Here’s a brief summary and pictures of my first few crocheted toys – all are worked in the round, and I’m including links to/details of the patterns that I followed.
Stuffed Duck for DD:
My second ever crochet project (after DD’s hat)! I found the pattern in a free crochet magazine that had been given away with Simply Knitting last year (I’ll dig it out at some point to take a picture). I got the crochet mini-mag from a charity shop for 10p and it included a pattern for this super cute duck (though in the mag it was yellow and orange rather than blue, but I had to go with the yarn I had!). It’s blue DK cotton for the body, and pink/purple wool for the beak, wings and tail. I used brown bamboo to darn the eyes on, and tried to make the body parts I sewed on stick up a bit so it looked sort of alert and happy 😀
To stuff it, I bought a pillow from the 99p shop and used the stuffing from that. After stuffing several more toys I’ve still got loads of the pillow left – much cheaper than the fibrefill you get in haberdashery shops! Not sure about the quality of a 99p pillow though, so if that worries you, just buy the proper stuff.
Finger Puppets for DS – Ninja and Alien:
For these finger puppets, I followed patterns from this book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crocheted-Finger-Puppets-Cozy-Alton/dp/1861086571
The patterns in the book are all fairly simple and well explained, and there’s a big range of different projects to do. DS typically wanted aliens and ninjas, so he got these two in drawers of our Christmas advent calendar reindeer.
You needed 3.5mm hook or smaller for these, which I found was very straining on my fingers (which kept cramping), and I’m not yet able to get the tension right using hooks that size. Practice makes perfect (and now he wants more ninjas and a robot too!)…
Here’s the finished ball with my apple and apple slice from my crochet fruit bowl page:
This is a great, easy crochet pattern which can be found here: Tiny Crochet Ball Pattern. This also introduced me to the fantastic invisible decrease technique from PlanetJune (found here: Invisible Decrease), and which I’ll use on everything that I can from now on! I crochetted this using a 4.5mm hook and pure wool yarn in pink and purple. Because it’s going to be for 11 month DD, I didn’t want any of the filling to be able to come out, so before I stuffed the ball and did the last round of 6 DC, I first but off the foot from an old pair of tights and used this to line the ball.
I left the opening of the tights sticking out of the hole in the ball and stuffed the filling into the tights and ball at the same time. When the ball was full, I folded up the top of the tights so that it was all covered up, and then finished the last row of crochet.
Tiny Whale with bell
[I’ve lost this! 😦 Pics to add once I’ve found it!]
I crocheted this really easy little whale using this fantastic tutorial, again from PlanetJune: http://www.planetjune.com/tinywhale
I’d very much recommend PlanetJune – there are some really useful tips and techniques, explained really well with pictures and some videos. The patterns are fun and there’s loads you can buy as well as several free ones. I basically followed the pattern as described in the tutorial, but added in a jangly bell when stuffing the whale. I’m planning on making more with different colours, textures and sounds to make some sort of game for the kids (not quite decided how the game will work, but will post once I know!).