Category Archives: Baby Gifts

Knitted Toys: Squirrel Nutkin

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Knitted Toys: Squirrel Nutkin

So as you know I an having a baby and I love knitting toys. This has resulted in a search for knitted toys to go in the baby’s woodland theme nursery.

I have a beautiful book by Susie John’s called Knitted Woodland Creatures. It’s a book full of beautiful detailed knitted toys all inspired by the woods. I have made one of these before Philip the Pheasant so I went through the knitting stash and I had all the ingredients for a grey knitted squirrel! So that is what I have made!

I have to say the pattern is beautiful to follow and you end up making what looks like a dead squirrel by knitting the main back and then marking and picking up stitches to add legs and arm pieces. You end up with a very neat and tidy toy with only one main seam to stitch up.

The tail is the show stopper part of the knit. Using some silver fuzzy fur by Sirdar that I had in my stash you knit a long bushy tail and it looks amazing! It’s so fluffy!

Here is the finished squirrel with his other toy friends in the baby’s cot. I loved making it and I love the finished squirrel and how it will look in the woodland nursery.

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Knitted Toys: A Bear for the Boy

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Knitted Toys: A Bear for the Boy

So I knit toys. It’s what I enjoy making the most and whenever anyone I know announces their baby or even their wedding I start flicking through books, Ravelry or magazines to find a toy to knit.

For my baby my husband asked me to make a classic teddy bear and he even chose the pattern he wanted which I was quite impressed at. It is The Three Bears pattern by Laura Long. I love this pattern too it’s simple and it creates a lovely bear with a good face. Which is important for any bear or child’s toy.

I luckily had some beige/gold yarn in my stash so I could cast on really quickly and I knitted up the Mummy Bear from the pattern. This is the medium sized bear and it’s a good size for babies as it’s easy to carry but still big enough for cuddles. What was interesting is that because I have made this bear before a few times I found it very relaxing and easy to make for my baby and I really enjoyed it.

The only down side was the ears. For some reason the ears just became too large and they looked silly. So I re-made them using the ear size for baby bear. I knitted 4 of these two slightly smaller to make a brown inner ear. The pattern asks for fabric liners but I like cosy knitted ones. I finished the face by embroidering the eyes nose and mouth with the same brown yarn.

Now a bear needs some item of clothing or to quote Rihanna it is ‘naked, naked, naked’. So I used some of the Sirdar Crofter yarn I had used for Dougal the Dog. It’s a yarn in blue and browns and made a simple stocking stitch scarf with a garter border. So he is snug too.

Its odd. I have always knitted toys for other people’s babies and I always have lots of inspiration that I take from their parents. But for my baby I want to knit things for him he will like or that will look ‘right’ when the ears came out wrong I was sad as I thought that suddenly my knitting wasn’t good enough. Luckily my husband helped me pull myself together from my emotional hormonal rampage and I finished the bear and did the ears again. Now I love it and I can’t wait to give it to my baby boy when he is born. Hopefully he will like it too and it’s something he can keep. Now onto more knitting but I can’t think what else…

Bootie-licious

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I have been knitting for my little boy over the last few weeks and I have become slightly obsessed with knitting booties and hats.

I found a pattern I liked in John Lewis and I picked up one of their books it has simple to make hats and booties as well as some clothese. I wanted to make a few sets for him in newborn size as he is a winter baby and I would like him to be snug as a bug when he is born. I also love the look of handknitted hats and booties on newborn babies. My favourite yarn to use for this is Sirdar Snuggly. It so soft and gentle and I think it is lovely to work with so I have bought a few different skeins of this.

So far I have knitted a blue set with a pom-pom hat and most confusingly a cream set with a plain hat which I think will be perfect for him to come home from the hospital in. I say confusingly as I was having a baby brain melt down that day and started knitting with what I thought was white and was actually cream. Hey ho waste not want not and fortunately I had just enough to finish the matching booties.

