Friday, 18 December 2015

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Knitted Birds for Christmas

There's still time to order a copy of my book Knitted Birds, if you're looking for the perfect Christmas present for the knitter in your life! It contains over 30 different bird knitting patterns, along with nests and eggs. Maybe if you give it as a Christmas present the lucky recipient might knit you a bird or two in the new year? 

It's available directly from my blog, or from my Etsy shop, or you can buy it in all good bookshops (although if you buy one from me, I can sign it for you, for an-extra special present idea). 

Cardinal

Cardinal bird knitting pattern


Here's a festive - looking northern cardinal! He's one of my new designs so the pattern isn't available yet (it currently only exists as some mysterious notes in my fancy notepad, which is technically known as "phase one" of pattern making). They are such beautiful birds - that red is just stunnning. Now all we need is a dusting of snow so I can take some really wintery photos... (I live in the mildest part of England so please don't hold your breath!)

Seagull and the stars

Knitted seagull getting a bit confused about a vintage map of the sky for December (it's upside down, gulls aren't great at stuff like this...) If you'd like to knit one, the knitted seagull pattern is in my Etsy shop (this one doesn't have the optional wire legs but the pattern comes with full instructions if you want to add them).

Saturday, 14 November 2015

WWT Arundel Discover Birds weekend

I'm going to be at the WWT Arundel Wetlands Centre on 21st November, taking part in their brilliant Discover Birds day - I'll be there from 2-4pm on Saturday so come along and say hello and meet me and the knitted birds! I'll be knitting woolly wildfowl and signing copies of my book Knitted Birds, which is available in the WWT Arundel shop.

I'm so happy to be taking part in this event, as WWT Arundel was the inspiration for many of my knitted birds, including the kingfishers below.

There are going to be walks, talks, craft sessions and activities for all ages at Arundel WWT on 21st and 22nd November. Hope to see you there!

Chris Packham!

Knitted woodcock by Nicky Fijalkowska

Well this was very exciting - thank you Chris Packham for tweeting about my knitted woodcock! I'm hoping to have the knitting pattern for this woodcock available very soon (it's not in my Knitted Birds book as this is one of the projects I've been working on since it has been published). This autumn I have really enjoying sitting down and knitting some of our native birds that for me, reflect the spirit and colours of the season.

Knitted Pheasant

Knitted Pheasant is admiring some lovely new Sirdar Harrap Tweed yarn - I'm going to make him a friend. This yarn has such lovely autumnal shades! If you fancy knitting a pheasant, the pattern is in my book Knitted Birds.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Knitted Birds book launch

Knitted Birds knitting patterns book
I'm going to be at The Wool Bar, Worthing on Saturday 3rd October from 2-5pm, signing copies of Knitted Birds and dishing out tea and biscuits to celebrate the launch of my book.

Come along and meet me and the knitted birds, it would be lovely to see you!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Blackbird, Blackbird, Singing in a Tree

Knitted blackbird from a pattern by Nicky Fijalkowska
Nick Penny is a very talented songwriter, who has written a beautiful children's song called Blackbird, Blackbird, Sitting in a Tree. There's an equally beautiful little video that he made for the song, and it stars my knitted blackbird!

Meet Brian the blackbird - he was knitted by Eleanor Gibson, using my pattern from Knitted Birds. She did a wonderful job! Watch the video on YouTube - it's a lovely children's sing-a-long song, and you get to enjoy Brian hanging out at the Oundle Great Yarn yarnbomb, and all sorts of pretty locations around the town and countryside.

Thanks Nick! I'm so happy you made this video, it is absolutely charming.

Check out Nick's website www.nickpenny.com for more beautiful music, including Calling up the Dawn, a CD of harp, guitar, and birdsong.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Knitted Birds book - it's here!

This is my book, Knitted Birds! It contains over 30 knitting patterns and instructions for all kinds of birds, along with information on the materials, tools and techniques you'll need.

Whether you want to make a robin to perch on your Christmas tree, an owl to overlook your breakfast nook, or a whole family of ducks to decorate your desk, these beautiful birds are fun to make and display, whether you are a beginner or a more experienced knitter.
Knitted Birds book knitting patterns by Nicky Fijalkowska

All birds are knitted flat on a single pair of needles. There's no knitting in the round or using four needles!

Patterns include: a family of mallard ducks and ducklings, song thrush, blue tit, canada goose, blackbirds, mute swan and cygnets, a family of barn owls, avocet, lapwing, puffin, collared dove, magpie, oystercatcher, osprey, kingfishers, hoopoe, pheasant, snowy owls, woodpecker, robin, sparrow, seagull, raven and tufted duck. There's also patterns for nests and eggs! Some birds have wire legs, and detailed instructions are included on how to make these, along with templates for beaks.

