Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Here is my Arctic Tern, Erin, sitting on Worthing beach before heading off later today to Scotland to join a flock of other knitted Arctic Terns in the Bird Yarns Installation on Tobermory Pier. You can see Worthing's resident Herring Gulls keeping a safe distance from this rare visitor.
Bird Yarns "brings knitters from Mull and across the UK together with textile artist Deirdre Nelson in response to the changing migration patterns of seabirds across Scotland’s islands. Working with local wool from Ardalanish, Mull, and recycled materials, the knitters will create a flock of ‘lost’ arctic terns on Tobermory Pier and provide them with a Mull welcome of local food, music and poetry. Knitting kits will be developed in partnership with local producers to highlight the plight of migratory birds and celebrate local resources and resourcefulness."
The main body and head of the bird were designed by Deirdre Nelson, with each individual knitter designing their own beak and feet from whatever materials were to hand. My bird's beak was made from a stick reclaimed from a broken bamboo blind, wrapped around with yarn. Her feet are crocheted.
It was a pleasure to work with the beautifully soft Ardalanish Bluefaced Leicester wool. I decided to stuff her with some unspun fleece from Surrey, to keep with the natural and local theme of the installation.
I finally took her for a visit to Caroline at Worthing's spiritual home of knitting, The Wool Bar, before getting her ready to migrate North to join the other birds in Scotland.
You can see Erin and rest of her "lost" flock on Tobermory Pier 18th - 24th June 2012, and in the Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh, in August.