Why Knitted Bears Are Better.......
There is something about a hand knitted bear that really makes people feel good. It takes us between eight to ten hours to make each bear. I think the fact that they are hand knitted and took all that time somehow adds to their emotional value. A hand made bear is a better companion and comforter and there is a tactile quality to a hand knitted bear you don't get from a factory-farmed bear. Also, of course, we are using wool from rare breed sheep. It is very pure, very natural and very soft. It is also healthier for children, of course.
Working from home in a small village in West Sussex, I knitted my first bear about nine years ago. Then knitted a few bears for friends and family but it was my Dad who really encouraged me. I couldn't have started the business without his support, he really believed in what I was doing. He has sadly since passed on but The Knitted Bear Company lives on in his memory, creating small numbers of the hand knitted bears he found so appealing and with the wish that they should bring so much pleasure to others.
Please let one of our bears look after you.....
As you know, your bear comes from a happy bear family in sunny Sussex (as opposed to a sad, broken home in Darkest Peru) and has a huge extended family. He (or maybe she) is hand knitted here, by us, using our own hand spun wool from rare breed sheep (so much softer and more natural and free from any chemicals).
One of your bear's cousins is supporting the RNLI.....
Many of the bears raised by the Knitted Bear Company decided to devote their lives to voluntary work. "Skipper" our very handsome Hebridean wool bear, a trawlerman by trade and very brave volunteer Lifeboat bear, has decided to make a donation from his earnings (from each Skipper bear sale) to support the RNLI. The bears also support Cancer Research UK and we make a donation from every bear sale.
The bear facts of life.....
You may be interested to know a little bit about how your bear is made. As already mentioned, the first step is sourcing the finest rare breed wool (so much softer and more natural and from happy, healthy, organic sheep) and then preparing it. We carefully hand sort each fleece into colours and wool quality before carding it into rolags ready for hand spinning. Once we have spun the wool it is then gently hand washed.
Once we have our yarn and stuffing ready we slowly do the hand knitting. This takes about five pots of tea and biscuits or six hours - depending on the breed of bear. Then we have to - well - pull the bear together. We don't say to it: "Pull yourself together, bear!" that would be unkind. It's all done very lovingly with needles and yarn. It's a painstaking operation that takes a further two pots of tea and a piece of cake. Say two hours.
Finally, the bear has to be cuddled a bit and made to feel wanted. Basically, we believe, like Freud, that what happens in a bear's cubhood influences its whole life - so we give it time and affection.
We worry what you'll think.....
We fret dreadfully that people will look at the prices of our bears and think we are trying to become millionaires on the back of hand knitting bears. In fact, sorry , sorry, we are bearly making a living. Just consider our costs in tea, biscuits and cake alone (not to mention the wool, at least ten hours of soft labour and care and cuddles) and - well - our pricing should all make some sort of sense.
Please pass the word.....
We depend on word of mouth to find new customers. Please let your friends and family know about us. We are always happy to undertake special commissions.
Welcoming your new bear.....
All bears raised by the Knitted Bear Company will be well trained before leaving home and tucked up in their gift boxes, with a snack prepared for their journey. Of course our bears always insist on travelling by Royal Mail Special Delivery, a guaranteed next day service within the UK and International Tracked and Signed for bears travelling worldwide. Our bears all come beautifully wrapped in white tissue paper and gift boxed with a gift card for your use, a signed certificate of authenticity containing their details and care instructions.
Some happy bear customers say....
"Just to let you know, Arthur arrived safely about 15 mins ago.. he is gorgeous.. he will be introduced on Twitter later today..."
"Little Pascal arrived in a waft of fragrance! Another beautiful bear, thank you."
"They're here and I'm so very happy. I cannot tell you how much I love both little Aldwyn and darling Dempster. They are well-crafted, gorgeous bears and definitely worth the wait. And their clothes are too adorable. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
I will keep you updated on my travels to Shetland Wool Week and Iceland with my darling bears.
Thank you again. It's like receiving a parcel of love!"
"This darling little North Ronaldsay bear arrived in excellent condition and in excellent time ! His very expressive eyes talk right to the heart and have brought much comfort and joy to a little girl. The knitting job is excellent ! It's so wonderful that you are making your bears so extra special by using yarn from rare breeds of sheep. Thank you again and all the best!"
"My daughter, who is expecting her first child, picked this bear out specifically as it was made of pure Castlemilk Moorit wool, and being a knowledgeable " wool person" knew how rare this was. And to be handmade to boot, and so cute!! She was thrilled!! It is the first BABY item bought for her, and I know she (and baby) will treasure this for many years to come. Thank you so much!! (now one for me soon, as I am not knowledgeable about wool, but I am a bear collector!!!)"
"This bear has SUCH personality! He is So cute!! Made with such attention to detail - it will be the perfect gift for a dear friend - just a real treasure! Thank you!"
"It was wonderful to return from a long trip and be greeted by tho darling little fellow ! I' sure that the North Ronaldsay sheep would be happy to know that their wool was being made into darling bears and spreading more happiness around the world. This little fellow has a darling expression and a very cute scarf! He will bring a lot of comfort and joy.
Best of success with your bears. It is a wonderful thing that you are using rare fibres."
"The bears arrived in excellent time and excellent condition.
Thank you so very much and all the best to you!"
Our bears are photographed on location in West Sussex.