Making Dolls and Toys for the Kids on Your Gift List

‘Tis the season for toy shopping, but shopping for toys isn’t your only option. Have you given any thought to the possibility of making the dolls or toys you’ll give to the children on your gift list? It’s totally do-able considering there are many, many patterns available for sewing, knitting and crocheting adorable toys.

You aren’t limited to these craft techniques, by any means. Lately my daughter has been begging me for tiny, cute needle felted toy animals (which I don’t know how to make — so I have no recommendations for needle felting patterns. Yet.) Right now, knitting and crocheting are my top craft techniques, so this post will focus primarily on pattern recommendations for crocheted and knitted toys.

Knitted Dolls and Teddy Bears

If you want to knit a teddy bear for a special child on your gift list, consider using this cute teddy bear knitting pattern from  Arne & Carlos Favorite Designs, published by Trafalgar Square Books.
If you want to knit a teddy bear for a special child on your gift list, consider using this cute teddy bear knitting pattern from Arne & Carlos Favorite Designs, published by Trafalgar Square Books.

If you want to knit truly wonderful holiday gifts for anyone in your inner circle, my top pattern book recommendation of the moment would be Arne & Carlos Favorite Designs. This book isn’t specifically intended to be a toy pattern book, but it does have some fantastic options for fun toys you can make — including a vibrant and colorful teddy bear, bunches of different dolls and doll clothes, plus assorted other toys. The book also includes patterns for slippers, socks, and all kinds of other gift-worthy items.

Learn More About This Book:

Amigurumi: Cute Crocheted Stuffed Animal Toys

Amigurumi: An Adorable Collection, published by Leisure Arts
Amigurumi: An Adorable Collection, published by Leisure Arts

There are a whole lot of outstanding amigurumi crochet patterns available for making toys and dolls. If you were to ask my opinion about the absolute best choice for a pattern book for Christmas 2019, the book pictured above would be my pick.

Why?

Bunches of reasons:

  • So far, this book offers you the best value out of any of the choices I’m aware of; it has the best per-pattern price out of any of the amigurumi pattern books I’ve reviewed.
  • These patterns are super fun, super cool and super cute. Well, OK, not all of these designs are cute, but most of them are.
  • There are designs suitable for both boys and girls, so the boys are not left out of the fun.
  • The book format is totally logical and user-friendly, with gorgeous full-color photography and readable fonts.

Learn More About This Book:

Handmade Fashion Doll Clothes to Make and Give

Want to make some doll clothes for the little girls on your gift list? You have lots of options for that. Pictured here is a rainbow top you can crochet for Barbies or other fashion dolls. In this picture, a vintage 1980s Creata Flower Princess doll is modeling the top. A free crochet pattern is available for this project.
Want to make some doll clothes for the little girls on your gift list? You have lots of options for that. Pictured here is a rainbow top you can crochet for Barbies or other fashion dolls. In this picture, a vintage 1980s Creata Flower Princess doll is modeling the top. A free crochet pattern is available for this project.

If there’s a Barbie doll fanatic on your gift list, perhaps you could whip up some new Barbie wardrobe pieces to delight her. One possibility is this cute fashion doll top. Click here to find the free crochet pattern.

If these ideas aren’t quite what you had in mind, I invite you to check out our page of knitting and crochet patterns for dolls and toys to find even more suggestions. Happy crafting, and happy holidays to you and yours. I hope your family will have a delightful holiday season this year.

By Amy Solovay

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She holds a bachelor’s degree with a studio art minor; and she has also obtained another degree in textile design. Amy has been crocheting and making crafts since childhood, and knitting since her teenage years. Her work also appears at AmySolovay.com, KnittingandCrochet.net and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

Warm Knitted Socks for Winter

Winter is fast approaching. In the northern hemisphere, the first official day of winter will fall on Saturday, December 21, 2019 this year. But for many of us, the weather is already starting to turn cold and wintry. I’m currently living up in the mountains — and in my neighborhood, we’ve already had to break out the warm knitted socks for winter. And I’m also thinking of turning my attention to knitting some new wooly socks for myself and my family.

Need some warm socks to wear under your winter boots or sneakers? Or maybe even to wear to bed at night if your bedroom gets cold or drafty? If you think you might enjoy knitting some new socks, too, I invite you to consider the following winter-friendly sock patterns and knitting pattern books:

I highly recommend all of the sock knitting books pictured here: Colorful Knit Soxx by Kerstin Balke, published by Stackpole Books; Jorid Linvik's Big Book of Knitted Socks, published by Trafalgar Square Books; Socks From Around Norway by Nina Granlund Sæther, published by Trafalgar Square Books; and Knit Socks for Those You Love by Edie Eckman, published by Leisure Arts.
I highly recommend all of the sock knitting books pictured here: Colorful Knit Soxx by Kerstin Balke, published by Stackpole Books; Jorid Linvik’s Big Book of Knitted Socks, published by Trafalgar Square Books; Socks From Around Norway by Nina Granlund Sæther, published by Trafalgar Square Books; and Knit Socks for Those You Love by Edie Eckman, published by Leisure Arts.

