This spring, I’ve ventured into unknown territory—making toys. I haven’t made many in the past, but this year dolls, monsters, bears, monkeys and bunnies have been calling to me.
I started my toy adventure by participating in Melanie’s Doll-Making class. I didn’t know what to expect … and I wasn’t disappointed. The whole process was exhilarating because it was so creative when compared with the other projects I was working on.
I pondered, for hours, the perfect yarns for the body, hair, clothing and accessories. For example, should she have curly or straight hair, a smooth or textured yarn for her skin, what would she wear? I happily planned my doll, changing elements in her design as I liked.
This week, I’ll be making her hair and I’ll knit her a wee cardigan. During this toy-making process, I discovered some yarns that are perfect for knitting dolls, such as Hikoo’s Kenzie, Rowan’s Felted Tweed, Cascade’s Longwood Sport, and Estelle’s Eco Andean DK and Baby Alpaca DK.
Using the “Sally, the Eco Fairy” doll we knit in Melanie’s class as a template, I’m going to knit an “Upsy Daisy” doll for my niece Carys. You can’t buy this doll from a store in Canada, so a handmade one should put me squarely in the lead for the position of Best Auntie!
Currently, I’m also finishing up a couple of colourful monsters from Rebecca Danger’s Book, “The Big Book of Knitted Monsters: Mischievous Lovable Toys.” These cuties knit up in no time, and my niece Noelle and nephew Allister are going to love them. The vivid colours and squishy factor of Cascade’s 220 Superwash Merino makes this yarn perfect for these creatures. I ordered stuffing from Custom Woolen Mills in Alberta and safety eyes from Amazon. Just a few more rows and some stuffing and they’ll be done.
Once that’s all stitched up, I’ve got my eye on a few whimsical Rico characters. We started carrying these patterns at the shop early this spring. And what kid, or kid at heart, wouldn’t love them?
So, take my advice and stop toying with the idea and knit some stuffed creatures or a beautiful heirloom doll of your own. It’s very creative and rewarding.
If you’ve got a doll or furry friend on the needles right now, please share your experience and a photo with us.