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A Knitted Toy Story

Aug 19, 2007

Knitted Cuddlies

My favorite toy growing up was a stuffed purple cow--it was the sixties, so Cowie was a truly vibrant shade of purple. I loved that cow. Heard of the Velveteen Rabbit? Well, this guy was The Velveteen Cowie. He got so tattered that my mom felt it was time for Cowie to move on. It got to be like a game: I'd go to school, leaving Cowie on my bed where he belonged. My mom would come into my room to clean up, take Mr. Cow into the garage, and put him into the box where we put our charity donations. I would come home from school, glance into my room, see that Cowie was missing, and then go out to the garage on a rescue mission.

I won, year after year. Cowie is still with me, in fact. He's in the basement of my house, giggling as we speak, eluding all my efforts to locate him for his big photo op--but he's there.

I had a lot of toys growing up--glass animals and plastic dolls and wooden building blocks and all sorts of playthings in-between. The ones whose memories I cherish, the ones I fought to keep, tattered ears and lost eyes notwithstanding, were the ones I referred to as Stuffies--the toys I could cuddle and carry about, the toys I could dress up and talk to and take to sleep with me at night.

So when I saw a report on TV last week about ways to console your kids when you have to take away a lead-tainted plastic toy, I thought of Cowie, and all the Stuffies who stuck with me through thick and thin, when plastic toys broke, and metal toys bent, and building blocks went missing.

If you've got a youngun, and you're faced with the task of taking away a toy that might be dangerous for them, may I suggest a swap? Trade them the plastic for a Stuffie, something with eyes and a nose and a personality and a heart. Knit them a bear, or a kitty, or a bunny; crochet them a lamb. Make a game out of discovering the new Stuffie's name, help your child choose a ribbon for their neck and a blankie to wrap their new friend in at night.

Knit a toy for a child, and maybe someday they'll be all grownup like me, digging through their basement searching for the one denizen of Toyland who really mattered to them their whole life long.





1824 Blouson

My favorite comment from last Friday's post was this one from Julie:

Holy. Moly. I've been using my bra band size this entire freaking time. No wonder my sweaters are always too big. I thought it was my gauge. *smacking forehead*

Judging from the state of my email, Julie, you certainly are not alone. I'll be continuing our series on sizing over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, if you have not started your own Beautiful You notebook, take a look at our How To Measure Yourself page and join the measuring party! I'll be adding more tutorials on other critical measurements, as well as instructions on how to decipher schematics and choose the best pattern size--and the best fit--for you.

Later this week: I'm wandering around the office with the 1824 Blouson from the Summer 2007 issue of Knits, sweet-talking folks into trying it on and letting me take their picture. Stay tuned!



Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily.
  She is now the author of the popular Knitting Daily blog: What's on Sandi's Needles.

  


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1824 Blouson

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Comments

T.B wrote
on Oct 13, 2007 1:24 PM
My daughter just had her 7th birthday. Things have been a bit tight. I was able to knit her the bear as one of her gifts. She hasn't put it down yet! Thank you so much!
Linchad wrote
on Aug 28, 2007 4:44 PM
My daughter asked me to knit something special for a girl she knows who's having her first baby in November. I'm doing a blanket, but couldn't resist the cat. The colors for the nursery are blue and brown (stripes and polka dots) so I did this cat in those colors. I'd like to send a picture of the result. He's quite unusual, to say the least! I have a hard time putting him down. Thankfully, I don't have to mail him for a while. How may I send a photo? Linda
ElaineO wrote
on Aug 23, 2007 3:33 PM
I'm in tears as I finish reading about your Kitty. My daughter's 11 year old cat (Ming the Merciless), who has been staying with me for awhile, passed away suddenly two weeks ago (and unfortunately was found by my 3 yr old granddaughter). It is only one of the traumas they have dealt with this month; I can't do much about their other heartaches, but I'm going to knit them each a fat Stuffie to hug. Thanks for sharing - Sad Nana
Monkeygurl wrote
on Aug 23, 2007 12:00 PM
Awww, hunny. I had to help my beloved muttle across the rainbow bridge in June, and I'm still grieving. I think you would understand.

