We asked Kerry Lord and her dedicated team of toy experts to give us a rundown of the five most important things to consider when crocheting and knitting toys.
1. Read the pattern closely before starting
There’s nothing worse than realising you’ve gone wrong when you’ve already worked past the problem and having to unpick your work. Read your pattern thoroughly before starting to make sure you fully understand what it is saying and avoid glaring mistakes.
2. Check and maintain tension
It’s important to always work a tension square before you start any project to make sure you’re working correctly. If your tension is off for a toy it can mean you see stuffing through your stitches. Simply alter your hook size by half a millimetre to compensate for an overly tight or loose tension to ensure the best results.
3. Wait until the end to stuff (and don’t overfill!)
Sometimes the temptation to stuff your work early is overwhelming, especially when it needs this to take its final shape. Whilst resisting isn’t easy, it’s for the best, as you’ll be able to distribute the stuffing more evenly, avoiding rock-hard toys and overstretched stitches as a result of too much filler.
4. Take time to sew up correctly and securely
Sewing up is crucial for toys, especially when you’re planning to give them to little ones who will be dragging them around. There are a variety of different stitches you can use and your pattern will often suggest the best, but always make sure to give a pull test to ensure everything is secure and prevent tears further down the line.
5. Sew up in the correct order
Sewing in the correct order will help gauge proportions and build a picture of the finished project as you go along. Our top tip is to attach head onto body first, followed by arms, legs, ears, tails and then any other parts such as horns. Eyes and noses should always be added last to help create a welcoming face.
Check out TOFT’s full range of toy patterns, kits and books at www.toftuk.com