The Family Monster

I think it’s time I introduced this this guy.


He’s been a member of the family since I was a little kid, when my aunt Ruth Ann sent him for Christmas and I ran screaming from him. I was too creeped out by this furry creature with wild eyes and sharp teeth to believe that he had really been handmade for me, so he was kind of adopted by the whole family like an unpleasant but well-mannered pet. Most recently I found him waiting for me on the bed when I visited my parents two weeks ago.

Of course now I think it’s pretty awesome that I had an aunt who made a toy for me, especially since I’ve made a career of doing just that. Sadly my aunt Ruth Ann passed away before I even took up knitting, but I love that she shared her creativity with me early on, even if I didn’t appreciate it at the time. And now I get to make toys for my own niece—although I’m trying my best not to scare her with them!

What was the first handmade toy that someone gave you? I’d love to hear your stories!

14 thoughts on “The Family Monster

  1. Love your monster, but I can see how that could scare a kid. My first handmade toy was a floppy doll made by my Aunt Kathy. She had brown yarn hair and a red heart on her chest. My Aunt made several cute dresses for her too.

  2. I love your monster, but he is rather creepy. I wanted to share my homemade firsts because I was obviously very spoiled by crafters. When I was born, I was gifted with a small (not so soft) crocheted lamb with mis-matched blue eyes. I also was given a spiral crochet clown that also creeped me out. And then, as if that weren’t enough, my mom’s friend from church sewed a quiet book for me. Of all the things, I only kept the quiet book.

    I hope my children treasure the stuff I made them more than I did!

  3. My mom made a sock monkey, which I still have! I also have a sweet photo of myself, very young and chubby, holding the sock monkey and sitting on my great grandmother’s lap.

  4. I had all kinds of handmade goodies when I was little, from toys to clothes and costumes mainly made from from recycled clothes and a tiny bit of extra of bought fabric because, my mum couldn’t afford to buy new toys.
    My first handmade toy (at least that I remember) was a huge rag doll that my mum clothed with one of my dresses. It had long blonde woollen hair, big saucer like eyes and skin so pink that looked like she was sun burnt.

  5. My grandmother was (and still is, actually) an avid maker of little stuffed toys, and occasionally bigger ones. Many of them lived at her house as decorations, but I was always allowed to play with them, and sometimes choose one to take home. Now my kids get to play with the same cute toys and every so often bring one home. It is just as thrilling for them as it was for me!

  6. A neighbor gave me a stuffed Scotty dog that was made out of patchwork squares with big buttons for eyes. I haven’t thought of that in 40 years…thanks for the prompt!

  7. my aunt made me a very creepy clown, with great satin clothes … I still have a pink chenille humpty dumpty the same aunt made — with oilcloth eyes and mouth.

  8. I once had a Pink Panther I no longer wanted. My mum gave it to my Grandparents as a present for their puppy, Toby, a Jack Russel Terrier. He used to carry it everywhere and would curl up with it in his little house when sleeping (yes, a soft house so he was all cosy inside!).

  9. My very first handmade toy was a sock monkey made by my grandmother. She made at least 10 of them for all of the grandchildren.

  10. My grandmother used to make jointed bears for everyone in the family. I got my first one when I was about 5. The last year she was able to make the bears before her stroke, she made me one out of leftover sunflower fabric that she had made me a dress out of when I was little. They’re super special to me. :)

  11. Great monster. My Aunt made me a rag doll when I was six. Now over 40 years later my daughter is its custodian. The rag doll is very precious to me as my aunt died when I was 11, my daughter is named after her. My aunt was a very talented lady and I still have a few of the things she made me e.g. A beautiful crochet shawl and a womble.

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