Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Knitted woodpecker

This knitted European Green Woodpecker was hanging out in my freezing winter garden. Not a great photo, but I was in a rush because I was feeling guilty about the crowd of sparrows I had disturbed at the bird feeders while faffing around with the woodpecker. It's not nice being guilt - tripped by tiny, cold birds.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Snowy owl

Just finished the knitting pattern for this snowy owl - now all I need is some snow...

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Simple Jayne

Simple Jayne, Russell Jeanes

When I started knitting birds a few years ago, I never imagined that one of them would end up starring in a music video. This is my knitted lapwing, brought to life by the very talented Russell Jeanes, for the beautiful video for Russell Jeane's equally beautiful song, Simple Jayne (with morning blackbirds).

Russ describes the video as a "stop-motion music film, set in a mysterious English wood, about the hidden magic in nature". It's just stunning, and I am so happy that my lapwing was part of this lovely project. Watch the video for Simple Jayne on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Quoth the raven, nevermore

Knitted raven, with raised wings - first time I've ever knitted a bird in this position. The knitting is pretty simple but the making up needs a little patience as you need to work with wire in the wings, legs and tail to create a framework to hold the bird up. 

Here he is "perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door" as in the Edgar Allan Poe poem. I think once pumpkin season is here, I will take some pumpkin - perching photos too.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Knitted eggs and nest

Just finished a little knitted nest and eggs - the pattern will be in my knitted birds book. Both are knitted on 2 needles (I hate knitting in the round! ).

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Mallard ducklings

These are the smallest birds I've knitted so far - these mallard ducklings are about 2 inches long.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Magpie feather

Well that was rather magical, I was knitting a magpie and then when I got up to take a break, there was this beautiful magpie feather on the floor...

Thursday, 12 June 2014


Fledglings tug at my heartstrings. That huge, sad beak. Those big eyes. Those little stumpy wings. A few days ago, I had a blackbird fledgling in the bush in my front garden, right outside the window. Oh, those heart-rending chirps. I couldn't concentrate and spent the afternoon looking out the window every five minutes for neighbourhood cats. Later in the day, he or she flew off, and I could get on with my life once more.

The RSPB has some excellent advice about fledglings on their website. No matter how tempting it is to pick up that helpless little ball of fluff, don't, unless it's on a busy path or in danger. Usually, the fledgling's parents will be supervising from a safe distance and what's happening is completely normal. The fledgling spends a few days on the ground, growing its final flight feathers and getting ready for takeoff.

Anyway - here's my knitted version of the little fledgling that spent the afternoon in my garden, and is hopefully now well on it's way to becoming an adult blackbird. You're allowed to pick this one up, don't worry.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Knitted barn owls

A little barn owl family, nestling in a tree, wondering if it was going to rain (it did, storms and wind five minutes later by which time the barn owls had decamped indoors).

There's an enormous differerence between the shape that people think that owls are, and the shape they actually are in real life. Lots of knitted, crocheted and sewn owls are plump and rounded, almost like a cushion with two big eyes. Real owls are actually quite long and thin, like a feathered tube (have a look at this fine specimen on my Birds board on Pinterest)

I started knitting an owl, shaping it realistically, but it ended up looking like a penguin. Too skinny. So I ended up plumping out the original shaping, to make it look more like that inner image of an owl, but I hope it's kept some of its realism.

The baby barn owl was easier - they start out as just a ball of white fluff with an adult's face looking like it's been pasted on the front. They are one of my favourite baby birds, so much character.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Plarn seagull

I love this! The brilliant designer Jane Robertson used my seagull knitting pattern to create a plarn seagull as part of a craft bomb at her local harbour, for a Voluntary Arts Week event.

Plarn is a type of plastic yarn, which you make by cutting carrier bags into strips. There's some plarn-making instructions here, if you fancy giving it a try.

Here's the craft bomb at North Berwick harbour. It looks great and I'm so happy to have one of my knitting patterns taken off in a new direction like this, thanks Jane!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Knitted avocet

One of those mornings where the skies are bright blue with not a cloud in sight. The perfect day for a trip to the beach with latest addition to my knitted flock, the avocet.
This bird is the first one I've made which has a driftwood base. I will probably make some more like this in the future as the driftwood looks beautiful, and on a more practical note, it helps with stability when you're trying to get a long - legged wobbly wader to stand up!

Monday, 12 May 2014

Barn Owl

Here's some work in progress - a knitting pattern for a little knitted barn owl. I decided to start with the face on this one which is quite unusual for me, it's usually the last thing I do.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Little knitted bird's nest

Little knitted bird's nest in the spring sunshine - just the right size for a blackbird or a thrush. I was trying to capture the atmosphere of William Henry Hunt's painting Primroses and Bird's Nest.

I'll be making some larger bird's nests later in the year - but first I need to finish knitting an avocet and working out a simpler way to make it stand up than my current ungainly system of wires and weights. It's a bit of a challenge, this one...

Monday, 24 February 2014

Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who

Here's Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor Who - you can download the knitting pattern from my Etsy shop and knit a grumpy timelord of your very own. He's about 12 inches tall, and knits up on 4mm straight needles - no knowledge of knitting in the round needed. He's got a felt waistcoat and jacket lining, and poseable arms and legs.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Knitted Collared Dove

I dodged the showers today to visit the local park so I could take some photos of my latest bird, a little knitted collared dove. Signs of spring starting to show all around: a small pool of yellow croci, hopeful-looking buds on the tree branches and - my favourite - bird twitterings and flutterings as the local avian residents start to stretch their wings.

I was particularly delighted when I sat down on a bench to take a photo of my bird, and heard the distinctive coo-coo-coo of a real life collared dove in one of the nearby trees, very loud and very close. It felt like a little seal of approval from the natural world. Thanks, collared dove!

Collared doves have a very sweet expression. I think it's the contrast between that pretty buff/grey plumage and the beady black eye that helps. People don't tend to like pigeons (I do, though) but collared doves are different.

This little dove is destined for my book of bird knitting patterns, which is going to published by Search Press next year.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Phoenix knitting pattern

Here's my new bird knitting pattern - a phoenix. I wish the phoenix was a British bird, how lovely it would be to see these beauties blazing their way through the oak forests and blackberry thickets of this green and pleasant land.

Until that day comes, you can knit a phoenix of your very own - he's about 10 inches tall, not including the tail, which can be made as long and extravagant as you like. He's got posable wire feet and he is big enough to perch on your arm, or a branch. Mine is happily sitting on a bookcase next to my desk, and he hasn't set fire to anything yet.

He's knitted in the flat, on 4mm needles - you can buy the phoenix knitting pattern from my Etsy shop as an instant PDF download.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Wayne Kramer

Here's my knitted Wayne Kramer, legendary guitarist from the MC5. He's got a felt version of his trademark stars and stripes Fender guitar. First time I'd ever knitted flares, so that was a crafting milestone!

I'm going to be taking a break from dolls for a while so I can focus on birds for my book, but while I was making Wayne's frilly shirt it struck me that this is just the sort of shirt that a knitted Jon Pertwee Doctor Who would wear... and now I really want to make one. Why aren't there more knitting hours in the day?

Friday, 10 January 2014

Tufted ducks

Belated happy new year to you all - I have been working hard on new patterns for my Etsy shop, and my book of knitted birds, which is going to be published by Search Press next year. It's going to be a very exciting 2014 here at Knit for Victory.

Here's a couple of little knitted tufted ducks enjoying the new year sunshine and wondering who's going to be next off the needles. Clue: it's a bird, but not a British one.