I love what you've done with your Kitty, and think its an apt tribute to someone who gave you so much love and comfort. Beautiful.
Repels-72356 wrote
on Aug 23, 2007 9:24 AM
45 years ago this month one of my sons had open heart surgery to correct a birth defect, and was given a stuffed dog by a kindly neighbor. He still has that dog, hairless, much mended and none too clean. I have never made stuffed animals, but certainly will now after reading all the loving comments. They will be made for the great-grandchildren I am expecting some time in the next ten years!--and for the grandchildren who may be too old for them.
MareeB wrote
on Aug 22, 2007 3:13 PM
Do you know whether Needle Arts Studio webcast? This show isn't shown in New Zealand. Or do you sell the series on DVD?
Riverains wrote
on Aug 22, 2007 2:55 PM
What wonderful toy patterns! I was enchanted by them and reminded of my own childhood collection of stuffed animals.

What if everyone on knitting daily were to knit one of these toys and donate it to a charity for children in need? Would we be creating some special memories for a child in need? I plan to start knitting some of these toys as soon as possible, and would love to find out what charities other knitters are donating their gifts to.
BethM@3 wrote
on Aug 22, 2007 1:04 PM
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I've been looking for a cute knitted or crocheted kitty pattern, and both of these are super!
AnneB wrote
on Aug 22, 2007 11:33 AM
Just in time for the holidays!! I have two grandsons and a slew of great-nieces/nephews. My step-son has a stuffed bear from when he was three. Besides socks, I think that I am addicted to knitting toys. There are two British knitting magazines that also have toy patterns. I did a penquine and am starting on a pirate next.
RaisaF wrote
on Aug 22, 2007 9:52 AM
I tried to order the Takhi/ Stacy Charles 'Loop-d-loop' magazine that was promised with free shipping as a special offer for Knitting Daily readers. But in vain. They not only charged me the domestic shipping, but international shipping as well. I guess they missed to publish a promotional code of some kind. Any ideas?
knitter@73 wrote
on Aug 22, 2007 8:20 AM
Don't forget the hundreds, maybe thousands of charities out there that you can knit a stuffie for. Lots of kids (and some adults) could use a lovingly hand knit animal to help them through a rough time. Knit for someone you don't know and may never meet but who will be grateful to you for a very long time. Jessica
LouiseG@2 wrote
on Aug 22, 2007 7:33 AM
I saw this book at our local library and kitted the ted, as you say the patterns are so simple.
I have recently opened a knitting shop and the ted is on display and he is the one that adults as well as children want to touch and hold.
Anonymous wrote
on Aug 22, 2007 12:35 AM
I love knitting toys too, and hope to donate the knitted dolls to our Childrens Hospital when I have one to two more created. I'd love some patterns for felted toys! Is there anywhere we can post photos of our creations so we can share what we are making? Thanks for a great online Magazine :) Jean
Meeb wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 9:18 PM
while waiting for my daughter to be born, i made her a doll...cotton knit skin, wool batting stuffing and yarn hair...much loved and much mended and years later completely falling apart...so i made a little stuffed heart out of the remains of that original doll and transplanted it into a new body...two more "transplants" later, "emilie" went off to college with my no-longer-a-baby girl. now i always put a heart into anything i make.
PennyC wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 7:05 PM
A few years ago, when I moved to the Deep South and shunned woolie garments, I had to find some different projects to keep my knitting passions burning. I made dozens of premie hats until they bored me, and then I started knitting teddy bears.
So much fun! All sizes and color combinations and outfits! Each of the grandkids and several children who had once stayed at the local shelter now has his or her own unique knitted bear.
Lynn G. wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 3:17 PM
The toys are adorable. I just wanted to say THANK YOU, SANDI, for personally replying to my e-mailed comment. Wow! How did you have time for that? I had asked for the free pattern library to be made searchable by project type and by skill level, and Sandi replied that that is a long-term goal on the KD wish list, but for right now I can find virtually the same search function by going to the "Browse Topics" link first and then choosing the type of project. From there the projects are searchable by skill level. I'm delighted to have that information (I forgot that I could do it that way) and wanted to share it with the community. Thanks, Sandi! This is such a friendly and responsive community.
BridgetD wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 3:03 PM
Wouldn't your sweater be too small if you used the band size as your measurement for your finished garment?
on Aug 21, 2007 3:02 PM
My kids have crocheted animals their great grandmother made. Their kids have crocheted animals the same good lady made. They are all beloved! I just passed back the "hairless" bear to my bro that he loved as a baby boy for his grandson to live, that is if Bro will share his bare bear!!
MegB@3 wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 2:38 PM
I love knitting toys - just finished a seahorse - got the pattern on etsy - for my son's fourth birthday and it was very well received. It lives with his knitted robots.

