Monday, April 01, 2013

Spring Robin + Book Giveaway

My internet farmer and fiber friend Dianne from Sheep Dreams is hosting a fabulous giveaway. Wait til you hear this one - Dianne is offering a brand new signed copy of my new 50 Sunflowers to Knit, Crochet, and Felt AND 20 skeins of my Color By Kristin Yarn. Hop on over to her blog Sheep Dreams to sign up to enter. Here is the link to enter. Dianne's contest ends Tuesday April 2 at 5 p.m. EST. 


I sent my mom a copy of my new book and she called me as soon as she received it. She loves the book. "I can't wait to start the robin!" she said to me. I wasn't surprised to hear this. Mom is a gardener and loves all the critters who populate her garden (except the dreaded woodchucks - she has had all of us involved in the woodchuck problem for years but that is another story). Knowing that many of my readers have similar tastes to my mom, I thought I would share a little about how the robin is constructed.

This little North American Robin was the hardest project I had to design in the book. The instructions are quite long too. The robin is darn cute to say the least and I think worth the work. There are some short rows involved and the head is shaped sort of like a sock. I'm including the photos I sent along to the tech editor so you can see the different parts of the robin in case you are going to try making it like my mom is.

You begin with the back of the robin. The tail is ribbed and there is a multitude of shaping. Instead of slipping the stitches at the center to a holder like the instructions say, I knit them on a scrap of yarn (the orange part). I don't even own a stitch holder - I prefer scraps of yarn. I used Vista 6006 Wolf from Classic Elite Yarns - a wool tweed in a worsted weight to give the heathered texture.

The next step is to make Robin his Red Breast. I used a wool in a rosy/orange color - but my Color By Kristin in the 3278 October Leaves would work too. (This project was made before my Color By Kristin yarn was available!) The round shape of the robin's breast is made using short rows. After the breast is complete, you sew it onto the back. The photo below shows it sewed to one side of the back.

 This next photo shows the red breast after it has been sewn to both sides of the back. 


The next step is the head. For that I used a darker brown tweed yarn (Classic Elite's Portland Tweed in Espresso 5078). The head is shaped similar to a sock and then more decreases are made to further shape the beak. It is made both working in the round and back and forth. I used a scrap of a gold color wool for the beak.

Here is the robin before stuffing. The wings were knit separately and sewn on. For the eyes, I used kids craft beads in black.

The Robin isn't a project for the faint of heart. You need to know how to follow directions and do short rows. If you know how to make a sock, you can do this project. If you are an adventuresome knitter and don't mind ripping out if you make a mistake, it is a fun project to try.


Auntie Shan said...

**COOL**!! :-D
My "FIRST" Robin of the Season!

And way too SCARY for me to even *think* of "attempting" to do!

Willow said...

What a wonderful gift to give. The yarn colors are so cheery and full of spring.

mn_bird said...

I really, really like the Robin project for many reasons, including that it's my namesake. Thanks for the additional pictures. They will be helpful!