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Last Cuddles Bears are tiny crocheted (or knitted) bears made for stillborns, premature and terminally ill babies in local Australian hospitals. They are given to bereaved parents, and are also used in free photography sessions.
For this reason, bears are small in size (5-10cm / 2-4 inches to complement the size of the newborns), and are designed to be baby-safe.
Made using Lily Sugar’n Cream Solids and a 3.00mm hook
While there are no words which can be said or gifts which can be given to replace the loss of a child, it is hoped that the bears can provide some measure of comfort to the grieving parents.
Last Cuddles Bears are a way of saying: Your pain and your grief matters, and this community is thinking of you during this incredibly difficult time in your life.
I can say now that when an absolutely distraught family is given the option of choosing a tiny bear, which is the perfect fit proportionally, they are just blown away that such amazing people exist who take the time to knit or crochet these tiny bears, they usually cry with gratitude!
Krystal Higgins has generously provided a FREE crochet pattern specifically for this cause. Her pattern, The Last Cuddle Bear, is available on her blog, Six Little Mice.
However, any crocheted bear or animal between 5-10cm (2-4 inches) is perfectly okay to use, and there are many free patterns online. Here are a few of my favourites (in alphabetical order):
Remember! The bears need to be between 5-10cm, so you will need to adjust your yarn and/or hook size for most of the above patterns in order to make them smaller (Krystal Higgins’ pattern requires no modification).
Made using Homemaker Baby Ella 4ply and a 2.00mm hook
No, you don’t need to be a Ravelry member in order to take part. However, please consider joining, as Ravelry is THE best online social community for yarn crafters – and it’s free!
Before sending your bear/s, we ask that you please take a picture and upload it to the Last Cuddles Bear Project Facebook page. You will then be contacted by a member of the project advising you which nearby hospitals within Australia would love to accept your bears.
I strongly recommend following along one of Sharon Ojala’s FREE amigurumi video tutorials, as she will take you through the whole process of crocheting and assembling your own amigurumi (Sharon’s videos taught me how to crochet amigurumi, so I can vouch for their awesomeness!).
I also highly recommend Kristi Tullus’ technical videos on Youtube, which go through all the major types of amigurumi assembly and construction.
The Craftsy blog also has a wealth of free information on all aspects of crochet and amigurumi. Check it out here!*
While Aussie Crocheters! and the Last Cuddles Bear Project are both Australian-based, we welcome and encourage participants from all parts of the world. Any bears you make can be donated to local hospitals or charities in your area, or given away to family, friends and loved ones.
Click here to visit the Last Cuddles Bear Facebook page >> Last Cuddles Bear Project
Find the Ravelry group for the CAL here >> Aussie Crocheters!
As well as the specific CAL thread here >> CAL: Feb 2016 – Last Cuddles Bear