Hello fellow knitters and spinners… hope you are all well, and that spring is giving you good weather and lots of fiber enjoyment.
My blog today is about the story of an Angry Bird.
As most of you know, I knit for all of my grandchildren. It’s pretty easy to knit a sweater/vest/scarf, etc. for a granddaughter, or a simple hat or sweater for a baby. But what do you knit for a 10 year old boy? Pretty hard to figure out!
A few weeks ago, my daughter, Deb, suggested that I knit my grandson Matthi a “green” Angry Birds hat for his upcoming birthday. She said there were some patterns on Ravelry, and that I could probably find one that would work.
I started searching that night, and was pretty unimpressed with the selection. Most were for crochet, and very few were hats… after several days of looking at possible patterns, and pretty much deciding I was on my own, I ordered 4 skeins of the new KP Brava Yarn in White, Grass, Caution and Black, and started designing. I decided on a simple bottom up knit hat, using 4 equally spaced markers to do the decreases and to line up the face pattern. Then I started designing the face template.
I downloaded several images of the green Angry Bird known as Boomerang Bird, set up a spreadsheet, and started playing with the little color blocks. I did the basic imagine in about a day, but played with the total number of stitches for a few days until my yarn arrived.
My chart had 21 columns of stitches, and I knew that my hat would be 84 stitches total. I cast on the hat, and knit about an inch of k2, p2 ribbing, and another inch of green stockinette stitch before starting the chart. OK, where do I put the chart? I surveyed my hat and the number of stitches of the chart and decided to line up the chart with the center of the chart being at one of the stitch markers with an equal number of stitches on each side. I wasn’t sure if this would work, but why not give it a try, the hat isn’t due until July 12. I had to add one more column of stitches and made the center of the face 2 stitches wide instead of one… just guessing.
As I knit the face, it looked pretty good; I was suitably impressed with my guess work. Then I got to the angry eye brows, and it was time to start my decreases on either side of each stitch marker, and the magic started happening. Each row that I knit made the shape of the head between the eye brows accent the ‘angry’ character of the bird. I could not believe how great this was turning out.
Here is the finished hat, without top knot, tail or beak.
I waited until the next day to start designing those accent pieces. I decided for simple i-cord for the top knot, and did a little more complicated tail design… it took several test knits before the final form of the tail took shape…
Now the beak! OMG how in the world am I going to make this work? Several of the patterns I’d read called for picking up stitches on the face… I thought about that, but wanted to try it out before actually picking up the stitches, as stretching could occur…wouldn’t want that, would I?
So I cast on 14 stitches, 7 for the top and 7 for the bottom, and knit a couple of rounds. Then I looked at some of the beak images I had, and wondered how in the world I’d get the shape of that beak… in the back of my brain the words “short row shaping” started to form… I shook my head as the short row has been the major nemesis in my knitting adventure. Oh, I use it from time to time but it is my least favorite knitting technique.
I did a row of short row shaping, and then one more knit around… beak was not wide enough, so on the next round, I increases the top of the beak by 2 stitches, and knit around…. Wow, it’s looking pretty good!
Then did another row of short row shaping to increase the hooked look of the beak, and I was very happy with the look… now time to decrease and BO… but wait… I see two stitches that I dropped… yikes!
Ripped and started over, repeating the same process… this time it worked, and when I got to the final decrease, I knew I had done it!
At this point, I decided to just stitch the beak onto the front of the hat, and end the process. I used a black running stitch to differentiate between the top and bottom of the beak. Then I stuffed the beak with some of the left over Caution yarn (turned out to be a good idea), and voila, I had a green Angry Bird, Boomerang the Bird hat.
I used US size 6 circular needles for all except the i-cord portions, which were knit with US 4 dpns.
Total yardage of yarn was 123 yards, so I have plenty of left over Brava for charity hats. While I had to buy 4 skeins of yarn, the actual cost of this hat was about $2… not counting the time and love that went into it.
Happy Knitting and Spinning my dear KP Community friends.