“As it’s not always easy to buy my patterns in certain parts of the world, I am delighted to now be able to offer them quickly and at little cost through this website as downloadable PDF files. Once paid for, these patterns can then be downloaded, saved and printed out at home or read from your tablet.
I do not enter discussion forums, have a Facebook page, sell through any other online site, or have printed paper versions of my patterns in retail outlets, so this is the only place where you can buy my patterns directly from me.“
All the patterns in the Toy Patterns Shop are available as PDF downloads, and range from 5 to 28 pages each. Printed paper versions are not produced, and a mail order service is not possible. Each pattern includes photograph(s) of the finished toy, and the size of these have been kept small so as not to use too much of your ink. The number of photographs will vary from pattern to pattern, depending upon how many are available, as those in older designs were only taken as a reference before the toy was sent off to the magazine. However, patterns of recent designs contain more photographs, including close-up views of important details to help with the making-up process. The patterns cost from £2.50 each, which is payable through PayPal, either via your PayPal account or by using a credit or debit card.
VERY IMPORTANT! You must make sure to save the pattern file once you have downloaded it, as the number of times you can click on the link is limited, and you can’t simply open a link each time you want to continue working from the pattern on your tablet or phone, because the link will expire. If you save the file then you will be able to open it as many times as you wish, and you can read how to do this on the FAQ page of the website.
Once downloaded and saved, the patterns can be printed out on ordinary copy paper. There is at least one photograph on each pattern, so these pages could be printed on photo paper, if desired, to give a clearer image for reference.
Patterns marked with an asterisk* are a version exclusive to the website, and those marked with a double asterisk** are new designs that have been created exclusively for this site, and only available here.
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Please note that patterns of licensed characters are not available for downloading. For legal reasons, these could only appear once, either in a magazine feature or as a pattern leaflet, and since they are out of print and the licenses have expired these patterns are unavailable, so the only way you will now be able to obtain these licensed character patterns is if you can find original leaflets or magazine tear sheets being offered for sale. Please do not buy duplicated versions of these patterns because this is illegal, and they not only infringe Alan’s copyright but also violate the rights of the creators of the characters in question.
Some of the fancy yarns which were originally used for these designs have now been discontinued, but the majority are knitted to a standard double knitting tension, so provided you use a DK equivalent yarn you can substitute as you wish, with confidence in the knowledge that the pattern will still work. If you are unsure about the suitability of the yarn you have chosen, simply knit up a tension square and check the number of stitches and rows against those quoted in the pattern, adjusting if necessary by using smaller needles to increase the numbers or larger needles to decrease them. If you are unable to find the yarns you need for the projects in your local wool shop, then you can buy them online from LoveKnitting, and if you order before 4pm any weekday from Monday to Friday you will receive your beautifully-wrapped package the next day. Dianne’s Knitting Yarns also carry most of the yarns that are used for Alan’s patterns, and have a page giving details of the actual yarn amounts needed, along with his last few remaining Sirdar leaflets. The same company has a craft website called CraftBits, where you can find the safety toy eyes used for his dogs, cats, and teddy bears. There is no minimum order amount set by either of these companies, and they are happy to ship anywhere in the world. In the US, knitters can find the Sirdar and Hayfield yarns they will need, as well as many of the toy making tools used for Alan’s patterns, by visiting Knitting, Beads & Other Things. There is a section entirely devoted to Alan’s work, and you can locate this by clicking on ‘Alan Dart’ in the left-hand menu. Here you will find yarn kits in a bag for most of Alan’s designs, some of his out-of-print leaflets, together with current and back issues of Simply Knitting. This company also ships internationally, with no minimum order restriction.
The amounts of yarn quoted in the patterns are approximate, and are given as a guide only, because different qualities of yarn vary in weight – for example, wool weighs heavier than acrylic. Similarly, the amount of stuffing quoted is based on using Superfill hi-loft polyester stuffing from Dainty Supplies. Inferior fillings weigh much heavier and you will therefore end up needing more to stuff the toy.
Please do not be tempted to substitute dried peas or lentils for the PVC beanbag granules, which are available from Fred Aldous, as these can harbour mites and become unpleasant should the toy get damp.
Some people experience difficulty when knitting hands that have separate fingers, and this is mainly due to them assuming that they are constructed in a different manner, but if the instructions are followed precisely as written then the result will be perfect. Alan has prepared a free 6 page step-by-step fingered hands tutorial that can be downloaded by clicking here, and this will explain fully, in photographs and unabbreviated text, how these hands are knitted. Although the number of stitches and rows will differ depending upon which pattern you are using, the method of construction will always remain the same, so once you have knitted this test piece successfully you will be able to knit any of Alan’s designs that feature fingered hands.