Creative Community Project 2019

We are really excited to be working on our Creative Community project for 2019 and we hope very much that you’ll feel inspired to join in.

This year we are working to support a very deserving charity called Mercy Ships.

Mercy Ships is a charitable organisation that deploys hospital ships to some of the poorest countries in the world, delivering vital, free healthcare to people in desperate need.Two our of three people worldwide do not have access to safe, affordable surgery and more people die every year from conditions that could have been treated than die from HIV, TB and Malaria combined.

Mercy Ships is working to change the odds for the people in these nations by using a three pronged approach :

  1. Reduce the immediate surgical backlog by providing free, life changing surgery on-board
  2. Provide training and mentoring to local medical professionals to increase the skill levels of local staff.
  3. Improve the local infrastructure through renovation of facilities and by donating vital equipment.

So you may be wondering what all this has to do with crochet bears? Well one of the things we learnt about Mercy Ships is that they collect knitted and crochet bears donated by makers who wish to give some love to children undergoing surgery or treatment onboard the hospital ships. We loved this idea so much that we felt inspired to help them. Being that we know how FABULOUS our Yarndale visitors and world wide followers are (yes, that’s you!), we felt sure we could rustle up a whole sleuth of yarn bears to gift to the children helped by Mercy Ships.

These bears are very simple to make and were inspired by the old fashioned traditional knitted bears that have been around for decades.

Lucy of Attic24 has created a crochet version of the original knitted charity bear, as we know so many of you prefer to have a hook in your hand rather than the pointy sticks. You can find Lucy’s pattern (with a full photo tutorial to help) by clicking on the link below :


If you do like to knit, you can find a knitting pattern by clicking on the link below :


If you would like to join in and make a bear (or two, or three?!), we would be delighted! We will be displaying the bears at Yarndale 2019, then they will be making their long journey to one of the Mercy Hospital Ships which is currently working along the coast of Africa.

Here is the general information you will need….

Q :: How many bears would you like me to make?

A :: as many as you like – just one, or a whole family!

WE ARE AIMING TO COLLECT 500 BEARS – it’s a lot, but we believe we can do it with your help!

Q :: What type of yarn would you like me to use?

A :: We’ve been told that soft acrylic yarn is the best yarn for the bears. It’s hard wearing and unaffected by humidity, and creates a lovely soft and durable toy. If you have oddments of Stylecraft Special DK (or similar DK acrylic yarn), this will be perfect. You will need three colours (a bear colour, plus two additional colours for trousers and jumper). You will also need a small amount of black yarn to embroider the face.

Q :: What else will I need?

A :: You will need some soft, polyester toy stuffing which is fire retardant and conforms to safety regulations. Bear faces should be embroidered (no plastic eyes or buttons please) and no other embellishments should be stitched to the bear. It’s OK if you want to crochet a small motif to add to the jumper, but please stitch it securely, and don’t add beads, buttons or pins of any kind.

Q :: Where can I find patterns for the crochet bears?

A :: You can find a crochet pattern on Attic24 blog {HERE}. You can find a knitting pattern {HERE}

Q :: What hook size shall I use?

A :: Details of all materials needed are contained within the patterns, but as a guide, please use 3.5mm hook for DK weight acrylic yarn. The crochet fabric needs to be tight and dense so that the stuffing doesn’t show through.

Q :: What size should my finished bear measure?

A :: Finished bears need to be a MAXIMUM of 10 inches / 26 cm tall.

Q :: What colours should I use?

A :: Please use whichever colours you have to hand. Bear faces can be black, brown, grey or neutral colour, or even a colourful colour if you wish. Clothes can be as bright as you like – make your jumper plain or stripy or use a brightly coloured variegated yarn if you wish.

Q :: When do you need them?

A :: The closing date for bears to arrive is FRIDAY 20th SEPTEMBER (that’s NINE WEEKS from now!)

Q :: Where shall I send my bears?

A :: To the following address…….





BD23 9EN

** Please can you be mindful of your packaging and try and use paper/cardboard that can be recycled (no plastic bubble wrap or padded plastic envelopes if possible please)

Q :: What information should I include with my bears?

A :: Please could you supply your name, along with your town/county/state/province and country.

Q :: Will this project support a charity?

A :: Yes it will. The bears will be displayed during the Yarndale weekend, with the aim of raising awareness and monies for our chosen charity Mercy Ships. This is a hard working charity which operates the world’s largest charity hospital ship delivering free health care to some of the world’s poorest people.

Mercy Ships UK is a registered charity, number 1053055. You can read lots more about them on their website, or visit their Facebook page (there are some very moving videos on there which capture the spirit of Mercy Ships beautifully).

Our aim is to create a stunning visual display at Yarndale, a real testament to the kindness and generosity of our fabulous world wide yarn community.

Q :: What will happen to the bears after Yarndale   ?

A :: All the bears will be carefully packaged up and sent to Mercy Ships UK headquarters. They will then be dispatched to the Africa Mercy Ship which is currently working off the coast of Senegal. Our hope is that they will bring comfort and hope to hundreds of children undergoing life changing surgery and treatment aboard the hospital ship.

Q :: Where can I see photos of the bears and keep up to date with the progress of this project?

A :: We will be posting regular updates on our social media. Please visit our Facebook page [] and Instagram []. We would love to see your photos on social media too – please tag any photos of your bears on Instagram so we can see them – use hashtag #yarndalebears and  #yarndale2019


With love and woolly gratitude from The Yarndale Team xxxxx