Saturday, March 2, 2013

Alan Dart: Toy Designs

There must be thousands of knitted toy patterns available.  But the one designer of toy patterns who really stands out is Alan Dart. So I took a leap and started knitting up Baby Pearl just because she was so darned cute.

This is Mr. Dart's picture of Baby Pearl:

My first attempt at knitting up Baby Pearl went well until it came to her head.  I must have read the directions incorrectly because the top of her head was much too big.  After doing some scissor surgery, this is how she now looks.

Baby Pearl has five fingers on each hand and overalls that actually go over her body.  The overalls are not stuffed.

Her feet were knit in sock yarn, stuffed with fiberfill.

Since I knew that the doll's face was not knit correctly on the first attempt, I just had to knit it up again and correct that previous knitting mistake.  I used scrap white cotton yarn (Peaches and Cream).  But it was pure white, not a good color for a face.

So I dyed up the cotton pieces: ears, nose and face, in hot tea, letting it steep for a few minutes.  Then the pieces were allowed to dry on the clothes dryer, not in it.

The color was about right for an African American baby face, but she needed some hair.  What to do? Orange hair would not look right on this special baby.  So I plaited up some corn rows from black yarn and added beads at the end of each plait.

This second baby ended up looking adorable with her pink cheeks and button eyes.

Friend Natalie knitted an Alan Dart pattern called Batty (I think).  This is Natalie's Batty:

His feet in spats and his bib and cuffs accentuate his wing span.  Don't you love his ears?  What a great Halloween decoration.

If you are interested in making up a pattern from Mr. Dart, all of his patterns can be accessed here.

These nursery mice are some of my favorites:


  1. I have an Alan Dart mouse on my post right now. I loved knitting her! She was supposed to be a spring mouse, but I made her wooly and wintery. I get Simply Knitting from the UK because they always have an Alan Dart pattern. You did a great job, Nancy!

  2. I do like your rastafarian baby, the hair is brilliant! You are clever to be able to knit a face and give it character like this. I think this is so delightful. Betty

  3. WOW love these!!! Would be a fun challenge ro do!

  4. Nancy, these are adorable! I love them. I have looked at Alan Dart's site, and hope to get it to my mother (she's having computer troubles this week). My mother knits 'comfort dolls' for children of parents with AIDS, and for children in homeless shelters. They ship them to Africa, to needy children. And, she's always looking for ideas and patterns. I will certainly refer her to the site. This is all wonderful.

    Have a great weekend...hope you're staying warm-it's been pretty cool here in the lone star state!♥

  5. Very cute!! I want to try some of these, but there are so many things I want to do...

  6. How cute!!! I love to knit little animals-the mice are so sweet. You did a great job on both babies.

  7. oh they are all just so cute.great job

  8. I thought his toy model was a Vintage toy aged over time. Didn't know it was knitted until you mentioned it. Your first attempt was nice and the second very cute.


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