Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
I'm a hand-knitter and designer working in Worthing, on the beautiful Sussex coast, in England. I love knitting birds, dolls and animals!
Tell us a bit about the book?
Knitted Birds contains over 30 knitting patterns for birds of all shapes and sizes. There's owls, ducks, swans, blue tits, an osprey, an avocet, a raven - you can can also knit nests and eggs for your feathered friends. Everything is knitted flat, on 2 needles, so they are nice and easy to knit (I hate knitting in the round!)
What was the inspiration behind it?
I started off by knitting a giant herring gull for my local yarn shop, who were having problems with the Worthing gull mafia and wondered if a knitted gull would be a good decoy (it wasn't). The project grew from there - I am a keen bird watcher and started knitting all of my favourites that I saw when I was out twitching.
Which is your favourite project?
It has to be Monty the Osprey. He is the male osprey at the Dyfi Osprey Project in Wales. Sadly I have never met him in real life but I follow his day-to-day life throughout the summer on the Dyfi Osprey Project's live osprey webcam. Monty is a real bird superstar - I know that a lot of people have knitted him from my pattern and the finished results have been given to osprey-mad family members or sold to raise funds for other wildlife projects, which makes me very happy.
What is your craft space like?
I like to have a very clear, uncluttered space to work in, so I can focus and not get distracted. All the knitting lives in project bags (so my cats don't bother it) and then I tend to decamp to wherever the mood takes me!
Have you always been creative?
Yes, but then every single member of the human species is creative, so that's a bit of a loaded question ; P
When did you first start crafting?
I used to enjoy drawing and painting a lot as a child, but didn't get into knitting until I was in my late 30s, while recovering from a long illness. The first thing I knitted was a doll for my daughter... She still has it, and it's really not very good - it's amazing to look back on early projects and see how far you have come even if it doesn't feel like you've made much progress.
Who are your crafty heroes?
I love Jean Greenhowe's work for being so easy to knit, fun and accessible. Also Sincerely Louise's faux taxidermy knits for the same reasons.
Where do you find inspiration?
I always look to nature. Nature provides the perfection and I try and render that into a knitted form. I get inspired by long walks and bird watching (or, as a rainy-day alternative, endless bird videos on YouTube).
What's next for you?
More birds! There's over 10,000 species of birds in the world apparently, and I have only knitted around 40, so I had better get a move on. I'm also working on a non-bird-related knitting project for the Arundel Wetland Centre.
The book also includes step by step photographs and instructions for techniques such as sewing up, stuffing, and creating legs that will let your birds stand, perch or even cling to your finger!