Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Making Toys

Max loves toys. Thank goodness, because otherwise he’d spend all of this time using me as his personal jungle gym. And I’ve found I love making him toys.

Lately I’ve been knitting teddy bears, and they are so cute! The patterns are easy too – knit, purl, increase, decrease. I can handle that. I also like that they’re small projects so they don’t take as long. Max isn’t into stuffed animals yet, unfortunately, but he was intrigued by the blue sweater. I’m currently working on a monkey for a friend who is going to be a grammy for the first time. Traditionally I’d make baby sweaters for new arrivals, but I’m having so much fun making toys that I think I’ll do that now instead. If you want to give it a shot, but don’t want to spend money on patterns, try looking up free patterns online. Or do what I did and request books from your inter-library loan.

A few tips on knitting (or crocheting) toys:
  • You want a tight knit so it doesn’t show the filler when you stuff it. Follow the suggestions in the pattern, or if you want to use the yarn you have (and you’re totally allowed to do that) and you don’t have the recommended gauge, I’ve put together a little cheat sheet. This is based on my knitting tensions, so you may have to adjust needle sizes depending on how you knit.
    • Needle size (US sizes):
      • Sock/Fingering/Baby – 2
      • Sport/Baby – 2.5
      • DK/Light Worsted – 3
      • Worsted/Aran – 4
      • Bulky – 6
      • Super Bulky/Roving Yarn – 8
  • If you use buttons make sure to attach them really, really, really well! You don’t want them to come off, even with some chewing, as they can be a choking hazard. You can use safety eyes or use yarn or embroidery floss to fashion eyes as well.

I haven’t done much toy sewing, but I did make a fish. It’s a little weird looking, but it’s soft and Max likes it. I also did a multi-colored pumpkin style pillow using scraps of flannel. My (adult) cousin likes it more than Max does, and when he comes over he grabs it to toss around squish. I may have to make him one too.

I’d love to make a kitchen set like Regan did over at A Day in the Life. I don’t have all of the tools, but I might be able to borrow them. Another neat idea is to repurpose furniture into a kitchen set like Pure and Lovely.

An easier woodworking project I might try are blocks. Just cutting up a 2x4 into chunks, sanding them down and maybe painting them. Maybe add in some thick dowels for round blocks. Super-duper easy.

Miniature bear!

Have you made toys? What have you done? What would you like to do?

No comments: