Welcome!

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. For eleven years his knitted toy designs also appeared every month in Simply Knitting magazine.

This secure site provides a one-stop shop where you will find Alan’s knitted toy designs, both old and new, some of which are exclusive and can only be bought from the website. 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 and going up to £4.00 for patterns that were created exclusively for the website.

There are over two hundred knitting 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, save and print out. 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. Should 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 and another oppportunity to download your pattern files. 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.

DISCONTINUED YARNS

“The yarns and shades quoted are those I used when designing each pattern and, whenever possible, I have substituted any discontinued shade with a suitable alternative before adding a pattern to the website. However, yarn spinners discontinue colours on a very 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.

Unfortunately Sirdar have decided to discontinue Snuggly Snowflake DK and Chunky after them having been part of their basic range for a great many years. You can find suggestions for alternative yarns by clicking on these links: https://yarnsub.com/yarns/sirdar/snuggly_snowflake_dk and https://yarnsub.com/yarns/sirdar/snuggly_snowflake_chunky. Alternatively, you can either use standard DK or Chunky yarn, or any textured DK-weight or Chunky-weight yarn, as a substitute, although it is wise to knit a small square first to check your tension against that stated in the pattern and adjust your needle size, if necessary.

Similarly, Patons have now discontinued Whisper, and Sirdar have discontinued both Foxy and Funky Fur. However, there are still quite a few eyelash-style yarns available, and there is an online store called Ice Yarns that has a great many eyelash yarns on offer, and you can view them here: https://www.iceyarns.com/eyelash_yarns#inc813

Should you need to find substitutes for any discontinued yarns you can enter the yarn name into a search on the Yarn Sub website https://yarnsub.com/ and you will be given suggestions for the closest match.

Due to the constant, and sometimes frustrating, discontinuation of yarns and shades by spinners, starting at the beginning of 2021 all my new patterns simply quote the yarn weight and give generic colour names so you will be able to either buy something similar from your local yarn store, or even find a suitable oddment in your yarn stash.

WEBSITE’S 12th YEAR

My website went live on 1st June 2008, so it is now twelve years old, and I would like to thank you so much for all your support and custom, which is what has made it a success. I now no longer work for magazines, so in future any new designs I create will only be available to download from the website, and I hope you will continue to enjoy knitting my patterns. Thanks again!

THE PIGGLES

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.

THE WEBSITE’S LATEST PATTERN

We all know from the song that a mouse lives in a windmill in old Amsterdam, but how many of us realise that there are Mill Village Mice** all over the Netherlands who dress in folk costumes and carry out traditional Dutch trades? In this latest collection there are five such mice – a Flour Miller, a Bulb Grower, a Cheese Porter, a Delft Potter and a Clogmaker – all just waiting to be invited into your home. Very small amounts of yarn are needed, so you may already have enough in your yarn stash to make one or more of them, and what a great gift they would make for anyone who has enjoyed a holiday in the Netherlands or who lives in that lovely, friendly country … or maybe even someone whose job matches that of one of the mice.

INSTAGRAM

Follow @alan-dart on Instagram to see seasonal designs and extra photos of some of the patterns on this website. In the future there will also be photos of work in progress and advance warning of new designs yet to come. Please consider clicking on the heart because every ‘like’ is  very much appreciated!

KNIT FOR CHARITY

From 1st April 2020, 100% of all proceeds from the sale of the Doctor and Nurse pattern on this website will be donated to NHS Charities Together. The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has affected the lives of so many people, especially the medical staff of the National Health Service, who have put themselves at risk on the front line to care for those who have contracted this virus. They deserve a huge applause and our eternal gratitude, and by buying this pattern you are directly contributing to the charity’s fund, and even more so if you knit and sell the toys to raise further donations. UPDATE! During the time this pattern has been sold in aid of charity, from 1st April 2020 to 1st March 2021, your donations have raised £1330.00, which has now been donated to the NHS. Many thanks to everyone who has bought the pattern to support this project. Stay safe, take care and keep well.

During our lifetime many of us will come into contact with cancer, either directly or through a friend or relative. Nowadays, thanks to enormous advances in research, treatment can be offered to either cure or manage the condition. The Christie in Manchester, England, is the largest cancer treatment centre of its kind in Europe and an international leader in research and development. Guardian Angel**, which you will find on the Toy Patterns page, has been designed for you to knit and give as a small token to offer support and comfort to anyone who is, or has been, affected by cancer, and the total proceeds from the sale of this pattern will be donated directly to The Christie NHS Charitable Trust to aid further research, treatment, care and education. LATEST NEWS! From 13th March 2018 to 1st March 2021, sales of this pattern have amounted to £1536.00, which has been donated to The Christie Charity on your behalf. Thank you for your much-appreciated generosity, and why not consider knitting a Guardian Angel to give hope and cheer to someone you know who would appreciate your thoughtfulness.

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 overwhelming 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!”

A new pattern coming soon