Original Author: Steve Willis
A guest blog from Rosy of Deeside Knitwits. Rosy and the Knitwits have recently made some truly amazing knitted red squirrels which they have gifted to SSRS. Here’s a bit of background into what they do and how it all started! And if you didn’t know what ‘knitadermy’ was, you soon will! Over to Rosy…..
‘I’ve been guerrilla knitting for quite a few years now along with running the Deeside Knitwits community knitting group. Each year we make a knitted installation to help raise awareness and funds for local charities.
We started off showing our knitted nonsense at Voluntary Services Aberdeen’s Easter Anguston Farm in Peterculter. Our projects included a 20 metre long snake, a flock of sheep, a knitted tractor and giant pandas which went on to be displayed at Edinburgh Zoo… Sales of sheep and pandas raised over £1000 for VSA.
We then moved to Braemar and started displaying our work during the Braemar Creative Arts Festival in October. Over the past couple of years we’ve set out a trail of knitted red squirrels and one of knitted birds, along with Elmer a multicoloured knitted stag (as featured on Winterwatch), and a patchwork youth shelter, raising over £2000 shared between SSRS, SWT, CLAN, Braemar Village Hall and Sherpa village rebuilding project.
This year we’re knitting flowers to cover the bridge in the centre of Braemar, and mushrooms for the trail. Come and see our creations between 12-25 October.
The knitadermy started when Rose Toney of the NE Scotland Biodiversity Network spotted Elmer on BBCs Winterwatch and asked if I could knit a pine marten to use as an educational aid… The request for squirrels for SSRS then followed!
Each animal is unique. I use a taxidermy form as a base, and then shape the knitting to cover. I try and make the knitadermy animals look as realistic as possible with the aid of many photographs… No animals are harmed during this process!’
Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrel would like to thank Rosy and the Deeside Knitwits for all their hard work, dedication, and help not only with fund raising but also awareness raising. The knitted squirrels travel far and wide with the Project Officer team and they never fail to raise a smile from folk that meet them.