Monday, 11 May 2015

Dave the dodo

For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by the dodo bird. The story of this lovey docile larger than life, fearless, flightless, plump pigeon captured my imagination. As a child all I wanted was to see a real one but of course they had left the earth a long time before I set foot on it and all that remained was a few old feathers, pictures and stories.

I read everything I could about them and that fascination never when away. I used to go car booting with my dad and was always on the hunt for anything dodo related to start a collection.

I only ever found one thing, this little brass dodo. I think it came from a mixed box of stuff Dad had bought from a local auction for us to sell on a car boot but as soon as I saw it, it had to be mine.
 I do remember no one but me believing this brass bird was a dodo but I was convinced and I loved it. It was the start and only member of my dodo collection for many years. Its still sat on my shelf of precious things now.
As I grew up and after my dad died I didn't go to car bot sales as often and I stopped actively searching for items for my collections but I never forgot about them and I never saw another dodo.

When I started amigurumi design I knew one day I'd love to make a dodo but they are such a odd shape it would never be an easy job. I let the idea rattle around at the back of my mind where I would occasionally fish it out and try and work on bit of the problem with how to create a dodo, but I never solved all the problems.

A few months ago I spotted this in asda home department and my dodo collection double to two.

Cats are not aloud to sit on the dodo cushion but they like sitting next to it. Cassi it being good.

Having the cushion in the house kept reminding me how much I really wanted to create an amigurumi pattern for one but the cogs in the back of my mind still hadn't solved all the problems that this design would have.

I spent the past weekend working on a few different new projects for new designs and ran out of yarn on three projects in a row. I was in a bit of an bad mood, I had done three full days of work and had not one complete item to show for it just bags of body's, heads and unattached limbs. I would have to order more yarn and put these projects off till next weekend.

I still had one more day that I'd planned to dedicate to crochet work but I wasn't really motivated to start a new design and would have wasted the day doing little bits of nothing.

I had a cup of tea, yet again looking at my dodo cushion and prodded the back of my brain to see if it had solved anything. The main problem is the beak, its an weird shape and includes the eyes, I had not a clue how to even start making it. There are many other problems, the curve of the neck and body and the huge body itself.

I knew how I'd make the fluffy tail feathers and the feet. I had a good idea for the wings and figured I might be able to fudge the body and neck by making pieces and sewing them together but I could not get my head around the beak.

I could just bumble wildly in and start making it and possibly it would work or it would be a disaster and I'd have wasted a day. As I didn't have any better plans I decided to go for it.

Fist problem was the colours to use. I needed a main colour I had quite a bit of as I didn't want to run out of yarn again. I really liked the colours of the bird above so I found a nice teal and mustard yellow, white and a rusty orange. The colours looked nice together but dull, dull, dull. I'd been working with bright colours all weekend and the thought of making my favorite bird with these drab colours wasn't doing a lot for me.

On my work table I had the colours I'd used for the three little pigs dungarees, a project I'd run out of pink yarn for the day before and had to abandon. hot orange, bright sunshine yellow and cool aqua, my favorite combination of colours and they were so much prettier together than my basket of drab. This was a project for me, I wasn't trying to please anyone else or fit into the constants of a commission, it was to make me happy and so I thought sod it, I'll use my favorite colours and my bird will be bright.

I started with the beak. This wasn't easy I had to start again a number of times but when I got the main part and the hook at the end of it made I knew it was going to work. The rest was fairly easy, I managed to work the head neck and body in one piece and by this point I could see what it would look like when it was finished and was already in love.

I was working with an aran cotton which isn't easy on the hands but I was on fire, I couldn't stop till I had all the pieces made. I worked from 9am -7pm but I did it.

My hands were too messed up to sew it together last night so it had to wait till today.

I don't have the best photos yet but I wanted to share the finished make.

There is nothing I don't love about him. I'll will have a pattern ready for him soon and I may send him off to have his moment to star in a crochet magazine but for now I'm just gonna keep him close.

Dave the dodo I love you xxx

1 comment:

  1. Dave is fantastic! I too have a love of dodos and your choice of colours is lovely. I will wait for the pattern with bated breathe!