Hand knitted toys are generally quite unique as every one you make will be just a little bit different.
Making toys can be very simple or extremely complex, depending on what you what to make. Some toys, like beany babies, are made by knitting 'tubes' that are stuffed and shaped by tying yarn around the tube to make necks, wrists etc.
Others, like toy monkeys, are rather complex as you need to know how to knit using double pointed needles to make fingers.
© Konstantin Ryabitsev | Flickr- Knitted Toy Rabbit
So what are you going to make?
There are any number of different toys or toy accessories that you can make for your baby.
You can make anything from a simple ball with a bell insert so that it make a noise when your baby plays with it, to jointed teddy bears complete with a full outfit!
I checked my local stores and had a bit of trouble finding pattern books for toys, but never fear - there are many, many books available online. Here are just a few that are available from Amazon.
Alternatively, you could try searching Etsy for knitting patterns for toys. I tried and found a couple of wonderful patterns for cute bunnies and one for a baby dragon!
Although I am a big fan of natural fibres, most of the toys I have made were made with man-made fibres i.e., acrylics and nylon, for a very good reason. Unless your knitted toys are going to be sitting on a shelf, never to be played with, they are going to get dirty!
Babies and small children are gloriously grubby!
© Knitting Crochet Wool - My Knitted Lamb
The toys will be dropped on the ground, dribbled on and touched with biscuit-covered fingers - they will get very dirty and will need to be washed fairly regularly.
Toys made with man-made fibres can be thrown in the washing machine and then into the dryer, whereas toys knitted with natural fibres should be washed by hand and left to dry naturally.
If your handmade toy becomes a favorite with your baby, waiting for a whole day (or more) for their favorite toy to be washed and dried can be a tiresome exercise for both you and the baby!
If your baby suffers from allergies and you are looking for a hypoallergenic alternative, I suggest that you use alpaca yarn to knit your toys.
The fibre from an Alpaca is more like hair than wool and is lighter and silker than sheeps wool. Alpaca fleeces come in a range of colors from a very dark chocolate brown to light fawns, silver and white, although commercially prepared Alpaca yarn comes in just about any colour that you can think of!
There is also no natural lanolin in alpaca fibres so it is also hypoallergenic.
Washed and carded alpaca fleece can also be used to stuff or fill your toy. A bit expensive perhaps but the end result will be a super soft toy that will be completely safe for your baby!