10 reasons why toys make the best knitting projects

Mar 14, 2016 | Knitting Life | 4 comments

Maybe I don’t have to convince you. Maybe you’re a toy-knitter through and through, or maybe you already love to knit a whole range of projects, including toys. If this is you, read on to feel vindicated… and add your favorite reasons for knitting toys in the comments.

But maybe you’ve stumbled upon this site, a knitter who makes mainly socks, shawls and sweaters. You’re a little intrigued by the idea of knitting toys, but you need a bit more convincing. You are an adult after all; you’d never use a toy, so why make one? If this is you, read on, I promise to convince you that toys make some of the best knitting projects… or at least, that they’re worth a try.

10 reasons to try knitting toys

1. Kids go crazy over them. Knit a toy and you can make yourself really popular with the under-12 set. Even if you don’t have kids of your own, I’ll bet you have friends who do. And it feels pretty great to see a kid’s face light up with delight over something you made.

2. Even adults who don’t wear hand knits love to receive hand knit toys as gifts. I have sold many toys to people buying them for their adult friends. And in my personal experience, adults delight in receiving a knit toy and connecting to their inner child. I’ve made a half-dozen toys as presents for my husband (who doesn’t wear knits) and he loves them. One year, I made him a tiny witch for his birthday, to commemorate a trip we’d recently made together into the Harz mountains, where witches are said to reside. The combination of playful and sentimental made it the perfect gift.

knitting little witch

3. Toy projects are small and often finished in a few days (or even a few hours!) Want something really tiny to start with? Try out my free bee pattern:

knit bee free pattern

4. Toy projects are perfect for learning new shaping and texture techniques on a small scale. Want to try out short rows, or cables, intarsia or knitting-in-the-round before risking botching a whole sweater with an unknown technique. There are awesome toy patterns out there just <em>made </em>for practicing these sorts of things.

5. Toy projects are varied and never boring. All those techniques on a small scale, mean there’s always something to keep your interest, and toys almost never require miles of tiresome garter stitch.

knit pippi longstocking doll

6. Gauge is not a big deal for toys. Unlike a sweater which has to fit, a toy can be a couple inches bigger or smaller, and still be perfect. (You only need to make sure the knit fabric is firm, not loose to hold the stuffing in.)

7. No need for expensive supplies: you can use scrap you already own. Because little variations in color, size and texture that make your finished product different from the original pattern are actually good things, making your toy into its own unique personality.

knit clown

8. There are some amazing toy patterns out there to choose from. They range from the sophisticated to the simple. If you don’t at least check them out, you’re missing out! (You can look at my toy patterns pinterest board to jump-start your search, if you wish.)

9. Knitting toys will make you unusual and unique among knitters. Crochet toys (amigurumi have reached huge heights in popularity) but us toy knitters are still in the minority. Knit a toy and you’ll join be part of a growing, but still small club.

10. The cuteness of your finished toy will brighten your day and make you feel warm inside every time you look at it. Just trust me on this one!

cute knit turtle

So what do you think? Are you ready to cast on a cute toy project?

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