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…
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 £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.
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.
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
With his new owner
A good friend of mine is having a baby. I am so happy for her and so excited! I really wanted to make something special for her and the baby and I have always loved a BIG project so I decided to knit Noah’s Ark. Fiona Goble designed the patterns for the Knitted Royal Wedding which were amazing so I knew her Noah’s Ark pattern would be pretty special too.
I probably started far far too late as the baby shower was in December and I think I started on page 1 with Noah in September but I always love a bit of pressure. The patterns are wonderful and I would recommend the book for every knitter at all stages.
Noah and Mrs Noah I customised to look like my friend and her partner so she has blonde hair and her partner does not have a beard so I didn’t include this! But they are great because they stand up and have removable hats, anoraks and boots.
The animals are all different and at all levels of difficulty but my favourite were the crocodiles with their scaly moss stitch back and the soft white polar bears which were just gorgeous. Also the stripy tigers were fun. In the end it became obvious that I was not finishing the animals in time for the shower so I roped in my Mother-in-Law who is a talented knitter and all round crafter to help with some of the animals. She also really enjoyed it as she has never made toys before and found it really enjoyable seeing the animals cone together. They are all knitted in sections then sewn together which is the time conduming part so I started making all the pieces for each pair and then putting them together.
In the end I had polar bears, tigers, monkeys and crocodiles, aswell as goats, pigs and tortoises. There are more to make which I have promised my friend I will make as baby grows so after the birth, christening, first birthday etc so I hope baby comes to like the ark too as the present grows with the baby.
The actual Ark is another story. The ark in the book is a cardboard template which you can fold out. Now I wanted a more permanent structure so I enlisted the help of my Dad. My Dad is an artist. He has always been a performer in street theatre but more recently has discovered a flair for art and makes. He can make giant puppets for parades out of paper and has designed some if his own ornaments using creosote and layers of paper. He set to and made me an ark out of soft plastic and paper which is similar to a hat box to store the animals in. It looks gorgeous and really finished the project properly its also soft so if baby does fall over on the Ark it would just collapse and not hurt the baby. My Dad’s website link is below: http://www.gordonkbanks.com/http://www.gordonkbanks.com/#
I was very proud to give my friend the Ark at her baby shower. It was a real family project and a goid challenge for me which I will keep adding to over the years but next time I would start it WELL in advance to give myself time to finish it!