Last Easter my cousin, Auntie Helen, gave the children some knitted Easter chicks covering Cadbury’s Creme Eggs and Florence and Jimmy were thrilled. She’s very crafty is Helen and I thought they were super impressive but she assured me they were mega easy to do. As I’ve got really into knitting recently I thought I would give them a go with a pattern I found on line and Helen was right, they are very simple but at the same time they do look pretty darn good! We’re going to use them this year, knitted by me, to give to Florence’s teachers as a little end of term thank you present.
The pattern I found wasn’t perfect so I tweaked it a bit and have re-written it with my own alterations in a step-by-step guide to follow. I personally think this is far easier if you’re a beginner than trying to work out all the abbreviations proper knitters use – I may get to that point some day?!
I do intend to make some (from beginner to beginner) tutorials for casting on, off, decreasing, increasing and doing simple stitches but for now, assuming you know how to do all that, then here’s how to make the chicks (they take me, a slow knitter, about an hour per chick):
You will need:
1) Cast on 26 stitches leaving a nice length on the end of the wool.
2) Knit (knit stitch or often known as garter) 1 row.
3) With the next row increase by one stitch at the beginning and do the same on every row until you have 42 stitches on the needle. You will have knitted 17 rows by the time you get to 42 stitches. (Tip: When increasing do the increased stitch on the second stitch of every row rather than at the beginning as you will get a much neater edge which is easier to sew up.)
4) Cast off 11 stitches at the beginning of the next two rows knitting (garter) until the end leaving you with 20 stitches.
5) Increase by one stitch for the next four rows (garter) in exactly the same way as before until you have 24 stitches on the needle.
6) Knit (garter) 4 rows.
7) Knit (garter) the first two stitches then knit two together until the last two stitches which also need to be knitted individually just as at the beginning of the row. This will leave you with 14 stitches.
8) Knit (garter) 4 rows.
9) Just as step 7, Knit (garter) the first two stitches then knit two together until the last two stitches which also need to be knitted individually just as at the beginning of the row. This will leave you with 9 stitches.
10) Draw wool through the remaining stitches using a darning needle and pull tight.
11) Cut off a length long enough to sew the chick together.
12) Make the first sewing stitch where you have pulled the wool tight at the top of the chick’s head and remove the darning needle.
13) Using the darning needle thread it onto a length of black wool. Remember the chick is inside out (you need it so to sew it up in a moment) and embroider the eyes onto the chick. You can do this tying off easily with both ends of the wool once the eyes are done. (Tip: I tend to do two little horizontal eyes and one little line going the other way at the top as it gives a nice eye look.)
14) Sew around the edge of the chick until the beginning stitch which you will need to leave open to insert the egg.
15) Feed the threads from both the end of the sewing and the casting on through the sewing line and up to the chicks neck. Feed them through to the other side.
16) Turn the chick inside out as this is actually the front.
17) Set the chick aside for a moment and cast on 3 stitches in orange wool. Knit 8 rows before casting off and then feed the threads from the casting on and casting off edges up the side of the strip and across the middle. You should have a thread either side of the middle of the strip with a strong line in the middle.
18) Stuff the head with a cotton wool ball.
19) Fold the orange strip in half and sew onto the head in the right place for a beak.
20) Pull the thread from both sides and knot before cutting off excess.
21) Sew around the edge of the neck with the lengths left from feeding the thread through after sewing up the chick. Pull tight and finish with the ends going through to the wrong side. Tie a knot before cutting off the excess.
To finish tie a ribbon around the chick’s neck and stuff with an egg the same size as a Cadbury’s Creme Egg and you’re done!