Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mother Bear Project

A few days after I heard about the Mother Bear Project, an article about it was published on Huffington Post. I'd definitely recommend reading the article--it explains the history of the project, which was started by Amy Berman in 2003. The basic idea is that knitters all around the world use one single pattern to knit stuffed bears. Hearts are sewn onto the bears' chests, a tag with the knitter's name is tied around the wrist, and the finished bears are then sent to children in Africa who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. It's a simple enough thing to do, but the pictures and stories of kids loving their bears might make you tear up.

I was looking for a stash busting project for a bunch of Caron Simply Soft I had left over from making things for my friend's baby. What could be better than using it to make a child smile?

The pattern really is very easy. The bears legs, body, and head are all knit in one piece in whatever stitch pattern you'd like (I used stockinette with a seed stitch sweater).

The arms are then picked up from stitches on the front and back of the sweater and knit flat. 

You seam and stuff the bear, then make a running stitch around the base of the neck and cinch it in. After that, all that's left is embroidering the face and attaching the signed tag.

Honestly, this project could not be easier. My face embroidering skills need some work and there were a lot of ends to weave in, but I will be making many more of these in the future.

If you're interested in joining, the pattern can be purchased for $5 from the Mother Bear Project.

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