Pattern Review – Graduation Bear from Lion Brand

So, I have had this best friend since I was about 2 years old. She has always been there, even though for the last 18 years we have lived at least 3,000 miles away from each other. Doesn’t mean anything to best friends. Well, her baby sister graduated college last year, and she asked me to make a grad bear for her sister. So, I searched and searched and searched all over the internet for a grad bear pattern. I could not find anything I liked. They all seemed so childish, like something you should give to a kid graduating kindergarten. But here was a young lady, 22 years old, getting ready to graduate from college. She needed a sweet, loving teddy bear that didn’t scream “I’m a toddler!”. Eventually, I found this killer pattern on Lion Brand’s pattern app. What is even better, they also have a worm and an owl on this app too. Yes they do. This pattern was super easy to work with as well.

This totally awesome graduation teddy bear came from this free pattern off the Lion Brand website

Now, I used red heart super saver yarn (I hate this yarn, despise it, it is awful. I try to never use it, but I have SO MUCH from my “super poor” days and back when I had no idea about quality of yarn…so I use it for free projects for family and friends in an effort to get rid of it!) instead of the Vanna’s Choice (which is great yarn!), but it turned out to be about the same size specified in the pattern. I have found Crafter’s Secret and I Love This Yarn gauge similar to RHSS, so those are inexpensive options as well, if you cannot afford the Vanna’s Choice (though lionbrand.com ALWAYS has some in their clearance section…that section is my favorite…50-75% off all sorts of yarn!)

I also did not use safety eyes, I embroidered the eyes on afterwards. I don’t like to use safety eyes because of the chance of a child getting ahold of the toy and eating them. Or a dog…my dogs would eat them if given the opportunity.

My biggest suggestion is to make the head and body last. I prefer to sew on the legs, arms, ears, cap whatever I can before I stuff and close the body. with this, I was able to sew everything on before I closed it, since you are starting at the head and working your way to the butt. I also sewed the diploma to the arm before I sewed on the arm.

The cool thing is that it is a really basic teddy bear pattern, that you can do 100 things with. You can give him two ears and put flowers or candy in his hand. You can give him one ear and put a camo ballcap on the other side. You can give him no ears and out a sunhat on him. I love versatile patterns that can be made into so many things.

Overall, I would give this pattern 4 stars, and say that “easy level 2” is a good rating for it. It is a good step up from really basic amigurumi. It is probably not the best pattern if it is you first time working in rounds or sewing on limbs. But, if you are familiar with rounds, if you have some decent sewing experience, make 100 of them. They are quick and easy. I think this one took about 2 hours to work up…and I am pretty sure about 40 minutes of that was me fumbling around trying to sew on the limbs…I suck at that part.

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