There are millions of teddy bear designs out there, but what about bear-shaped bear patterns? I think real bears deserve some appreciation too! I already have my Polar Bear pattern, but they aren’t shaped like other bears, so I decided it was time for a series of realistic bear designs:
Spot the Difference?
I must confess that I wasn’t much of a bear expert, going into this project. I had no idea of the differences between Black, Brown and Grizzly Bears, apart from the obvious (colour) – and it turns out I didn’t even get that right… For a start, Brown and Grizzly are two names for the same bear – you can use them interchangeably. And here’s where it gets really surprising: despite their names, you can’t reliably tell Black and Brown Bears apart by their coat colouring; both are found in a wide spectrum of colours.
If Black Bears can be brown, and Brown Bears can be black, how do you actually tell if you’re looking at a Brown Bear or a Black Bear? I took an online course (actually intended for hunters – boo – but I had a much nicer reason for my study!) and here’s the lowdown:
Bear Identification Tips
Brown bears have short round ears.
Black bears have taller, pointier ears.
Brown bears have a dish (concave) face shape when viewed in profile.
Black bears have a straight face in profile.
Brown bears have a very prominent shoulder hump.
Black bears have no shoulder hump.
You can also tell the two bears apart by claw length (brown bears have much longer claws) and footprint differences, but neither of those features apply to amigurumi bears!
My Bear Designs
Put all that together, and here’s the result:
Realistically-shaped Brown/Grizzly Bear (top) and Black Bear (bottom) – mine are coloured the way you’d imagine they should be!
What about Polar Bears?
Polar Bears are more closely related to Brown Bears than Black Bears, but their bodies have adapted for their carnivorous diet and lifestyle in the frigic Arctic:
- small, low-set ears
- large feet with short claws
- sharp teeth (not included in amigurumi bears!)
- a more streamlined shape (for swimming)
- dense white fur with black skin beneath (to keep them warm)
Got all that? Then you’re ready to properly appreciate all three of my bear designs!
Adult and Baby Bears
One pattern, two sizes of bear: bulky weight yarn option (left); worsted weight yarn option (right)
The smaller Polar Bear you see in the photos above is made with the worsted weight option from my bulky weight Polar Bear pattern. You can easily make any adult bear and cub in the same way, by using a larger hook and thicker yarn for the mother bear, and a smaller hook and finer yarn for the baby bear. (See my Resizing Amigurumi article for more information.)
Tip: Using proportionately larger eyes for the smaller bear, as I’ve done here, will give it a cuter, more babyish, cub-like appearance.
I’ve set up an amazing deal for these bears: the Multipack is only $10 – that’s buy two bear patterns, get the third free!
Note: If you’ve already bought the polar bear, you don’t have to miss out on this deal! Just buy the Multipack (or the remaining 2 bears in one order), then email me with 1) your bears order number and 2) the order number (or date) from when you bought the polar bear, and I’ll send you a coupon for $5 off your next order of $10 or more. (The coupon will remain valid for a whole year, so don’t worry if there’s nothing else you want to buy right now!)
Or if you only want your favourite bear, you’ll find each pattern individually in my shop too 🙂
- 3-for-2 Bears Multipack
- Brown/Grizzly Bear pattern
- Black Bear pattern
- Polar Bear pattern
- Black Bear on Ravelry:
- Brown/Grizzly Bear on Ravelry:
Yay for toy bears that look like real bears – I hope this may be the start of a new trend in toys! Which bear design do you like best?