Alan Dart’s diverse craft work has appeared in numerous magazines, he has written several books, and has taught knitwear design at art colleges, along with demonstrating crafts on two children’s television series. Currently his toy designs appear each month in Simply Knitting magazine.
This site provides a one-stop shop where you will find Alan’s designs, both old and new, together with news of forthcoming patterns. By visiting the Toy Patterns page you can easily view, select, and download original PDF files from an ever-increasing range of designs, starting at only £2.50 each.
There are well over a hundred patterns on this website from which you can make your choice, and if you visit the Toy Patterns page you will find them organised into groups so you can go straight to the pattern you want. However, if you prefer to scroll through the entire list, then this option is also available to you. The patterns are listed alphabetically by default, but you can opt to have them arranged by price or date, in ascending or descending order, by choosing these in the ‘Order Patterns’ boxes, and then clicking on the ‘Sort’ button. After placing your order, and as soon as your payment has been approved by PayPal, you will be returned to the website where your patterns will be waiting for you to download and save. You can read how to download and save a pattern file to your computer, tablet or other device on the FAQ page of this website. If you find that the Transaction Results page is empty when you are redirected to the website, all you need to do is simply wait for a minute and reload the page in your browser, then the download icons will appear and you will be able to collect your patterns. You will also receive a Purchase Receipt by email, giving you details of your order. Below you can watch a short YouTube video, which will show you just how simple it is to place an order and collect your patterns.
“The yarn shades quoted are those I used when designing each pattern and, whenever possible, I substitute any discontinued shade with a suitable alternative before adding a pattern to the website. However, yarn spinners discontinue colours on a regular basis, so you may find that some are now unavailable, and if you are unable to source a specified colour then you can simply choose a similar shade in a yarn of a matching weight. Most of my patterns are knitted in standard double knitting (DK) yarn, with just a few requiring Aran or Chunky weight yarns, and there are many spinners who produce these basic yarns. The majority of the patterns only use small amounts of each colour, so you may even have left-over yarn from other projects that you could use rather than buy full balls.
Please have a look at the separate page on this website that showcases The Piggles, who made their first appearance in Woman’s Weekly as fabric toys. Malcolm Bird and I created the characters over ten years ago, and now, for the first time, you can knit your own Piggles, with their removable clothes, from the two patterns that are available exclusively from my website. I have also written some stories, and Malcolm has illustrated the first of these, which is now available as an eBook from the iBookstore. Do take a few minutes to explore the Piggle page, where you will be able to learn more about the Piggles and get the opportunity to bring the lovable trio into your life.
As Easter is drawing near, Mother Goose would make a perfect springtime gift, especially if you added a chocolate egg wrapped in gold foil or maybe a book of nursery rhymes. If you are making this toy for a baby or a toddler, and would prefer it to be completely soft, then omit the pince-nez and walking cane, and leave out the drinking straws which stiffen the legs. Of course, if you do this then Mother Goose won’t stand, but will be cuddly and huggable. You could also knit the hat and shawl in shades of pale blue or pink if you decide to make her as a christening, or new baby, present.
If you feel like using your knitting skills to create a random act of kindness, then please visit www.thelittleyellowduckproject.org and download my free pattern for a knitted yellow duck. The plan is to leave your handcrafted creations in public places for others to discover and keep, and you can download a tag to attach to your duck, inviting the finder to visit the website and register where they found it. The project’s aim is to heighten awareness of the importance of blood, bone marrow and organ and tissue donation, and to encourage more people to register and pledge a truly life-changing, and sometimes life-saving, gift. The pattern is very simple, and quick to knit, so even if you’re a beginner knitter you will be able to join in and be part of this heartwarming project.
I have also designed a pattern of Percy the Pigeon, a character who appears in the children’s book, Matty-boy and the Secret Pigeon Racket by Anita Hunt, part of the proceeds of which will be donated to an anti-bullying charity. You can download the pattern for free by visiting www.areyoubeingbullied.com and clicking on ‘Knit a Percy’ in the top menu and following the instructions.
Although Haiti suffered its devastating earthquake in 2010, the country and people are still in desperate need of aid, so please look at my Haitian Ada pattern on the Toy Patterns page of this website. This pattern is free to download, but I am hoping that you will either make a donation for the pattern, or knit up the toy to sell and send the money you receive, to one of the funds that have been set up to help those who have been affected by this life-changing disaster. I know many of you will want to do something to help, and the last page of the pattern can be printed on thin card to make four tags which you can attach to your toys and provide a bit of information.
Happy toymaking!”Another pattern released April