Category Archives: Knitted toys

Just in time for Christmas!

Well… life with a baby doesn’t leave much time for knitting. We are always busy going to groups, catching up with friends and of course the everyday routine of feeding, playing, napping and cleaning. In fact, now that she’s crawling, there’s next to no time.

However, since the summer, I have been slowly knitting a hedgehog for her and today I finally finished – just in time to wrap up and put under the Christmas tree! It was a pattern from the Woodland Creatures book that I used to make my snail, frog and owl that you’ll see in some of my old posts. The ‘spiky’ yarn was a little tricky to knit with at first but once I got going it quickly became easier.

Really I should have finished it last week, but I had the silly idea of knitting a hat for my friend’s newborn daughter. I cast on last Friday and was visiting her on Tuesday
morning so I had to work quickly. Luckily baby hats aren’t very big! Anyway, I finished it with time to spare and she was delighted with it. Here is a very poor picture of it. Now to decide what to knit next…

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Slow…slow…snail…

Well, my beautiful baby girl arrived back in March by c-section as the stubborn little monkey would not turn and she has completely changed my life. We have been having a fabulous time going to hundreds of different baby groups, swimming and having visitors. Oh and of course wearing some baby knits (both the ones I made and ones people have been kind enough to make for us). The last 3 months have simply flown past with little time to do much knitting. In fact last weekend was spent at my sewing machine making a superhero costume. However slowly but surely over the last 3 months I have been knitting a snail using some left over yarn and today I finally finished. The shell matches the cardigan and hat I made while pregnant so I am probably one of the only people in England hoping that it’s cold tomorrow so we can show off the matching set!

Twit Twoo!

Well it’s been less than a week since I got home from camp and as it is half term I have been going knitting mad! The owl toy pattern in the Susie Johns ‘Knitted Woodland Creatures’ book kept jumping out at me so on Saturday morning I went straight to a shop to get some yarn. I made a few slight colour changes from what was suggested in the book and was struggling to get a good orange yarn for the beak and feet without spending a fortune! Then a great idea hit me – tapestry wool!! I managed to get 10m of the exact colour I wanted for 50p – absolutely perfect for these small body parts. With a quick check of the manufacturers website for errata (there was one), I cast on. Both the body and the head were knitted on 3.25mm double pointed needles and the rest I knitted on straights. imageI found an additional error in the ear tuffs where a K1 had been left out but apart from that all went well. My final challenge was locating some safety eyes – nowhere in Bristol seemed to stock them. However, I found a website (Craftbits) who delivered within a couple of days. In order to make the postage costs worthwhile, I also ordered some eyes ready to make the hedgehog and the bear from the same book. Making up the final toy was quick and easy. I am over the moon with the final product – he even stands independently! image Now my husband has another naming task to complete…

After a good hour in my new favourite shop – Get Knitted – I’ve decided to take a little break from knitting toys and attempt some clothes: a pair of socks and a lacework jumper with some stunning Juniper Moon Farm yarn! image

Knitting to ‘frog’et

What a horrific week! Last weekend we took our dog into the vet hospital (after a week of appointments at our usual vet and one over night stay) as he looked like he was on his last legs. It turned out that he had a bit of fishermen’s net/wire wrapped round the base of his tongue and down into his gut – 4 feet of it! I don’t know what I would do if I came across the idiot who left it lying around in the park 😡 Luckily, 2 operations, a lot of medication and a week later (thank goodness we have insurance) he is on the mend and will hopefully be able to come home in a couple more days.

The only positive about the whole event is that I have got a lot of knitting done. I found that concentrating on a pattern and my needles helped me to stop worrying about him. It is just so quiet in the house without him.

I decided to knit my husband a frog as he loves them and there was a pattern for one in my charity shop bargain book: ‘Knitted Woodland Creatures’ by Susie Johns. I had a dark blue/green DK left over from my monkey knit and so bought a lighter green in the same yarn. The pattern is the hardest that I have done so far and I had to learn to turn (and wrap) and pick up stitches. The shaping of each piece is amazing – although it is hard to see in these photos.

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The feet in particular were very fiddly and needed some neatening up before sewing them onto the legs. They are actually light green – not yellow like it seems in the picture!

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At one point, whilst knitting the upper body of the frog, I got very stuck! And after spending 1/2 hour on Whatsapp sharing the pattern and photos of the knit so far with my sister, I finally managed to work it out. It turned out that the pattern said to pick up stitches on the cast on edge not the cast off edge as I had initially thought it said. However, during the process of working this part out, I stumbled upon a list of errors in the book on the publishers page. I can’t believe how many mistakes are in the book – surely people are paid to check books before they are printed! Anyway, in case any of you are using the book, here is a link to the website: http://www.thegmcgroup.com/pc/viewcontent.asp?idpage=45

Anyway, here is the finished frog…

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…now we we just have to give him a name!

My knitting journey so far…

Ok, here it goes.. my first post! My knitting journey started about 20 years ago when my grandma, who was a great knitter, tried to teach me how to knit. She was a regular knitter and I still treasure a photo of me and my 3 sisters with our knitted men that she had made for us. I have a distant memory of choosing a yarn from her large collection and then using a pair of child size pink needles to produce a small rectangle. Unfortunately, I never got the ‘bug’ and instead filled my time with other crafts – cross stitch, rug making, candle making, jewellery making, card making to name a few.

Roll on to 2015 and I have given knitting another go (partly due to one of my sisters taking it up). I popped to Hobbycraft one day after work (a common event) and picked myself up a pair of 4mm metal needles, a ball of FairIsle effect yarn and the DK A Little Course in Knitting book. Here are my first two knits- a tablet cover and a phone case (both from the DK book). I made a few mistakes but overall I was quite pleased with them. image

I then wanted to learn how to change colour and so popped back to Hobbycraft where I brought some ‘bright’ coloured yarns and of course a bag full of other knitting accessories. This led to a scarf (DK book) and matching hat.

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Next I wanted to attempt a knitted toy monkey. Again using the DK book (now section 2) and yet another trip to Hobbycraft (yes I know, but it’s so close to work and the only shop that sells wool till 8pm!), I got knitting. He is a little wonky in places but overall I am pleased.

imageFinally I picked up some double pointed needles in a small independent shop (at last I hear you say) and created this small square medallion which I think makes a perfect coaster.

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So here I am… HOOKED! I can now k, p, M1, k2tog, k1 s1 psso, kfb and have a growing collection of needles, yarns and other useful bits and pieces. I love my row counter to bits and now scour the shelves of charity shops in search of knitting books. In fact, I came across a bargain the other day – Susie Johns’ Knitted Woodland Creatures for £1. My next project? A toy frog!