Authors’ Introduction to Knit Your Own Farm

Knit Your Own Farm is the newest addition to our menagerie of knitted animals. As children we both used to play with Britains Farm Toys, endlessly making and remaking our farmyards – now we can do it all over again with the knitted version.

We have provided a whole smallholding’s worth of animals for you to knit, from the very simple and tiny to the large and complicated. We have also designed a range of baby animals to go with their parents so that you can make farmyard families of pigs, sheep, geese and chickens. We hope that you will want to knit yourself a whole flock of sheep, clutch of chickens, farrow of piglets or raffle of turkeys (which is the collective noun, allegedly).

If you want something simple to start off with, we would recommend one of the babies – the piglet, gosling, lamb or chick. The one-colour animals such as the pig, sheep, rabbit, rat, silkie, llama, goat and goose are also simple. Then if you are ready to tackle something more complicated, we would suggest the cat, horse, hen, donkey, sheepdog, cow, calf and bull, before working up to the more complex Highland cow (not difficult, but a lot of loopy stitch), cockerel (quite a few body parts) and turkey (lots of body parts and a big job to assemble).

As with all our patterns, you can make them your own; in fact, we hope that you do – use larger needles and thicker wool and you will have a larger animal; make them with your own leftover yarns and your own choice of markings and in any colours you’d like. We’d love to see what you do with the patterns, so do send us any photos of your own versions.

As before, these aren’t toys and we use pipecleaners to strengthen the legs and make horns etc, so don’t give them to children to play with – you could leave the pipecleaners out, but without the pipecleaners it’s hard to get the animals to stand up. We do hope that you enjoy knitting these
animals and re-creating The Archers in the comfort of your own home.

Joanna and Sally

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