Well no, they’re not very steampunk… We’re deviating slightly for a very good reason.
A visitor to Steampunk-Shrunk Towers last week came clutching a large bag of toy stuffing, intended for use in our miniatures. Very kind, but none of the items we make include the addition of toy stuffing (well, apart from wisps of mock steam for small boilers and contraptions occasionally). Mrs S has a firm policy of never peering into the mouths of gift horses, so she sat down to ponder a use for it.
We’d already been intending to have a basket of items on our next market stall (26th March, Glastonbury Town Hall) to sell for Ukraine. So maybe some tiny soft toys?
Mrs S decided Ukraine must have a national animal, like USA’s eagle or Russia’s bear. She researched: Nightingale. Yes, really. A poignant symbol of the coming of spring, the building of homes and beautiful song.
Could she knit nightingales??
After a huge trawl through online knitting patterns, she found exactly what she needed – a pattern for a small bird, knitted all in one piece. A work of genius, actually. It’s more like a cross between knitting and origami, with its many twists and turns and complex shaping, but it comes out just fine.
Friends were polled to decide whether to knit them in natural browns or in the yellow and blue of the Ukrainian flag. ‘Some of each’ was the verdict, so she has been busily knitting ever since. A small flock has emerged and will continue to grow.
The proceeds, depending on the situation by that time, will either go to reputable aid charities or to fellow Etsy sellers in Ukraine. Many of them have had to close their regular shops, but are still able to sell printable digital items and so get their hands on a small income. Search for ‘Ukraine sellers’ on Etsy and you’ll find everything from beautiful art works, scrapbook papers and recipes to images of the national flag and drawings by the sellers’ children. You pay by PayPal, the money goes directly into their accounts and you can download the files, send a message of support in the review section and maybe get a hasty but heartfelt message of thanks from the seller.
Etsy has served us well, with our SteampunkDollsHouse shop over the years, so we are happy to support our fellow crafters and artisans in Ukraine at this time.