(image thanks to http://www.roaldahl.com)
Tears, tantrums and threats…not from my six-year-old, of course, from me. Just to get him to wear my AMAZING knitted World Book Day costume! Gold star for anyone who can guess who he is…anyone? The clue is in the bits of food hanging from the beard. It’s my favourite Roald Dahl character Mr Twit of course! This is such an excellent book, it is outstanding. The copy we have at home has since been passed down to the next generation, but was first purchased as a wedding present for Mr KnitWit. What better literary example does one need of marital life, than The Twits?
I don’t normally create costumes for such school dress-up day occasions. They are usually put together in a semi slap-dash way, knowing full well that half the costume will be discarded/destroyed by morning break. But when deciding on a costume for this year’s World Book Day and my eldest suggested Mr Twit, I just couldn’t resist the challenge of the Knitted Beard.
I’m confessing my knitting naivety here, but who would have thought there would be so many images and patterns of knitted beards in the world? It is like a secret, slightly weird, sub-culture of people wearing knitted beards. Anyway, I thought I’d go for the ‘high end’ option of the knitted beard world, and began my pattern search on Ravelry. The perfect beard soon loomed into view, although it was actually a pattern for a Santa beard, it did have great ‘beard’ potential. The pattern was thanks to Maisha, who has a great knitting website full of ideas and patterns (plus it is translated into English, for those whose Danish is a bit rusty).
There’s both written and photo tutorials on how to do the all-important ‘loop stitch’, which is central to the whole ‘beard look’. To complete the slightly scraggy look, I knitted on 10mm needles with three strands of yarn (which combined was perfect for the needle size). I knitted with a grey and black chunky yarn and a white eyelash yarn.
The problems I encountered were two-fold. First problem was getting my child to wear the bloomin’ thing. Much thrashing around and complaining about looking silly (fair point). The second was easier to deal with, as it involved further knitting. As the beard had difficulty staying on the face, I knitted a square of the loop stitch to act as hair and sewed the whole thing to a hat. Et voila! Mr Twit was born!
So don’t forget readers, “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” Roald Dahl, The Twits.