Miniature knitted Remembrance Day bears: a tutorial


Lesley Roberts miniature knitted Remembrance Day bears

Create your own miniature knitted Remembrance Day bears with this wonderful tutorial by Lesley Roberts. Take your pick from soldier, sailor, airman, nurse – or all four! 

How adorable are these dinky little bears? As part of our World War Two series, we’re bringing you this miniatures knitting tutorial showing how to make your own knitted Remembrance Day bears – choose from a soldier, sailor, airman or nurse – or why not make all four to create an adorable set?!

It’s a skilled project that takes patience but the result will be so worth it!

Miniature knitted Remembrance Day bears

By Lesley Roberts.

You will need

  • 2 No. 20 needles
  • Venne thread Nm 34 or flower thread in dark brown, gold, khaki, grey blue, white, royal blue, saxe blue, red and black 
  • Safety pin 
  • Black and red embroidery thread

Abbreviations 

  • k = knit 
  • p = purl 
  • sl = slip 
  • st = stitch 
  • s/s = stocking st 
  • tog = together 
  • dec = decrease 
  • rep = repeat 
  • m = make st by bringing thread forward & over needle 
  • inc = increase st by knitting in front & back of same st 
  • alt = alternate 
  • psso = pass sl st over
  • (k1, p1) rep instructions between brackets 
  • skp = sl1, k1, psso

How to make a miniature knitted soldier bear

Miniature knitted soldier bear

Legs

Starting at soles of feet with brown cast on 6sts.

Inc row 1: (k1, inc1) rep to end (9sts). Cut brown, join gold.

Rows 2 to 5: knit (4 rows). Cut gold join khaki. 

Rows 6 to 17: knit (12 rows). Cut thread, slip sts, on safety pin. Repeat for second leg.

 

Body 

Join legs together for body by knitting across both legs. 

Row 18: k9 across second leg. k9 across first leg. (18sts). 

Row 19: knit.

Inc row 20: k8, inc1, k9. (19sts).

Row 21: knit. Join white. 

Rows 22 to 23: white: knit. (2 rows). Cut white. 

Rows 24 to 27: knit. (4 rows). 

Dec row 28: k8, sl1, 2tog, psso, k8. (17stst).

Row 29: knit.

Dec row 30: k3, k2tog, k7, skp, k3. (15 sts).

Row 31: knit. 

Dec row 32: k2tog, k11, skp. (13sts).

Row 33: knit. Cut khaki, join gold.


How to make a miniature knitted airman bear

Miniature knitted airman bear

Repeat as for soldier using grey blue thread.

Head 

Inc row 34: inc1, (k3, inc1) rep. to end. (17sts).

Row 35: knit. 

Inc row 36: k4, inc1, (k1, inc1) rep, to last 4sts, k4. (22sts). 

Rows 37 & 38: knit. (2 rows).

 

Nose 

Dec row 39: k8, cast off 6sts, k7. (8sts-8sts). 

Row 40: knit across the 16sts. 

Row 41: knit. 

Dec row 42: k3, k2tog, k6, skp, k3. (14sts). 

Row 43: knit. 

Dec row 44: k2tog, (k1, k2tog) rep, to end. (9sts). 

Row 45: knit. 

Dec row 46: (k1, k2tog) rep. to end. (6sts). Cut thread, slip through remaining sts.

 

Arms (make 2) 

With brown cast on 5sts. Cut brown join gold. 

Inc row 1: Inc1, (k1, inc1) twice. (8sts).

Row 2: knit. Cut gold, join khaki. 

Rows 3 to 12: knit. (10 rows). Shape shoulder. 

Dec row 13: skp, k4, k2tog. (6sts). Cast off row/skp, cast off to the last 2sts, k2tog, cast off last st. Cut thread.

 

Ears (makes 2) 

With brown cast on 7sts. 

Rows 1 to 3: knit. Cut thread & slip through the sts.

 

Cap 

With khaki starting at base, cast on 16sts. 

Rows 1 to 3: knit. 

Rows 4 to 6: work in s/s start with a k row. (3 rows). Cast off, cut thread.

 

Enjoying this tutorial? Check out our interview with maker, Teresa Thompson all about her creative characters commemorating 75 years since VE Day.


How to make a miniature knitted sailor bear

Miniature knitted sailor bear

Legs

Starting at soles of feet cast on 6sts, with brown. 

Inc row 1: (k1, inc1) rep. to end. (9sts). Cut brown, join gold. 

Row 2: knit. 

Inc row 3: (inc1, k2) rep, to end. (12sts). Cut gold, join royal blue. 

Rows 4 to 9: knit. (6 rows). 

Dec row 10: (k2tog, k2) rep, to end. (9sts). 

