Showing posts with label toys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label toys. Show all posts

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

A Menagerie of Softies

Back in October 2015 I put together a post of selected doll patterns, and now I am (very belatedly) getting to the companion post I planned at the time: a post of selected knitted toys. In picking these out I've focused on picking out interesting and unusual (though still cute and lovable) animal toys. Bears and bunnies are to be had at any toy store, but it would be much harder to find, say, a hedgehog toy, such as the Huggable Hedgehog above, designed by Debbie Radtke.

The Voodoo Do You Love Me?, design, by Susan Claudino, is for the older, and possibly macabre, child. Or for someone who wants a dual-purpose pincushion.

The Monkey Jacobus pattern, by Annita Wilschut, is one happy-looking monkey, and would also be a great way to use up odds and ends of scrap yarn.

This is the jester mouse from Tails of Yore, by Alan Dart, which is a collection of mice toys in medieval-inspired costumes. It's worth a look at the Ravelry page for this pattern to see the others. My second favourite is the monk mouse, which might easily have replaced Christian Slater's character in The Name of the Rose.

This is the adorable and well turned-out Girl Elephant in a Frondy Frock, by Julie Williams. I'd recommend checking out Julie Williams' page on Ravelry, as her toys are off-the-charts cute, and always very nattily dressed.

Half the fun of making this Gingerbread Boy, by Sara Elizabeth Kellner, would be decorating him at the end.

This Opus the Octopus toy, by Cate Carter-Evans, looks like he'd be a satisfying, if slightly unwieldy, cuddle. This is a Knitty pattern, and therefore available for free.

The Giraffe, by Susan B. Anderson, is gawky in an appealing way, like the real thing. This pattern is available both on Ravelry and in Anderson's book Itty-Bitty Toys: How to Knit Animals, Dolls, and Other Playthings for Kids.

The Knitapotamus the Knitted Hippo, by Heidi Bears, would be the perfect gift for a child who wants a hippopotamus for Christmas (given that a hippopotamus could be kept in a two-car garage, and that the kid could feed him there and wash him there and give him his massage...). It would also be an excellent scrap yarn project.

This is the Rainy Day Turtle, by Barbara Prime. I seem to have a definite thing for animal toys in dapper little outfits.

This is the Dashing Dachshund, by Ella Austin. I should never have thought that a toy that looked like the offspring of a dachshund and an argyle sock could be so very cute.

Ducks in a Row, by Sara Elizabeth Kellner. This is one very cute and even quite realistic mallard duck. I never see one of these ducks without a smile, because they remind me of the time my then five-year-old niece Peaches and I were taking a walk by the river in the little town where my parents live, and I was telling her about the waterfowl. I pointed out the swans and the Canada geese and the mallard ducks, and I'd just explained that the particular duck we were watching, with a blue stripe on its wing, was a female mallard, and added, "The boy mallard duck has a green head," when this particular little factoid sent Peaches off into a fit of the giggles. This made me realize for the first time in my life that it is pretty ridiculous that a living creature should have a green head.

Lucy's Owl, by Rachel Gallagher-Miller, would be another fun scrap yarn project, because it could be done in any number of non-owl-like colours.

The Dickensian Mice, by Alan Dart, look like something straight out of The Muppet Christmas Carol.

The Striped Snake, by Sarah Ann Thompson, is quite a sporty-looking reptile, and will also come in handy as a draft-blocker.

Raoul Raccoon, by Alan Dart, is another quite well-rendered animal toy. A little too much for liking, actually. I live in Toronto where there is a large raccoon population, all of which seem to be well-fed and bold as brass. There's one in particular that likes to come to sit on the step outside the terrace door of my attic workroom and sit there for up to several hours at a time, staring in at me and watching me work. I call him Creeper Coon.

This is Lester the Leicester, by Natasha Sills, and I half expect him to break out in a little jig any second now.

The No Fool, Joe Cool toy, by Sara Hall, needs no introduction. I'd be inclined to make him a red scarf, flight helmet, and aviator googles so that he could imagine himself taking on the Red Baron.

The Peruvian llama, by Alan Dart, is adorable on its own, but its little serape and Peruvian hat puts the cuteness factor right over the top.

I love this Crackin' Good, Humpty Dumpty toy, by Alan Dart, with its hilariously horrified air.

The Felted Woolly Kitty Kat, by Marie Mayhew, has some definite cattitude.

Here's another cat, but this time it's a teddy-style cat rather than a pillow-like cat: Ginger Tom, by Sue Stratford. This pattern is available both on Ravelry and in Stratford's book Knitted Cats & Kittens.

There were a number of cute dragon patterns on Ravelry, but I think The Little Purple Dragon, by Loly Fuertes, is the one that reaches peak dragon cuteness.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

You Great Big Beautiful Doll: A Selection of Knitted Doll Patterns

I've found myself thinking lately about putting "knitted dolls" on my project list for 2016. They'd be a great way to use up some of the odds and ends in my stash, they'd make terrific make-ahead baby shower gifts or contributions to Christmas toy drives, and they look like they'd be fun to make. These intentions gave me an excuse to spend a happy hour researching doll patterns on Ravelry — which in turn gave me material for a post of selected doll patterns. And as you have probably gathered, this is that post.