Colorful Knit Soxx by Kerstin Balke

Colorful Knit Soxx Book by Kerstin Balke, published by Stackpole Books
Colorful Knit Soxx Book by Kerstin Balke, published by Stackpole Books

Colorful Knit Soxx is a unique and wonderful book featuring nothing but sophisticated sock knitting patterns. These patterns are all unisex designs, and they are sized for adult men and women. If you want to keep your feet warm while also making a unique fashion statement, this is definitely a book worth considering for your pattern collection.

Jorid Linvik’s Big Book of Knitted Socks

Jorid Linvik's Big Book of Knitted Socks, published by Trafalgar Square Books
Jorid Linvik’s Big Book of Knitted Socks, published by Trafalgar Square Books

There are a lot of cold places around the world. Out of all of them, Norway ranks high at the top of the list of countries where residents endure some of the coldest wintertime temperatures on earth. So,if you’re interested in knitting some ultra-warm winter socks, Norwegian knitting pattern books offer you an excellent starting point; knitted Norwegian accessories are typically designed for wearing in the coldest of cold temperatures.

The Norwegians have mastered the art of keeping warm while also looking chic and stylish. Their hand-knitted socks tend to be really interesting designs. And, so far, some of the most interesting sock knitting patterns I’ve found are the ones designed by Jorid Linvik and published in her Big Book of Knitted Socks.

Jorid’s sock knitting patterns draw heavily on Scandinavian style knitting traditions, yet they are also thoroughly contemporary and unique. I’ve never seen anything quite like them. They are super impressive knitting projects — so if you’re looking to show off your knitting skills while making socks to keep your feet warm, Jorid’s sock knitting book is one you’ll want to keep foremost in mind when you’re shopping for sock knitting patterns.

Socks From Around Norway by Nina Granlund Sæther

Socks From Around Norway by Nina Granlund Sæther, published by Trafalgar Square Books
Socks From Around Norway, published by Trafalgar Square Books

This sock knitting pattern book by Nina Granlund Sæther features numerous examples of innovative Norwegian sock designs that have all been inspired by historic patterns of past. Of all the sock knitting pattern books I’ve reviewed, this one has the broadest diversity of different sock patterns and techniques. It’s a truly lovely book featuring sock patterns for everyone ranging from babies through adults; patterns are included for people of both genders.

In my opinion, all the books I’ve included on this particular list offer you a substantial value for the money you’d spend on them. Value is a subjective thing — but in this reviewer’s opinion, Socks From Around Norway offers the best value I’ve yet found on a sock knitting pattern book, assuming you plan to do a lot of sock knitting.

Knit Socks for Those You Love by Edie Eckman

Knit Socks for Those You Love by Edie Eckman, published by Leisure Arts
Knit Socks for Those You Love by Edie Eckman, published by Leisure Arts

If you aren’t sure whether or not you’ll like sock knitting, this affordable booklet gives you the opportunity to try it out without making a sizable financial commitment in sock knitting patterns. The patterns you get are all appealing ones, and this book is a great value for the money you spend on it.

As of right now, these are my top recommendations for sock knitting pattern books. If you’d like more information about sock making, I invite you to check out my page on the topic of sock knitting and crochet patterns, which is posted online at KnittingandCrochet.net.

I hope you and yours will stay toasty warm this winter season.

Best wishes,

Amy

A Book of Patterns for Knitting and Crocheting Lovely Gifts

Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit and Crochet, a craft pattern book by Mags Kandis. Interweave is the publisher of this book.
Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit and Crochet, a craft pattern book by Mags Kandis. Interweave is the publisher of this book.

If you enjoy creating gifts to give to your family, friends, and colleagues, you might enjoy Mags Kandis’ colorful, creative craft pattern book called Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit and Crochet. Interweave publishes this book, which features a wide variety of craft patterns. Most of the included items are reasonably quick to make, and there are items that will suit many different recipients. The majority of patterns featured are knitting patterns, but there are a few crochet patterns included; there are also ideas for felting, needle felting, sewing, and even a few recipes.

My three favorite projects in the book are a pair of knitted socks, a simple but elegant crocheted scarf and a colorful felted granny square tote bag. I think the granny square bag is especially clever. If you crochet a lot of granny squares, I think you’re going to enjoy seeing how this bag is put together. It is soooo simple, yet the finished results are totally fabulous.

More details are available in my book review.

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