Today, I'm pleased to welcome Nikita Shah, one of our interns at the magazine, as a guest poster. She's a crafty lady with great knitting skills, and she offered to share some toy-making tips with us. Take it away, Nikita! The holidays are sneaking up on us and I’ve opted to hand-make all of my gifts this year. I’ve ventured into knitting territory that has scared me for years: stuffed toys. The thought of making something 3-D was daunting, but as I found out, it’s not all that difficult! Here are a couple of handy tips and tricks I picked up that may help you in your own toy knitting adventures.
- Provisional Cast-on: This is a method of casting on that allows your first row to remain live so that you can come back to it later to add more knitting. In the image below, you can see I’ve done a provisional cast-on with yellow waste yarn so that once I finish knitting the body of my Dalek doll, I can come back and add a base. There are several ways to do this, but I found the crochet method to be easiest.
- Kitchener Stitch: This is a method of closing up a seam (for our purposes, after stuffing), that is really smooth and nearly invisible against stockinette. Make sure you have a tapestry needle handy.
- Three Needle Bind-off: This is another method of seaming for when you’re less concerned about the neatness of the edge. I used this when finishing the body of the robot below.
- When stuffing your toy, be sure to overstuff. It may feel too bulky at first, but remember that the toy will flatten out after some of the air has been hugged out.
- Use a small crochet hook to hide your finishing knots. You can pull knots down into the stuffing to offset the pucker you usually get when finishing.