How to Make a Knitted Doll or Soft Toy Without a Pattern
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How to Make a Knitted Doll or Soft Toy Without a Pattern

Make a knitted soft toy or doll without a pattern? It's not nearly as hard as it sounds, so don't be intimidated. Follow a few simple rules and watch the soft toy form under your fingers. A few adjustments and it's a rabbit; a few different ones and it's a bear.

Once you've made a knitted doll starting with the legs, you can make it look like anything you want without a pattern. Make a few adjustments to the face and add ears and tails. A rabbit? Make long, floppy ears and a fluffy tail. A teddy bear? Rounded ears, short tail. A monkey? Round ears, long tail.

Easy enough to say, right? It's almost that easy to do once you get your idea going.

Decide how fat and how long you want the legs to be. For instance, a baby doll will need fatter, shorter legs than a monkey. Use the double point needle and yarn combination of choice and make a swatch. You have to make a swatch if you want it to look like what you want it to look like!

Measure the gauge, then figure how many inches around you want the legs. Using your finger or a banana or whatever seems the right size, measure around it, then figure how many stitches it will take to get that size. Cast on the stitches, divide on three needles and simply work until the first leg is long enough. Put the cast on tail of yarn onto a needle and stitch around the bottom, then pull the yarn tight and fasten off. Pull the remaining yarn inside the leg. Put the top of the leg on a stitch holder that you can knit from and make the second leg.

When they're both completed (count rounds to be sure they're the same length), stuff them, then knit across the front of the first leg and continue knitting across the front of the second leg. Divide the remaining stitches on two needles so that they meet in the center back and continue knitting around until the body is as long as you want it. Stitch the crotch together before you stuff the body, which needs to be done as you work it.

When the body is as long as you want it, knit two together around the next round, then knit one or two rounds for the neck, and the next round, increase one stitch in every stitch. Knit each round until the head is as long as you want it. BUT, for an animal you will want to create a nose. Put the nose about two thirds of the way down the face. An estimate is good enough, since you won't have completed the face before making the nose. As you work, mark the center face stitch and count out two stitches on each side. When you get to the five nose stitches, knit them, then turn your work and purl them, then turn your work and finish knitting the round. Knit one round. The next time you come to the nose stitches, knit the center three stitches, turn and purl, then turn and continue around. Knit one round, and the next time, only do the center one stitch.

Continue the head until it's about two thirds as long as you want it, then stuff and begin decreasing.

On the first decrease round, knit to within three stitches of the end of the first needle, knit two together, knit one. On the second needle, knit one, slip one, knit one and pass the slipped stitch over, then knit to within three stitches of the end of the needle and knit two together. Continue this way to the end of the round, then knit one round even.

Repeat the last two rounds until there are about three or four stitches left on each needle. Stuff the head, then cut the yarn, thread a needle and draw it through the remaining stitches, pulling it up firmly.

Make the arms the same way as the legs, but shorter for most figures. Cast off and sew the body edge of the arm closed flat, then sew it to the body, almost at the neck.

There. It's done. All you have to do is embroider the features, add hair if you like and add ears if necessary. A round ear for a teddy bear is made by casting on a few stitches, increasing on the outside edge on the first or second row, knitting a row, then decreasing on the outside edge for a couple of rows before binding off.

Long ears are made the same way, except, knit as many rows as needed between the increase row and the decrease rows. For a rabbit ear, continue the decrease rows until the ear comes to a point. Sew the ears to the head.

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