This was proving a challenge until I came across an article or two in this month’s Knit Today! Both articles featured either an unusual recipient or reason for knitting. So today is going to be a show case of “Exotic Knitting and Crochet”. Yarn bombing probably dresses the oddest items, but I’ve decided that as amazing as this art form is, I’m going to challenge myself further by excluding such subervise activities from this piece and sticking firmly to the worlds of fauna and flora!
I’ve limited myself to 4 search engine terms: “Plant”, “Pet wear” and “Caricature”, “animal” , obviously with the addition of the word knit or crochet 🙂
1. Not All in the Garden is Roses!
Its not uncommon for us yarn addicts to make flowers and occaisionally fruit and veg, they’re great embellishments and provide fun play toys for children. However there are many other things that are knitted or crocheted in the plant world, many of which do not spring readily to mind. Whilst trawling through Google Images I’ve come across many cacti, fungi and flowers. However one thing I did not expect was crochet seaweed! Helle Jorgensen is a crochet artist, who creates all manner of unusual designs and shares them on her blog – Gooseflesh.
2. Jumpers for What????
A few years ago I got roped in to knit mini scarves for snowmen for a church fundraiser – a friend decided they were penguins and an in joke that still surfaces today was born, that I knit beak warmers for penguins – personally I’d prefer to do them for puffins as I could do stripes then 🙂 But I digress, but only slightly, my reason for mentioning penguins is that they were the inspiration for this topic. There is a yarn shop in New Zealand, called Skeinz, that co-ordinates an international effort to knit wooly jumpers for penguins unfortunate enough to be living in areas where we carelessly manage to spill oil. You can read all about it on their lovely blog – The Yarn Kitchen.
With the rise in exotic pet keeping in the UK, the penguin story got me thinking about which of these creatures I could find dressed in their very own knitwear and I discovered none! But I did find a range of lady chickens in their very own bikinis and some really cute guinea pigs in sweaters – and being a guinea pig fan, it was those little cuties that made it! They’re featured on a slightly too sweet site called “Cute Overload”
The inspiration for this section was the work of an anonymous knitter, who “knits the news”. She is French so a bit of translation or a dictionary is helpful, but the work is exquisite and as well as knitting the caricatures, she also creates the sets and will travel if needed to capture shots of her little people in just the right setting. You can see the work on her blog – Delit Maille
There are loads out there, from Barak Obama to popstars, but I was charmed totally by a set of little zoo gardeners knitted by a lady who cleans there. They’re all based at Paignton Zoo in Devon. which is none too far from where I grew up. And was one of the many places Mum would knit for the entire journey to and from. There are pictures of me in Dad’s photobox in a pram being pushed around the zoo and later of my brother and I having family days out, so it seems sort of fitting too as it links to my earlier piece about knitting heroes. As the photo showing both gardeners and their alter egos is part of a local newspaper report I sadly can’t share it here, so please click here to view.
There are many knitted animals out there and ordinarily I’d struggle to choose! However I’m going to introduce you to the Squiddies, created by Southampton knitter Faffy McFaff. I’ve met Faffy and am really pleased that she’s now got a Facebook page up and running where she can share her critters with the world. I never thought I’d describe a squid as cute, but these really are!