First and foremost: Whatcha makin’?
Today I have chosen to spotlight one of my favourite designers… UK designer Alan Dart, who specializes in knitted toys. His designs are highly detailed and often whimsical, and I adore his patterns. His patterns often appear in Simply Knitting magazine, and he sells pdf downloads on his website.
Having made some items from his patterns, I can attest with first-hand knowledge that they are a royal pain in the ass. They’re well written and easy to follow, but every part is knit as a separate piece. Each individual piece is knit flat and then seamed and stuffed. Then it all must be sewn together to form the completed toy. I assume knitting flat allows for more detailed shaping than knitting in the round, which is what elevates his designs from mere toys into decorative objects. I would consider some of his designs heirloom pieces because of the sheer amount of work that would go into making them. It is time consuming, fiddly work. But it is oh so worth it.
I am especially taken with his series of mice in costumes. Clockwise from top left: Medieval Mice, Cirque de Souris, Aladdin Mice, Silent Movie Mice, and Snow White Mice.
He has a darling assortment of holiday patterns. Clockwise from top left: Duckling Easter Parade, Spooky Spider, Celebration Turkeys, Carolling Penguins, Jultomtar & Teeny Tomte (I’ve made these, I’ll post pics in the comments), Santa Mobile, Mr. and Mrs. Christmas, and Witch and Cat.
He also has an assortment of people, many of which are pulled from literature, fairy tales, folklore, and nursery rhymes. Here are Romeo and Juliet, a pirate, and the Green Man.
There is such a wide variety of patterns available on his site, it’s worth it to click over there and peruse them. There are far more than I can include here. He has also done some licensed characters. Sadly, the patterns for those are not for sale. I am again especially taken with his series of Wallace and Gromit patterns, that were published in a magazine: