canada 13)
oddments of 4ply yarn in red and white
oddments of bear coloured yarn (4ply or DK)
a small circle of felt to reinforce the stitching on the face
a short length of black yarn for embroidering the face
small amount of toy stuffing / carded wool
6 inch length of ribbon
a couple of lengths of strong yarn
(knitting this pattern in thicker weight yarn and larger needle sizes will give a larger decoration)
Cast on 20 stitches with red coloured yarn
Rows 1&2: Knit all stitches
Row 3: K2 red, (K1 white, K1 red) 9 times
Row 4: Purl all stitches in red
Rows 5-10: Continue in stocking stitch with red yarn for a further 6 rows. Cut the red yarn from work leaving a tail of 5 inches or so for seaming later.
Rows 11-18: Change to bear coloured yarn and work 8 rows of stocking stitch
With a 6 inch long length of strong yarn (one that will not break) thread through the 20 stitches on the needle slipping them off as you go (don’t yet tie off these ends). Take another 6 inch length of the strong yarn and pick up the loops from the back of the topmost row of red knitting, again leaving this loose for now.
Now take your small circle of felt and place at the back of the work behind where you plan to embroider the face. Using the black yarn embroider a small nose in centre of face - I use 1 stitch across and 1 small stitch downwards. Now add the eyes (if you wish you can tie a small knot in the thread to make the eye stand out). Knot the black thread at the back of the work and tie ends securely trimming off the excess.
Take the length of ribbon, double it over and tie a knot in the end to form a loop. Pull the strong yarn ends at the very top of the work to start to gather in the top of the head. Thread the ribbon through the top gathered edge of the head with the loop on the outside and the knot inside the head. Tightly pull the yarn ends gathering in the top of head and tie off securely. Begin joining the seam down the back of the head using the cast off end of bear coloured yarn.
When you reach the bottom of the head take a small piece of stuffing and use to firmly stuff the head. Then take up the second pair of strong yarn ends and pull very tightly to gather in the neck - tie off securely and leave ends inside the body. Continue seaming down the rest of the body to the cast on edge.
Stuff the body cavity and join the seam at the bottom of the dress (I pick up the stitch loops inside the body from the back of the second row up. This gives a nice flared out edge to the bottom of the dress).
Now make the limbs (4 the same). Cast on 4 stitches with the double pointed needles and knit a short i-cord (tutorial here - scroll down to find) of around 6 rows in length. Cut the work from the ball and thread the end through the stitches on the needle and then through the middle of the work - knotting it securely to the cast on tail (there are pictures for making the limbs over on my free pattern for teeny tiny toys)
To make the bear ears cast on 3 stitches, knit 1 row, cast off 3. Tie cast on and cast off ends together tightly and join to the top of the head with a few stitches. Knot ends securely together and thread through the body before trimming excess.
Take the first of the limbs and join to the body with a few stitches. Knot ends securely together and thread through the body before trimming off the excess. Repeat with the remaining limbs.
And there you have a little, itty, bitty bear Christmas decoration, all ready for hanging on the tree!
If you prefer you can make the dress extra long (around 12 rows) and not bother with the legs.
If you would like a rabbit instead of a bear please see my free pattern for teeny tiny toys for the rabbit ear instructions.
Copyright © Julie Williams 2008.