Rows 11 to 19: knit. (9 rows). Cut thread, slip sts. on safety pin. Rep. for other leg.

 

Body 

Join legs together in next row. 

Row 20: k9 across second leg. k9 across first leg. (18sts). 

Row 21: knit.

Inc row 22: k8, inc1, k9. (19sts).

Rows 23 to 29: knit. (7 rows). 

Dec row 30: k8, sl1, k2tog, psso, k8. (17sts). 

Row 31: knit. 

Dec row 32: k3, k2tog, k7, skp1, k3. (15sts). 

Row 33: knit. 

Dec row 34: k2tog, k11, skp. (13sts). 

Row 35: knit. Cut blue, join gold.

 

Head

Inc row 36: inc1, (k3, inc1) rep. to end. (17sts). 

Row 37: knit. 

Inc row 38: k4, inc1 (k1, inc1) rep. to last 4sts, k4. (22sts). 

Rows 39 & 40: knit. (2 rows). 

 

Nose

Row 41: k8, cast off 6sts, k7. (8sts-8sts). 

Row 42: knit across the 16sts. 

Row 43: knit. 

Dec row 44: k3, k2tog, k6, skp, k3. (14sts). 

Row 45: knit. 

Dec row 46: k2tog, (k2, k2tog) rep. to end. (9sts). 

Row 47: knit. 

Dec row 4: (k1, k2tog) rep. to end. (6sts). Cut thread & slip through remaining sts.

 

Arms (makes 2) 

With brown cast on 5sts. Cut brown join gold. 

Inc row 1: inc1, (k1, inc1) twice. (8sts).

Row 2: knit. Cut gold, join royal blue. 

Rows 3 to 12: knit. (10 rows). Shape shoulder. 

Dec row 13: skp, k4, k2tog. (6sts). Cast off row/skp, cast off to last 2sts, k2tog, cast off last st. Cut thread.

 

Ears (makes 2) 

With brown cast on 7sts. 

Rows 1 to 3: knit. Cut thread & slip through remaining sts. 

 

Collar 

Cast on 30st, with white. 

Row 1: knit. Join blue. 

Dec row 2: blue: skp, k7, sl1, k2tog, psso, k6, sl1, k2tog, psso, k7, k2tog. (24sts). 

Row 3: knit. Cut blue, continue with white. 

Dec row 4: k2tog, k5, sl1, k2tog, psso, k4, sl1, k2tog, psso, k5, skp. (18sts). 

Row 5: knit. 

Dec row 6: k2tog, k3, sl1, k2tog, psso, k2, sl1, k2tog, psso, k3, skp. (12sts). 

Dec row 7: knit. Cast off row: skp, cast off to last st. k2tog, cast off last st. cut thread.

 

Tie (black sewing silk)

Cast on 10sts.

Cast off, cut thread.

 

Beret 

With blue cast on 15sts. 

Rows 1 to 3: knit. Cut blue, join white. 

Inc row 4: (k1, m1) rep. to last st, inc1. (30sts). 

Rows 5 & 6: knit. (2 rows). 

Dec row 7: (k3, k2tog) rep. to end. (24sts). 

Row 8: knit. 

Dec row 9: (k2, k2tog) rep. to end. (18sts).

Row 10: knit. 

Dec row 11: (k1, k2tog) rep, to end. (12sts). 

Dec row 12: (k2tog) rep, to end. (6sts). Cut thread & slip through remaining sts.

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How to make a miniature knitted nurse bear

Miniature knitted nurse bear

Legs 

Starting at sole of foot with brown cast on 6sts. 

Inc row 1: (k1, inc1) rep. to end. (9sts). Cut brown, join gold. 

Rows 2 to 13: knit. (12 rows). Cut gold join white. 

Rows 14 to 17: knit. (4 rows). Cut thread and slip sts. on safety pin. Repeat for second leg.

 

Body 

Join legs together in next row. 

Row 18: k9 across second leg. k9 across first leg. (18sts). 

Row 19: knit. 

Inc row 20: k8, inc1, k9. (19sts). 

Row 21: knit. Cut white, join saxe blue. 

Rows 22 to 27: knit. (6 rows). 

Dec row 28: k8, sl1, 2tog, psso, k8. (17sts). 

Row 29: knit. 

Dec row 30: k3, k2tog, k7, skp, k3. (15sts).

Row 31: knit. 

Dec row 32: k2tog, k11, skp. (13sts). 

Row 33: knit. Cut blue, join gold. 

 

Head

Inc row 34: inc1, (k3, inc1) rep. to end. (17sts). 

Row 35: knit. 

Inc row 36: k4, inc1, (k1, inc1) rep, to last 4sts. k4. (22sts). 