I really like this pattern for the boots they are knitted mainly in rib with a stocking stitch panel on the front of the boot which is cosy for the little tiny foot. The hat has a rib bottom and is knitted in stocking and they look lovely together. To be honest I wish they did scratch mits in the same design but I suppose these could be quite hot for little baby hands.

I am planning a white set as well for baby’s Christening and possibly some in a Sirdar Crofter self striping yarn but for now booties to one side whilst I finish some other projects. I’m looking forward to Maternity Leave as I just plan to surround myself with yarn. But these are so simple I am hoping I can carry on making these even when he is born as I can knit whilst he is asleep…or I may be kidding myself there!

Baby’s Bunny Blanket

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Baby’s Bunny Blanket

I have been knitting this blanket it feels like for for 100 years. Ever since we started trying for a baby I knew that when we were pregnant I wanted to make an heirloom item in the form of a blanket for the baby. Something personal that I can bring the baby home in from the hospital and the baby can keep. So when we discovered this baby was going to stay I hunted down a pattern.

I saw this on Love Knitting and it was perfect for this project. I wanted to do something with rabbits as my husbands family are slightly obsessed with rabbits due to their Grandfather, who is a big influence on my husband, being a very successful rabbit farmer. The family collect rabbit items like ornaments and things and I’ve started doing it too. Its like our spirit animal so I wanted to link that in.

The pattern was designed by Suzanne Strachan and is called The Four Bunnies. It is a blanket knitted in knit and purl with embossed rabbits in 4 different positions. For the pattern she used Rowan Baby Merino Silk in a grey. I chose a beautiful pale green colour callef ‘Little Duck Egg’ by Sublime in Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK. I know it’s different to the pattern but I found this in my local shop and I just loved it. According to the Sublime website the yarns in this type are designed for babies as they are ‘reassuringly delicate, soft and smooth yarn’ in the ‘gentlest natural blend next to baby’s skin’. I loved the gorgeous green colour and the feel of the yarn.

The pattern itself is pretty simple it is a garter stitch edge with the embossed rabbits made by purling on the knit side following a guide. The instructions however were not clear to me. I couldn’t figure out how to emboss the bunnies at first and it took my knitting extraordinaire Mother-in-law to take a look at the pattern and discover the key on the very last page. It just shows you what an extra pair of eyes can do to help a project. She also gave me some 4mm circle kneedles on a loop which made it a lot easier as it is a lot of stitches! It can be a difficult pattern if you are not concentrating as you must follow the guide at all times to get the bunny shape but once I was in a rhythm it became a lot easier. I have been knitting this bunny Blanket all over the place taking it with me. To my Mums house, out to the garden and in the car on longer journeys I’ve been trying to squeeze rows in here and there. I finally finished the main blanket whilst we were on our Babymoon in Wales.

This is the final finished main blanket. You can see the four bunnies; successfully embossed and I’m really happy with it. It’s just what I wanted.

To finish the blanket the pattern has images on how to overstitch the bunny tails to make them stand out so I tried this and failed at it. I can’t follow diagrams I need written instructions or to be actually shown. So I watched some YouTube on Duplicate stitch and did this over the tails instead. As it’s a different stitch it made them stand out more so I am happy with it. My final touch was to use duplicate stitch further in the corner of one of the bunnies and put in our baby’s initials. We have already chosen his name and had it ready for so long before he was even conceived. This really made the blanket special for me. I’m 24 and a half weeks when writing this and I’m really pleased I could knit something like this for him to keep we will use this blanket to bring him home from the hospital and its just really special.

Knitted Toys: Dougal the Dog

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Knitted Toys: Dougal the Dog

So one of my friends is having a baby in August. So I could not resist knitting a present for her and her baby boy to give to her at her Baby Shower. I love knitting toys, it is my all time favourite knit. They are just so fun to knit the little pieces and then build them together to make a 3D cuddly thing. So for my friend I used a Sirdar pattern from Hobbycraft. This was great as I could download the pattern then and there for Β£3.00 and print it out. The pattern is called ‘Dog’ (original I know) and is knitted in Sirdar Snuggly DK and Sirdar Crofter DK.

