Project #005: The Alan Dart Desperate Dan


One of the first Intarsia toy booklets I purchased early on happened to be the Beano and Dandy Collection.

The set comprises of seven knitted characters who appeared in the Beano and the Dandy comics published by D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd.  Nearly every child in England grew up with these comics and the characters are loved by children and adults alike.

My Dad, who doesn’t usually pay much attention to my mass of knitting patterns, took a sudden interest in two sets that came through the post.  The first being The Flintstones, the second, The Beano and Dandy collection.  Dad’s favourite comic character has always been Desperate Dan, joining the Desperate Dan Pie Eaters Club as a child there was a sense of pride of being associated with this character, so when he saw this knitted version he began to smile.  I knew, that day, that I would make Dan for Dad this Father’s Day.  That is how this project came about.

This pattern is one of the first designs that came from the Intarsia brand from the inspired Mr Alan Dart.  The design itself is pretty basic, not that there is anything wrong with that, you can see who the character resembles.  Unlike later patterns, there is not much detail and doll stands very rigid.  The lack of individual digits, make these earlier designs a bit dated by today’s Alan Dart creations.  However, one has to remember that they were pioneering and many of us were stretched with these patterns, marveling at the attention to detail  and trying to get to grips with knitted darts for folds and creases within the designs, which we had never seen before in a toy knitting pattern.  Alan had raised the Bar from

This:

To This:

Which pretty much speaks for itself.  The pattern was one of the easiest I’ve knitted to date and I  finished him quite quickly.  As with everything the make up took the most time, the stubble being the most intricate of the whole composition.

Yarns were my usual favourite Sirdar Bonus knit purchased by our friends at Deramores in colours:  Flesh, Black Classic Red and Denim.

Father’s Day came and my Dad was overjoyed and is so happy finally having a Desperate Dan of his very own.  Dan takes pride of place on the shelf overlooking my Dad while he tucks into his own Pie & Mash, Liquor and Stewed Eels.

Happy Father’s Day Dad as Mummy Rivett presents:

Happy Knitting,

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  1. […] a bit of fun and not a real project however I knitted her while making up Desperate Dan.  Daddy Rivett has claimed this one so you are going to have to knit your […]

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