Nature’s Party Starts Here – by Author Mark Ward

Mark Ward, author of Wildlife on Your Doorstep published by Reed New Holland this spring, reveals the wildlife delights you can find close to home this spring.

After a sluggish start in March, nature moves into top gear in the months of April and May. Spring has well and truly sprung and all manner of birds, bees, bugs and beasts, many fresh from hibernation, parade their finest colours and set about finding a mate. It is a riot of colour and activity and the great news is you don’t need to travel far to get in on the action.

Frogs are back in ponds in spring and looking for love (Image by Mark Ward)

You can find hundreds of different species within walking distance of your home. All you need to do is to get out there and get looking and listening!

Feel the buzz
Start in your garden where many insects are looking for nectar as flowers burst into bloom. Queen bumblebees are busy looking for places to set up a new colony after spending the winter months hibernating underground.

You could find half a dozen species of bumblebee in your borders in spring alongside marmalade hoverflies (image by Mark Ward).

It’s not just the bumblebees that are on the wing though – there are around 270 species of bee in the UK and dozens of species live in gardens.

Leafcutter bees reveal their presence by leaving perfect semicircles cut out of leaves and use the sections they carry off to seal their nest chambers.

Solitary bees excavate tunnels in soft ground at the edge of your paths, patio and flowerbeds. Look out for tiny holes suddenly appearing, fresh excavations and the inhabitants coming and going. Mini bumblebee-lookalikes include the Tawny Mining Bee and the wonderfully-named Hairy-footed Flower Bee.

The number of butterflies increases dramatically as April progresses. My favourite is the gorgeous male Orange-tip. It is a white butterfly and has the brightest orange tips to its forewings and a mossy-green pattern on its hindwings.

The Brimstone butterfly (below) might be your first of the year though. If ever a creature lived up to its name, this butterfly does it with its bright butter colours that leave you in no doubt that spring, and warmer weather, is here!

Will your first butterfly of the year be a beautiful brimstone? (image by Mark Ward)

Back from Africa
Garden birds have laid claim to any nestboxes you have and many migrants, fresh back from a winter in Africa. Watch for white-rumped House Martins from around mid-April, but the all black, screaming Swifts won’t appear until a month later.

The dawn chorus peaks in late April and early May when the voices of the Cuckoo, warblers including the Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, and many other African migrants join your resident songsters.

It’s also the time to start looking for baby animals with Fox cubs to be found from April and Badger cubs appearing above ground in May.

Wildlife on Your Doorstep by Mark Ward is published by New Holland Publishers and is available at Hive.

A Badger literally on my doorstep on a May evening (Image by Mark Ward).

This extract from Wildlife on Your Doorstep captures one of my most magical spring moments.

Diary Notes: 30th May – We have Badgers!

Nine in the evening and Springwatch had finished on TV, filling me with inspiration about the wildlife-watching season ahead. With a good hour’s daylight left, I went into the garden to gaze over the hedge into the field, hoping to see an owl. In one of the moments when you sense rather than see, I turned my head left to see a low-slung shape, blazing black and white stripes on its head, barrelling up the field edge, before scurrying into the hedge surrounding the garden next to ours. I wanted that garden to be ours more than anything at that moment. We have Badgers.

The next night I hopped over the fence to put out food on the track next to our hedge. I picked up a bag of dog biscuits from the supermarket, a bit worried that my choice of the cheapest range of biscuits might attract some disapproving glances from pet owners.

I eagerly waited, watching those biscuits, but nothing came. The following night, the sound of crunching as soon as I stepped outside saw me approaching the hedge with the lightest footsteps I think I’ve ever made. I’d done it – a Badger was feeding there. It immediately accepted me watching from eight feet away hidden behind the privet hedge and hardly daring to breathe. It stayed for 10 minutes, enough time to gobble the lot before turning and scurrying off back up the path.

Out of the Box – Getting Creative with Jemma Westing

9780241286906As I type this, I notice out of the corner of my eye the big bag of cardboard tubes that I am storing in the corner of my living room… I wonder what the tubes will become. The tubes are destined for the Oxford Story Museum, where my BrilliantBuilds workshop has been invited to run a short session there in the spring.

I put BrilliantBuilds together at the beginning of 2013 and the first event for the workshop was Latitude festival. Sharon Reuben (the lovely organiser of the kids’ field) took a massive chance on me and I am forever thankful to her. I go to Latitude every year and it is one of my favourite places.