I also have a sizing question, about ease: I am knitting a sweater in the round, and it's front and back are the same size. I haven't knit many sweaters, so I am not sure if this
is typical, but one ting I know for sure, my front and back are not the same size,
especially in the "fullest part" where we are supposed to be measuring. ;) So, it ends up I have negative ease in the front and positive ease in the back. Is this something we need to consider when measuring for a pattern? Are some sweater patterns constructed so that the back and front measurements are different?

Thanks for continuing this awesome topic - I always wonder what size is the right one, especially when ease is a factor.
DeniseC wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 2:30 PM
NExt thing you could do in the "right fit" story is evaluate different designs to see what works on what kinds of bodies. For example, I have been looking at the Wheat-ear Cable Yoke sweater in the Summer 2007 issue and wondering if I dropped the cable panel below my boobs would I get a better look. I am large breasted and short. Am a size 8 on the bottom but a 10 on top. Would the cables add bulk to my short midsection or elongate it....things like that.

Thanks

Denise
imalulu wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 2:26 PM
Loved your story about Cowie. Being from Wisconsin originally, I'm quite familiar with cows. Please FIND Cowie and share a photo, PLEASE! On the instructions for the knit stuffies....it calls for "environmental friendly stuffing"....what is that? Tell me more....I'm learning to be as "green" as possible.
Lynne U., Saranac Lake, NY
MariaL wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 1:45 PM
I haven't the time to read all of the comments (I'm supposed to be working, you know) but the bra band sizing brouhaha has be wondering how they are sized. I had a professional fitting several years ago and my band is definitely smaller than my bust. Band is actual measurement under bust (36") and bust is 40", making me a "D" cup. cup size is determined by the number of inches between the band and bust sizes. At least that is what I was told. The first time I put on a proper fitting bra, I felt instantly lifted and separated! However, it took a while to learn to breathe again. How about a tutorial on sizing? It will make a world of difference in how sweaters fit if the bra is the right size. Loving your articles! Maria
TommyS wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 1:40 PM
Yay! Toys! I have been knitting toys for a few months for the young friends I have. I have found so much joy in giving these as gifts. You remember the toys more than the clothes when you receive gifts. I also had a stuffy (crochet bear with tie) and it was memories of him that got me into this whole knitting thing in the beginning. And I love him for it all the more!
Tommy Smith (Male Knitter)
Clmd wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 12:32 PM
Thanks for the knitted toy patterns. My cousin's son used to run around with a piece of yarn in his hand. His grandmother (my aunt) had given it to him and everywhere he went he had that yarn with him. I'm not sure what type it was but he absolutly loved it. He has since grown and is now in high school. Recently I was visiting my realtives and noticed that another one of my cousin's sons is running around with a swatch of yarn in his hand. I found out from my aunts that a long time ago our grandmother used to give her kids yarn to play with. They did not have a lot of money to afford stuffed animal toys and this what she did to help keep the kids occupied. There's nothing better than the feel of a homemade toy made out of a soft lucious yarn that will probably stick in your mind forever.
NancyP@3 wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 9:49 AM
Thank you so much for these great toy patterns. I look forward to your posts every day!!

I was recently at an Irish festival...do you have a pattern for a cape perhaps with a hood??? I am looking to make myself a full length cape, but don't know quite how to begin!

Also, thank you for addressing plus sizes. I am a fairly new knitter (2 years) and have made a couple of sweaters, but don't know how to adjust patterns for my own size. I have to follow the patterns verbatim right now. But, this is a skill I would like to develop.

Going to go and make my little grand baby a little toy now!

Thanks again!
Nancy from NE Wisconsin
MarvieN wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 9:41 AM
http://breakoutbras.stores.yahoo.net/noname1.html

Looks like my comment was cut off...

Try measuring for bra size as the site above recommends... difference is amazing!
MarvieN wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 9:39 AM
I found a site a couple of years ago that showed a different way to measure your bra size. I used this method when I bought bras the next time and the difference blew me away. I had always bought "B" or "C" cup bras, but according to this I needed a "D"... I was skeptical but the fit was so much more comfortable than any bra I had ever worn.

