Wednesday 10 October 2012

Knit It - A Parliament of Sleepy Owls

No, I have not gone all political on you with a comment on the state of our current government (though it would be apt) it is, in fact, my latest finished knitting project - Parliament is the collective term for a group of Owls, odd isn't it. I suppose it refers to the wisdom both 'creatures' are supposed to possess!

With today's project complete, it means I have gifts for Christmas ready in October! 
I confess to feeling a little smug at the moment, as this is unheard of and seriously out of character. So to mark this achievement (although it's a day late) I am linking up to Lakota's Tada! Tuesday. Have you signed up for her Christmas swap yet? Click the link on the side bar. Don't be shy it's honestly a lot of fun and you'll have the perfect excuse for even more charity shop rummaging!

Never fear I won't be wallowing in my achievement for too long, as I have recently committed myself to knitting my Dad a Fair Isle Pullover, from Tupneys pattern, oh and did I mention I haaaate knitting Fair Isle, one way or another I'm sure there will be plenty of last minute present related stress to enjoy!
Anyway back to the owls!

~ Sleepy Owl Cushions ~

Designed By: Knitting Pony
Free Pattern Here: Sleepy Owl Cushion
  • Chunky or Bulky Yarn
  • 6.5mm Knitting Needles 
  • Contrast Yarn Embroidery (eyes and beak)
  • 4ply yarn Various colours (Feathers)
  • 3.5mm crochet hook (Feathers)
  • Stuffing
  • Yarn needle
Youtube-ular Know How:
* If you can get this technique down, you will never use a chained circle to start your project again! This is so much easier especially for beginners, as you can make the required stitches in lots of space and then pull it all together nice and neat at the end. Marvelous!

I saw this tutorial over at Knitting Pony's blog last year, I knew as soon as I could find the right yarn I would have to make one for each of my friends little ones. I feel like I say this every post but, these are really easy to make! They are knitted on big needles with chunky wool, so knit up really quick which makes it almost feels like cheating!

For my owls I used 3 balls of  James C Brett Marble Chunky in brown 16, which I think has worked really well and it's lovely and soft, and definitely huggable! I went down a size on the needles to 6mm as the stitches were a bit too loose, looking at them now they are finished I could easily have gone down another size as you can still see the stuffing in places.

As I had 7 children (2 families with 3 Children, and 1 family with 1 child) to knit an owl for, I decided so as there was a bit of variety I would do one normal size (34st), one medium size (29sts), and one small size (24sts), to match the children’s ages biggest for the oldest child etc.

Rather than using just 4ply, I chose to use the chunky wool for the majority of the crocheted owl feathers. I made the smaller feathers simply by doing fewer rows/rounds, which I think worked quite well. I found the hardest bit of the whole process was stitching in the face, I ended up by couching the thread as all my other attempts came out rather wonky.

So from 3 balls of yarn I have knitted 3 large, 2 medium and 2 small owls, including feathers which is not bad going especially as I even have some left over perhaps for a small owl for me! Though I think I'd better put all thoughts of that aside for now and get cracking on that Fair Isle pullover!

Wendy x


  1. Aww they look brilliant! I bet the kids will be thrilled with them, very cute idea to match the sizes to the ages of the children. Bask in your smug glow of having Christmas presents done already!

    Faith Hope and Charity Christmas Swap - Sign up now open!

  2. They're fabulous! I bet the kids were so pleased with them. You're making me feel guilty about not having done anything for Xmas yet...

  3. These are so cute. Thank you for the link, I have bookmarked it to make some myself. However having never been able to master crochet (and I have tried, lots of times) I have to find another way for the feathers.

    1. Thank you!! I must confess the hardest part for me was the crochet, it seems to befuddle my brain in a way like nothing else, I am sure that knitting them would work just as well! xx

  4. These are just brilliant and I love the Autumn colours. I crochet but don't knit, though I think even I may manage these for my grandchildren. Thanks for the link.

    1. Thank You Nell! They are very simple just pain knit squares, I found the hardest bit was the crochet :) x

  5. These are lovely and very retro looking! I wish I could knit or crochet...

  6. I love the owls!! Adorable. I'm not quite sure I'll be able to learn to knit before Christmas arrives

  7. You can't beat an owl for retro cuteness!
    I used that same wool for a throw last year - easy chunky crochet for a long car journey (yes, I was a passenger!), fun to see the marble effect develop.

    1. Thank you! Yep that yarn is a lot of fun to work with, though I am a control freak I really enjoyed not knowing what effect I was going to get! x

  8. They're adorable Wendy!I'd like to have them on my bed or sofa.
    I am learning to knit, but I need to improve , I don't dare to make them yet:)

    Thanks for sharing


    1. Thank you Lorena! I am sure you'll be knitting up a storm in no time at all! x