Fancy Hen and Dabbling Duck

Introducing Fancy Hen and Dabbling Duck

PicMonkey Collage

Fancy Hen was the first Dovestone Smallholding design. I had in mind a kind of cushion-y toy design that could either be decorative, comforting or played with. For her stranded colourwork pattern I initially looked at ceramic tile designs and then, wanting a larger floral motif I looked at traditional Fair Isle patterns. I was going for a combination of folk art and something more modern. I had a quite a clear picture of how I wanted her to look and she turned out just how I imagined her!

Dabbling Duck was the last design I settled on for the collection. After choosing all the other characters and forming ideas about how they would look I eventually decided that a duck could work well. I’d recently bought a duck ornament from a charity shop – Dabbling Duck was inspired by this odd little ornament.


Our Dabbling Duck looks quite different to the ornament, as I wanted the whole collection to have simple shapes and clean lines. It’s the wings that are similar. I loved how the wings on the ornament had an abstract circle pattern at the front and then feather patterns along the length. I also loved how the detail of the pattern was the same colour as the main colour of the duck with a new colour forming the outline of the wing shape. Such a simple and clever idea I felt that I had to try knitting it! The charts for the wings might look quite intimidating – both are knit flat with stranded colourwork and shaping – but as with most things in knitting, once you get started it’s a lot easier that it looks!

As the Fancy Hen pattern was released quite a while before the rest of the collection I know that some knitters may have already bought this design. If you did purchase the pattern download from Ravelry, and you would now like to have the entire Smallholding collection as a download from Ravelry, please do contact me and I can send you a code for a discount.


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