Trafalgar Books provided a copy of Arne & Carols Field Guide to Knitted Birds for my review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. This page may contain affiliate links, which help support me, but don’t cost you anything extra.
I’ll just bet you never thought of knitting a bird. Neither had I, but with their Field Guide to Knitted Birds, Arne and Carlos have convinced me that I need to knit an entire flock.
Arne & Carlos’ signature whimsical style is in full force and effect here. There are so many real and imaginary bird species here you could stay busy for the rest of the summer just knitting little birds. Who can resist Juanita and Pedro, with their colorful chullos? And Ola and Kari with their hats and matching scarves? And the sequined and feathered birds of paradise? And the birds in traditional sweaters, like the Bird with an Icelandic sweater? There’s even a bird with an Arne sweater and one with a Carlos sweater, because why not?
Begin by collecting your basic materials: small amounts of dk-weight wool or cotton yarn—or embroidery floss—for each bird, a set of 5 double-pointed needles, a crochet hook, a little bit of stuffing, a couple of beads for the eyes, a sewing needle and some thread. (I know, right? You already have these things in your stash!) You may also want some embellishments like beads, sequins or feathers, depending on which type of bird you want.
Now move on to the Anatomy of Knitted Birds. There’s a basic bird pattern, given in both text and chart form. Here the publisher has been super–helpful: besides giving the basic instructions just in the middle of the book, there’s a lovely fold-out page at the back of the book which includes these basic bird text and chart instructions. Variations on the basic pattern, including patterning, shaping, yarn choices and embellishments create the different birds.
Any knitter who can handle knitting in the round on double-pointed needles can knit these birds. It is a bit fiddly at first, with a few little stitches on tiny double-pointed needles, and less experienced knitters will want to start with the one-color birds. More experienced knitters will love using stranded techniques to create the more complicated designs.
Stuff your tiny birdies, add beaks, eyes—and maybe glasses—and you’re finished!
How do you display your newly created flock? Arne and Carlos have you covered here, with instructions for making simple wire supports with bird feet! Or simply hang them from a tree branch or other support.
Now, I am no kind of bird watcher, but maybe I could use this book as an education of sorts. Do you think if I knit all of the birds, I’ll recognize any in the wild? After all, this is a “Field Guide”, which sounds pretty scientific to me. I’d better get started on my “research”.
More Whimsy from Arne & Carlos