Tag Archives: grief

Knitted Clancy Comfort Bear


by Noreen Crone-Findlay (c)

The knitted Clancy Comfort Bear is my latest design for comfort bears.

I designed it in honor of my beloved son in law who died last year.

Clancy was kindness incarnate and always kept several Comfort Bears in his pocket to offer to people who were having a difficult time. So, the Clancy Bear is a living legacy to keep his kindness unfolding in the world. With love in every stitch……


NOTE: The finished size of the Clancy Bear is determined by the thickness of yarn and size of knitting needles that you use.


Knitting Needles in a size that is appropriate for the thickness of your yarn,

Yarn: Less than an ounce for each Clancy Comfort Bear

A crochet hook that is appropriate for the thickness of your yarn.

Black 6/0 glass beads for eyes, Stuffing,

Black sewing thread and a needle that is small enough to sew on the beads, Tapestry or darning needle

Sewing machine thread in a color that matches your yarn (optional)

Felting needle, Tape measure, Row Counter, 4 small safety pins, Scissors or thread snip

INSTRUCTIONS: Beginning at the feet:

Cast on 11 stitches.

Rows 1- 16: Work in st st (knit one row, purl the next)

Place one of the little safety pins at each end of Row 6 and then 1 more pin at each end of Row 10.

At the end of Row 16, cut the yarn, leaving a 42 inch/105 cm long tail

Thread the tail end into a darning or tapestry needle and lift all the stitches off the needle.

Pull up to gather the top of the head.

Take the needle through the stitches one more time to secure them.


Sew the centre front seam using the Baseball stitch to the first set of safety pins. (see video for how to).

Take a couple stitches to secure the head. Remove the 2 safety pins.

Stuff the head.

Wrap the yarn tightly around the neck 2 times then stitch over the wraps to secure them.


Take the yarn up to the side of the head at the top of the head and stitch over the knitting needle or crochet hook twice.

Stitch over these loops several times to make the first ear.

Repeat for the 2nd ear.

Take the needle back down and out at the ‘shoulder’ to be used to make the arms.


Thread another strand of yarn or the sewing machine thread into a needle and stitch the center front down to the next set of safety pins.

Stuff the body.


Fold the cast on edge in half to find the midpoint.

Take the needle through it and stitch it to the end of the tummy seam.

Stitch in place a couple of times to secure it.

Squeeze and fold the edges of the front to meet the cast on edge, forming the leg with the corner point becoming the toe. It’s a bit like origami.

Stitch the leg inseam together, pulling up tightly.

Stitch the second leg inseam.

Secure at the middle.

Take the needle through the body to the back, and snip.


Take the crochet hook through the stitch at the shoulder where the yarn came out.

Yarn over, pull up a loop through the stitch on the body.

Chain by taking the yarn over the hook and pulling it through the loop on the hook.

Do this 7 to 9 times, depending on the thickness of your yarn.

Take the crochet hook through the shoulder on the other side of the body and pull up a loop.

Thread the yarn end into the tapestry needle and stitch the loop to the body.

Take the hook through the first chain stitch at the shoulder, and make a slip stitch in it by pulling up a loop through the chain stitch.

Repeat this for all the chain stitches, ending at the first shoulder.

Stitch the end into the body and use the felting needle to secure the arms to the shoulders and to bury the yarn end.


Take the black thread through the head, coming out at the center of the face.

Secure it with a couple of tiny stitches.

Make several horizontal stitches for the nose.


Move down and take a couple of shorter horizontal stitches for the mouth.


Take the needle up slightly above and to one side of the nose and sew on the bead for one eye,

then the other.

Secure the stitches by going back down to the nose and taking a couple of tiny stitches at the corner of the nose, then taking the needle back through the head. Snip the ends.


INSTRUCTIONS: Beginning at the feet:

Cast on 11 stitches with black yarn.

Rows 1- 6: Work in st st (knit one row, purl the next)

Place one of the little safety pins at each end of Row 6

Rows 7 & 8: Join white yarn and work in st st

Rows 9 & 10: Drop white yarn and work in black yarn.

Place 1 more pin at each end of Row 10.

Cut the black yarn, leaving a tail of 42 inches/105 cm.

Rows 11- 16: Work in white yarn.

At the end of Row 16, cut the yarn, leaving a 20 inch/50 cm long tail

Thread the white yarn end into a darning or tapestry needle and lift all the stitches off the needle.

Pull up to gather the top of the head.

Take the needle through the stitches one more time to secure them.

Stitch the center front seam of the head with the white yarn.

Stuff the head and wrap and secure the neck.