Knitted Birds book by Nicky Fijalkowska

I'm so happy with how the book turned out! Search Press did a wonderful job and created a large and beautiful, glossy paperback. It's 128 pages long, and full of stunning photography.

bird knitting patterns by Nicky Fijalkowska

The Knitted Birds book is £12.99, and if you live in the UK, for a limited time, shipping is free! If you are in the USA, Canada, Europe, or anywhere else in the world, air mail shipping is just £5, making a total of £17.99.

If you'd like to own a copy of Knitted Birds, the PayPal button is below... Please use the drop-down box to choose your shipping option.



Knitted Birds book

If you'd like a signed copy, let me know when you place your order.

Rainbow of little birds

I knitted a rainbow of tiny little birds - if you'd like to do the same, the little bird knitting pattern is available in my Etsy shop. You can make them just like the ones in the photo, or add wire legs - instructions are included with the knitting pattern.
Knitted Birds by Nicky Fijalkowska
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Tuesday, 7 July 2015

A peek at my Knitted Birds book

So excited, I've just received the advance copy of my book from Search Press - it looks amazing! And so cute...

Knitted mute swan is just checking to see whether he has been included (he has, don't worry).

The book will be available in August!



Knitted Birds by Nicky Fijalkowska Search Press

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Cockatoo on the beach

Knitted cockatoo on the beach, making the most of the West Sussex summer heatwave.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Knitted blackbird

Knitted blackbird out enjoying the sunshine today. This is one of the patterns from my Knitted Birds book!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Cockatoos

Knitted cockatoos! Cheerful chaps with felt crests - they enjoyed their visit to the Wool Bar, Worthing, and behaved themselves with the fat quarters.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Gosling and cygnet

Knitted gosling and cygnet - the knitting pattern for these little fluffy beauties is going to be in my Knitted Birds book, and the two below are currently looking for a new home (visit my Etsy shop for details and more photos).

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Paul O'Grady knitted doll

Well, here's an interesting break from the knitted birds: it's much-loved TV host and funny guy Paul O'Grady and his lovely dog, Olga. I was asked to knit them by his TV production company, and the dolls should appear on his ITV show sometime after today.

This was the first time I have ever designed and knitted a dog, so it was pretty nerve-wracking knowing that the finished woolly hound was going to appear on a major TV channel!

Friday, 1 May 2015

Blue footed booby

Knitted blue footed booby! This was the genius idea suggested by Sam from Oak Leaves and Faerie Wings (thanks, Sam!). Boobies are the most ridiculous birds, like a cross between a penguin and a duck, only with bright blue feet and a need to do a little happy dance to impress the ladies (it's worth having a look on YouTube if you've never seen their mating dance).

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Knitted flamingo

Next up on my quest to knit birds from round the world - a knitted flamingo! While I was doing some research about the flamingo before I started knitting, I found out a couple of interesting facts. The pink shade of the flamingo depends on its diet - they eat shrimp and the colouring from the shrimp gives them their lovely pink hue. Flamingos in zoos have to be fed food with colouring added otherwise they would not be pink.

Also, when a flamingo loses its feather, it gradually fades away to white, so you will never be able to own a pink flamingo feather. Isn't that lovely?

No food colouring involved with my knitted flamingo - she is knitted from 100% pink merino wool. I've knitted a small flock of these and have decided to put one up for sale in my Etsy shop. I will post some photos of the whole flock soon!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Knitted rockhopper penguin

So now that my book of knitted birds is almost complete, I've decided to start knitting some new birds. The book focuses on birds that you can spot in Britain (although European and North American knitters will recognise an awful lot of them due to the wonders of migration) so I've decided to spread my metaphorical wings and try knitting some birds from around the world.

First up, a knitted rockhopper penguin!
I love penguins, and there are so many different varieties that I might try and knit a few different ones. First thing I need to do now though, is to knit a friend for this little fellow.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Snipe

A small knitted snipe on a grey March beach. I love these little birds' long, long beaks!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Easter chick free knitting pattern

Here's my knitting pattern for a little Easter chick! He (or she) is quick and simple to knit - why not knit a chick or two as little Easter gifts or decorations? The free knitting pattern is below.

This little chick is worked in stocking stitch, on a pair of 4mm (UK 8, US 6) knitting needles using DK yarn.

Tension: 6 sts and 8 rows per square inch (if your tension is slightly less or more than this, don't worry. This is such a tiny project that it won't make much difference! The darker chicks that I knitted had a tension of 6 sts and 7.5 rows per square inch and turned out fine.) Each chick is approximately 7cm tall.

You will need:

Oddments of yellow DK yarn
yellow felt
yellow cotton thread in the same shade as the felt
2 x 3mm black beads
black cotton thread
polyester stuffing
a glass pebble (the sort that you use to fill vases, or put in a bowl of floating candles)

Head and body (make 1)

Cast on 8 sts.