BrilliantBuilds is simple: it’s a not-for-profit, drop-in style, cutting and sticking workshop designed to give young families the time and space to be creative together. I was inspired to set it up after having been involved with various widening participation initiatives over the years that support the creative arts and help to make art education programs accessible and inclusive. My opinion is that anyone can be creative and I set out to prove that every time I run BrilliantBuilds. When the workshop is underway you get to see families collaborating, solving problems together and sharing ideas. It’s great to see such variety in the makes when you set a simple theme like ‘car’ or ‘city’.

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I am very lucky to have a pool of creative friends who come and volunteer their time to BrilliantBuilds. I could not run it without them, especially when there are instances where 40+ people are trying to visit my tent in one go!

Whenever there is a quiet moment during a workshop session, I try to take photos of the workshop makes and over the years I have compiled a large portfolio. I have photographs of hand-held makes, larger items that took collaborative efforts to finish, projects that move, and some great costume pieces.

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When I’m not running the workshop, I’m a full time designer for DK. A big part of my role at DK is to help to visualise new book ideas and I do this by scamping up book jacket designs and spread layouts. One day I wondered whether I could come up with a books worth of recycled cardboard projects. I designed a book jacket and a few spreads for my publisher and that’s when discussions started. I am now sitting here knowing that on the 1st of March, a fun looking book called Out of the Box will be published which is almost totally inspired by BrilliantBuilds! I have seen an advance copy and the amazing DK knowledge team have done a super job! The steps for each project are really clear and I hope that everyone who buys the book will share photographs of their makes with me and the rest of the BrilliantBuilds crew. Photos of makes can be posted here: http://www.facebook.com/BrilliantBuilds

 

Buy Out of the Box at Hive.co.uk

A Day in the Life of Gabrielle Kent

As a full time computer games lecturer it’s difficult to find a whole day to write, so I tend to do this on weekends and holidays rather than weekday evenings. A typical day-job workday involves writing lectures on everything from games interfaces, to what makes a game fun to play. I usually teach a few classes per day and deliver a lecture to 200+ students. Between classes I organise elements of Animex, a large games and animation festival which I run at Teesside University.

Gabrielle

A typical writing day, well, that’s quite a different story. At the start of a project I have to get out the house a lot and visit new places. All of this seems to help me develop my ideas and I’ll spend a few weeks scrawling ideas and story maps in lots of different colours on post-its and large sheets of paper. When this is finally complete, I create a chapter plan with a few sentences on what will happen in each individual chapter. Then I’m ready to begin the bulk of the work!

I mainly write at home and, because it is always during holidays from work, I have to do a lot of mental kicking to motivate myself to get on with it. I light a nice candle to help me focus, it has become a bit of a lucky ritual, then I put on some background music, nothing too exciting or I’d be up dancing and singing. I always start off writing at my desk in the spare bedroom, but being a huge fidget I move between the desk, the bed, and the floor at thirty minute intervals. I try to limit my access to the internet, but the fridge is a different matter, I make a lot of trips downstairs for tea and snacks.

I aim to write around 1500 words a day. Sometimes it’s a lot less, sometimes a lot more. I tend to follow my chapter plan at first, but the story usually takes on a life of its own at some point and carries me away with it. These deviations are always for the best, I love how my brain surprises me at regular intervals.

Now that I’m a bit more experienced as a writer I can trust myself more. When writing my first novel I tried to perfect everything straight away and it resulted in me getting stuck on a regular basis. Now I leave a little note in red for Future Gabrielle saying something like: ‘Write Alfie’s interaction with Artan here. Make it funny!’ It really speeds up the writing process, although when I do my first read through I do end up cursing Past Gabrielle on a regular basis.

I’m always more productive on rainy days. There’s something about rain pattering on the windows that makes me feel very creative. If I’m finding it difficult to focus, I go to a library and work there with good noise cancelling headphones. Parts of my books were written in libraries across the North East and North West. I actually typed the final pages of my third book in Stockton Central Library.

Towards publication a lot of my time is taken up with interviews and blog posts for magazines, bloggers and children’s book websites. I’ll also go on lots of trips to schools to talk about writing. This is great fun for me as I LOVE to meet my readers and to hear about what they think of my characters. Young readers are so full of ideas and so passionate about stories and characters, they inspire me to get straight back to my desk and start the whole process all over again.

You can get your copy of Alfie Bloom and the Secrets of Hexbridge Castle and Alfie Bloom and the Talisman Thief by Gabrielle Kent at Hive.

