Do you want to learn a new skill that can help you relax and have fun at the same time? How about knitting a cute and cuddly stuffed animal for yourself or someone you love? Knitting a stuffed animal is not as hard as it may seem. All you need are some basic materials and skills, as well as a pattern and instructions to follow. In this article you will learn the whole process thoroughly.
How to knit a stuffed animal by yourself?
Before actually starting knitting a stuffed animal, there is some preparation work to do to make sure you're ready and have all the sufficient materials for the following processes.
What are knitting patterns?
Among all the preparation work, finding and choosing a pattern for the stuffed animal you're about to knit is probably the most important step. What is a knitting pattern? Simply saying, a knitting pattern is like a guidebook or set of instructions for a knitter, so he/she knows the size, pattern, and appearance of the intended stuffed animal. The knitting pattern will tell the knitter what kind of yarn is required, and the quantity and kind of yarn needed. Also, if you're making a stuffed animal, then the stuffing and other components are listed as well.
Choose and prepare your favorite pattern
Knitting patterns nowadays aren't hard to find, you can just open your search engine and type in the type of animal you want to knit and "stuffed animal knitting pattern" and many patterns will show up. Some of them are free, and some of them charge fees. Choose what you like and a relatively simple pattern to start with. Here's an example of online resources for knitting patterns: 25+ snuggleable stuffed animals to knit
You can also consider buying stuffed animals! Come to PlushThis for the best knitted stuffed animals.
Prepare the knitting materials you need
As mentioned above, knitting patterns will tell you what the fabrics and yarns are, including the stuffing and little widgets. You have to prepare all the materials in the proper amount that the patterns require. Besides those mentioned in the knitting pattern, remember to prepare the basic tools as well. Tools including scissors, measuring tape, stitch markers, and most importantly, knitting needles are typically must-haves for knitting.
Start knitting against the pattern
When all things are prepared, you can start knitting now! This is where most beginners quit, because even if they study and understand the knitting pattern, they wouldn't be able to actually repeat the pattern on their hands. Hold on still, don't quit halfway there yet, you're so very close to the gate of knitting fun, it'd be a pity if you quit here. Knitting the whole fabric of yarn balls does require some knitting basics and skills. It is not something the rookies can learn in 10 minutes. You need patience and practice to get to the threshold of knitting. (if you need more help, go check out the 6 Tips for Successfully Finishing Knitted Plush Toys section below)
Stuffing your stuffed animal with stuffing material
As you finish your stuffed animal's fabric out of yarn, you will find it hollow inside, so at this point, we're about to fill the stuffed animal with stuffing material. Usually, stuffing materials are recommended by the knitting patterns, yet you can choose the stuffing materials you like. Sometimes, you can even mix different materials together to make weighted stuffed animals.
Recommended filler materials
Like normal stuffed animals, if you want the stuffed animal to be soft and cuddly, you may choose:
- Polyester cotton（most common use）
- Natural plant fiber
- Tiny PVC particle(which creates a sand-like smooth fluid touch)
Unrecommended filler materials
- Sand: for knitted stuffed animals which don't have liners, plus handcrafting has relatively low quality control and large error, the stuffing is very likely to leak after a period of usage.
- Glass beads: glass beads are likely to get broken if the toy fall to the ground accidentally. If the glasses are broken, then the shards will penetrate through the fabric and might hurt you. Most importantly, once you seal the stitches, it's hard to tell if the glass beads are broken or not. The safest option is to quit using glass beads.
- Rag & paper (the way ancient stuffed animals are made): Using these two stuffing makes it extremely hard to clean up and wash. Rags are hard to dry up and paper won't even last through washing once. By the way, if you want to know more about how to wash stuffed animals, you can click the link to read the article.
6 Tips for Successfully Finishing Knitted Plush Toys
Patience and practice are needed to cultivate this hobby. Below are some tips for you to either improve your skills quickly or reduce the difficulty in some way.
Choose a less difficult pattern
Choose a less difficult pattern or say a more classic pattern can help you find the threshold and enter the gate faster. More specifically, a pattern that is simpler will demand less complicated knittings. Also, the patterns that demand less amount of yarn as usually easier to complete.
Choosing the right material
Choose the right material to knit your fabric. If you don't have very sophisticated skills in knitting, then stop trying to use materials that may increase your difficulty while knitting.
Fill with the appropriate amount of material
Fill the proper amount of stuffing material, not only based on what stuffing material you choose, but also based on the fabric you knitted. Too much stuffing will make the stuffed animal too hard and rigid, which is uncomfortable to hug and cuddle. You can't fill to less stuffing as well, since the stuffed animal will collapse if there's not enough support.
Checking the threads after production
First of all, don't leave the needles and other tools inside the knitted toys. Make sure you check the threads, knots, and stitches to make sure they don't come off and the stuffed animal will fall apart.
Finish off your plushie neatly
Close the stitches nicely and neatly. Make sure your stitching is not revealing, which will destroy the aesthetics of the stuffed animal.
Find a teacher & other solution
If you find it too difficult for you to knit things, still be patient, there are many tutorials online if you can't find a teacher to teach you. Here's an example of a tutorial that comes with images: How to Knit a Teddy Bear.
Here is also a link to Youtube video that can help you comprehend better:
If you just want to give up on knitted stuffed animals and still want to make a stuffed animal on your own, you can click the link to read about how to make stuffed animals with regular fabrics rather than knitted fabrics. That is relatively a lot easier, yet you can still experience the fun of making your own stuffed animals.
All in all, although knitting is something that requires a large amount of time to practice, it is still nice to cultivate this activity as a hobby. As long as you are patient enough and have a lot of spare time, then you are very likely getting your hands on knitting! Also, come to PlushThis for perfect and novel stuffed animal designs we created collaborating with AI technology! Maybe you will get some inspiration for your next knitted stuffed animal!