Take the black tail end out through to the shoulder and leave it there for now.

Work the rest of the Panda body, legs and arms the same way as the Basic Clancy Bear.


After working the Arms, take the black yarn up to the top of the head and make the ears.


Take 3 small vertical stitches for each eye patch.


Take 2 horizontal stitches for the nose.


Take 1 smaller horizontal stitch for the mouth. Secure the yarn by stitching through to the back of the neck and stitching in place the burying the yarn in the body.


Sew the eye beads to the center of the patches. Secure the thread ends in the eye patches.



Filed under blessing bear, comfort bear, eco crafts & green projects, free pattern, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, grief, knitting, teddy bear, tutorial & how to, video tutorial

Rabbit Year 2023

The year of the Rabbit is seen as a year of sweet goodness in all kinds of ways.

I am totally in favor of that, and I certainly hope it will show itself to be a gentle and healing and harmonious year in 2023.

This Rabbit year is a busy one for me.

I am focused on 5 things, as well as all the usual things that unfold in life-

1- Grieving the sudden death of my beloved son in law is hard work, and has revealed the deep paradox that love offers us: The immense gratitude for everything that love brings us, including the shocks and anguish of loss, as well as all the incredible blessings… truly paradoxical.

2- I am knitting as many Comfort Bears as I can get done before the Celebration of my lovely Son in Love’s life this Spring in his honor to give to people at the Celebration of his life.

They were very important to him, and he always had at least 3 in his pockets, as well as his personal Comfort Bear, so he could give them to people who needed comfort. He was such a lovely man that people would confide their sorrows to him, and he would give them a comfort bear, and then see if there was something else that he could do for them. Kindness was truly his religion!

As I have been working on the Comfort Bears, a new design for them has evolved, and I will make a pattern and a video for them when I can get to it.

BUT… this year of the Rabbit is a VERY busy one indeed….

3- I am working to deadline on a new book- Yay! I can’t say anything about it, except that I am working with my much loved editor (hurrah) again at Stackpole Books. Writing this book is really helping me to move forward and it is very healing to be focused on loveliness!

4- I am also working on a new solo show of my woven works for 2024…. again… very healing, very powerful, and exciting as I have had lots of breakthroughs into new places in my wovenworks 🙂

5- And this is the one that is most immanent and that I am scrambling to get the work done on asap:

For about 7 years (!) I have been working on a new set of looms and co-creating them with Donna and Gary McFarland of Dewberry Ridge Looms. I am just a (rather large and longish) Hare’s Breath away from finishing up all the editing, pattern writing, video shooting, photo taking, photo editing and all that that involves, so that I can finally…. F I N A L L Y get these looms out into the world. Whew and yay!

And, oh yes, I mustn’t forget…. my husband and I have unexpectedly adopted a very sweet and rather wild little new furkid who is an astonishing handful and is completely full of adorable love and puppy wackiness…. puppies…. sheesh….. and lots of loving laughter.

He is my devoted studio companion, and has his own chair right beside me. Excellent solution to the problem of him needing to be glued to me 🙂 ❤

I hope that 2023 will be a truly fine one for us all. Happy Year of the Rabbit!


Filed under crafting for charity, Dewberry Ridge looms, grief, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, personal stuff, teddy bear, Woven Women tapestries and woven works, Writing a book

A Wooden Teddy Bear Carved in Response to Grief

The death of our beloved 15 year old small dog has been really hard on both my husband and me.

I wrote in my previous post about the Comfort Doll that I carved from a fallen branch- LINK

When I was carving her, I was inspired to carve a Teddy Bear that would have an open space in it’s heart…..

I used amber color shellac to paint the Teddy Bear to look like our little dog, and then…

My husband and I each placed a tiny scoop of our little dog’s ashes in the open circle.

Then I glued a gold heart over it to seal it….

The glue seals it completely.

It took a while to dry and turn clear.

We both held the little teddy bear and found it to be very comforting….

We sat Teddy Bear and Pollydolly in front of the box of our little guy’s ashes, but when I finished weaving her outfit and knitting a red sweater and blue jeans for him, we sat them on top of the box:

My husband loves working with metal, so he made a little steel doggie: Edward Alloy in tribute to our wee fellow, and it has joined them on the box…..

We have found this tender making of small things in celebration of our wee dog to be very comforting!


Filed under carved wooden dolls, carved wooden teddy bears, carving wood, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, grief, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, metal work, personal stuff, teddy bear, weaving & handwoven, wooden dolls, woodwork

Carving a Comfort Doll from a Fallen Branch

Last week, our darling little dog died. He was 15 years old and we miss him terribly.

