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

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).

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Toys That Go Bump in the Night


Halloween is approaching, and I'm planning on doing several Halloween-related posts over the next eight days, beginning with this one, in which I offer a selection of thirteen Halloween toys.

The toy above is the Topsy Turvy Werewolf, designed by Annie Watts. As the title suggests and the picture illustrates, the toy can be turned inside out to become either a man or a werewolf. The pattern is available as a $6.00(USD) download.





This is the Halloween Devil Doll, designed by Tatyana Korobkova, and isn't it the cutest little devil you ever saw? The pattern is available as a $5(USD) download.





These are the Voodoo You Love Me dolls, designed by Susan Claudino. The pattern is available as a $5(USD) download.





Here's a Halloween Ghost Girl pattern, designed by Eteri Khodonashvili. The pattern is available as a $3.50(USD) download.





I've never really gotten the love some people have for vampires or zombies, but there is one fantasy archetype that has already fascinated me, and that's the witch. It took considerable self-restraint for me to only include four witch doll patterns in this post because I found so many cute ones on Ravelry. This is the first of the four, and it was designed by Tatyana Korobkova. The pattern is available as a $9(USD) download, and the black cat pattern and pumpkin patterns are included.





Who says witches have to be unattractive? This adorable little doll is the Halloween Witch with Magic Broom, designed by Loly Fuertes. The pattern is available as a $4.50(USD) download.





Love this medieval witch. Witchypoo was designed by Ravelry user Phoeny, and the pattern is available as a $4.50(USD) download.





This is The Wicked Pudge of the West, designed by Megan Schmidt, and the pattern is available as a $6.50(CAD) download.





Tombie the Zombie, designed by Phoeny, comes apart. The pattern is available as a $4.50(USD) download.





Don't let the From the Brain Slug Planet, designed by Steph Michaud, too close to your brain. This is a free pattern.





For the Monty Python Holy Grail fans out there (and don't we all qualify?) here's the Run Away! aka the Killer Rabbit pattern, designed by Ravelry user Knitting Magic Girl. It's a free pattern.





The Felted Woolly Owl design, by Marie Mayhew, is available as a $10.95(USD) download.





Love this chubby little gargoyle. The My Little Gargoyle pattern, designed by Phoeny, is available as a $4(USD) download.

Monday, 15 July 2013

There's a Knitted Corgi on the Loose



Will and Kate's wedding, as imagined with knitted characters and falsetto voiceovers. Don't trip over the corgi while you're doing the Conga line, Queen Elizabeth! If you're interested in knitting your own versions of the wedding party members, check out this post of mine.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Two Toys, One Knitting Project



Designer Susan B. Anderson has published a new book this spring, Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out Knit Toys: Magical Two-in-One Reversible Projects
, and the designs in it are not only topsy-turvy and inside out, they're adorable. This stop motion video shows the toys being turned inside out. Anderson's main area of focus as a designer is on making children's toys, and her work is generally very cute. Check out her other designs on Ravelry.

I'm reminded of how much I loved those reversible princess/Cinderella dolls I sometimes saw as a child, and thinking I'm going to have to subvert that unanswered childhood desire into making a few such toys for my three-year-old grandniece and her new sibling, who will be joining us in July.



Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Olympknits



Take a look at this knitted rendering of the Olympics, by Alan Baker and Laura Long. From a Chariots of Fire-esque opening scene to the lofty commentary by "Phil Sportsman" to the streaker, it has all the excitement of the Olympics, if none of the muscle definition.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Knitting the Cute

Fiona Goble is an unstoppable monster designer of theme doll knitting patterns. She's published books of patterns for a number of sets of dolls. They're amazingly detailed and very, very cute. And as a bonus, all these books also contain a child's version of the illustrated story they are based on.





You can knit your very own Knit Your Own Royal Wedding. I love that Charles looks slightly dour and that a couple of the corgis are included.




You can knit your own nativity scene with Knitivity: Create Your Own Christmas Scene. Those sheep are just too adorable.

Or if you prefer to stick with secular holiday ornaments, as I do...





Goble has offered us a way to knit the twelve days of Christmas with The Twelve Knits of Christmas.





There's also 'Twas the Knits Before Christmas.





And then there's Fiona Gobel's Noah's Knits: Create the Story of Noah's Ark with 16 Knitted Projects, in which Noah wears a sou'wester. The book probably doesn't include every species of animal on the planet, but I predict that you'll feel as though it did by the time you're done knitting two of all the patterns included. Animals do seem to be Gobel's strong suit.

Will I be making any of these dolls or toys myself? Probably not. They don't quite meet something I call the Utility Quotient. By which I mean that everything I decide to make has to be useful enough to justify the hours put into it. And anyway my decorating tastes don't run towards the cute. I bet they'd be great for little kids to play with, but I don't have any children. Though conversely, if I had children, I would probably not have the time to make the toys.

I do have a friend who collects British Royal memorabilia and who might just swoon for joy if I made her a set of the Royal Wedding dolls (one of her favourite gifts that she ever got from me was a book of Charles and Diana paper dolls that I found at a Value Village for $1, and she told me she forces everyone who comes into her house to look at it), but much as I like to see her that happy, it still seems not worth all that effort.

I do look forward to seeing whatever book Fiona Goble publishes next, though. I may not be into cute toys myself, but I'm not made of iron either.