Our resident knitter Sue Stratford takes a sentimental look at why family heirlooms are so special.
When I hear that a loved one is having a baby, my first thought is to make something. As a child I had a lot of handmade gifts because my mum’s friend was a toymaker and used to send things for me – I particularly remember a collection of corduroy mice where she’d made each one in a different fabric. I still have them and used to let my children play with them when they were small, although I always put the mice away quickly afterwards! My mum also made the most beautiful dolls; each one had a wardrobe of clothes and I still treasure them now. There are so many toy patterns out there, and even if you’ve recently started knitting don’t despair – they may look hard but you can find some easy and straightforward projects that will make a lovely toy to be treasured. Years ago I made a blanket with a tiny teddy for a friend’s baby. The child – although now grown up – still has it and her mum often mentions the special gift that I made for her. My school friend had a bear made by her grandmother; over the years it had been darned and mended so many times that you couldn’t really tell what it was, but she still loved it. In the end, there wasn’t much left of the original, so her mum made a knitted onesie to hold it all together! Toys hold memories not just for the child you give them to, but also for the parent. I’ve kept a few of my children’s toys and every time I come across them I remember happy times when they were little. It’s amazing to be able to pass on something you’ve made to the next generation and see them love it. I urge you to give it a go!
Are you making for a little one? Check out these FREE baby toys!