Tag Archives: yarn

Knitted Chickens and a Rooster

Many years ago I learnt to make knitted chickens during my Waldorf/Steiner teacher training. This is a quick and easy craft idea that can be used as a last-minute gift or an addition for the nature table this time of year. It’s also really great for using up your odds-and-ends yarn ends stash (I know, I just can’t bring myself to throw them out either!)

IMG_3555

The basic pattern is just a knitted square using garter stitch. This project is also perfect for a beginning knitter and does not really require counting or measuring.

I suggest starting with a smaller square – I often cast on 10-20 stitches using size 4-5 needles and corresponding wool in a ‘chicken’ colour. I knit until the piece looks like a square (you can fold the square in half diagonally to get more accuracy, matching length and width) and then cast off. Keep the yarn end long to stitch the chicken up.

I fold the complete square diagonally to make a triangle and use the left over yarn end to stitch up one side to the ‘right angle’ point of the triangle, and then a little more on the next seam. I leave a space through which to stuff the chicken, making sure to get stuffing evenly (not too full) to the ends of the triangle. I then sew the rest of the seam up.

If there is still a yarn end long enough, I guide the needle back through the body to the ‘right angle’ point. I secure it with a knot at that point and then bring the thread through the stuffed body out the back and back down again to the secured point. I secure the yarn again and this creates a dip in the back. I then weave the yarn in and cut it.

IMG_3558

To make the beak and other wobbly bits (they have a proper name right?) I use a crochet hook and another colour of yarn.

To be honest, I’m not a crochet expert, so explanations of my haphazard approach are rather futile – I just crochet until it looks about right. Maybe you are able to glean something from these photos? Sorry if this doesn’t really help…

And just to show what you can do with some embellishments and different coloured yarn, I made a rooster as well this year!

IMG_3556

As a basic guide with the rooster, I gradually changed from grey to green on one corner of a larger knitted square. Once I’d sewn it together (same as the chicken) I crocheted a series of chain loops at the tail end and added a few more flat chains where the wings are for extra colour.

I also found this blog post with more detail and a slightly different approach.

This really is a great last-minute make and a stash-buster. Enjoy making!

Advertisements

Rope basket for balls of wool

I don’t know about you, but when I knit one of two things happen – ball of wool slowly makes a run for it and ends up around toddler or toddler slowly makes a run for it (eyes fixed on me) with my ball of wool.┬áThere is not so much I can do about the second problem as Miss K has a knack of getting into everything these days, but I finally got around to tackling┬áthe escapee wool situation.

I would love to have one of those ceramic ball-of-wool holders, but it wouldn’t last long. I had surplus rope and thought to give it a crack with that.

Coiled rope basket project - Mrs Winter Creates

Coiled rope basket project – Mrs Winter Creates

My original idea was to make a closable sphere with a small hole for the yarn to feed through. I made the opening by holding one round using red thread that would be cut later.

Red thread used to hold shape - Mrs Winter Creates

Red thread used to hold shape – Mrs Winter Creates

Red thread cut off to create opeining - Mrs Winter Creates

Red thread cut off to create opeining – Mrs Winter Creates

I left the hole in the top should I want to put two balls of wool in there and a handle so that it could be hung on certain things. I fastened it with a button and ribbon.

Button and ribbon fastening - Mrs Winter Creates

Button and ribbon fastening – Mrs Winter Creates

It did not sit so well when hung, as you can see in the above photo. This wasn’t so good and then quality control came along…

Quality control - Mrs Winter Creates

Quality control – Mrs Winter Creates

What's inside there? - Mrs Winter Creates

What’s inside there? – Mrs Winter Creates

The wool was quickly evicted and my creation deformed. I decided to take it apart a bit and keep it simple. Miss K was going to get into it anyways; ‘I’ll make it a little less interesting’, I thought.

Finished yarn feeder basket - Mrs Winter Creates

Finished yarn feeder basket – Mrs Winter Creates

I’ve started making little woollen dolls using the basket to hold the yarn and it is great. Miss K has used it a few times, mostly as a baby in her mini stroller, but it has been relatively safe. I really love how it looks like a skep (beehive basket).

Has anyone else got any other contraptions to help with escapee balls of wool?