One of the things I've enjoyed most in the knitting community is the Knitted Toys groups I've had the pleasure of starting and moderating here on blogger, on flickr and on ravelry. The ravelry group has grown so large that after three kids I had to bring on additional moderators who can better keep an eye on it. I never thought that so many people would want to knit toys and talk about it!
I've knit a few toys in the past few years. One of my all time favorites was the knitted tools set, from Vicki Howell's book New Knits on the Block (which I initially found very cheesy and impractical. Until I had kids. Kudos to Vicki - I know I will be making many things out of this book over the next several years!) I made these tools for my 'nephew' (Kent's cousin's son), for his first birthday. Kent even got in on the action and added a handmade personalized toolbox to complete the set. I hope we make many more of these in the future for the boys in our families! The tools knit up quickly and turned out pretty cute.
Also back in 2009, I had a special friend's daughter turn two. This family likes much of the same things we do, and dad (my coworker and friend) is very big into music (his son's first name is our son's middle name - named after a Texas singer/songwriter - great minds and all, right?). So I knew I had to pull out the big guns for her gift. Enter knitted Joey Ramone. Now, this is not a gift all parents can love, but I knew this would be the family that did. He turned out pretty cute for a punk rocker.
Samantha's first birthday had a ladybug theme (love me a good theme), so I had to make her the adorable ladybug doll from Twist Collective. She didn't care for it much at first, but it is currently residing in my mending basket, because it is little too loved now (and has the missing wing to show for it!). I recall the pattern being a little fiddly, but well worth it!
Last year I finally knit one of the patterns that had been on my 'must-knit' list since I got pregnant - the Fiesta Tea Set. I love it, though it is not very sturdy. I did starch the pieces, and that helped some, but the cups don't sit up very well. Perhaps some more regular starching is in order. This is a great toy for kiddos who are too young to have 'real' dishes in their play kitchen.
For Christmas that year I knit the Hippo from Susan B. Anderson's Itty Bitty Toys book. Gah! The cute! I want to knit everything in this book! Hippo is also well loved, and has double ear replacement surgery and tail reconstruction. This is why we save leftover yarn people! He was super easy and quick to knit. A great use of sock yarn for those who don't knit socks.
Finally, I knit this tiny owl (also by Susan B. Anderson - from last winter's Knit Simple (I think) for my brother's new baby girl this spring. Super quick, and I hope to make one for Ellie sometime soon.
I have a few other toys in the works and a few more to show on the blog. More soon!