Here's the link:

http://breakoutbras.stores.yahoo.net/noname1.html
LaurieB wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 9:20 AM
I have trouble deciding on yarn, too. I make a "blanket buddy" - a bunny head with an blanket body - for a new cousin out of chenille yarn. I felt like the chenille broke a lot and am wondering how it will hold up.
ArwenG wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 9:19 AM
My mum is both a seamstress an a great knitter - I'm not saying all my stuffed toys were handmade, but my favorites sure were. I still have most of them, including a black velvet pig who, after years of dress up, now goes about in nothing but a silk witch's hat. I've got a little niece now, and I enjoy spoiling her with sewn and knit toys. Last Christmas, I made all my grown up friends (including Mum) knitted monster Stuffies - and of all the knitted gifts I've given, they were by far the most adored!
DeniseC wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 8:41 AM
I LOVE that you have different woman try on your designs....soo very helpful. Any chance you could add their height? Makes a difference.

Thanks to the ladies for being guinea pigs....I have learned so much about fit.
AshleyK wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 8:40 AM
I started tearing up just reading that... it reminds me of my favorite toy as a kid, a stuffed black cat my mother made for me, complete with an entirely hand made wardobe of dresses and pants all for her. She's still around my house too.. I just could never quite get ride of her cute little face!
BarbaraG@2 wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 8:37 AM
OT--I was looking through the fall issue of IK at the garments that are large sized when I gave my self a mental head-smack. I know why I don't knit those patterns. They could be absolutely great patterns but the shoulders are waaaaayyyyy too broad and I don't know how to adjust the sleeve cap to accommodate narrower shoulders. And then, wouldn't you have to consider bust darts to shape the area so it doesn't pouch out?
JennieE wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 8:22 AM
As a knitted toy designer I am thrilled to see soft, imaginative toys being lauded instead of hard, pre-set cartoon characters, with pre-set personalities and limitations. I feel that we should encourage imaginative play with soft, lovable knitted toys who open a world of possibilities for imaginative, interactive play, rather than forcing our children into the limitations of pre-fabricated hard, plastic characters. A soft stuffed toy can be a space explorer, dinosaur hunter, knight in shining armor, as well as chat with unicorns and have tea with the queen. Soft toys encourage our children to broaden their horizons, and to become creative, independent individuals.
SamanthaH wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 7:51 AM
I started to knit about January time when I could not find jumpers that I like and decided to try and knit some thing simple . One of the first patterns I came across was a bear just plain garter stich and and a bit of decresing. I finished the bear in time for my sons birthday (his 14th birthday) and thought it would be a little extra gift. My husband huffed and puffed my daught huffed and puffed all wanting a knitted toy just like my son(who sleeps with the toy but don't tell anyone). So now we have a family of knitted bears, no matter what age you are the personal gift is always the best as they say its the thought that counts.

Samantha Horgan-Rolfe
England.
AmyS@7 wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 7:46 AM
I loved your story! I still have Kitty Fat Cat--lovingly knit for me by my Grandma over 35 years ago! She's tattered and faded (and homely as ever!), but I can't ever part with her!
DorothyS wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 7:22 AM
Bra sizing--

Many years ago (I'm 51) when I first started to wear bras, the standard way to determine what size to buy was to measure around your ribcage, take that number and add 5 inches. Thus a measurement of 33 means you buy a size 38 bra. A number in between meant you sized up. Then you measured around the fullest part of the bust - a one inch difference was an A cup, a 2 inch difference was a B cup, and so on. How the determination to add 5 inches to your size came to be, I don't know. And as we all know, manufacturer's specs seem to have a mind of their own. Hope this is helpful.
DianeW@2 wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 7:08 AM
In a posh shop yesterday I saw small knitted toys at ?12 each! I'm sure we all have enough in our stash to make one cheaper. All you need to do is design a tie on tag to give it an upmarket appeal.
Diane in Sussex UK
DorothyS wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 6:49 AM
Love the idea of knitting a 'Cowie', but the striped cat looks like he is ready for the chain gang! Love, love, love your posts!
marjob89 wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 6:36 AM
Dear Sandy:
For more ambitious knitters, I recommend the Beary Bear pattern for a knitted-felted bear. Here's where to get the pattern:


http://www.theknittingneedle.com/

Regards,

Marjorie
SeverineL wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 6:22 AM
Perfect : back from holidays, I've found "Measure yourself" just at the right time :o)

