Thursday, 19 December 2013

Skrillex doll


Thought I would take a break from the knitted birds and knit a doll - the result was this Skrillex doll; an early Christmas present for my daughter. I liked him so much I ended up writing up the pattern and you can download it from my Etsy shop.

Skrillex is about 10 inches tall and has removable felt headphones and a tiny cigarette.

I revised my previous basic doll pattern for this one, using some simplified shaping techniques that I'd picked up while knitting a tufted duck, of all things. If you ever wondered what the connection between water birds and dubstep was, well, there it is. I do like making patterns simpler and more elegant - less is more in my book when it comes to shaping.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

My bird book!

Here's some rather exciting news: the knitted birds are going to have their own book! I am absolutely delighted to announce that Search Press will be publishing my very first knitting book in 2015.

I can't wait to get started working on the knitting patterns for this book, and will keep you all updated here with any news!

If you have any favourite British birds that I haven't knitted yet, let me know - you never know, they might end up in the book.



Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Song thrush


One of the advantages of knitting birds is that you can give yourself a Disney Princess moment by having a song thrush alight on your hand and obligingly stay there while you take a photo (chances of this happening in real life: 0%. Proof again that knitting your own reality is the way to go).

The song thrush was a common garden visitor during my childhood. I remember finding piles of snail-shell carnage where one of these beauties had used a stone as an anvil to help liberate a tasty mollusc lunch. These days? I haven't seen one for ages. The song thrush is now on the RSPB's Red List, meaning that the species is considered one of the most in need of serious conservation protection.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Blue tits

Another knitted sighting in the garden! The knitted blackbird has competition. Tiny blue tits enjoying peanuts from a bird feeder. Remember, even knitted birds need feeding in cold weather.
 



Thursday, 12 September 2013

Blackbird

Knitted blackbird enjoying the autumn sunshine in the park. One of the bonuses of knitting birds is that finally I can take half-decent wildlife photos without having to use one of those massive telephoto lenses or having to worry about the subject flying off.

I'm particularly pleased with how the blackbird turned out - when you're knitting with black you're relying entirely on the shaping to create the sense of the bird and I think I captured the shape and the pose of a blackbird with this one.

(American visitors please note that this is a British blackbird - completely different to your beautiful blackbirds! I will get round to knitting one of the North American blackbirds one day.)

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Coot

Here's a little knitted coot, out enjoying the Sussex sunshine. Do you have trouble remembering which bird is a coot and which one is a moorhen? Imagine that the "oo" in coot is two snowballs, and snowballs are white like a coot's beak. Moorhens have red beaks!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Curlew





Normally sighted on bleak winter estuaries, the curlew is the largest wader you'll spot in the UK. The smaller knitted curlew can be spotted here in the more refined environment of Worthing's Wool Bar, checking out the yarn before flying over to the window to sit with the other knitted birds. They'll be in the Wool Bar all August if you fancy visiting them. Binoculars are entirely optional.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Flock to Worthing

Creative Waves Flock to Worthing bird art trail starts today, July 22nd and runs until 1st September! Pick up an art trail map from one of the many venues listed on their website and then wander through Worthing town and seafront, spotting rare birds created by local artists and art groups. (Personally, I would use this as an opportunity to go to Parklife to pick up a map, coffee, and a cupcake, but then to be honest, I need very little excuse to go to Parklife).

All of my knitted birds are installed in the window of The Wool Bar, Warwick Street, so go along and say hello! I'll be adding more birds over the next few weeks as I make them.


Friday, 19 July 2013

Black Necked Swan






Here's my knitted Black Necked Swan and a cygnet - there will be more cygnets on the way once the weather cools down enough to knit with mohair without going crazy *shakes fist at sky*.

These beautiful swans aren't native to Britain, you'd have to go to South America to see them in the wild, but I'm lucky enough to live near to the Arundel Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, where they have a breeding pair of Black Necked Swans.

If you visit during the spring, you may be able to see the tiny cygnets being ferried about on their parents' backs. The cygnet I've knitted is just beyond this stage, probably much to the parents relief.

