The Arctic Tern

I am very gradually (very, very gradually) working my way through the fauna of Shetland in needle felted form. I am officially addicted to Shetland ponies, almost completely because of Frances Taylor’s blog ShetlandPonyEverything (as I seem to remember saying before!). I will continue to make these fantastic little beasts – next up is a rolling Shetland pony, showing off a nice round tum.


But as well as stabbing wool I also enjoy spinning it. Having finally knitted this yarn into a beret, I wanted something to jazz it up.

Lupin and Haar, Shetland wool tops from Jamiesons, spun on my drop spindle. Suitable for 5mm needles, my perfect yarn for berets.

The name of the blue yarn is haar, which is a sea mist, and this colour is a lovely bright sky blue with trails of misty lights threading through it. So I thought, why not a bird pin? The Arctic Tern is a very distinctive and beautiful bird, suitable for making in miniature. Apparently it is called a Tirrick in the Shetland dialect (anyone care to correct me/elaborate?)I don’t have any of my own photos of Arctic Terns (I’ve never seen any here in Dresden, funnily enough), so you’ll have to google them. They are stunning! Their wings and tails are the most amazing shape, so elegant.

And here it is

It is the first bird I have made, and I am very pleased with the result (though as usual my photos are rubbish, for which I apologise). Although it is small it has come out very well – it’s very firm, and has quite a lot of detail, and plenty of shape. Unfortunately I don’t think it works very well as a hat embellishment. I have attached a brooch back, though I quite like the idea of it hovering over my desk.. I am at work experimenting with a clay base and wire.

I am also making a larger version… but it might take a while. I’m not even doing the feathers individually – only some of them, and I am BORED NOW!! I already had a huge amount of respect for Mel of FeltMeUpDesigns – how she gets the patience to do all these lovely little feathers I don’t know! It’s definitely worth the effort (please go to her Flickr page and take a look at her amazing owls). But the smaller bird was very satisfying to make, and more will be coming!

And, by the way, I recently found this fascinating website

well worth a browse! I myself will be rummaging rather than browsing.





One thought on “The Arctic Tern

  1. I think he’s lovely and shows character, and I like your idea of having him hovering on a wire. Mel’s birds are of course fabulous – though I suspect you have found your niche with the ponies. I look forward to cooing at the little round tummy!

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