This is the first doll pattern, Catherine, A Tudor Lady, designed by Joanna Marshall and available for $4.00(USD). Making dolls in historical costume could be a fun way of encouraging a child's interest in history.

This doll is Forget-Me-Not, designed by Irish Magda. The pattern is available for €3.75(EUR).

Almost any child would love to get a character doll from his or her favourite story. This is an Alice in Wonderland doll, by Wendy Phillips, and the pattern is available for $4.99(USD).

What's cuter than a doll with a doll? Maisie and her little doll, designed by Elizabeth Phillips. This pattern is available for $4.95(USD).

This is Belinda Jane, designed by Wendy Phillips, who has a real gift for making adorable doll clothes. This pattern is available for $4.99(USD).

These Amish Plain Folk Dolls, designed by Debi Birkin, are made to resemble traditional Amish cloth dolls, which never have facial features as the Amish believe making dolls with faces contravenes the Biblical fourth commandment as well as other Old Testament injunctions against making idols. This pattern is available for £2.00(GBP).

For the little, or not so little, Sherlock Holmes fan in your life. This is the Detective doll, designed by Jean Woods. This pattern is available for download for $3.00(USD).

I don't know how many children watch Charlie Chaplin movies these days, but certainly a number of adults do. Dolls aren't, after all, the sole property of children. My sister, who is a big fan of the current Sherlock series starring Benedict Cumberbatch, has asked me to make her a little Sherlock amigurumi, and I intend to make one for her this year's Christmas stocking. This is the Comedian doll, designed by Jean Woods. This pattern is available for download for $3(USD).

These carolers would make special Christmas toys. The patterns for A Christmas Carol: The Boy, and A Christmas Carol: The Girl, designed by Jean Greenhowe, appear in Christmas Treasures, FORTY PAGE SPECIAL!.

Here's the perfect doll for the child who aspires to be not only a cop but an English bobby when he or she grows up. Some children do have very specific dreams. The pattern for the Policeman doll, designed by Jean Greenhowe, appears in Jean Greenhowe's Mascot Dolls Knitting Pattern Booklet: Ten Dolls with Knitted Display Stands.

The Toy Soldier pattern, by Jean Greenhowe, appears in Jean Greenhowe's little gift dolls: Eighteen delightful knitted characters.

And here's one for a future Shakespearean scholar. The Romeo and Juliet pattern, designed by Alan Dart, is available for download for £2.50.

I wish I'd come across this pattern when my niece Peaches was small and dance-mad. I love the details on this one. There's even a layer of tulle under the skirt. Peaches is nearly nineteen now and studying medical science rather than dance, so any ballerina dolls that I happen to make will have to go to some other little ballerina. The Ballerina Girl pattern, designed by Irish Magda, is available for €4.00(EUR).

I wish this post weren't almost all white dolls. I searched quite specifically for dolls of different ethnicities, but found very, very few, and some of those I found were poorly rendered. A doll's skin tone can always be changed with a simple yarn substitution, of course, but it's helpful to have examples of different types of hair and features to use and I'd have liked this post to be more inclusive on general principles. This cute little moppet is one of the Dolls from the Tearoom, designed by Susan Hickson, and this pattern is available for £4.25(GBP).

Love this little witch. Spelladonna, designed by Deena Thomson-Menard. This pattern is available for $6.00(USD).

Would this one mysteriously travel from place to place in one's home? The Green Fingers Gnome, by Alan Dart. This pattern is available for download for £2.50.

I can remember really wanting a topsy-turvy doll when I was very little. I never got one, but I think I can satisfy that childhood desire by making one and giving it to a little girl who would love it. The Cinderella Topsy-Turvy Doll pattern, designed by Jean Greenhowe, appears in Jean Greenhowe's Christmas special.

Isn't this a scurvy beauty? I especially love the parrot. This is Barnacle Bill, designed by Alan Dart, and the pattern is available for download at Alan Dart's website for £2.50.

For the future, or present, physicist in your life. The Einstein Baby, by Loly Fuertes. This pattern is available for $4.50(USD).

This scarecrow is totally cute and could also come in handy for a Wizard of Oz re-enactment. The Sam Scarecrow doll pattern, designed by Jean Greenhowe, appears in Jean Greenhowe's scarecrow family: Seven knitted dolls and baby's pushchair.

I absolutely loved the Hans Christian Andersen "Snow Queen" tale when I was a little girl, and this doll is a very worthy, and well, cool, depiction of the titular character. The Snow Queen doll pattern, designed by Alan Dart, is available for download at Alan Dart’s website for £2.50.

I couldn't resist including one more Wendy Philips creation. Lucy Lavender and her Rabbit look like they should be members of the 1980s-era Strawberry Shortcake gang. This pattern is available for $4.99(USD).