Apr 302012
 

It should be obvious to everyone by now that I love making toys.  There is a moment that occurs in toy making that is so satisfying when you take this limp, two dimensional piece, stuff it full of guts and let it’s final shape bloom.  It’s like the moment of birth for a toy!  One of my biggest pet peeves about knit toys are when they aren’t stuffed properly.  I get so disproportionally annoyed by it, I can’t even fully express it.  I thought I’d show how I go about giving a toy its innards in case anyone is curious.

Here is the beginning of a toy.  Eventually this will be part of a new pattern, but for now I’ll leave it as an abstract.  Anyway, I depending on how large the toy is, I usually like to stuff as I go.  My general rule of thumb is that I always want to be able to stuff with my fingers, so I never leave the to-be-stuffed part deeper than my fingers can reach in.  In the photo below the part of the toy before the bend has already been stuffed.  The stuffing to the right is the amount that will fill in the rest.


Here is all the stuffing pressed into the toy.  I pushed the stuffing down firmly, really compacting it.  See how it made ladders?  Eek!


Here you can see how much it’s pressed down.  You want a well stuffed toy but this is too much.  If you had a dark yarn you’d have little spots of the light stuffing showing through.  To me this is worse than someone chewing tinfoil while dragging their nails on a chalkboard.  Chills up my spine, I tell you!


I have never personally milked a cow but I’ve seen it done plenty.  For those of you who know the motion I’m talking about, this is about what I do with my toys to get the stuffing situated properly.  Starting at the bottom, squeeze and stretch the toy, pressing the stuffing upward.  Roll the object back and forth between your fingers to move the stuffing up.  When you see no more ladders, you’re good!


See how much better that looks!  Nice and smooth with even stitches.  Ahh, I love it.


Here you can see how much the stuffing was pushed up.  It may not look like that much of a change from here but it makes a ton of difference in the feel of the finished product.


So, people, don’t overstuff!  When in doubt, too little stuffing is way better than too much.  We neurotic toy people thank you.

 

 

 April 30, 2012  knitting, tutorial Tagged with: , , ,  2 Responses »