Can you believe that these swans used to be killed so their skin and feathers could be used to make powder puffs? Not one of mankind's finest moments.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Tufted duck


I think this little chap might be my favourite knitted bird so far. This is a tufted duck - a rather smart little diving duck who is slightly smaller than a mallard.

I redesigned and refined my basic duck knitting pattern for this one - my previous mallards were very simply shaped but this one has more complex shaping to give the duck a more rounded shape, slightly flatter than a goose.

I particularly like this duck's expression, like he has suddenly remembered something terribly important in the middle of the photo shoot. "Did I lock the front door before I came out? Oh no..."

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Lapwing



A knitted lapwing, quite a rare sight on Worthing beach - or any beach, for that matter. This little chap will be appearing with all my other knitted birds in the Creative Waves Flock to Worthing art trail this summer, and then... well, I can't tell you more details at the moment, but something very exciting is going to happen later in the year. So get your binoculars out and watch this space...


Monday, 17 June 2013

Canada goose

 

And now a Canada Goose joins the ever-increasing flock of knitted birds! I used to have a proper goose-phobia, due to being chased on multiple occasions by these avian watchdogs when I was a child. Knitting this one is proof that those days are now behind me, mostly down to the good goose PR dished out by the sweet-natured Nene geese at Arundel WWT. They are tiny, and love to eat out of your hand.
I am still very much aware that a Canada Goose on a bad day can give Dennis Hopper a run for his money, but this knitted version is very well-behaved. He was offered chips at Worthing's Hut 42 seafront gallery today, and only took one.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Spock doll

A knitted Spock! He's a one-off custom order for an Etsy customer. This is the first time I have made a doll with ears, which, let's face it, are an intrinsic part of his Spock-ness, aren't they?

Monday, 10 June 2013

Bellatrix Lestrange


After gallons of black coffee and faffing around with PDFs, I have finally added my Bellatrix Lestrange knitting pattern to my Etsy shop. I think this has been the most-requested pattern from the past couple of years, so, if you've been waiting for it, I hope it was worth the wait!

Bellatrix is around 12 inches tall and is pretty simple to knit. If you can't find thick, crinkly chunky wool for her hair, you can always knit up some black dk or chunky yarn on large needles, wash it in warm soapy water and let it dry for a few days. When you unravel it, you should have nice, curly hair.

I can't believe I just described Bellatrix Lestrange's hair as "nice". Sorry. That should have read, "evil, curly hair".

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Oystercatcher



And here's the final one of this week's knitted birds: an oystercatcher. The oystercatcher's black and white plumage always reminds me of a butler dressed in a white shirt and black tails. It's one of my favourite birds. I've never seen one in Worthing (which is why it was great to see the knitted version looking for lunch on the beach) but was lucky enough to see one at the WWT Arundel Wetlands Centre when I visited a few weeks ago. He was close enough to see his bright red eye through my not-particularly-fancy binoculars.

This knitted version has a red bead eye, his beak is felt, and his red legs are yarn-wrapped wire.

Hopefully another bird will be alighting here next week!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Mallard ducks


A pair of my knitted mallards out enjoying the sunshine today. Maybe I should knit some bread for them to eat...

We take mallards very much for granted in England but they are incredibly beautiful birds. Take the time to stop and appreciate them next time you are hurling some white sliced in their general direction! The male's head is a stunning teal green and his black tail has a perky curl. Even the female's brown plumage has a pretty speckle and she has a showy blue and white splash on her wings.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Morrissey doll



Just finished Morrissey, and he's looking for a new home.

He's around 12 inches tall and is hand knitted by me, from my own pattern. I'd like to think of this as a Hatful Of Hollow circa-1984 type Morrissey, with his off the shoulder shirt and bunch of gladioli.

What's he stuffed with? Misery and bad poetry. Actually, no, it's polyester stuffing but the other things sound better. His shirt isn't sewn into position so you can have fun adjusting it into various angst-ridden poses. It's not removeable though as the bunch of flowers are attached to his tiny knitted hand.