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Guest author blog: Melinda Salisbury on how she creates the world she writes.

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One of the things I’m asked most often is how I went about building the world that The Sin Eater’s Daughter, and The Sleeping Prince, take place in.

And the answer is pretty simple: From the ground up. Somewhere near the beginning of the writing process, usually after I’ve decided on my characters, but before I’ve fleshed out the plot, I try to picture the physical setting of the story in my mind. I knew the world of the Sin Eater was a pseudo-European medieval kingdom, so society would be largely be based around the outdoors, and the land, for the most part.

So then I had to create an outdoors.

Was it a green place? Hilly? Flat? Rocky? Near the sea? I pictured the climate there, and the seasons. Thinking about these things helped me decide on what kind of plants and trees grew there. And those plants and trees determined what wildlife lived there, which impacted on the lives of the people. It decided whether they were farmers – and what they farmed – or fishermen, or hunters.

Of course, I write fantasy, so technically I could have palm trees in an arctic-style tundra, or polar bears in a rainforest. But what I wanted from my world was for it to feel like a real place, and the easiest way to do that was to ground it in a reality that my readers are familiar with.

I decided that if it were in our world, Lormere would be a very small country, around the size of Luxembourg. It would be roughly where Sweden is, high above sea level, in a mountainous region. Winters (though we don’t see them in Sin Eater) would be very harsh, summers comparatively mild and warm. The climate and landscape wouldn’t lend itself too well to most types of arable farming, and limited pastoral; game, goats and sheep would thrive, but cows and pigs wouldn’t. Because of this Lormere would have little primary industry, and little secondary too. Its money would mainly come from tithes owed by Tregellan, and taxes on citizens. And of course, it was ruled solely by a monarch, whose word was law, and who acted as the mouthpiece of the Gods of the land.

Tregellan, on the other hand, has thriving primary, secondary and tertiary industry, producing, creating and exporting grain, meat, fish and luxury goods to Lormere. Because Tregellan isn’t as high above sea-level as Lormere, it has more arable farmland and pasture for livestock, and also has accessible coastline for fishing. The climate is close to our maritime climate, making it warmer and wetter than Lormere, though still cold in winter.

Possibly most importantly, it’s also a democratic country, governed by an elected council, who came to power after the dethroning (and executing) of the former monarchy. In just one hundred years it’s gone from being a country like Lormere – ruled autocratically by non-elected officials – to being liberal and very concerned with learning and development. Whereas religion is hugely important in Lormere, and followed by all, Tregellan is secular, people who practice a faith are a rarity. Creating the religion in Lormere was really the crux of creating the world of the Sin Eater, because it’s the thing that ties the country to the people, and creates the conflict. But that’s an entirely different post, for another time.

It might seem like a lot of work, especially when, as in The Sin Eater’s Daughter, you see very little of the external world, but, in terms of continuing the series it’s been invaluable to know the terrain of the world I’m working in. And the differences between the two countries are very important in terms of how they both respond to the threat of the Sleeping Prince, and the ultimate outcome of the story.

Which will be revealed soon enough…

©Melinda Salisbury

You can purchase Melinda’s books at Hive here and collect from your local independent bookshop, or have delivery to your home with free standard UK delivery – whilst still supporting your local bookshop.

To see more about us and how your purchases on Hive benefit local independent bookshops, please click here.

Guest author blog: Crafting with Mason Jars by Hester van Overbeek

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In the late summer of 2015 my publisher approached me about doing a book about Mason jars. To be honest initially I wasn’t very keen on the idea as how many interesting things can you do with a jar? But then I started my research and the ideas just kept coming, in the end I had a list of more then 50 things I could make!

I’ve always saved my glass jars once I’ve eaten all the food that’s inside them as they make great vases and tea light holders. I’m even known for buying my food depending on how pretty the jar is and that habit got even worse when working on this book. I scoured the supermarket aisles looking for unusually shaped jars, oversized ones and super small vessels not caring much about what was inside them. I must say I had some interesting meals while working on this book 😉

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I’m a firm believer of using materials that you already have cause unless you live an amazing minimalistic lifestyle all of us have objects lying around that we don’t use anymore but they can look great after a little makeover. In my previous book Furniture Hacks I tackled the bigger objects like chairs, tables and wardrobes but for the new book I kept it a bit smaller by concentrating on the humble glass jar. That doesn’t mean I didn’t get my tools out though, there are still some woodworking projects in the book. One of my favourites is the reclaimed wooden solar light post for you garden, and I came up with a new version of the jam jar units your granddad might have had in his tools shed, mine is for storing your jewellery.

