Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Here are your holiday hens!

I made these hens after I purchased two nests from Hobby Lobby. They were sold together as one item called Woodland Wonders, and it is Hobby Lobby item 594796.

I simply used tacky glue to attach the hens to their nests. I suggest you read the directions through once to see what options you might want to take before you begin.

Hen body: Using Homespun Deco White on the Flower loom, 2 strands with a 1 over 1 e-wrap stitch, I used a drawstring cast on and knitted off 5 rows.

To make the wings that are one piece I knitted off 7 rows back and forth on pegs 2-5 and then on pegs 8-11, looking at the loom clockwise. Then knit off for 3 more rows, and bind off. Leave the drawstring open for now because you are going to stuff the hen later.

Front of hen with one piece wings:

Back of hen with one piece wings:

To make wings that are flaps, remove the yarn with a yarn needle from pegs 2-5 by loosely sewing a 6-8 inch strand of yarn through it just so it won’t unravel. Then knit off 7 rows back and forth on pegs 2-5. Then put the loops of yarn that you took off earlier back onto the loom and knit off. Repeat this process for the second wing on pegs 8-11. Then knit off the entire loom for 3 more rows, and bind off. Leave the drawstring open for now because you are going to stuff the hen later.

To make the neck and head: I used the 5 peg end of the spool loom, 1 strand of yarn with a 1 over 2 e-wrap stitch. Cast on and knit off 8 rows, leaving a5-6 inch tail. You may want to make the neck shorter; if so, only knit off 5-6 rows. Loosely bind off. The neck and head are one piece. Decide which end you want to be the head and sew the neck securely onto the body, pulling the tail through the inside of the body and knotting it. Then pull the tail on the head closed, knot, thread yarn needle and poke threaded yarn needle down through neck to pull tail down inside body and knot off.

To make the red comb: Knit off an 8 row 2 peg I-cord, leaving a 6-8 inch tail at each end. I used Homespun candy apple red. You may decide to shorten the comb by several rows if you don’t like how mine looks. To attach the comb to the head, decide which end of the neck and head piece that you want to be the head. About half an inch from the front of the head, lay the I-cord on its side and sew it onto the head, shaping it how you like. Since the neck is “hollow” inside, you can poke the needle down through the neck and into the inside of the body where you can knot it off.

To make the beak: I made a 2 peg 8 row I-cord, using a thin yellow yarn and leaving a 5-6 inch tail. I then tied the ends of the top and bottom of the I-cord together, sewed the sides of the I-cord together and sewed the beak onto the head.

To make the eye: I used Homespun black and threaded a yarn needle with about 12 inches of yarn. Poke the threaded yarn needle through one side of the head where you want to make the eye. Pull yarn through, leaving about 2 inch tail. Then poke the threaded yarn needle back through the head, right beside where you just poked the first time. Pull through and tighten. Tails will be on the same side of the head. You can tighten for a small eye or pick the black yarn back out slightly to make a larger eye. You may want to pull the needle through the head a couple times to secure the yarn in place. Once you have the eyes the way you want them, cut the yarn very close to the eye. You won’t notice it, and if you do, it may look like the hen has eyelashes, which you may find an advantage.

Your hen is basically done! Just trim the yarn tails inside the body, stuff the desired amount of batting inside it, pull the drawstring closed, knot it off and glue the hen to the nest! Once dry you can shape the body better, or shape it while you are putting batting inside. And there you have it!

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