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.
There is now an extra-special new page on the website, and this 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 this 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. Please explore the new page, where you will be able to learn more about the Piggles and get the opportunity to bring the lovable trio into your life.
The first of this month’s two new patterns is for a cute little koala named Outback Ossie. His hat and waistcoat are removable, and the hat needs to be stiffened with hair spray, but if you prefer not to do this you could omit the stiffening and simply stuff the crown lightly then sew the hat to Ossie’s head. If you want to only make a cuddly koala toy then ignore the instructions for the hat and waistcoat. The lining for Ossie’s ears is knitted in eyelash yarn to give a fluffy effect, but you could just as easily use standard DK yarn for this if you are making the toy for a very young child.
Coming from the classic Italian children’s novel by Carlo Collodi, the second pattern is for Pinocchio, the wooden puppet who became a real boy. Pinocchio’s arms and legs are moveable, his elbows and knees bend, and his bottom is weighted with a small beanbag of PVC granules, so he will sit nicely on a shelf and you can pose his limbs. He’s renowned for fabricating farfetched stories to excuse his mischievous antics, so never trust his word and always check to see if his nose has grown longer, which is a sure way to detect if he’s been telling fibs.
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 September