The day before he died, a branch fell from the huge Elm tree in front of our house. I love the tree and so I picked up the branch and moved it onto our lawn, thinking that I should probably carve something from it.

A couple of days after we came home from the Vet, without our dear boy in our arms, the impulse to pick up the branch and start carving grew stronger and stronger.

I had been feeling called to carve another 6 inch doll like one that had carved last fall, so I used her as a companion and guide:

I used the same branch for her arms:

And for her legs, but I got the first pair all wrong, so I made another pair from another scrap of wood.

Of course, it took me a few days to carve her and to allow the still wet wood to dry before I could paint her.

This allowed me to follow my inner prompts that were a gift from this little healing dolly and start work on carving a teddy bear. I have posted about him here: LINK

I was surprised that she wanted a very round head, but when I went to carve it down, she firmly told me to just sand it smooth and live with it. Okay…. it’s important to not try to push the doll where she does not want to go!

She let me know exactly what she wanted for her hair, leotard, leggings and boots:

I knitted her a dress that was totally wrong for her, but works beautifully on a different doll.

Then I tried a different dress that I had knitted for another little doll. Nope.

She wanted me to weave her a white skirt and shrug from yarn that my daughter in law spun.

So, I did….

Her name is Pollydolly and I have found the process of carving her (and the teddy bear that I will post about next) to be very soothing and healing.

Dollmaking is very much a healing art and no matter what form it takes, it’s good for the soul.

Grieving is a journey that is unique to each person who has to follow the path, and it’s important to do the things that help the grief be nurtured in a transformative way that becomes the root of compassion.

Carving dolls and bears and knitting and weaving are an important part of my way of healing.

In the next post about the Teddy Bear that Pollydolly told me to carve, I’ll show you where she is sitting now. LINK

If you are grieving, please know that you are not alone. There is so much to grieve right now, and we all have to find our way through it. Blessings on your journey!

With love! ❤


Filed under carved wooden dolls, carving wood, doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, grief, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, personal stuff, upcycling, weaving & handwoven, wooden dolls, woodwork

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:


and https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/27430…


Filed under blessing bear, charity knitting, crafting for charity, eco crafts & green projects, Findlay Bear and Flora Panda, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, knitting, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, personal stuff, potholder loom, teddy bear, tutorial & how to, video tutorial, weaving & handwoven

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 http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

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.  ❤



Filed under blessing bear, charity knitting, crafting for charity, eco crafts & green projects, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, knitting, teddy bear, tutorial & how to

Challenging week

This has been a very difficult week for us.

On Monday, our beloved little dog, who has been chronically ill for years, became terribly ill, then rallied briefly, but went into crisis.

Early Tuesday morning, we took him to our wonderful vet, who eased his passing.

As everyone who loves their animal companion knows, it has been very hard to loose this dear little fellow….

Our sweet boy

Our sweet boy

While we were in the midst of nursing him through to his passing, another challenge arose.

For several weeks, I have been working with my website host to try to rescue my website, which was hacked.

Finally, they told me that the only thing they could do was to wipe it right out to get rid of the nastiness that the hackers had planted.


Website gone.

So many hours of work.

Up in smoke.


We have been so moved by the kindness of family, friends and fellow travelers.


That’s what it’s all about.


And, kindness.

And compassion.

But, yes…. it’s all about love.




Filed under personal stuff

Woven Women- Out of the Mist

My mother passed away recently, and one of the ways that I have been processing my grief is to take it to my looms and weave about it.

Because I am deeply focused on weaving tapestries and woven pieces for my solo show, ‘Woven Women’, it was natural that this weaving would take the form of a Woven Woman.

My mother suffered from a form of dementia,  I have been feeling is how sweet it is for her to be released from that dreadful fog of confusion……..

And, so, I have woven a piece on my Saori loom with supplemental embellishment with my stick weaving loom,  that I call:

“Out of the Mist”.  She’s approximately 30 inches tall by about 10 inches wide at the widest point:

'Out of the Mist' by Noreen Crone-Findlay (c)

‘Out of the Mist’ by Noreen Crone-Findlay (c)

One of my close friends gave me a seashell instead of a card, and it felt natural to have it become part of this piece.

I made a Kumihimo cord and tied a Celtic everlasting knot, which is stitched to her forehead, but barely visible under her cowl.

Weaving this tribute brought me great peace and comfort, and I think that my Mom would like it a lot.

Yes, I think that she does…


Filed under Peg and Stick Loom weaving, peg looms and weaving sticks, weaving & handwoven, Woven Women tapestries and woven works