Category Archives: charity knitting

Comfort or Blessing or Pocket or Prayer Bears- Crocheted Knitted and Woven

Knitting, crocheting and weaving Comfort/Compassion/Kindness/Pocket/Prayer Bears is really important to me.

I have crocheted, knitted and woven thousands of them over the last 20 or so years, and have given them all away.

I designed my first Comfort Bear in response to 9/11 in the hopes of soothing frightened, grieving hearts.

The first version was a crocheted Comfort bear, and was the front page of the Craft Yarn Council of America website for a couple of years.  The link is still there: LINK

And, here’s the link to the Crocheted Comfort Bear that I tweaked slightly for my blog: LINK

A few years ago, I designed a knitted Comfort/Blessing Bear that has a ‘hugging’ single loop for the arms so it can hug you back:  LINK

Last year, I designed a very simple little knitted Pocket Bear with Stitched Arms: Here’s the Link to the video:

The most recent member of the Comfort/Kindness/Compassion/Blessing/Prayer bear is a crocheted Panda:


Note that you don’t have to make it as a Panda…. crochet it in blue yarn to make a Blue Bear of Happiness, or in more traditional brown yarn…..

Another kind of Blessing Bear or Compassion bear is to make them for people who are grieving the death of someone they loved.

Use garments that the person used to wear and either cut the garment into fabric strips and knit, crochet or weave a Memory Bear, or unravel one of the person’s sweaters and knit, crochet or weave a Blessing/Memory Bear with that.

Here are some links for Memory Bears:  LINK   and LINK

I did mention that I have woven Comfort/Blessing bears didn’t I?

One of my favorite projects in my new Potholder Loom Weaving book is a Blessing Bear woven on the potholder loom:

Here it is, peeking out of a little pocket on one of the baskets that is in the book:

Here’s a link to order it online, but you can also order it from your local bookstore worldwide: LINK



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Crocheted Panda Blessing Bear

For the last almost 20 years or so, I have been crocheting, knitting and weaving little bears and giving them away as my way of spreading kindness, comfort, solace and delight.

I have made thousands of them, and I have never had anyone say no when I offer them one.

And, the lovely stories that people tell me about their experiences with them are so special.

(LINK to the Craft Yarn Council of America Website for the explanation about how I was inspired by the events of 9/11 to design the first Comfort Bears and the pattern for the very first one.)

So, anyhow… back to Panda Pocket/Comfort/Blessing Bears……

Last week, I had an ‘Aha’ moment…  I thought….. I should design a Blessing Bear that is a Panda!

After all…. who doesn’t love a Panda?

I set to work on it and came up with this little darling:

I’ve seen that people love the ‘hugging arms’ that allow the bear to hug them back, so I designed the arms to be all one piece.  Perfect for giving hugs.

Although, the little huggetty arms can also cleverly hang onto things….

A dear friend came for tea today and fell madly in love with the Panda, and she was thrilled when I gave the prototype to her.  It immediately jumped onto the clasp on her bag:

I thought that that was very clever of her!

Even though I designed the pattern to be a Panda, it doesn’t have to just be a Panda….

Crochet it in blue yarn, and it’s a Blue Bear of Happiness.

Crochet it in brown yarn, and it’s a dear little ‘Regular Sort of a Bear’.

No matter how you crochet it, please put love into every stitch.


Please make tons of them and carry them in your pockets, because you’ll be amazed at how much joy you can spread by giving them away.  You will bring kindness and happiness and goodness knows, we all need that.

I make Blessing Bears as often and as much as I can and give them to the ministers at our church, and they give them away as part of pastoral care.  Please feel free to do the same.

I love that these  bears bring a ray of sunshine.  I hope that you’ll enjoy making and sharing them, too!


Scroll down the page for the video of how to crochet the Pandas.

Designed by Noreen Crone-Findlay (c) 2019
The size of your hook and weight of your yarn will determine the gauge of the crocheting, and the finished size of your bear. When made with worsted-weight yarn, the Panda Blessing Bear is approximately 3 inches tall. When made with thicker yarn and a larger hook it will be bigger.  When made with thinner yarn and a smaller hook it will be smaller.    To make this bear, you will need to know how to make a chain, slip stitch and single crochet.