Before I started the Crafting with Mason Jars book I had never drilled holes in glass before, thinking it was too tricky to do but I can assure you after some experimenting it is super easy! Especially when you use the right tools. I used a rotary cutter, a great tool everybody should have in their DIY kit as it can do almost anything, with a diamond drill bit the rotary cutter makes drilling in glass super easy. The other thing is you have to work slow, not normally my forte but when working with glass being careful is the key. There are a lot of tips in the book on how to drill glass so you all can give it a try and turn your old milk bottles into lamps, a Mason jar into a bird feeder and I even show you how to make your own drink dispenser.

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When you think of using Mason jars and jam jars in crafts you probably immediately think wedding but I wanted to show that the glass jar can be used in a more contemporary style as well. There are concrete projects in the book, a leather cuff to turn your jar into a coffee cup that wouldn’t look out of place at a campfire and Scandinavian style drawings for an etched jar and a paper vase cover. Every chapter also has a quick make, something you can put together without any tools and there are even some recipes in the book as the jar is a great vessel for food!

The book is photographed by James Gardiner and I had so much fun styling the shots with hand dyed linens, tree slabs and bright coloured flowers. The shoot days are definitely my favourite days in the whole book making process. We used my house as a back drop and shot in the amazing Little Stour Orchard that belongs to friends of mine. Being surrounded by apple trees, old barns and bright sunshine James and I almost thought we were on holiday! Keep a look out on my website for behind the scenes videos and for an exclusive tutorial of one of the books projects.

So pick up the Mason jars that are lining your pantry, the jams jars that are stashed away in your garage and the other glass containers that would normally go into the recycling bin and start crafting!

©Hester van Overbeek

You can purchase all of Hester’s books at Hive here and collect from your local independent bookshop, or have delivery to your home with free standard UK delivery – whilst still supporting your local bookshop.

To see more about us and how your purchases on Hive benefit local independent bookshops, please click here.

Guest author blog: A Whole Heap of Fun – creating Electrigirl, by Jo Cotterill

ELECTRIGIRL-COVER-front.jpgWriting books is often fun for me. I like being able to make up stuff. (The editing part is the not-fun part. Though I know authors who will swear the opposite!) Usually a book starts with a single idea. It might be inspired by an overheard conversation, or a newspaper article, or an online comment.

Electrigirl came from two places: my frustration with the lack of female superheroes (and when they do exist, they are often sidelined – hello, Hasbro and your lack of Rey figures in your latest Star Wars merchandise! Shame on you!) and my growing fascination with comics. Well, I say ‘growing’ but really I mean ‘returning’, because when I was a child there were LOADS of comics for kids. I grew up on Twinkle, Judy and Jackie, which all had comic strip stories. Ballet, the supernatural, boarding schools – even a fairground story with a creepy clown that freaked me out BIG TIME – all topics were covered in pictures.

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I liked the idea of doing a superhero story in comic strip form. But it scared me a bit too because I haven’t done it before. And that led me to come up with an idea that, once I had it, seemed totally obvious and I wondered why on earth no one had done it before!

Electrigirl is the story of Holly Sparkes, who’s struck by weird lightning and gains electrical powers. She accidentally blows up her classroom, her brother volunteers to be her mentor, and she has an evil technological genius to defeat too – so all perfectly normal for a superhero!

When Holly’s being an ordinary girl, the story is told through prose. When she’s using her powers, the story shifts into comic strip – and so the reader flips between the two styles of storytelling all the way through. Which is DEAD cool, and so obvious and I was desperate to do it first before anyone else had the idea!

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I asked Cathy Brett to come on board very early on. We’d met through the multi-author blog Girls Heart Books (which I run) and I adored her style. Luckily she TOTALLY ‘got’ the Electrigirl idea, and so we started work. I have to confess that it took a LONG time to get something that properly hung together – you don’t want to know how many drafts are in my computer! – but it was a really exciting process, and the pain of the struggle was made much easier by having a partner to moan to!

We were so thrilled when OUP said they’d take the book (and later commissioned a second, Electrigirl and the Deadly Swarm, out in August. By the way, you have to say the title in a deep voice, for effect) and they have been an absolute joy to work with.