Row 1: *inc 1, k2, inc 1*, repeat from * to * to end (12 sts).
Row 2: purl.
Row 3: *inc 1, k4, inc 1*, repeat from * to * to end (16 sts).
Row 4: purl.
Row 5: *inc 1, k6, inc 1*, repeat from * to * to end (20 sts).
Row 6 – 12 : beginning with a purl row, work st st.
Row 13: *k2tog, k6, k2tog*, repeat from * to * to end (16 sts).
Row 14: purl.
Row 15: *inc 1, k6, inc 1*, repeat from * to * to end (20 sts).
Row 16 - 20: beginning with a purl row, work st st.
Row 21: k2tog to end (10 sts).
Row 22: purl.

Cut yarn, leaving a 12 inch tail, and run yarn through remaining sts on needle.

Wings (make 2)

Cast on 2 sts.

Row 1: inc 2 (4 sts).
Row 2 – 4: beginning with a purl row, work st st.
Row 5: k2tog to end (2 sts).
Row 6: purl.

Cast off remaining sts.


Making up

Sew up the side seam, starting at the head and stuffing as you go (you can use the yarn that you ran through the stitches on the last row). When you get to the base, insert a glass pebble to give the chick a little stability. Sew up the remainder of the seam.

Run a length of yarn around the chick's neck and pull tight to create the neck shape. Secure with a knot and sew the ends in (I have used blue yarn in the photo to make it clearer, but use yellow yarn on your own chick!)

Sew wings into position, either side of the body.

To make the beak, cut out a yellow felt diamond shape, 1cm each side.


Fold the beak in half and sew a few stitches along the fold line to hold the beak together. Sew the beak onto the head, using yellow thread.

Make the eyes: sew two beads onto the face using black thread.

Have fun knitting an Easter chick!

Please do not reproduce this pattern without my permission. Thank you!

If you enjoyed this pattern, watch out for my book Knitted Birds, which will be published by Search Press in September 2015. You'll be able to knit over 20 different birds and make a woolly flock of your very own. Join my mailing list to keep up to date with my book and future free patterns...





Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Cute little bird knitting pattern

I have had so much fun recently making these little brightly-coloured birds with wire legs. They are a great way of using up any odds and ends in your stash and are super-cute! If you'd like to knit a flock of your own, the knitting pattern is now available in my Etsy shop.

If you knit these little birds and don't add the wire legs, you can attach ribbon to the top of their heads, or body, and use them as cute Easter decorations or as a mobile.

I'm going to play round with this pattern and knit a few different variations so watch this space...

Friday, 6 February 2015

Two hoots

A pair of knitted snowy owls - the patterns for these are going to be in my book. One with wings up, one with wings down...

Monday, 2 February 2015

Puffin on the beach

Beautiful, frosty morning on Worthing beach this morning. Perfect weather for a knitted puffin!

Monday, 26 January 2015

Knitted blackbird

I've decided to make a limited number of knitted birds for sale on Etsy, in the run-up to my Knitted Birds book being published by Search Press in September. So here's the first one who is currently available for adoption on Etsy - a handsome male knitted blackbird.

He's approximately 20cm long from tip of the tail to tip of the felt beak. If you'd like to knit one of your own, he will be one of the patterns in my Knitted Birds book!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Home made bird food

The birds in my garden love coconut suet feeders, so much so that I ended up with a pile of empty coconut shells. I wondered if it was possible to reuse these shells and fill them with your own suet mix. There were plenty of recipes online varying from the expensive and complicated, to the rather dubious (full of flour and filler). I wanted to make something simple, cheap and nutritious!

I ended up adapting a recipe I found on the Birds and Blooms website. It was very easy to make, worked out cheaper than buying new coconut feeders, and the birds loved it.

If you would like to make a treat for the birds in your garden, here is the recipe to make enough to fill 2 coconut shells. If you want to make more, it's easy to multiply the ingedients.

You will need:
125g lard
200g unsalted peanuts
50g bird seed mix

Melt the lard (either in a saucepan or in a baking tin in a low oven). While it is melting, blitz your peanuts in a food processor until it they are well chopped. You don't want a powder, just lots of nubbly small pieces. When the lard has melted, stir in your peanut pieces and bird seed mix, mix well, and press into your coconut shells. Leave in a cool place to set and then hang out for the birds!

This basic recipe is very adaptable - you could add raisins, or sunflower seeds. Experiment and see what your birds prefer!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Kingfisher

It's been a really busy new year so far - I've been proofreading all the bird patterns for my new book and working on the final few birds who will make it into the pages. This little knitted kingfisher is one of them!