The bears in the photos were made with less than half an ounce of worsted-weight yarn or bulky weight yarn. Hand spun is wonderful.
Black embroidery floss for embroidering the features.  2 tiny beads for eyes- but embroider the eyes if you are going to give it to a child who is younger than 3 years old.

Crochet Hook in a size slightly smaller than you would usually use for the size of yarn to give a denser fabric

A tiny amount of stuffing
Darning needle for sewing seams
Embroidery needle for embroidering features
Ch= chain
Sc= single crochet  Turn= turn the work over and start the next row in the last st of the last row
* to *= you will repeat the instructions that appear between the two”*” signs however many times stated in the pattern.


Ch 5, leaving about 4 inches of yarn at beginning of ch. This tail will be used to sew the legs up later.
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch to end. (4 sc). Ch 1 and turn.
Row 2: 4 sc, ch l, turn. Cut yarn, and draw end through last ch l.

SECOND LEG: Repeat Rows 1 & 2 for the second leg.  Tie white yarn to black yarn end, leaving a 4 inch/10 cm tail.

NOTE: If you are doing a bear in just one color, don’t cut the yarn at the end of the 2nd leg.  Just continue working with it.

BODY: With White Yarn:
Row 3: Work l sc in each of the 4 sc of one leg, then work l sc in each of the 4 sc of the other leg. (8 sc). Ch l and turn.
Rows 4 & 5 & 6: 8 sc, ch l, turn.

Row 7: 2 sc in each sc, (16 sc ) ch l, turn.
Row 8: 16 sc, ch l, turn.
Row 9: (l sc , sk next sc) 8 times, 1 sc in last sc. (9 sc) ch l turn.                                                                                               Row 10: *1 sc, skip next sc* Repeat from * to * 5 times. (5 sc).

Cut yarn, leaving a tail of about 10 inches, pull yarn end through last ch l.

ARMS: Make 1: Note: The arm piece should be about 2 1/2 inches/6 cm long, so depending on your choice of yarn and hook, you may have to change the number of stitches you use to make it.

Row 1: Ch 10, slip stitch in 2nd ch from hook, and in each remaining ch. (9 slip stitches).  Cut yarn, leaving a tail of about 4 inches, pull yarn end through last ch l.

HEAD: Take the yarn end into the needle and then go through each of the 4 sc at the top of the head to gather the upper edge of head, then pull up tightly. Stitch to anchor.
-Sew center back seam of head.
-Stuff head.

NECK: Wrap yarn end around neck of bear 3 or 4 times, and pull up tightly.
– Stitch over the neck wraps 2 or 3 times to lock in place.

BODY: Stuff body and sew shut.

LEGS: Fold the leg edges together. With the starting yarn end, sew the leg seams. Tie the yarn ends in a tight knot and take all ends inside body.


ARMS: Take one yarn end of the arm through the shoulders of the  bear. Pull up to lock the arm piece to the bear.  Use the end to stitch the other end to the bear’s shoulder.  Take the ends inside the bear.

Stitch the other end of the arm piece to the bear and then take the ends inside the body.

EARS: With Black yarn: Push crochet hook into a stitch in the top of the head, yo, pull up a loop onto hook.  Ch 4.
-Cut yarn, pull end through last loop on hook.
-Tie a knot with first yarn end, then thread yarn end into darning needle, and hide yarn ends inside
-Repeat for other ear.

FEATURES: With Black yarn: 

EYE PATCHES:  At the midpoint of the head, take 2 or 3 stitches that cover 2 sc for the first eye, then 2 or 3 stitches that cover 2 sc for the second eye.   Note, if you are making a bear that isn’t a Panda,  skip the eye patches.

NOSE: take one stitch slightly below and between the eye patches.

MOUTH: Take 2 stitches slightly below the mouth.  Take the yarn end inside the Panda’s head.

EYE BEADS: Stitch one small black bead at the center of each eye patch.  Start at the back of the neck- take the needle in through the body and out at the neck, then make a securing stitch then take the needle to the front of the face, stitch one bead on for the first eye, then go to the second eye and stitch another bead on.  Take the needle back through the head and out at the back of the neck. Make a tiny securing stitch and then take the needle into the body and out, pull up and snip the end close to the body.


Here is a link to  a bunch of posts for patterns that I have designed.  Sometimes, I call them ‘Comfie Bears’,  sometimes, ‘Blessing Bears’, sometimes, ‘Pocket Bears’, sometimes, ‘Prayer Bears’ or ‘Compassion Bears’.   LINK

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Easy to knit comfort or pocket teddy bears

I love knitting and crocheting comfort/compassion/pocket bears.

