Beginner project: Teddy bear sweater


So I just picked up knitting and to be honest at this point I am only doing one project so I am trying to do it without investing a lot of time learning all the advanced techniques. I just wanna knit a very basic sweater for a teddy bear (a gift for my girlfriend). The bear is probably about 15 inches tall or so. After I am done with the sweater, I would like to have some designs on it, like my girlfriend’s name, or a heart, etc. My two concerns are:

  1. How do I knit the sweater? lol…well I kinda know. I learned how to cast on and how to purl and knit. Someone told me all I have to do for a basic sweater is knit 4 squares. two for the front and the back, 2 for the sleeves, and just join them together. Was she right? what about the collar? what do I do there? and how do I join them together. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. The designs: I found some really cool patches at the local hobby store. Can use those on wool? (they’re iron-on patches) would they stick or would the fall off? If I can’t, then what is my other option? knitting with two different colors would be too complicated for me. I would like to somehow add the designs after I am done knitting the sweater. Can I just stitch them using a different color thread?

Any help would be appreciated. If you only direct me or tell me what I need to learn then I could use the resources and videos on this site to do it. I am the kind of guy who can fix your car and help you with your computer but when it comes to knitting, I am kinda clueless!


Are you a good sewer? If you are, then the four squares idea would probably be a good choice for you. Follow the directions your friend gave you, sewing the front and back together up either side to the armpits, then the front and back of each sleeve from the armpit to the cuff and on the top of the shoulders (also to the cuff). You don’t have to sew the tops of the front and back body squares (the center top of the sweater), since that can be the hole for the head to go through. Then sew your completed sleeves (just two tubes made from squares) to each side of the body of the sweater (from the top to where you stopped sewing together the sides at the armpit). Done!

I recommend if you do it this way that you stick with garter stitch (knit every row) since it won’t roll and therefore won’t be annoying to sew up. (You could do seed stitch or ribbing, too, if you feel up to it. But that requires purling, are you comfortable with that?) And if you just want a quick-and-easy sweater, you don’t have to bother with learning mattress stitch or kitchener stitch to sew it up. Just do a simple running stitch or a backstitch if you’re worried about strength. (Sew it up inside-out if you want to hide your seams.)

As for the embellishment, I doubt the iron-on patches will work. Maybe you could get regular felt patches and just sew them on instead? If you know any embroidery you could also try freehanding some designs if you want.

Good luck with it!

You might want to look at for a teddy sweater. Even if you’ve never followed a pattern before, someone is always here to help, and you’ll end up with a sweater that looks like a sweater.

I think iron-on patches would fall off because the yarn stretches and the patches don’t. You absolutely can stitch any design you want after the sweater is done.

You can stitch designs afterward like counted crossstitch (with little x’s) or by backstitching with needle and yarn to make outlines. You could also try needle felting. I’ve never done it but my aunt needle felted spirals onto a bag she made – it was very cute and would work well for a name on a wool sweater.