Do you knit or crochet toys?
From tiny amigurumi characters to teddies in chunky as big as a toddler, making toys can be a great deal of fun and a great way to use up odd balls or leftovers of yarn.
They are often greatly appreciated gifts. We know of knitted animals that have been passed on to a second generation of babies and an eight-year-old who declares the multicoloured crochet dinosaur he received as a toddler “one of my favourite things”.
Also, because they are often made up of small section, toys can be handy summer projects.
We’ve put together a few tips to get you started and pulled out a few patterns to inspire you.
Our toy making tips:
- Choose a yarn that is hardwearing and, if you are making for young children, machine washable. Cotton or premium acrylic yarns are popular with toy makers.
- Toys need a firmer/denser fabric than a sweater or a hat – for both wear and to keep the stuffing in. This means you will work with smaller needles or hooks than you might be used to for a particular yarn.
- A lot of toy patterns are worked in the round. This reduces the amount of sewing up. When crocheting in the round, use removeable markers to keep track of the start of the round. For knitters, you might find learning to use double pointed needles helpful for working on small items like arm and legs.
- Read patterns carefully. Sometimes, for example, you might be asked to place safety yarns while working the head of your toy. If you miss that instruction, it might be difficult to place the eyes later.
- If you are worried about stuffing leaking, you can place it in a section of old tights before adding to your toy.
- Look for videos on line for advice on sewing on heads, legs, etc firmly. It is important to attach them firmly.
The legs and body (including the striped sweater) of this Ricorumi bunny are made in one piece, reducing the amount of sewing.
Fur yarns can make a plush finish for toys like with these loveable Teddies in King Cole Truffle.
Sirdar Happy Chenille amigurumi dinosaurs would make a fun gift.
There is lots of fun to be had with making garments for your toys as well – such as with the Jessie doll from Stylecraft (also available as a crochet pattern).
This panda inJames C Brett chunky Flutterby has a lovely cuddly finish.
This crochet cotton bear has been very popular with anyone who has seen it on UK Hand Knitting stands at yarn shows. You can find this pattern at http://ukhandknitting.com/contentfiles/patterns/ukhandKnittingAssociation-41.pdf