Here’s Tottie Tomato with a batch of bears that I just knitted.

By the way, in the video, I explained a little about where ‘Tottie Tomato’ came from.

Back to Comfort or Pocket Bears…….

Over the years, I’ve made thousands of them and given them away.

Here’s my newest version… knitted, and then folded and stitched, and oh so sweet!

The pattern is: Knit 20 stitches for 22 rounds and then follow the instructions in this video:

Happy knitting!  And, may the little bears bring you delight in the making, and joy in the giving!

For more patterns for Comfort bears, please click:

Knitted comfort bears

Crocheted comfort bears



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Cutting garments into fabric strips to weave and knit

Recently,  I made a video about cutting up garments to upcycle them by weaving or knitting with the fabric strips.

In early October of 2017, my son in law’s step-dad passed away.

This was, of course, very hard on our grandson.

I talked with him about what it meant to him to have his ‘other’ grampa (not my husband) pass away.

I asked him if he needed something of his grampa’s to hold onto, and he said yes.

So, I asked for a couple of Bill’s shirts so I could make comfort critters with them.

I cut them up and wove them into kittys, as that was what my grandson asked for, so he has one, and other family members have them too.  (I didn’t photograph all of them).

I also knitted a teddy bear for one of our relatives, as he is definitely a teddy bear guy 🙂

The bear and kittys have been well received and they do carry the love that went into every stitch of making them.

I’ve done this before, and have found that ‘compassion critters’ made from upcycled clothing of a dear one is very comforting for people in grief.

Every little thing helps….

Here’s the video:

The woven kitties and knitted bear are made from the following patterns:…



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Memory Bears

Last summer, Marie,  a member of our extended family (through marriage and love) died.

I asked her daughter for one of Marie’s sweaters so I could upcycle it to make little bears for Marie’s close kin with it.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I unraveled the sleeves of the sweater and used the  Comfort Bear pattern LINK to pattern

It’s taken awhile, because, I think that I needed to design the Comfort Bears first.

I was so pleased when I had an ‘AHA!’ that I could use the Comfort Bear pattern  to make the Memory Bears for Marie’s daughter and her partner, her son and grandson and her grandson’s Mum.

They’ll be able to cuddle a little of their Mum and Grandma whenever they need a small bit of comfort…..

I am finding the Comfort Bears to be very inspiring…  They have many aspects, and more keep being revealed.

Tiny bears, made with love.  ❤



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Whee- 40 teeny Comfort Bears- I did it!!!

Originally, I designed these little bears for Syrian refugee children, but I wanted to address the critical comments that some people had made. They said that we should be taking care of people who are already here and are suffering.

Well, I agree: We do need to care for those in pain, but it is NOT an either/or situation: It is AND.

I had recently read an article that spoke of acts of compassion and ended by saying that the heart must stretch, or it will break.

I thought: Alright… let’s stretch the heartstrings.

I thought: Who is here that needs me?  Immediately, the answer came up: The Women’s Shelter.

So, two weeks ago, I asked the Women’s Shelter if I could donate some of the tiny Blessing/Comfort/Kindness bears to the children in their care.

Confession time: Truth be told, I was still in the design stage at this point… how bold of me to phone them up when I hadn’t even finished the workable prototype! LOL

They said, ‘YES! Please make us 40!’

When I recovered from my astonishment, I said: ‘Of course I will’.

And, so, for the last 2 weeks, I have gotten up early (very VERY early some mornings!) and gone to bed late….

and …. tadah!!!!

40 little Comfort/Blessing Bears in a Basket! (made with love by Noreen Crone-Findlay)

I knew that I could not possibly get them all knitted by hand in only 2 weeks, so I knitted the bodies of most of them by machine, but some of them, I knitted on 2 sets of circular needles (cumbersome) and some on 4 dpn’s… which is much more doable than the 2 circs.

(I have my dpn’s and yarn with a bear on it in my ‘going out the door’ knitting bag… more about that, later).

The hand work of sewing the back seam, stuffing the bear, sewing both ends shut then making the necks, legs, ears, stitching on the arms and embroidering the faces is what takes up most of the bear making time.