Hmm... now I've finished him, I'd like to knit a Johnny Marr *adds idea to knit list*.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Seagull knitting pattern


If you'd like to knit a seagull, you can buy this gull knitting pattern from my Etsy shop! This is a small herring gull, about 5 inches tall. The life-size version that you can see in The Wool Bar will be along soon...
This small version is super-cute, well-behaved, and knits up quickly on 4mm needles. I've included detailed step-by-step photos on how to make the wire feet in the four page PDF pattern.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Worthing seagull

 
 

Here's my large knitted herring gull! I took him down to Worthing beach this morning for a blustery photoshoot before delivering him to his new home at The Wool Bar in Warwick Street. Pop in and say hello to him (and Caroline, who'll be naming him!). As you can see, he enjoyed exploring the shop and I left him sitting on The Wool Bar's wooden table, being eyed up by Warwick Street's real-life gulls outside.

There will be a knitting pattern for him, and his smaller version, very soon.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Daft Punk cross stitch sampler


This is the first cross stitch sampler I ever designed. I made one of these for an Etsy customer yesterday and even though it was the first one I ever designed, it's still one of my favourites.

I think it's because these Daft Punk lyrics really do sound like the sort of  Empire-building, self-improving words of wisdom that the Victorians were so very fond of. They just fit perfectly in a Victorian-style sampler and make me laugh every time.

If you'd like a Daft Punk cross stitch sampler, I'm always happy to stitch one. Step inside ye olde Etsy emporium and say hello.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Cute seagull

 
My lovely local yarn shop, The Wool Bar, have asked me to knit them a life-sized Herring Gull. The street that they are on, Warwick Street, in Worthing, has a particularly large and determined gang of gulls who make rich pickings from Warwick Street's many cafes.

I'm a bit concerned that the life-sized knitted version will attract a bit too much attention from the feathered gull mafia outside, but we shall have to wait and see.
This little fellow isn't life-sized. He's a small prototype gull who I am going to scale up to large scale over the next few weeks. He's a lot cuter than the Warwick Street gulls but hopefully when he's bigger, he'll look a bit meaner. I'd particularly like to capture that look in their eye just before they steal your chips.
If you'd like to see little gull, he's currently residing with Caroline at The Wool Bar. I hope to get him, and his larger model, made up into knitting patterns soon.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Severus Snape knitting pattern

If you fancy knitting your very own Severus Snape, you can now buy my knitting pattern for my Snape doll as a digital download from Etsy.

Once you've checked out, you'll be able to download the pattern straight away and get knitting! Magic!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Harry Dresden




Here's wizard hard-boiled detective Harry Dresden, created as a special custom order. I've never seen the Dresden Files TV show but really enjoyed the first two Jim Butcher Dresden files novels, Storm Front and Fool Moon, so this Harry was how I imagined him from the books.


This poor guy is always getting beaten up and putting up with a lot of really unglamorous crap in his line of work, but he can rest happy, knowing that he is wearing the best hat I have made to date. He originally had knitted headgear but it looked more like a sunhat, so I went back to the drawing board and sewed him a custom-fitted felt number. That's why he's smiling.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

L Lawliet Death Note doll


I started knitting L from Death Note about 6 months ago, when I began experimenting with using wire supports inside my dolls to give a greater range of postures. With his unique sitting style, he seemed like the obvious choice.

I tried to knit him sitting in his trademark crouch, using stiff florist's wire as support. It didn't really work but I ended up with a bad case of Knitter's Block and couldn't work out what the problem was. He sat on my desk for the next few months, eyeing me balefully.

Over Christmas I watched the entire Death Note dvd boxset and finally worked out what was wrong with him. His legs were way too short. His trousers were way too tight. His eyes were a tiny bit too small. A little bit of remodelling, and here he is, sitting, rather than crouching.
One of the things I like about L (apart from his genius intellect and his ability to eat nothing but sweets and cake without putting on weight) is how his facial expressions veer between manga pretty-boy handsomeness and just plain weird. I think I've caught him somewhere in the middle.