I love Sirdar Snuggly for babies it is so soft and the colour range is amazing it’s perfect for toys and for little hats and boots. The Crofter range is very clever it’s Baby Fair Isle design builds colour in stripes and patterns. I chose the colour way ‘Dougal’ which is blues oranges browns and whites for my dog. (Thus the name Dougal the Dog.) You need 100g of Crofter and 50g of Snuggly to make the perfect the dog and it is knitted on 3.25mm needles.

I really like the pattern it was pretty simple to follow and I loved seeing the colours come out in the yarn. I knitted it up in about 2 weeks in the evenings after work.

Flat dog

The build was ok, I had to reattach the legs twice as I couldn’t get them to line up with the seams but I got there in the end. I used chocolate brown acrylic for the eyes, nose and mouth. Faces are usually the worst part of knitting toys for me but this came together nicely and he has a good character face.

I love the crazy patterns and change in colours from the Crofter yarn. I think it’s a great toy for babies as it is so soft, so colourful and just so damned cute. It’s also a great size for cuddles but it is very light so is portable. I finished Dougal the Dog off with a yellow ribbon and gave it to my friend at her Baby Shower. I hope her new baby will like his doggy friend Dougal.

Knitted Toys: Big ‘Barry’ Bear

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Knitted Toys: Big ‘Barry’ Bear

There are two things I love in this life. One is babies and the other is knitting toys for presents for babies. (Well all people really)

For this particular baby I wanted to make something quite big and just for him. So I thought what is the one thing that every child needs? The answer is a teddy of course. So I searched the Internet for a pattern as I have made all the other bear patterns I own and I do get bored. I came across the Big Berry Bear Teddy pattern by Lorraine Leathem on Ravelry. It’s such a cute and proper bear. With a big fat tummy and head.

Just the head and body

The pattern uses a self striping wool but I went for a classic beige and I got stuck in. It’s such a lovely pattern, it’s very clear and lovely to just follow along in the evenings. I changed the face a bit as I believe every toy has its own face that comes through as you start to embroider it on. And I used some orange glass beads for eyes that I found at the bottom of my knitting bag. For its ears and paws I needle felted some brown felt into the yarn for furriness and it worked really well.

Finished but naked Big Barry

When the bear was finished it looked a bit naked so I knitted a scarf in the colours of the baby’s Daddy’s rugby club that he plays for. Bright blue and canary yellow. It really finished the bear and he was renamed Big Barry. I hope he will be a good companion for Baby Callum as he grows. I was even more thrilled as I was asked to be Baby’s Godmother! Must have been because of Big Barry!

With his rugby colours

Close up

With his new owner

Twin Teds

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Twin Teds

As you will probably know I love knitting toys. I suppose because I am still a bit of a big kid but there is something nice about knitting a toy and adding character and personality. I love seeing it go from odd knitted shapes to become a fully fledged animal, person or ‘thing’.

A friend of mine is having twins. Which is very exciting. And to mark the momentous event I made two twin teddy bears. I keep patterns I like in a file and when an occasion calls I go through the file for inspiration. I came across a teddy called Henry Bear. I’ve kept it as it is so simple but so cute and I’ve been waiting for an excuse to make it.

It’s knitted on size 4 mm needles which is my favourite for some reason and is knitted in garter stitch which gives a lovely ruffled effect to its body. The wool I chose was a lovely cream beige colour by King Cole and is Recycled Cotton Aran and it is so soft but is also very hard wearing so the bears can be squeezed and carried around to the twins hearts content and can also be washed in the washing machine. 

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Bear skins

The bears knitted up in no time and were so lovely to knit in the evening. The only downside was the ears, I had to fold them in on themselves a few times as they were looking a bit like mice at one point! I should probably have made them on smaller needles.

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Finish bear one

What is interesting is how the two bears are not identical. It’s strange that two bears from the same pattern made by the same knitter and at the same time have completely different faces. But hopefully they will suit the individuaity of the twins that will get to cuddle them. To finish the bears one got a pink bow and the other a blue. One for a girl and one for a boy.

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Twins

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Non identical twin teddys