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Knit a Keepsake for the Holidays

Dec 9, 2009

Awhile back I confessed that I might not be knitting as much as I usually do for the holiday season. Well that turned out to be a big, fat lie!

I'm sure many of you can join me on the Island of Frenzied Gift Knitting, which is very close to the Island of Misfit Toys if you need to orient yourself. And if you're just packing for your trip to the Island of Frenzied Gift Knitting, below are some great ideas for items that you might want to throw in your suitcase.

I chose these patterns because they all have keepsake or heirloom potential. The word "heirloom" makes me giggle because when one of my best friends, a non-knitter, was expecting, my knitting friend and I asked her what she wanted for the baby and she said, "Oh, I don't know. How about an heirloom blanket?" We laughed because how do you just whip up an heirloom?

And what exactly makes an heirloom? Three things come to mind for me: something that has longevity and is passed through a family, something beautiful (or not—but many of the things I consider heirlooms are beautiful to me), and something treasured.

For my sister-in-law's baby shower, I knitted a teddy bear. My nephew, Henry, sleeps with that bear every night, and even though the bear is well-loved now I think he'll become an heirloom because my family saves those sorts of things and hands them down. I have dolls from my gramma and Henry has my brother's childhood Curious George. So, you never know what will become important to someone!

Classic Teddy Bear Spacer 10x10 pixels Baby Kimono   tea set Spacer 10x10 pixels hot water bottle cover
Classic Teddy Bear   Baby Kimono Spacer 10x10 pixels Fiesta Tea Set   Aran Hot Water Bottle Cover
This one is darling for any baby or young child (or for anyone, actually!)   So precious. I've knit this myself; it's a quick knit that will live on for generations.   What little person wouldn't love to play with this tea set? Especially if Mom and Dad have a set of real Fiestaware!   There's nothing as comforting as a hot water bottle, and this cozy cover will keep it warm even longer.









Fresco Fair Isle Mitts Spacer 10x10 pixels Eye sachet Spacer 10x10 pixels Luscious collar
  Fresco Fair Isle Mitts   Streaming Leaves
Lavender Eye Pillow
  Luscious Collar
  I'm lap deep in these now—someone's going to be happy on Christmas morning!   I might need this myself after the frenzied gift knitting ends! Yum, lavender.   This looks so classy on a jacket or a cardigan. I love it.

I hope you'll try one of these quick, keepsake-worthy patterns, and I'll see you on the Island!



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Classic Teddy Bear Knitting Pattern

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Give a homemade teddy bear that is from the heart


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Indulge your favorite newborn, or your favorite new parents, with a handknitted gift that will be cherished for years.


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damaje wrote
on Mar 31, 2011 10:55 AM

I'd like a copy of Henry's bear also.  I'm new to this post and I have been looking for a knitted bear pattern that doesn't look too difficult.    I particularly like the face and head of this guy.


on Feb 18, 2011 10:04 PM

Where do you find the required yarn, namely, S. R. Kertzer Naturally Cafe (42% wool, 28% alpaca, 26% mohair, 4% nylon; 84 yd [77 m]/50 g): #710 natural, 3 balls, for the Aran Hot-Water Bottle Cover.  This yarn is now discontinued.  Please suggest an appropriate substitute.

Knitto wrote
on Dec 23, 2009 10:07 AM

I decided grandchildren where going to have a keepsake this year so embarked on stockings = 7" x 21"!  Six BIG ones!  Am now on last one to dulicate stitch names - think that was the hardest part!

Best part was learning  how to knit socks on two circulars - started off with 4 bamboos ~ went way toooo slow plus hate those "ladders" so decided time to learn to 2 cirs!  

Merry Christmas and Happy Knitting to all!

on Dec 15, 2009 12:18 PM

The knitted bear is the Baby Bobbi Bear from Blue Sky Alpacas.

FraniM wrote
on Dec 12, 2009 8:55 AM

Yes, yes, yes!  Henry's bear pattern--please please please!  Sooner rather than later.  He's one of the cutest knit bears I've seen (actually THE cutest--gotta give credit where credit is due).  The body I could probably duplicate but the head (which is what makes him so darned cute!)--no way.  And I've got great nieces and nephews who NEED a teddy just like him!

PattiG@7 wrote
on Dec 11, 2009 9:32 AM

I too would like to know how to obtain the pattern for the Henry Bear.

Please advise.

Thank You,


Aunt Gert wrote
on Dec 10, 2009 4:55 PM

What has happened to Sandi?   I really miss her column.  

Fujime wrote
on Dec 10, 2009 2:42 PM

I'd love to get the pattern.. how can I get it? (I'm new to this site, my mum send me this page.) The bear is adorable though!!

wernmass wrote
on Dec 9, 2009 5:44 PM


Elegance in simplicity.   We would love to knit Henry's bear.  Please share.

ClaudiaS@9 wrote
on Dec 9, 2009 1:15 PM

"And what, exactly, makes an heirloom?" In her book *At Knit’s End,* the Yarn Harlot gave one answer to this: ”…If you happen across a pattern that says ‘heirloom,’ slowly put the pattern down and back away. ‘Heirloom’ is knitting code for ‘This pattern is so difficult that you would consider death a relief.’”

on Dec 9, 2009 10:01 AM

Henry's bear is the Baby Bobbi Bear from Blue Sky Alpacas. It's one piece and goes pretty quickly.


babs@20 wrote
on Dec 9, 2009 9:58 AM


new great grand baby boy on way

where can i find pattern for henrys bear

looks like a one piece so i shoild be able to make

and it looks cuddley

would be so gratefull

thank you


" old"

Robin53 wrote
on Dec 9, 2009 9:38 AM

I forgot to send you my email address for the copy of your pattern for "Henry's Heirloom Bear." It is RHORAIST@COX.NET.

Thanks so much!

Robin53 wrote
on Dec 9, 2009 9:37 AM

Can you send me a copy of the pattern you used for "Henry's Heirloom Bear?" He is so cute! I have never seen one like it. I would love to make one for each of my three grandaughters.

Fujime wrote
on Dec 9, 2009 9:09 AM

Dear Kathleen,

I'm new to this website.. my mom emailed this cute little bear of yours! I'd love to get the pattern, what should I do?

It's adorable!



JodiS wrote
on Dec 9, 2009 9:00 AM

"Heirloom" is knitting code for "This pattern is so difficult that you would consider death a relief.  ~Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End:  Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

LuiseE wrote
on Dec 9, 2009 8:32 AM

In the spirit of the season, it would have been nice to offer these patterns as free holiday treats, but I realize Interweave doesn't work that way. Whether reprinting patterns to make a "new" book or making Knitting Daily an extension of the sales department. Interweave has one goal -- to make money. Why try to disguise it in the form of a helpful hint? I just have to accept that KD is largely a deception and simply view it as such.

DanielleT wrote
on Dec 9, 2009 8:05 AM

Henry's bear is so cute; I'd also love the pattern

AlisonW wrote
on Dec 9, 2009 7:41 AM

Okay, Kathleen,

Now you've added one more thing to my "have to knit" list (although I'm not sure I'll be adding it to the gift list - I'd keep it)!  Can you share the pattern for the adorable bear?

Firefly99 wrote
on Dec 9, 2009 7:32 AM

Hi Kathleen

may I join the growing queue of knitters who want the pattern for Henry's bear? He is gorgeous. Well done. Have a great Christmas and thanks for all the great advice.