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Knitted Toys: 21 Easy-to-Knit Patterns for Irresistible Soft Toys Hardcover – August 1, 2004

19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

back cover

A superb collection of over 20 delightful toys, from finger puppets and cuddly teddy bears to rag dolls and a cheerful clown

Clear and easy-to-follow patterns, with full knitting instructions

Includes extra patterns for clothes for toys

About the Author

Fiona McTague is a successful knitwear designer and the author of several popular knitting books. Her patterns have been commissioned by several magazines, such as Rowan Magazine, Marie Claire, Elle, Good Housekeeping and Women's Weekly.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764157663
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764157660
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #821,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By N. Sutherland on February 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I think the projects are cute, in their own suspended reality way--I wouldn't say the dolls and toys are "beautiful" designs, but they are cute and sure to be loved. There are PLENTY of pictures of different angles of each project, which is very useful. The patterns don't seem to require many "tricks-of-the-trade," which means they are easy to knit, that is the acutal knitting and purling. I think many of the patterns could make better use of knitting-in-the-round to eliminate some of the otherwise MANY seams that these projects have. But then that wouldn't appeal to those intimidated by double-pointed needles; so if you like dpns, take the initiative and use them anyway, otherwise, just do what the pattern says and sew up ALL those seams, some very short and in/on tiny places ;p I also think I-cords would be better for the legs & antennea of the bugs & catapillar finger puppets, but you choose.

Gripe #2: This book is yarn biased: mostly Rowan & Jaeger. Plus all the yarn details are listed together at the beginning of the book, which means if you want to substitute yarns you have to make an extra effort (dirty rotten commerce controlers...) Plus some of the yarn weights listed are unclear, missing, or plain wrong: FYI the Jaeger Shetland used to make the adorable Dog Draft Cheater is really an Aran or Worsted weight, not "chunky" like the yarn index says. Can you imagine chunky yarn on US3 needles?! On the other hand, I was surprised to find that many of the yarns used are sportweight & DK which may not produce a thick enough fabric to keep the stuffing from showing through on the larger projects, you can even see this in some of the pictures; so stuff less than they did or consider using worsted instead, except on the bugs and finger puppets.

Bottom-line: The projects are cute, and I will knit them, but I think you need to be able/willing to think just a bit beyond the printed pattern.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By J. Butler on May 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I totally agree with the other review- I have now made 3.5 projects from the book (duck, pig, lady bug & panda) and found errors (some very minor and some rather drastic and confusing) in almost every one. Sometimes it seems you just have to use common sense over what the pattern seems to say. I have looked for corrections on the web but have been unsucessful. One would hope that if they are going to publish a book they would have someone check the patters (often times the math doesn't add up- number of stitches in the pattern row vs the number listed at the end- and sometimes it is hard to know which number to trust- espeically on the panda arms). I love the animals that I have produced, but wish it was more straight forward to do so.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. DeMoville on June 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The toys are just precious, and if they're too "gaudy" for you, play with the color palette and make 'em what YOU like! Also, you can use ANY yarn you want for a toy --- c'mon, a difference in gauge will only make a bigger or smaller toy! It doesn't have to fit anyone. :)

I found the pattern instructions easy to follow. There is a lot of seaming though, and I think the author could have included clearer seaming instructions (as opposed to "join pieces together"). I've tried lots of methods and haven't been able to come up with one that produces seams as neat and pretty as the photos in the book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Janet on June 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
These toys have real personality. The author has an artist's eye and a sculptor's touch. These patterns knit up into animals that people can't believe are hand-made. I have knitted several of them so far to RAVE REVIEWS, and not just from the adults. The kids adore them too.

This book is perfect for me. I am an advanced beginner knitter and an advanced beginner sewer. I get bored easily. And I don't care for double pointed needles (though I wouldn't say "intimidated" is the right word"). So I LOVE making lots of little pieces and figuring out how to fit them together.

I agree with the other reviewers that writing out the instructions row-by-row is helpful -- but so what? Is there a better way to get familiar with the pattern? And I'd rather see lots of good, clear photos than lengthy, roundabout, written sewing instructions.

Sure, there's the occasional mistake (easily corrected by someone with a little bit of knitting experience) and the gauges aren't always exactly accurate. But, luckily, stuffed animals don't have to fit anyone, so if a bunny is a little shorter and fatter or a dog is a little longer and narrower, it doesn't matter. And since knitted work is elastic, two pieces are easy enough to fit together even if the gauge is a little off. If you are obsessive (like I am), you can always knit a swatch, measure it, and adjust the number of stitches or rows.

And let's cut knitting authors a break for using brand names. Movie producers use product placements just to make a few more bucks on multi-million dollar films. Why shouldn't an author have a little sponsorship? Let's face it, these books aren't best sellers. The yarns recommended are very nice, and if you can't substitute one brown worsted for another you should be buying kits instead of books.

Hooray for Fiona McTague!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By blakdove on November 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Personally, I like alot of the projects in this book, and I like that they're so colorful -- you're making this for children, after all. I'm not crazy about the dolls or some of the animals, but I like about half the projects, which is pretty good. They do look very handmade, which gives them character, but some of them just look sloppy and unpolished, but that's just me.


-Nice, clear pictures of the finished products, from different angles.
-Pretty easy patterns
-Easy-to-follow directions
-Good variety of projects: you have animals (some have clothes), (including two bunnies, two teddies, penguin, pig, monkey, turtle, zebra, duck, a big long puppy, and fish); dolls with clothes (a boy and a girl, a clown, a fairy/angel decorative toy, and a princess); several varieties of finger puppets; decorative little bugs; and a ball for babies.


-WHY does one need three varieties of finger puppets? Honestly, I could have figured out the variations by myself.
-Some of the toys look TOO handmade, but that's just a matter of personal taste
-I have this book in Russian translation, so I'm not sure if the problem exists in the English book, but some critical instructions are missing. For example, for the monkey's arms, it never says how many rows to knit, and for the fish, it doesn't say to make TWO body pieces.
-Some instructions are nebulous (Are we increasing or making a stitch?)
-Poor joining/assembly instructions. You can figure it out by looking at the pictures of the finished products, though.

None of the projects are very complicated to knit. You need to know how to cast on and off, knit, purl, increase, and decrease to make most if not all of these toys. The only difficulty comes in seaming and assembly, but that's a matter of patience rather than skill.
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