This will help people I work with to love themselves more and more :o) simply by wearing a knit that suits their body with beauty... (not sure you say it this way in english, I tried my best to translate from my french universe ! lol)

www.eveil-relax.over-blog.com
KarenA wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 4:47 AM
I was wondering how parents could handle the massive toy recall.
It is one thing to take toys off a store shelf but another to take things from a child.
You put me into a creative mood. A friend that has a son is big into Thomas the train. I am going to look for a knit pattern for a toy train.
Thank you for the inspiration
Karen
JascinthW wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 3:31 AM
Hello. Thanks for the patterns. People around me are having a passon of babies, I'll cast on for one soon. It's a great way to use up stash as well!

I'm interested in the arigumi (crochet) patterns for other animals that are floppy and similiar to the knitted ones. Can you include those next time?

Cheers,

Jazz
AlissaK wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 12:21 AM
I was finishing sewing together a turtle I knitted for a friend's baby when I read today's email. How's that for timing?
MarjaA wrote
on Aug 21, 2007 12:07 AM
Nothing wrong with this pattern but it doesn't have "it" for me. I like things more fitted to show of the good parts of my body. Distracts them from my gray hair and wrinkels (ha,ha).
Maybe you could do an article (with pattern ?) about Hanne Falkenberg. I love her designs. They are very basic in construction, but fun to make, and lovely to wear.
You can find her at: "www.knit.dk"
Marja in The Netherlands
TaraR wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 11:36 PM
Ooh - I am a childbirth educator and doula. I teach small classes and really get to know my students. Sometimes they even invite me to their showers. Now I know what to give at those showers...
dancink wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 11:33 PM
My mother had a red knitted Elephant growing up that was her one and only stuffed toy, and she loved it. When she was 15 her mother threw it in the incinerator, as she was 'too old for such things'. Needless to say my mother was heartbroken, and never repeated that with my stuffed animals when I grew 'too old for them'. Now I'm searching for the perfect Elephant pattern so I can knit her a replacement Ellie - it could never be the same, but will be a good thank you for protecting my childhood toys to the best of her ability.
Esh wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 11:17 PM
*claps* Thank you for this post :) I love knitting little friends for kids and babies! In fact I recently finished a little monkey and started a fairy doll. I think it is absolutely wonderful and fantastic to be able to knit love and prayers into something the babies can carry with them for years.
Bobseldest wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 11:08 PM
Stuffies...just in time too. I just finished knitting my 6 yr old grandson a brachiosaurus for his birthday. Now I need to knit something for his younger brother...they celebrated their birthdays just 13 days apart. The youngest played dog and tried to eat Brachi...Jacob had to go running and hide Brachi in his top bunk bed. Guess I'll be making Johan something fast.
Love this daily newsletter, just love it
connie in Kannapolis, NC
MelissaB wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 11:07 PM
I love knitting toys. They fit everyone and you don't spend a month knitting them. How sad is it to spend the summer knitting a sweater and 'hoping' that it will fit your recipient?
LesleyM wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 11:01 PM
Cowie, huh? I, of course, named my stuffed animals in a more imaginative and original way. I had a stuffed bunny rabbit. I named her Bunny. Ok, so maybe it wasn't all that original or imaginative. hehehe
CatieW wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 10:52 PM
My baby brother had this fabulous snake made by a great aunt. Sneaky snake is about to make a reappearance in his life when he has child number 2 in February. Aunt Gladys always had something terrific for us on holidays (I remember some truly inspired appliqued beach towels, but "Sneaky Snake stole my root beer" remains a staple quote in our household to this day! And now when I think of that snake, I think of how crafty she was to use up her stash of acrylic crap yarn like that!!
MarieY wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 10:37 PM
I love knitting toys but I have no one to send them to. Is there some place that is for hand knit toys that aren't bears?
HeatherC wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 10:22 PM
This must be a sign. I have a lone ball of Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino that I've been trying to decide what to do w/. A "stuffie" should be the perfect solution. Only thing to decide is to keep it for myself or give it to my 1 year old niece (since it is pink) I've been wanting to make bears for my boys too so this is a great incentive.

