I found a couple of vintage knitted stuffed toys recently and just had to have them (or at least have them for a little while). They didn’t come together, but are about the same size, and are the only two knitted stuffed toys I have ever come across, though I have seen lots of patterns for them.
I don’t know a lot about them, as knitting and toys aren’t my areas of textile expertise by a long shot (if you do, please speak up!), but though they were too cute not to share.
The first one dates back to at least the 1940s, and probably a little earlier.
Isn’t it adorable! It’s just so cute and simple and cunning!
It’s pure wool, and, except for the beak, is worked all in one simple stitch – very characteristic of early 20th century knitted items, including toys.
I’ve seen patterns for similar stuffed toys in pre WWII women’s magazines, but haven’t seen this exact pattern.
It doesn’t look like it was every really used or carried around – there is no wear or pilling, and no fading.
The second stuffed toy is a little trickier to date, but just as adorable.
Don’t you just love his sweet little face! And his perky tilted-to-one-side hat! The hat even has a tassle!
Unlike the owl, the soldier is knitted in at least four different stitches, which definitely means it was made by a much more experienced knitter. It also implies that the soldier is from a later date than the owl, as stitch use and toy design became more sophisticated as the 20th century moved forward.
The soldier is also pure wool yarn. While the owl toy is pristine, the soldier has a little wear around the neck, like a little kid carried it around in the crook of their arm for weeks on end. D’aww!