I would describe myself as an intermediate knitter, I have tackled cable knitting, intarsia, most stitches, 3D structures, socks, animals, teddy bears, blankets and teeny tiny decorations. What I have failed at however has always been knitted garments, but I stumbled across some yarn that I had bought right at the beginning of my pregnancy, which was a gorgeous, Sirdar Snuggly Crofter in shade 145 Hattie. I absolutely love Sirdar’s snuggly baby yarns, they have a gorgeous amount of shades as well as the lovely Crofter yarn series which create a Fair Isle effect. I have previously made a knitted dog for my friend’s baby in the shade number 157 Dougal and it knits up so well and has a really soft but colourful effect. So when I rediscovered the yarn that i had purchased I decided to order a further 50g and just go for a cardigan. There is only so many booties and hats you can knit before boredom sets in. I chose a pattern for a pretty simple Sirdar cardigan from Hobbycraft. The pattern has two types of cardigan in it a Moss stitch and a Garter Stitch decorative cardigan. I went for the garter stitch type as Moss stitch, although lovely when completed, is a bit too tricky for my baby brain to remember right now. The pattern is knitted in sections of 8 rows with the first three rows being knit only to create a garter stitch stripe which runs through the cardigan and the rib edging is a 1×1 rib. The pattern itself was relatively simple the tricky bits came in when dividing the stitches into the back and the two sides, and then reconnecting these above the arm holes. Then the border itself posed a problem for me as you pick up stitches along the edge and then rib these as well to make the edge. I had just enough yarn to finish the cardigan and had the yellow buttons in my crafting supplies. I’m really happy with the final cardigan, I love the colours and the effect of the fair isle pattern alongside the garter edging. The cardigan is knitted in size 3 to 6 months and is not perfect and could be a bit boxy but it is my first ever cardigan for my first ever child so it is a small achievement. Even if it just gets covered in sick I will feel a touch of pride when I dress him in it in a few months time.
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.