Thanks,
Heather C.
LeaV wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 10:16 PM
When I was growing up, Mr. Ed was a popular TV show, and Mattel came out with a line of hand puppets that had a string you could pull to make them talk. I loved Mr. Ed - I loved horses, period. So for Christmas that year (I think I was in 3rd grade) Santa brought me the Mr. Ed talking hand puppet. I LOVED Mr. Ed. Well, a year had not even passed before Mr. Ed lost his voice. I'd pull the string and just get static. So my Mom boxed Mr. Ed up, sent him back to Mattel and asked for a new voice box to be put in. I never saw Mr. Ed again. Mattel had already discontinued making him and instead of just sending him back they sent me a talking Bugs Bunny hand puppet instead. I was heart broken. I didn't even like Bugs Bunny - I wanted Mr. Ed! I cried for a long time and still get sad when I think about it. Mattel didn't even ask if we wanted a substitution - they just did it.
CharleneM wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 9:55 PM
Ok, this post so hits home.Last Christmas I made stuffed toys for our three dogs, the stranger the fur the better, rabbit, mouse, fish, but the favorite is an octopuss made from all the different fabrics, all have squeakers they come in multi packs from Petsmart. All the time I'm sewing these my then 16 year old daughter would make suggestions and laugh ALOT. Then she pipes up, "mommy, would you make me a rabbit too, and with extra big ears, but no squeaker?" My little baby girl was instantly back. In March of this year I crocheted a bunny for a new nephew due in April, again the little girl comes out, mommy please!
And if thats not bad enough, my my year old Basset Hound thinks ALL things yarn are hers. To this date I've made 72 of the little buggers. I've had to quit taking them as a working project whenever I go anywhere.I make them from washable acrylic so they can go into the washer and dryer, no squekers though. I've handed the pattern off to others so now they're multiplying just like the real thing. I've alwasy believed that the best gift is made with heart and hand.
Laurence wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 9:43 PM
I'm really looking forward to seeing the blouson on many size women to see how it looks... if I can manage to see it that is. I'm bummed, I havn't been able to see the corset gals on any computer and if this try-on segment is to come back regularly I would hate to miss so much of it. Can't you make the gallery in normal html? not fancy scripts that might not show on everyone's computers?
JenniferN wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 9:27 PM
For more toy inspiration, visit the Knitted Toys blog at http://knittedtoys.blogspot.com or the flickr group!
VirgadeanR wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 9:19 PM
I am confused. If I were using the bra band measurement wouldn't my items be too small and not too big? I thought that the bra band measurement was like (34, 36, and 38 etc...) and the full bust measurement is larger. Am I confusing the bra band measurement with something else?
KathyB wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 9:00 PM
I am so glad to see that we all have some learning to do before we get our sweaters fitting properly! Can't wait to learn more. I love that you call the critters "stuffies" just like my daughter has always called hers.
KathyV wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 8:57 PM
Bravo for you, Sandy! Been telling folks for years that the best toys and the most fondly remembered are the ones we make ourselves be they knitted, crocheted, sewn, etc.Thanks for sharing your wonderful Cowie story with us!
TracyW@2 wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 8:34 PM
I am still a bit confused about the sizing on knitted garments. I wear XS to S in purchased items and yet, based on knitting measurements, I tend to knit the "medium" sized garments and they turn out huge on me. I just don't understand why if I have a 36" bust measurement that my completed garment is 44" around. Can you offer any help?
Eliza wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 8:23 PM
Kim, Your bra band size is actually based on some weird calculation, not the actual measurement of your bra band. I just did a size calculator thing online and confirmed this: the measurement below my bust is 32" but my bra band is 36".
NancyC@10 wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 8:15 PM
There's a poem that goes something like:
I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one,
but I can tell you this right now,
I'd rather see than be one.
I think it's Ogden Nash, but I'm not sure. My folks used to recite it. I have a purple cow, too, that my Mom made when I was young. Love it!
JenL wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 8:15 PM
Ooops! My comment got cut off...

Let's say my bra band size is 36 (the measurement around my rib cage, under my bust). Unless my boobies are "innies," my bust measurement has to be bigger -- let's say it's 40. If I use my bra band measurement (36) in choosing which size to knit, my FO will be too small for my actual bust (40).

