Since the Waldorf philosophy espouses children watching parents do, “meaningful work”, parents of children in Waldorf schools end up becoming quite the little craftspeople. These crafts include knitting, sewing, woodworking, building skyscrapers...no wait, scratch that last one.
One of the first knitting projects that parents in our local Waldorf School’s playgroup do is make a chicken, usually right around Easter. Since, parents new to the Waldorf tradition and attending with their 2 and 3 year-olds tend to have neither time to knit nor experience with knitting, chickens or otherwise, this project is quite simple. If you have never knit, though, you may want to check out, knitting for beginners, a site that assumes you know exactly nothing...my favorite kind of help site!
I’ve made one of these each year for the past 3 years. As a novice to knitting the first year it took me about 1-1/2 hours, including the time spent ripping out dropped stitches. This year the project was complete in less than half the time. So there is hope for me yet.
To make this knitted poultry, perfect for placement in a knitted garden, on your spring seasonal table, or in your Easter display, start with yarn in a suitable color- 100% wool if you are a purist or like the feel, as I do. Then simply cast on ten stitches and knit 10 rows. After casting off, you should have a more or less perfect square.
Pin the square in half to create a triangle and, using embroidery thread, sew up one side. Be sure to secure the thread by knotting it around a loop or it will slip out (OK- maybe that’s obvious, but I struggled with it a bit until someone told me that.)
Next, stuff the chicken with sheep's wool or batting available at your local craft or fabric store. Finish sewing the balance of the triangle.
The final step is making the beak. Using red or pink felt cut out a small diamond shape. If you would like a male chicken, i.e. rooster, also cut out a comb from the red felt. Then sew the beak (and comb) in the appropriate place(s).
Voila - you have a knitted chicken!
When you're ready to start on the rest of the barnyard, check out this book, or the classic, the Knitted Farmyard, by Hannelore Wernhard, for more creations. Happy knitting.
Some of my readers had some great suggestions to improve this chicken!
One time I made a largish chicken this way, and I used a loop of yarn from the "feet" point of the triangle up through the middle of the long side, pulled in a little, to give the chicken a pecking shape. I also used several colors of embroidery thread knotted in lengths at one point to make a rooster's tail.hensirik Another nifty addition to the chicken is to sew a large button on the bottom so that it stands up straight when placed on a flat surface.dahliani ...if you sew a few stitches closing the gap between the back and the neck it perks them up a bitkate