Teddies for tragedies

Members in Leicester enthusiastically knit teddies, which are then given to a number of agencies to distribute to children who experience traumatic situations (hospitals, the police, family centres, etc).

One bag of teddies was given to the police child protection team. Paul, the liaison officer, told Mothers’ Union that one teddy had been given to a child victim during an interview.

After the interview, the child went to return the teddy, but was told she could keep it. Her face lit up and she said: “Really, because my daddy pulled the arms off my teddy and chucked it in the bin.”

Such a simple task undertaken by members made such a huge difference to this child, and many others. For a knitting pattern, see below.

For general guidelines about setting up and developing outreach initiatives, go to the members’ section of the Mothers’ Union website

Knitting pattern for teddies

Knitting needles
1 pair of size 10 knitting needles.

Use double knitting wool.
Colours: Main colour must be fawn shade, for head and paws. Different colours for trousers, jumper and scarf, which should be bright and cheerful.

Please use suitable and safe fillings. Craft centres sell fillings which fulfil Heath and Safety requirements. Fillings such as foam must not be used, as very young children often chew these teddies.

The ideal is that everyone uses the same pattern, so the teddies are a uniform shape if given out together, though different in colour.

The pattern
Cast on 10 stitches of main colour. Knit 10 rows. Change to trouser colour and knit 30 rows. Make another leg in the same way.

Knit across all 20 stitches and work 16 rows. Change to jumper colour and knit 24 rows.

Change to main colour for head and also change to stocking stitch. Work for 5 ½ inches. Change to jumper colour. Continue remainder of the teddy in reverse order.

Stitch down the side of the head. With jumper colour, pick up 8 stitched either side of neck join (16 stitches in all) and knit 20 rows. Change to main colour and knit 10 rows for paws.

Sew up the teddy leaving an opening in leg area to insert filling, and then stitch together. Sew diagonal top corners for ears before stuffing. After stuffing has been inserted, run a thread through the knitting around the neck to draw it in.

Sew a happy face on the teddy. For the mouth, please use either stem or back stitch. Do not sew on buttons or other items which children could chew off and swallow.

For the scarf:
Cast on 75 stitches. Knit 4 rows and cast off. Tie scarf on teddy and sew firmly to back of neck, close to jumper edge. (Do not sew down at front).