This project was one of the few commissions I’ve done to date. A friend forwarded me a tweet from one of his friends seeking someone to knit a project on request. I got in touch with the friend of a friend, Andrew, to ask more about what he had in mind. Andrew said that one of his friends was expecting his first baby, a boy, and he wanted to gift the new father with a doll of a Nottingham Forest footballer. Having knitted a teddy bear once before, I figured I was up to the challenge of another soft toy so we agreed to go ahead.
My first search for a footballer doll pattern lead me to the wonderful Jean Greenhowe and her book of Mascot Dolls. I’ve never felt more fortunate because the footballer was absolutely perfect and even pictured in exactly the right colour strip for Nottingham Forest!
Designer: Jean Greenhowe
Publication: Mascot Dolls
Yarn: King Cole Dollymix DK
Shades: White (1), Red (9), Taupe (37), Black (48), Flesh (149)
Ravelry: Nottingham Forest Footballer Doll
- How cute is this pattern?! Every single example in the booklet is beautifully crafted to be a wonderful little caricature of almost any mascot you could want.
- Full marks to King Cole for having such a great set of colours and in little 25g balls, they are just perfect for this kind of project. I can’t recommend Dollymix DK enough if you need to do a soft toy like this one.
- Also a glowing mention for Knit Nottingham, for having all the exact colours I needed in stock. Thanks, Eleanor!
- On request, I altered a couple of things in order to make the doll look a little bit like Stuart Pearce. Firstly I changed the hair to brown and secondly I embroidered a number 3 on the back of the shirt. Not a bad little set of adjustments!
- I don’t think my stuffing skills are quite up to scratch yet, so I didn’t quite do this guy justice. Still, not a bad job for only the second soft toy I’ve ever made.
- Unfortunately I think the hair looks better in black, as it takes the edge off the stitch definition a bit more and gives a softer appearance, but not to any great detriment in the final result.
- The facial details (including ears) were a bit fiddly and not my best work.
- There was a lot of making up to be done in this project. Many seams to be sewn up, embellishments to be sewn on, and ends to be sewn in. If, like me, you pick up any of the patterns from this booklet, allow plenty of time for your finishing phase as it took me quite a long time, due to a combination of a lot of work and, towards the end, a lack of motivation to keep my yarn needle moving!
- Jean Greenhowe is a masterful designer and I cannot recommend her patterns enough if you have any little ones to knit for. You are bound to find something they’ll love in her library, including firemen, ballerinas, cowboys, fairies, and much more.
- Some more practise on stuffing soft toys and embroidering fine detail is probably required for future.
- Yes, finishing remains my nemesis.