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Cathy and I are involved in every decision, from layout to front cover to ‘extras’, and we are almost wetting ourselves with excitement at the prospect of doing Electrigirl events to kids up and down the country. I have bought myself a plasma ball because I always wanted one and now I have an excuse! We even have COSTUMES!

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We’ll be at festivals and schools, sometimes together, sometimes apart. Superheroes are cool, girls are cool, and books are the coolest of all. Huzzah!

©Jo Cotterill

You can keep up to date with Jo and Cathy by visiting their websites here:

jocotterill.com
cathybrett.blogspot.co.uk

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You can purchase all of Jo’s books and eBooks at Hive here and collect from your local independent bookshop, or have delivery to your home with free standard UK delivery – whilst still supporting your local bookshop.

To see more about us and how your purchases on Hive benefit local independent bookshops, please click here.

Guest author blog: Sue Stratford, author of Mini Knitted Christmas

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When I opened my shop nearly ten years ago, it never crossed my mind that I would end up writing books and designing knitting patterns. It all started with some little mice that I knitted using a yarn which just wouldn’t sell. I turned the project into a small knitting kit to boost sales. The mouse kit was spotted on my stand at The Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace by Search Press and I was asked if I had ever thought of writing a book. Those mice became one of the projects in my first book, Mini Christmas Knits.

When I look back over the last few years since the publication of that book, I have been on a very exciting journey and a steep learning curve. Not having any experience of the publishing world meant that it was all a huge eye opener for me.

The funniest thing for me is realising that I am not as bad at maths as I was led to believe at school. Designing knitted creatures and garments is full of maths and it seems that these problems are not as hard to solve as I remember. If only they had used knitting patterns in maths lessons at school!

Mini Knitted Christmas is my sixth title with Search Press and one I really enjoyed doing. I had so much fun designing the projects and I have to say the penguins in a stripy jumper were one of my favourites. Another favourite project is the reindeer; making nine was quite a challenge but when I saw them being photographed, it was all worth it!

People often ask me where I get the inspiration for my designs from. Sometimes it can be a particular ball of wool that I can ‘see’ knitted up as something in my mind. Other times it can be a picture or a thought that just won’t leave my head. The inspiration for Mini Knitted Christmas was my customers who asked when I was going to write another Christmas book as they had knitted everything in the first.

One thing that writing a book has taught me is perseverance. In the past if I tried an idea and it didn’t work I would give up (yes, I know, very defeatist!) but when you have told a publisher you are going to knit a reindeer – then you have to knit a reindeer! I now know that it may take me longer than I had planned, but in the end I get there and the sense of satisfaction is amazing.

I have a busy life. As well as writing for Search Press, I run the shop (with a lot of help) and have a large family. But I feel that if you are lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to turn something you love into your career, you should grab it with both hands.

I am currently working on a slightly different book of cute and cuddly creatures for publication next year so watch this space!

©Sue Stratford

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Now see below for a fantastic pattern on how to make Sue’s adorable penguins!

Materials
4-ply (fingering) yarn in sparkly white, black, yellow, red and green
Make a second penguin using sparkly white, grey, yellow, pink and cream
2 x 3.4mm (1/8in) black beads
Toy stuffing
Needles 2.75mm (UK 12, US 2)
Size 8cm (31/8in) high

Instructions
Body
Using sparkly white yarn, cast on 13 sts and purl 1 row.
Next row: K1, M1, (K2, M1) five times, K2 (19 sts).
Starting with a purl row, work 5 rows in SS.
Next row: (K3, M1) five times, K4 (24 sts).
Purl 1 row.
Next row: (K3, M1) seven times, K3 (31 sts).
Starting with a purl row, work 5 rows in SS.
Next row: K10, M1, (K3, M1) four times, K9 (36 sts).
Starting with a purl row, work 9 rows in SS.
Next row: (K3, K2tog) seven times, K1
(29 sts).
Purl 1 row.
Next row: (K2, K2tog) seven times, K1
(22 sts).
Purl 1 row.
Continuing in SS, cast off 8 sts at the beginning of the next 2 rows (6 sts).
Next row: K1, M1, K4, M1, K1 (8 sts).
Starting with a purl row, work 3 rows in SS.
Next row: K1, ssK, K2, K2tog, K1 (6 sts).
Purl 1 row.
Next row: K1, ssK, K2tog, K1 (4 sts).
Cast off.