Maybe this only applies to US sizing, though? Otherwise, I'm confused!
JenL wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 8:14 PM
I second Kim's comment... That's the first thing I thought
dibranchia wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 8:11 PM
Last year, I went in for major surgery. I packed, and told my husband how important it was to bring Sylvester with him to my recovery room. I was worried that they wouldn't let him into the ICU since he was 34 years old (now 35 *sigh*). All of the nurses loved him, and one even told me how she almost killed her husband when he threw hers away. I learned to sew on Sylvester, fixing his holes and such. He's gotten so threadbare (threadbear?) that I am planning to knit my first sweater for him.
Kim@3 wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 8:00 PM
"I've been using my bra band size this entire freaking time. No wonder my sweaters are always too big."

Wouldn't using your bra band (which is smaller than the fullest part of our bust) make the garment too small??? I thought I understood the measurements but now am not sure.
BeckyS wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 7:56 PM
Your post today was perfect timing. I have been making felted stuffed toys - teddy bears, bunnies, penguins, and even chickens! They are so much fun to make, and it is fun to see what kind of personality they develop when I put their faces on them. Thank you for Knitting Daily.
Dmcmahon wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 7:18 PM
Well, Sandi, you certainly struck a chord with the "Stuffies" article. I have a stuffed Panda that I was given when I was born. He still lives with me, though missing a couple of eyes and most of his fur! He's going to be 59 in late October . . . . . while I'm only going to be 39 - again! He was long ago repaired with string and a darning needle (battle surgery)by a 9 year old who didn't really know much about sewing. The last time I checked the box he's in, he was still wearing his scar proudly!
Donna
Rebekah wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 7:16 PM
I really enjoyed your 9 corset gals blog, so I'm eagerly awaiting your version with the 1824 Blouson. I really like this sweater, and I can't wait to see what it looks like on all different body types and sizes!
annekaelber wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 6:49 PM
My son, almost 15 now, has (had?) a bear I picked up at a garage sale which became Bear. Bear went on every overnight trip with us. When we moved, Bear travelled with us, not with the household goods. Then, we adopted dogs...and they did what dogs will do sometimes. And Bear was just an "empty shell". To this day, I am not permitted (nor do I try) to throw away the "shell" of Bear. Instead, we're still deciding on the *right* pattern of a bear to knit...and the old shell will be stuffed inside the new one, so the "soul" of Bear lives on. Being a sci-fi family, we've decided the new bear will be the exo-skeleton of the old Bear. *grin*

Also, I'm addicted to toy patterns....I just have one problem: deciding on which yarn to use! That's one of the reasons I love socks so much: most yarns are advertised as "sock yarn" and I just need to consider yardage. But a Stuffie???? What's the best/right yarn for each one? Should I knit it "plain" or doubled with fuzzy yarn to give him "fur"? I've already downloaded the knitted cuddlies and can't wait to discover others.

For those who have the patience to read through all the comments (I don't always make it, myself!), there are 2 UK-based magazines which have had a toy in the last 4+ issues---that's when I started paying attention to them and I'll keep buying as long as there's a toy pattern! One is called "Simply Knitting" and the other is called "Knitting Today". I've found mine at Barnes and Noble.
MicheleB wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 6:39 PM
I made a stuffed mouse for my younger son, about 10 years ago. "Wocket" is still sitting on the shelf in son's room. He was a hybrid of a bear body and a pirate rat from Debbie Bliss' book of knitted toys. He had a sweater that matched son's sweater.

We also have a knitted Gromit dog, from a pattern from a British women's magazine, probably about the same era.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane! Better than plastic toys, any time.
HeatherS wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 6:32 PM
I often make Stuffies - knit or sewn; as soon as my 5yr old sees them she always asks
Jennifer@6 wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 6:31 PM
Thank you for posting about the toy patterns! I just completed a felted flamingo toy and he is my new favorite. He was fun to make and I will definitely be making more toys now!
KD Sandi wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 6:24 PM
**** Sandi here...

I might add that one of the folks you will see modeling the 1824 will be Yours Truly....
SharonC wrote
on Aug 20, 2007 6:21 PM
Thanks, Sandi. My third grandson was born in June, and I've been putting homemade fabric goodies into his hand knit diaper bag. One of these critters will fit right in. And I can't wait to see the Blouson, because I have the yarn already! With my new measurements, though, I think I'll wait to cast on until I see it on the ladies. Thank you, Ladies!