It’s slow, but contemplative work, and it brings me such great delight as each little face smiles up at me when I finish embroidering it!   Such joy!!!!

I have to race to finish family Christmas presents now, but I will be casting on lots more stitches for more, more, more bears- for Syrian refugee children, and more for the Women’s Shelter to have on hand, and more because I keep meeting people who need them….

This makes me sooooooooooooo happy!   ❤     😀     ❤

Yup, this has been a real heart stretcher… I have so much more room in my heart than I ever thought possible.

I think that the extra room is bear shaped….

copyright  Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

My dream is that people will be inspired to knit or crochet all kinds of wonderful wee comfort/kindness/blessing bears to give to anyone who needs some compassion and healing.   Won’t you join me?    🙂


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Tiny Teddy Bears that hug the hand that holds them

The past few weeks have been a flurry of knitting tiny bears .

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I designed these Comfort Bears (also known as ‘Kindness Bears’ , ‘Compassion Bears’ and ‘Blessing Bears’) for people of any age who need to feel loved and comforted.

It was important to me that they fit in a pocket, so they are less than 3 inches tall.

It  also felt important that the wee bears be interactive, so I designed their arms to be knitted in one piece, so they could hug the finger of the person who owns them.

They bring me so much joy to make!  I hope that those who will be adopting them will feel all the love in each tiny teddy!

I’ve found such joy in making them, so they really do hug back to their maker, as well as whoever will be their owner.  😀

Here’s the link to the pattern so you can knit them, too:

If you don’t knit, but would like to make crocheted comfort bears, here’s the link to the pattern for crocheted comfort bears:

I have been thrilled to hear from people how then intend to use the Blessing Bears.

One woman brought tears to my eyes by telling me that she’s making them to give to her children so they can give them to children at their school who have been bullied.

I’d love to hear who you are making Blessing Bears for….


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Kindness and solace from tiny knitted bears

Because I offered to make the tiny knitted comfort bears LINK TO PATTERN for the Women’s Shelter, and they responded enthusiastically by asking for 40 of them by Dec 21 (eegads), I have been taking them with me everywhere I go, making making making little comfort bears.

I’ve been so grateful that friends have offered to help me with them.

It’s such a joy to sit together making these wee ambassadors of love and connection:

Arwen & Noreen at the Blue Chair cafe making Kindness Bears

Arwen & Noreen at the Blue Chair cafe making Kindness Bears

Bears at Blue Chair 2 (c)

I have been hearing really touching stories from people- the tiny bears have the amazing capacity to open hearts, so people feel safe to tell their stories…. some of which are really painful to hear, but must be heard even so.

Emily Dickinson’s poem:

If I can stop one heart from breaking,    
I shall not live in vain;    
If I can ease one life the aching,    
Or cool one pain,    
Or help one fainting robin             
Unto his nest again,    
I shall not live in vain.

has taken on even deeper meaning to me as I make these tiny ‘Kindness’ bears.

I have to admit that some of the stories that I have heard have brought tears to my eyes, and sometimes cause rage to well up at the horrors some people have endured.

If these little bears can bring solace, well, then, I , and all those who join me in making them, shall not have lived in vain.


December 18, 2015 · 12:58 pm

Knitted Comfort Bear by Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Today, we need kindness more than ever before.

It brings me such joy to see people everywhere finding ways to create comfort and to show their love of humanity.

Recently, I went to a benefit concert for Syrian refugees, and one of the organizers said:  If you want to help, don’t ask us what you can do, tell us what your strengths are, and then do that.

I thought about what she said and then asked one of the other organizers if knitting teddy bears for the Syrian children was culturally acceptable, and she said that it is indeed.

And, so, I have designed a tiny knitted teddy bear that fits in a pocket to be a perfectly portable comfort, cuddle or hug.

I decided that I also need to help out with children who are already here, and are in distress.

So I offered to knit some for the  children in the Women’s Shelter as well as for the Syrian Refugee children.(The lady at the Women’s Shelter was delighted with my offer and has heartily taken me up on it 🙂 )

Also, I am going to knit a few  to keep in my bag for those times when I meet someone who just needs a little extra TLC.

I invite you to knit them for whatever charity makes your heart sing.

Feel free to share the link to this page… it would be wonderful to have knitters all over the world knitting these wee ambassadors of love and comfort!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Note: the finished size of this Tiny Comfort Bear is determined by the size of knitting needles that you choose and the thickness of the yarn.


