The Knit Doll: An Adorable Knitted Toy
One of my mom’s friends knits the most fabulous clothes for her granddaughter’s American Girl Dolls. They’re so cute, and she customizes them to each granddaughter’s personality and desires for their dolls. She loves knitted toy patterns, and her granddaughters love playing with them. A match made in knitting heaven!
Some people think dolls are creepy, but not me! I love them and always have. My hope chest is about half full of my childhood dolls, so loved that the hair is rubbed off of some of them. I was a baby doll-loving baby and a Barbie-loving kid. The land of make-believe was strong in our house, and many, many outfit changes were needed to make it come alive every day.
Imagine my delight when I received our new book, My Knitted Doll, by Louise Crowther! Louise has created the most darling little knit doll patterns, accompanied by precious clothing and accessories.
The dolls are knit without clothing, and you can choose which garments, shoes, etc., you want to knit for them. Just look at little Faye (above), with her bunny dress and hat. And those boots! So cute, and so fun to knit.
All of the dolls are knit from cotton on size 3 US needles and end up being about a foot tall. Here’s Louise to tell you more about this wonderful book of knitting patterns for toys!
The Perfect Knitted Toy: My Knitted Doll
I’m delighted to introduce you to twelve adorable little people who are bound to make the little people in your life very happy indeed. I think we all had a doll or a teddy, or something similar, that we thought of as a best friend when we were growing up—someone to share adventures and make up stories with. The great thing about Penny, Grace, Anna, Ralph and the whole gang is that they are full of personality and have plenty of features like clothes, bags and hats that can enhance play and add to the fun. I’ve designed them all with play in mind, and given complete instructions to make knitting them a breeze.
The inspiration for my dolls comes mainly from all the beautiful children’s clothes available on the high street, the gorgeous little dresses and trendy outfits I would love to buy and dress my little girl in… if only I’d had one!
I created my first doll back in 2010 after looking for a pattern to knit a gift for a friend’s daughter. There is something very special and satisfying about seeing a child all snuggled up with a toy that you have lovingly made.
I wanted something different, something other than the traditional knitted dolls I remembered from my childhood, something that was stylish and cute rather than brash and garish. Unable to find anything suitable I decided to have a go at making my own pattern, with the contemporary look I had in mind. The resulting doll was a resounding success and I soon became inundated with requests for more dolls.
Each pattern is written in a straightforward, easy-to-follow manner with row by row instructions, so that even the less-experienced knitter will find them easy to follow. The patterns in this book are designed for you and your friends and family to enjoy and for private use only.
Finally, please look at the section on personalizing your knitted doll. You can treat any of the dolls as a starting point and adapt the hair, clothing, colors and features to make the perfect doll for you. I look forward to seeing photos of your knitted dolls, share them using the hashtag #myknitteddoll and you can see everyone else’s, too.
Hope you enjoy knitting these dolls as much as I have enjoyed creating them.
—Louise Crowther, from My Knitted Doll
I’ve made my fair share of stuffed knitted toy patterns and I’ve learned something important along the way: the most painstakingly knitted toy is only as good as its stuffing job.
That sounds crazy, but it’s true. If you don’t carefully stuff your doll, it’ll be a lumpy, bumpy uneven mess.
The trick is to stuff it firmly, and it takes more stuffing than you ever think it will! Get yourself a long, smooth chopstick and a big bag of polyester filling, and start stuffing. Louise recommends using small pieces and manipulating the knitted body parts in your hands to spread out the stuffing evenly and smoothly. I find that the chopstick really helps with tube-like parts like the arms and legs of these dolls.
When I stuff toys, I make sure the first part, such as the foot of each leg for these dolls, is firm and smooth before moving on to the next part.
If you do get a lump, you can use a tapestry needle to go through a knit stitch and pick at the stuffing to loosen it and smooth it out. Just make sure you don’t stretch out the stitch; you might need to go into a few different stitches in one area to smooth out a lump.
It’ll all be worth it when you see the look on a child’s face as he or she sees the gorgeous knitted doll! And because this knitted toy is knit from cotton, it can be played with and loved as much as possible. The cotton fabric and polyester filling is washable (by hand or in a cold, gentle cycle in the washing machine). Bonus!
P.S. What’s your stance on dolls—creepy or cute? Leave a comment below and weigh in!