Rows 37 & 38: knit. (2 rows). 

 

Nose

Dec row 39: k8, cast off 6sts, k7. (8sts-8sts). 

Row 40: knit across the 16sts. 

Row 41: knit. 

Dec row 42: k3, k2tog, k6, skp, k3. (14sts). 

Row 43: knit. 

Dec row 44: k2tog, (k1, k2tog) rep, to end. (9sts).

Row 45: knit. 

Dec row 46: (k1, k2tog) rep. to end. (6sts). Cut thread, slip through remaining sts.

 

Arms (makes two)

With brown cast on 5sts. Cut brown join gold.

Inc row 1: inc1, (k1, inc1) twice. (8sts).

Rows 2 to 8: knit. (7 rows). Cut gold, join blue.

Rows 9 to 12: knit. (4 rows).

 

Shape shoulder

Dec row 13: skp, k4, k2tog. (6sts). Cast off row/skp, cast off to last 2sts. K2tog, cast off last st. Cut thread.

 

Ears (makes 2)

With brown cast on 7sts.

Rows 1 to 3: knit. Cut thread & slip through remaining sts.

 

Skirt 

With blue, cast on 28sts. 

Row 1: (k1, p1) rep. to end.

Rows 2 to 4: work in s/s, start with p row. (3 rows). Cut blue, join white. 

Rows 5 and 6: knit. (2 rows). 

Row 7: (k1, p1) rep, to end. 

Row 8: purl. 

Rows 9 & 10: work in s/s start with k row. (2 rows). 

Dec row 11: k2tog, k5, k2tog, k10, k2tog, k5, k2tog. (24sts). 

Row 12: purl. 

Dec row13: (k3, k2tog) twice, k1, k2tog, k1 (k2tog, k3) twice. (19sts). 

Row 14: k1, (p1, k1) rep, to end. 

Bib row 15: cast off 6sts, (p1, k1) 3 times, cast off 6sts. Cut thread. (7sts). 

Row 16: k1, (p) to last st. k1. 

Row 17: k1, p1, (k) to last 2sts, p1, k1. 

Row 18: rep. Row 16. 

Row 19: k1, (p1, k1) rep to end. Cast off in k1, p1, cut thread.

 

Cap 

With white, cast on 15sts. 

Rows 1 to 3: knit. 

Rows 4 to 5: work in s/s start with k row. (2 rows). 

Dec row 6: (k1, k2tog) rep, to end. (10sts). 

Row 7: purl. 

Dec row 8: (k2tog) rep, to end. (5sts). Cut thread & slip through remaining sts.


How to make miniature knitted poppies (makes 4) 

With red embroidery thread, cast on 9sts.

Dec row 1: k1 (k2tog) to end. (5sts). Cut thread & slip through the remaining sts.

Lesley's top tip! After the bear is stuffed and fastened, to make the nose more pronounced, push the point of a sewing needle into the base of nose at side, push the point forward towards the end of nose. Repeat other side. This is best done before features have been embroidered.


How to make up your knitted bears 

Miniature knitted bears for Remembrance Day with 20p piece

Make up

With body inside out starting at soles. Sew together up legs and continue up body leaving top of head open. Fold top of nose sew together to make his snout. Turn and stuff firmly with special attention to stuffing his nose. Pull up gathering thread and fasten. To increase the shape of the neck fasten a gold thread at back of neck wrap thread around neck pull up & fasten. 

Ears

Pull up gathering thread and sew to head. 

Features

With black embroidery thread, for eyes sew a tiny stitch either side of head just below ears. At point of nose make two horizontal stitches, take the needle just below the nose and make a horizontal stitch for mouth then bring the needle up at centre of mouth loop under stitch and bring up to nose pulling up mouth slightly at centre. 

Arms 

With arms inside out sew side seams together starting at hands, leave top and shoulder open. Turn and stuff, close opening, sew onto bear. 

Soldier and airman’s cap

Fold in half right sides together, sew up centre back and across crown. Place on head and catch to head. 

Sailor’s collar and tie: Sew to bear, bringing ends together at front. Fold tie in half and sew to ends of collar. 

Beret

Sew up centre back hem to crown. Turn to right side place on bear, catch to head to hold. 

Nurse’s skirt

Sew seams together at centre back. Place on bear, catch bib to front. 

Cap 

Sew up centre back hem to crown. Place on head and catch to head. 

Poppies

Pull up gathering thread and fasten. Sew to bears with black embroidery thread.

Knitted miniature Remembrance Day bears


And there you have it - what an adorable collection of miniature bears! For more in our Second World War miniatures series, don’t miss our miniature wartime sweets and miniature Anderson shelter tutorials!