EQUIPMENT: Knitting needles (the Cuddle Bear in the photos was knitted with 2.75 mm needles); scissors; darning or tapestry needle; embroidery needle; ruler or tape measure.

Note: You can also knit these Comfort bears on a knitting machine if you have one.  Because I have been requested to knit so many, I have made a whole bunch of them on my knitting machine.

YARN: 1 ball of sock yarn will make 10 or more Comfort Bears.

ALSO: A small amount of stuffing; black sock yarn or embroidery floss to embroider the features.


With sock yarn and 2.75mm needles, the Comfort Bear is 3 inches/ 7.5 cm tall.

With sock yarn and 2.25mm needles, the Comfort Bear is 2 1/2 inches/ 6.25 cm tall

NOTE: For a very small bear: Use smaller needles and thinner yarn, such as lace weight.

For a larger bear, use thicker needles and heavier yarn.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay


Leave at least 6 inches/ 15 cm of yarn for finishing
and cast on 12 stitches.

Row 1: K 12

Row 2: K 1, P 1 in each stitch. (24 stitches)

Set up your knitting:  You can either work the Comfort Bear flat on 2 needles, then sew the center back seam after finishing, OR, work it in the round, using 4 dpns, OR in the round on a magic loop on 1 long circular needle OR in the round on 2 shorter circular needles.

Rows or Rounds 3 – 15: Work in st st.


(Eyelet Row/Round): Row or Round 16: [K2tog, yo] 12 times.


Rows or Rounds 17 – 30: Work 24 stitches in st st.

Row or Round 31: [K2tog] 12 times. (12 st)

Cut yarn, leaving 8 inches/20 cm for finishing.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay


(Note: If you knitted your Comfort Bear flat on 2 needles, sew up the back seam now before completing the steps.)

1] Thread the yarn end at then end of the last round into a darning or tapestry needle and take it through all the stitches.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

2] Pull up the stitches to close the top of the head, then take the needle through all the stitches again to secure them.

3] Stuff the entire body.

4] EARS:

Pinch a semi-circle out at the side of the head and stitch through the base to form the ear. Stitch along the base of the ear, back and forth to define it well.

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Stitch in place at the top of the head, then take the yarn inside the head and come out at the other side. Stitch in place to secure the yarn and then stitch the other ear in the same way.

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Take the yarn end inside the body.

5] LEGS:

Thread the yarn end at the lower edge of the body into the needle and then pull up to gather the lower edge closed. Stitch in place to secure the gather.

Take the needle through the body about 1/4 inch/.5 cm up from the base.

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Go through the body again, slightly up from the last stitch.

Now, stitch back down towards the feet.

Stitch through the body several more times, to create the line between the legs.

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Stitch in place at the base, then take the yarn end back into the body.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

6] NECK: Cut a piece of yarn about 30 inches/75 cm long and fold it in half.

Thread the ends into the darning needle then go in and out the eyelet round at the neck.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Wrap the yarn around the neck several times and then tie a tight knot to secure the neck.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Take the ends inside the body.


1] Leaving several inches of yarn at each end for attaching the i cord, knit a 3 stitch i cord that is 1 3/4 inches/4.5 cm long.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

2] Sew the arms to the body.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay


With black sock yarn or embroidery floss, embroider the face:

Bring the needle up through the head from the back of the neck to the center of the face.

Take a couple of tiny stitches to secure the yarn.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay


Stitch a ‘V’ for the nose, then take the needle out at the first eye.

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Take a couple of tiny stitches for the first eye.

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Then across to the second eye. Take a couple of tiny stitches for the second eye.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Take the needle from the top of the nose, down to the point of the V, then out to one side for the first half of the smile:

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Pull the needle through the face at the point of the V and out to the end point of the smile.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

The needle goes back in almost where it came out to catch the middle of the smile line, then comes out at the point of the V.

Repeat for the second half of the smile.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Take a couple of tiny stitches in the nose to secure the end.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay


Then, go through the body to bury the yarn end.

Snip the yarn end at the back of the neck.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

And there you have it!

Here’s a video tutorial on how to embroider a teddy bear face:

I hope that you’ll enjoy the tiny comfort bear to bring joy into your life in the knitting of it, and joy into the life of whoever you give it to.


Happy Knitting!

❤ Noreen


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