I’ve been knitting an Arctic Tern for the Bird Yarns project
Bird Yarns brings a community of knitters together with textile artist Deirdre Nelson in response to the changing migration patterns of seabirds across Scotland’s islands. It’s part of Cape Farewell – an international programme offering a cultural response to climate change. You’ll find lots of interesting Bird yarns info on their Facebook page.
The knitted Terns will be flocking together on 18 – 24 June 2012 at the Fisherman’s Pier, Main Street, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, before congregating in Edinburgh at the Dovecot Studios, in September.
The weather here has been fluctuating madly, lately. Some days we’ve had heavy downpours. Luckily, on others there’s been glorious sunshine – which has been a great excuse to get outside and do some knitting.
The process of knitting the tern has been great fun. I’ve not done much knitting for ages…in fact, I couldn’t find my needles for a couple of days after the pattern arrived…frustrating, when I was eager to make a start!
All the knitters involved are using a pattern specially developed for the project. It’s a nice simple shape and easy to knit up for someone with fairly basic knitting skills, like myself.
The wool came from Ardalanish yarns, which are local to Mull. It’s lovely and soft to knit with. I can imagine it making gorgeous cosy Winter jumpers.
The beak and legs are where we knitters could get creative…we were encouraged to use recycled materials, which is always something I enjoy. His beak ended up a bit long. I used the end of a wooden chopstick bound with fabric and a red wool cord, and metal buttons for his beady eyes.
I desperately wanted my Tern to be able to stand unaided. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. My engineering skills just weren’t up to the job! If I was doing it again I’d have a better idea but as it is, he’s bottom heavy and likes to sit with his feet slightly in the air.
It was fun to make though and I like the idea of being a wee part of a wider textile community, all knitting away at our Terns before they meet up on Mull. I’m curious to see how they’ll survive the island weather…