Bear Mittens by Emily Williams

Bear Mittens

February 2008
18 inches long,14 inch circumference
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This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download

Acrylic or washable wool: Must be vigorously machine washable and dryable

For pattern pdf and instructions on where to send finished mittens, please see this page. Note that due to a wonderful response from generous knitters, the Animals Asia Foundation is not accepting further mitten donations at this time.

The organization that initiated the call for the bear mittens is the Animals Asia Foundation, a Hong Kong-based charity dedicated to ending cruelty and restoring respect for all animals in Asia. link to the pattern is at bottom;no scary photos here!

After their rescue the bears usually need urgent veterinary care and often surgery. Also not surprisingly, the bears must be anesthetized to receive this care. It’s important that they stay warm and comfortable during the process but, just as for humans, bears’ extremities are the first things to chill. What they need is HUGE mittens to help their paws stay warm while they’re asleep. And that’s where knitters halfway around the world come in!

The mitten pattern allows for several weights of yarn and includes instructions for knitting in the round with one circular, two circulars, double-pointed needles, or knitting flat. Finished mittens are about 7” wide (14” circumference) with a 12” foot and 6” cuff. The pattern is intended to be beginner level, but if you have any questions about the techniques mentioned, you might find the website helpful.

There is no deadline for completing the mittens - there are literally thousands in captivity and, while progress is being made, there is little hope for a quick end to their plight. Also, you do not have to knit a full set (not a pair… a quad?) of mittens. Any number is helpful as the bears don’t care if their mittens match! The addresses for sending in finished mittens is in the link below