Type of item: Toy
Style: Whimsical, Funky, Cute
Acrylic yarn, washable polyester stuffing
What was your inspiration?
I have seven grandchildren and now two great-grandchildren as well (Heaven help me!), so what more inspiration did I need? Jean Greenhowe designs and publishes wonderful knitting patterns for all kinds of toys, which only require a basic knowledge of knitting (casting on, plain, purl, increasing, decreasing and casting off) so they are very easy to do. Although her "Red Nose Gang" clowns look complicated, they are a joy to make as the legs, body, head and hat are all knitted in one piece, changing the colours as necessary and the brim of the hat, feet, arms and other bits and pieces are added afterwards. I like the fact that once I've knitted and stuffed the main piece and have put the feet on (with cardboard inserts) the clown (which is quite large - 19 inches from soles of shoes to top of hat) stands beside me, waiting for his hat brim, his hair, his nose and all his other bits and pieces!
What are you most proud of?
The happy feeling he gives the children when they play with him, and the fact that he stands up on his own. I've made several of these now, and will post pictures of some of the others on Craftsy to give anyone who hasn't discovered Jean Greenhowe inspiration to have a go at making some.
What advice would you give someone starting this project?
Use bright colours and stuff, stuff and stuff again (apart from his arms), so that he is really solid and doesn't bend over. If you want him to stand up, put cardboard insoles in his shoes, but remember that he won't be as washable if you do! Don't be daunted at the number of "accessories" needed to finish the toy - they are a joy to make and are so, so simple! I've now made a number of these clowns and have found them very cheering and therapeutic to make. Jean Greenhowe's patterns should be easily available via the internet - just Google her name and see what comes up!