Outer body
Using black yarn, cast on 13 sts and purl 1 row.
Next row: K1, M1, (K2, M1) five times, K2 (19 sts).
Purl 1 row.
Continuing in SS, cast off 2 sts at the beginning of the next 2 rows (15 sts).
Starting with a knit row, work 2 rows in SS.
Next row: K1, M1, K to last st, M1, K1
(17 sts).
Purl 1 row.
Repeat last 2 rows three more times
(23 sts).
Starting with a knit row, work 4 rows in SS.
Next row: K1, ssK, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1 (21 sts).
Purl 1 row.
Repeat last 2 rows three more times
(15 sts).
Next row: K1, ssK, K6, turn work.
Next row: P3, turn work.
Working only over these 3 sts and starting with a knit row, work 4 rows in SS.
Next row: K3, K3 from unworked sts, K2tog, K1 (13 sts).
Next row: P1, P2tog, P to last 3 sts, P2togtbl, P1 (11 sts).
Cast off.

Wings: make two
Using black yarn, cast on 11 sts.
Next row: K5, sl1, K5.
Purl 1 row.
Repeat the last 2 rows three more times.
Next row: K1, ssK, K2, sl1, K2, K2tog, K1 (9 sts).
Purl 1 row.
Next row: K1, ssK, K1, sl1, K1, K2tog, K1 (7 sts).
Purl 1 row.
Next row: K1, ssK, sl1, K2tog, K1 (5 sts).
Purl 1 row.
Next row: Ssk, sl1, K2tog (3 sts).
Thread yarn through rem sts and fasten, leaving a length of yarn long enough to sew the wing up.

Feet: make two
Using yellow yarn, cast on 3 sts and, starting with a knit row, work 2 rows in SS.
Next row: (K1, M1) twice, K1 (5 sts).
Starting with a purl row, work 2 rows in SS.
Next row (WS): Knit (this forms a fold line).
Starting with a knit row, work 2 rows in SS.
Next row: K2tog, K1, ssK (3 sts).
Purl 1 row.
Thread yarn through rem sts and fasten, leaving a length of yarn long enough to sew the foot up.

Beak
Using yellow yarn, cast on 7 sts and, starting with a knit row, work 2 rows in SS.
Next row: K2tog, K1, (K2tog) twice (4 sts).
Thread yarn through rem sts and fasten. Sew side seam of beak.

Making up

  • Sew the body seam. This seam will be at the back of the penguin.
  • Fill with toy stuffing. Fold the base of the penguin up and sew in place.
  • Place the two beads on the head for eyes (bearing in mind the outer body will cover the top part of the head). Sew in place.
  • It is easier to sew the eyes on before fitting the outer body onto the penguin.
  • Pin the beak onto the face, using the photograph for guidance, and sew in place.
  • Sew the small seam on the outer body, this is the top. Place the outer body over the main body, placing the centre of the outer body at the centre back of the main body so that the tail is in the middle of the back.
  • Pin in place, stretching the edges slightly to get the right shape. Use the photograph for guidance. Sew in place and sew the small seam either side of the tail.
  • Fold each wing in half with WS together and sew the side seam.
  • Pin the wings in place with the curved edge towards the front. It is a good idea to knit the sweater first and make sure the wings are in the right place for the ‘wing holes’ before sewing in place.
  • Fold one of the feet in half along the purled fold line. Sew the side seams and repeat for the second foot.
  • Pin into place on the base of the penguin, ensuring that the penguin will stand. Sew into place.

sweaters

Sweater
Starting from the top.
Using red yarn, cast on 40 sts and work 8 rows in K2, P2 rib.
Change to green yarn.
Next row: K6, cast off 8 sts, K11, cast off 8 sts, K5 (leaving 6 sts, 12 sts and 6 sts).
Next row: P6, turn work and cast on 8 sts, turn work, P12, turn work and cast on 8 sts, turn work, P6 (40 sts).
*Change to red yarn.
Work 2 rows in SS.
Change to green yarn and, starting with a knit row, work 2 rows in SS.*
Work from * to * once more.
Change to red yarn and knit 1 row.
Work 4 rows in K2, P2 rib. Cast off in K2, P2 rib loosely and evenly.

Making up
Sew the seam of the sweater matching the stripes. The seam will be at the back of the sweater. Place on the penguin.

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You can purchase Mini Knitted Christmas from Hive here and collect from your local independent bookshop, or have delivery to your home with free standard UK delivery – whilst still supporting your local bookshop.

To see more about us and how your purchases on Hive benefit local independent bookshops, please click here.