Crochet for Bears to Wear

bear crochet

I intruige you, no?

A good friend (Amy O’Neill Houck) sent me her new book, and although I don’t have any teddy bears (I have a stuffed poodle), I thought it was an adorable little volume of patterns that can be crocheted for any size teddy bear.

But the REAL power of the book escaped me at first, it took a special kid to help me see the true value of this collection of adorable patterns.

Last year I taught a young friend to knit.  It was one of the most fulfilling teaching episodes of my life, as this boy is very energetic, has difficulty focusing, but I could immediately see what a calming effect knitting had on his mind and soul.

Ben Knits

Ben Knits

And on his mother, who was pregnant at the time with her 3rd child and could use the respite of her son’s knitting!

So this year, just before the bear book arrived in the mail, my young friend dropped by (we watch the Amazing Race together each week) and noticed me crocheting like a madwoman (remember that doll I worked up 3 times?)

“What are you doing?”
“It looks like knitting…”

Which was a perfect segue into explaining that knitting and crochet are like cousins, with a lot of similarities.  The main difference is that with knitting each stitch is left live after it’s worked, but in crochet each stitch is bound off as you work it, making for a thicker fabric which can be more sculptural.

My brilliant explanation totally flew over my young friend Ben’s head, he just wanted to get to the YARN.  I showed him how to make a chain, and we made a passable start at learning an actual single crochet, but I could tell the spark wasn’t there.

Then Crochet For Bears To Wear arrived in the mail.

When Ben arrived the following Sunday for our regularly scheduled TV appointment, the book was sitting on the table and he gravitated to it like the moon to a planet.  He devoured it, he looked at every picture, commented on the designs, the possible difficulty of some of the pieces, and – of course – how cute  it all was.

As I said, this is a very special kid with huge amounts of creativity AND sensitivity that can hide themselves in an energetic exterior.  But he’s smart with his hands, and he was itching to try some of these projects.

CFBTW Interior

Just one peek...

Crochet For Bears To Wear is NOT a child’s book, although anyone who can crochet would enjoy working up the patterns.  It does, however, have such a wide ribbon of whimsy running through it that it would engage anyone.

Passion, fun, joy – these are thereasons we knit and crochet.  Any book that can bring so much of all three to a new – or established – crocheter is well worth owning!

In full disclosure I should say that I’d intended to offer my review copy as a giveaway to a worthy reader, but I’m afraid it’s spoken for – it will go to Ben!

[UPDATE: I WILL give a copy of the book away, just not THIS copy!  Leave a message saying that you’d like the book, and I’ll pick one worthy winner.  I’ll need to contact you (I can see your email address when you log in, no one else can) and you’ll receive the book from Amy’s publisher as soon as they can get it out to you!]

30 thoughts on “Crochet for Bears to Wear

  1. Your review has inspired me to keep on working with my twin daughters on crocheting. They are very interested, but it seems their hand coordination is not quiet there yet. I’ve taught them to chain, but we sort of digressed to making a chain by hand by just pulling the thread through the loop with their fingers instead of with a hook. Not a very even chain, but the effect is still there. I do not know how to knit, but I wonder…is knitting easier to teach than crochet? How old is Mr. Ben?

  2. I’d like the book because this makes me want to crochet sweaters for my kitties. Oh man. I am really losing it. And to think about a year ago I didn’t ever have a kitty and thought I was only “a dog person”. Now we have 2 cats and I want to dress them up. EEK!

  3. What a fantastic book! Teddy bears are my favorite! LOL Have a few bare bears that could use some cool clothes to keep them warm!

  4. Checked that out from the library, and it was fun to “shop” in it with my daughter. She picked out what she would like to have for her 18″ doll, and I picked out what I thought I could knit, and luckily we overlapped a few times. The math part of adjusting the patterns kind of makes my eyes cross, so I have to get back to that, but I agree, it’s a fun book.

  5. I haven’t crocheted in years. It brings back memories of my Danish grandmother who couldn’t follow a written pattern for anything, but would look at the finished object and be able to replicate it. What a skill. To eyeball a pattern and crochet it. My house has several of her doilies.

    It’s good to know you are passing on your crochet skills as well as the knitting skills.

  6. I’m not worthy. But I want it anyway. How much fun. You have flushed me out of lurkerland with a book. Life is full of surprises. All the best to you and your family.

  7. I have taught my third graders to knit–those who want to. I didn’t think of crochet. I wonder if some would like that. (My brother crochets!) Maybe that book would inspire some of my kids! Thanks for offering a copy!

  8. Ben sounds like such a cool kid! I’ve seen this book on amazon and have it on my mental must-have list! I love stuffed animals and crocheting, and this book will be a good start to crochet something of heirloom value for my future kids (family planning in progress currently… squeal!) Thanks for the chance to win a copy! 😀

  9. I”d love to have this book. I have twin three year olds in the family who could use some bear clothing now, and of course some enticement to get into fiber work themselves in a couple (few?) years.

  10. Hmmmm, maybe This is the way for me to spend some nice time with my step-granddaughter. I’ve been looking for a way to bond with her other than going out to lunch all the time. She’s a very smart and quick young lady!

  11. I need this book! My daughter is constantly putting doll clothes on her stuffed bears, puppies and unicorns. Maybe I can redress those poor naked dolls?

  12. I love that you gave the book to Ben. I can’t wait to see some of his work. I hope when he shows it to you, you’ll show it to us!

  13. I have just learned to crochet and completely understand gravitating to it like the moon to a planet. I am a little but obsessed! I would love to have a look at this book, thanks for the giveaway x

  14. Oh how I would love this books. I’d love to crochet a wardrobe for my grandkids to play with – how fun it would be to dress their bears.

  15. My granddaughter has a bear she carries around all the time and the bear needs some clothes since his original body is getting worn out! I would love to make her bear some clothes from this book.

    Thanks for giving away a book.

  16. I would love to own the book, Crochet For Bears To Wear I have a 4 year old granddaughter, who loves to dress and redress dolls, bears and any other plaything that can be clothed. I also have an 8 year old high energy grandson, who may be able to benefit, as Ben has. Thank you for offering the book.

  17. That looks great for my grand-daughter. I have taught her to knit but I think she would take to crocheting well and she has a huge collection of soft toys as she loves animals.

    Many thanks for the chance

  18. I would love to be entered in the drawing for the book. My younger son is very interested in knitting and crocheting – he’s still a little too uncoordinated but I think this book would be right up his alley when he gets there. I wish I’d had it about 3 years ago when he was commissioning knitwear for all his favorite stuffed animals…

    Also, just wanted to say that I LOVE your blog and keep trying to figure out when I’ll be able to take a class from you.

  19. “The main difference is that with knitting each stitch is left live after it’s worked, but in crochet each stitch is bound off as you work it, making for a thicker fabric which can be more sculptural.” is one of the better explanations of knit vs crochet (and why crochet is bulkier) that I’ve heard and will definitely repeat.

    Really looking forward to getting my own copy of Amy’s new book – the Knit edition is fabulous.

  20. I would love the book. It will be perfect to take on vacation this summer and make thing for my granddaughter’s teddy bear. Might get the crochet bug back!

  21. With 10 young grandchildren, who have many bears to dress, this would be a well used book. Your young visitor sounds delightful and so creative. love his young mind.

  22. I would love the book and if I don’t get one from you I’ll just have to get it myself. My first grandchild will be born in October and I would love to make something from this book.

  23. This book it so adorable! I’m new to crocheting and have been looking for some fun books to try. I would love a copy of this book!

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