April 21, 2021

Nostalgic Knitting Pattern Inspired By The Beloved Children’s Books ‘Frog and Toad’

‘Frog and Toad’ are the main characters in the series of children’s books created by American author Arnold Lobel back in the ’70s. This is a tale of two friends—conveniently named Frog and Toad—and the close bond they share. And even though the characters are almost 50 years old, they still remain popular even to this day.

A little while ago, Kristina McGowan, knitwear designer and the creator of Frog & Cast, shared some photos of the adorable knitted Frog and Toad plushies and they went viral all over the internet. And here’s the best part – she even has a pattern for sale so you can make these characters yourself!

People seem to be absolutely obsessed with these two knitted boys, and honestly, we’re not surprised about it at all. We here are equally as obsessed.

More info: frogandcast.com | Instagram

Turns out, Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad series are Kristina’s most memorable childhood books

Image credits: Frog & Cast

“My name is Kristina McGowan. I am a knitwear designer and in February of this year, I started my own business, www.frogandcast.com. I’ve worked as a knitter for many years (writing books and designing for various companies) and am uplifted to finally be creating items on my own. In knitting, the term ‘frog’ means to take out or undo and ‘cast on’ means to begin or start again and that’s what this project has been for me, a new venture, a new start,” Kristina told Bored Panda.

“I first became interested in knitting as a child and taught myself how to do it by reading all of the how-to books I could get my hands on at the public library, saving my allowance to buy needles and yarn at Fay’s Drugs and practicing endlessly,” the owner of Frog & Cast told us. “Later as a teenager, I would spend summers in Austria and one of my favorite things to do was wander to a nearby park and sit with the elderly women there underneath these giant linden trees and watch them as they knit and gossiped and showed me tricks and shortcuts.”

While visiting her parents’ house, the woman came across her old copy of Frog and Toad Are Friends

Image credits: frogandcast

“I’ve always loved the saying that ‘reading is dreaming with your eyes open,’ and as a child, no book filled my dreamscape more vividly than Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad series,” Kristina McGowan writes on her website. “Tucked under our quilts, my parents would often read the books to my twin sister and me before bed and the sense of comfort and home they provided was immense.”

A few years ago, while visiting her parents at Christmas, Kristina happened across an old copy of Frog and Toad Are Friends that her parents used to read to her and her twin sister. “I was home visiting my parents one Christmas a few years ago and found the old copy of Frog and Toad that my parents would read to my twin sister and me. I hadn’t looked through it in many years and the magic of it just all came back,” Kristina told us.

This unexpected find inspired her to create a knitting pattern for these two

Image credits: Frog & Cast

“My father likes me to make him a Manhattan after dinner so I’d had one myself and was feeling no pain, sitting by the woodstove as everyone had gone to bed. I had yarn with me and just started to imagine what a knitted frog might look like. Usually, when trying to create a pattern I’m careful to take notes and write things down, but that evening was more about good feeling and not overthinking or being too careful,” the designer added.

Image credits: Frog & Cast

If you’d like to make these two yourself, you can buy a knitting pattern available on Kristina’s website

Image credits: Frog & Cast

“For the filling, I chose pellets that I found at a local craft store and really liked the weighty bean bag feel they provided. But wanting to also try a non-plastic option, I eventually found an alternative material created out of ground walnut shells and lavender buds,” the knitter explains.

Image credits: Frog & Cast

“As deeply rooted as knitting can be in our family histories, being able to articulate this particular childhood memory of mine in knitted form has been a special thrill and one I feel grateful to be able to share with all of you now,” Kristina’s website reads.

“Being able to articulate this particular childhood memory of mine in knitted form has been a special thrill”

Image credits: Frog & Cast

“In the letters I’ve gotten, there seem to be many people like me who associate knitting and creating things with a sense of home, and especially in these dark times, it can feel really good to have something come off of your needles that you can give to your child or friend. It’s such an expression of love somehow to have had your hands form every stitch. There is work involved, but the gratification also comes far sooner than it would with a sweater or larger project,” Kristina added.

People seem to be absolutely obsessed with these plushies