Well this has been a challenge I can tell you!
Coming up in August is the Leamington Spa annual ‘Art in the Park‘ now in its fifth year and this year the theme is ‘trees’. Now, what do you find in trees? Birds of course. So, as part of this wonderful celebration of all things creative, one of the organisers (Ali McKellar) has arranged for a number of local groups and a few individuals, to create a whole array of knitted birds and everyone has really got on board with this. Grace Cafe (one of the groups I volunteer with) are also joining in and Ali is shown below with some of our group and a few of the birds we’ve made. The birds are a very simple design constructed from a single knitted square.
During the course of the morning Ali mentioned she’d love to have a vulture like the one in the book, ‘The Ugly Five‘ (by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Alex Scheffler) too, but sadly no one had taken her up on this. Muggings here, always up for a challenge (or so I thought!), found myself saying “I’ll have a go for you,” having absolutely no idea this wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought. No knitting patterns fitted the bill. No crochet patterns fitted the bill and I couldn’t even find a sewing pattern that fitted the bill either! I said I’d do it and so I had no option but to figure this out…so (eventually!) I did 😉
Having recently invested in a Cricut Maker cutting machine, I managed to find an SVG file with the right shaped vulture. Now I’m neither a designer nor a computer buff so I didn’t really know where to start but I couldn’t just cut it out like this because I wanted to use different colour materials. To do this I used Design Space and the ‘slicing’ feature to create separate the parts.
I’m finally getting somewhere (I think!).
The next thing I needed to do was cut the pieces out in different colours trying to find colours to match ‘The Ugly Five’ version.
Once this was done the construction began!
Not one for wasting things, I used off-cuts and scraps of material I already had. As you can see my vulture’s neck is a slightly brighter pink than the one in the book.
He’s not quote finished yet as his ruff and feathers need to be added which, to match the knitted birds theme of the event, will be crocheted in wool.
At the end of July all the birds are going to be positioned in trees and various other places around the park ready for the big day. Someone from each group who have contributed by making birds will be there to help and afterwards enjoy a picnic together.
I’ll wait until then to post the finished result so that you can see him in his rightful place in the park.
Happy crafting folks! 😊