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.