Product Type: Jean Greenhowe Art / Craft
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Jean Greenhowe Designs Knitted Toy Patterns
Member Name: kingfisher111
Jean Greenhowe Designs Knitted Toy Patterns
Date: 02/11/08, updated on 28/08/11 (1062 review reads)
Advantages: easy to follow, very cretive
This might appear that it is going to be a bit of an old fashioned review as it's all about knitting which seems to be a dying art although I think it is making a bit of a revival amongst some young people. My mother hs always knitted and she taught me when I was quite a small child starting off with the typical doll's blanket. Once I had mastered the basic stitches I really loved knitting as it can be very therapeutic and it's lovely to see something grow out of a ball of wool. I am also one of those people who hate to sit doing nothing and knitting is a great thing to do while you are sitting and watching TV.
However, although I enjoy knitting I don't really enjoy making jumpers and cardigans, much preferring the designs you can buy in the shops. About fifteen yers ago when my eldest niece was born I discovered some great knitting patterns for making toys - produced by Jean Greenhowe - and I have never looked back!
I discovered that you can make the most amzing toys just so long as you can folow a pattern and can use the basic stitches. The patterns come in books which are generally themed and these booklets cost about £3.50 each. You can knit great big red nose clowns, various animals that come in all sizes and fairy tale characters to name but a few.
I started by buying a booklet called Jean Greenhowe's traditional favourites and this contained patterns for all the old fashioned nursery type toys like a tedy bear, humpty dumpty, a clown and a sailor doll. I made virtually all the toys in this book for various children's presents and they all went down a treat! It's wonderful to see these toys starting to take shape as you are knitting. What I really like is the attention to details in the patterns. One favourite is a doll called Emily who wears an old fashioned dress with a frilly collar. She has ringlets in her hair with ribbons and on the top of her head she wears a straw boater with pink roses. Every single item is knitted and they are all very clever. Nothing is too difficult although some of the sewing up can be a bit fiddly and you do need an enormous amount of patience!
Virtually everything is made using double knitting wool. This can vary in price enormously but I do find that market places are very good for picking up wool that little bit cheaper. Also, you should save every little bit of wool you have as some of the smaller details such as making roses require hardly any wool at all. You also need to buy stuffing which you can get at any good craft shops and there are tons of places you can order from on the internet.
Since starting to make these toys all those years ago I have acquired quite a few of the other patterns and made lots more toys. I never seem to run out of children to make them for although I have to admit that since having my children I have made far less due to not having enough time.
I have made a whole family of scarecrows, Father Christmases, a topsy turvey Cinderella doll which my daughter loves and my favourites - some really humourous red nosed clowns. These stand quite high at about 45 cm. There are five different designs taht come in a booklet called The Red Nose Gang. The five clowns are Sidney Slapstick (a painter), Godfrey Gadabout (a birdwatcher), O Yummy (a chef), Mr Forty Winks who is ready for bed and Bertie Bloomer (a gardener). All of these follow the same basic pattern but it's the detail of all the accessories that really make these special. While making them I have made paint pots, a ladder, paint splodges, a watering can, a packet of seeds, toothpaste, carrots, a hot water bottle and so it goes on. I can't begin to tell you just how clever these designs are.
My toys that I am most proud of though are a couple of golfing clowns which I made to be prizes at a local golf competition. These are just as big and come wearing golf shoes, plus fours and carriy a golf bag complete with golf clubs and a rolled up umbrella!
To get a better idea of what all these look like you can visit the website at
You can also download some of the simpler patterns to try before embarking on any of the bigger projects.
These dolls are all very special and you do get a tremendous sense of achievement when you complete any of them. If you enjoy knitting and know young children it's definitely worth taking a look.
Summary: Fab toys to make for little ones!
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