This is Birch Doll, a totally cool creation by Courtney Spainhower. Spainhower says that “sweet, shy, willowy Birch is an artistic soul who prefers sitting quietly with his thoughts under blue skies.” I find him to be totally sweet. Those long limbs, so crucial to his look, are a tad fiddly to knit and stuff. But the overall effect is totally worth it. And the embroidered belly button? The perfect touch.

Birch Doll used to be a freebie available on Ravelry. It isn’t available anymore. So that’s the bad news. Check your Rav library because when it was first released quite a few Ravelers, including me, added it to our libraries or downloaded it. I can’t make the pattern available to you but if you’re an experienced toy maker I’m thinking you could reengineer it. I wasn’t able to find the pattern on the Wayback Machine–just the image. If you find the pattern there, please leave me a comment and I’ll add it to this post.

Birch Boy poses in a variety of endearing seemingly thoughtful ways.

I knit Birch Boy in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted. My only modification was to sew the arms onto the torso rather than button them in place. If a small child plays with Birch Boy I didn’t want to risk the buttons coming loose. But, for now, he’s on duty pondering the meaning of the universe perched in a prominent place in my new knitting room.

Birch Boy’s a little overwhelmed by all the company, preferring to keep his own counsel. In particular, Jutta (the bigger doll with the dreads) is bothering him because she keeps asking if he has alopecia or just shaved his head. Jutta can be a little snot, by the way.

Next up is…a purse?

Yep, until you open the drawstrings and fold down the picot-edged top to the bottom of the bag.

What little kid wouldn’t think this is just the cat’s meow?

It’s Frankie Brown’s freebie: Cradle Bag. I knit mine in Sandnes Garn Double Sunday, a merino DK-weight yarn. First time I’ve used it and I was impressed.

Brown’s pattern includes the cradle bag and a combo sleeping sack/pillow that fits perfectly inside the bag. It’s designed for a 5-inch baby doll. My only modification was to tighten up the gauge with a somewhat beefy DK yarn to stiffen the cradle some. I knit on size 3 US needles. Many who’ve knit this have made the same modification.

I’ve knit Cradle Bag once before and blogged about it here back in 2020. That bag was for my granddaughter and I made many of the clothes that Brown has designed for 5-inch dolls. The clothes, knit in fingering weight, make a wonderful addition to Cradle Bag if you’ve enough time to devote to the project.

Slug fest

Just a quickee post today. Aren’t these guys a hoot?

Slugs, knit in oddments of Noro Silk Garden, with Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride lips and eyeballs.

A great little pattern: Garden Slug by Ravelry’s Cheezombie. Her Etsy shop says she specializes in knit and crochet patterns “of the silly kind.”

This is a ridiculously quick knit. The only bit of a pain is that you need to weight the slug’s nether parts otherwise he falls forward on his eyeballs. I didn’t have any poly-beads available so I used some extra metal pieces left from an IKEA build. The metal bits make these not fit for small humans. But that’s not all that bad.

The slugs are a perfect gift for a gardener.

Alan my friendly crocodile

This is Alan. Ngoc Vu says that Alan is my friendly crocodile. Ngoc Vu lives in Ho Chi Minh (Ngoc Vu, not Alan) and she is the first Vietnamese knit designer whose patterns I’ve knit. Her English version Alan pattern is clearly written and free of errors. It’s extremely detailed and very long–28 pages–with gobs of great photo illustrations. Good golly, Miss Molly, it’s worth the read (and the knitting time)!

I typically prefer to work from paper patterns. I know, so old school. This time I decided to save some trees and print only about half the pages. When I needed help from the photos, I checked out the full pattern on my desktop or IPad.

I knit Alan in Plymouth Yarns DK Merino Superwash. It worked up very nicely in this pattern.

One of Alan’s excellent features is how his beefy tail keeps him balanced on his feet. It functions like a kickstand on a bike.

Alan, in all his 28-page glory, is totally worth the considerable time required to knit him. But brace yourself for a major sewing project when your knitting’s complete. Some of his parts could easily be knit in the round. Instead, I followed the pattern exactly on this my first knit. Well, except…after knitting Alan’s black sunglasses, I decided I didn’t want those totally cute cupcake-shaped croc eyes obscured by a pair of shades.

Ngoc Vu has a wonderful and very distinctive set of knit toy patterns available on Ravelry. Check them out here. Alan was my first knit from her collection. I’m especially taken with her Wild Bunny Amie and Angry Cat Labby.