I made these Mini Chicklets to add a weeny bit of handmade hooky goodness to my Easter table display (yet to be created, but it's right there already in my mind). I think they would also look very sweet hanging from a twiggy Easter Tree so feel free to add a hanging loop and swing them from some suitable branches!
I used oddments of DK weight yarn in pretty Spring colours, experimenting with both a 3.5mm and a 4mm hook. The hook size didn't make a lot of difference in the end, so feel free to use whatever yarn/hook size you have to hand and see what you prefer.
These Chicklets really are mini, measuring just 5cm tall. They are worked in amigurumi style continuous spiral rounds - I managed to make mine without a stitch marker (ie by counting out loud and refusing to speak to anyone), but please use a stitch marker if you need to (a paper clip will do the job).
I'm writing the pattern using UK crochet terms, as follows ::
sl st [slip stitch] :: insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch, then through the loop on your hook.
dc [double crochet] :: insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch (two loops on hook), yarn over and pull through both loops on hook (note :: this is equivalent to the US sc stitch)
dc dec [double crochet decrease] :: insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch (two loops on hook), insert hook into next stitch, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch (three loops on hook). Yarn over and pull through all three loops on hook (note :: this is equivalent to the US sc dec stitch)
The chicklet is worked from the bottom upwards, starting with a flat circle bottom and finishing at the top of the head.
Round 1 :: ch 2, 6 dc in 2nd ch from hook [6 sts]
Round 2 :: 2 dc in each st around [12 sts]
Round 3 :: ( 2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next st) 6 times [18sts]
Round 4 :: Work this round in Back Loops Only (as in picture above)
1 dc in each st around, back loops only [18sts]
Round 5 :: 1 dc in each st around [18 sts]
Round 6 :: 1 dc in each st around [18 sts]
Round 7 :: (dc dec, 1 dc in each of next 4 sts) 3 times [15 sts]
Round 8 :: 1 dc in each st around [15 sts]
Round 9 :: 1 dc in each st around [15 sts]
Round 10 :: (dc dec, 1 dc in each of next 3 sts) 3 times [12 sts]
Round 11 :: 1 dc in each st around [12 sts]
Round 12 :: 1 dc in each st around [12 sts]
Your headless mini chicklet should now look like the picture above....
...now get stuffing! Don't over-stuff as you want the bottom to sit flat or else your Chicklet will be forever toppling over. But remember the top part of your stuffing will migrate upwards and fill the little head so make sure you have enough.
Round 13 :: dc dec 6 times, then slip stitch to close the hole up completely. Fasten off leaving a 20cm tail end. You should now have en egg shaped Chicklet with a flat bottom (!)
Top Loops :: thread your tail end onto a darning needle and make three small loops at the top of the head, securing each loop with a small stitch before making the next one. Fasten off and darn the end down through the Chicklet's body, bringing your needle out at the bottom. Snip off end.
Beak :: using orange yarn, make a slip knot with a 15cm tail end. Chain 2, then slip stitch into the 2nd chain from hook (note - be mindful of your tension when making the beak, aim to keep your chains and slip stitch nice and tight and neat). Fasten off, leaving a 15cm tail end.
The beak will be tiny, but it should look neat, as in the above picture. You will use both tail ends to secure to the chicklet, as follows ::
1 :: Make your beak as described above. Your beak wants to sit roughly 4-5 rows down from the top of the Chicklets head.
2 :: Thread one tail end onto your darning needle and push your needle right through the chicklets head from front to back (ouch!). Thread the other tail end onto your needle and insert it roughly 5mm apart from the point where the first tail end went in.
3 :: Your beak should be sitting nice and straight.
4 :: Your two tail ends should now be hanging out the back of the Chicklets head.
5 :: Deal with one tail end at a time. Thread onto your needle, insert your needle into the exact same place where the tail end comes out at the back of the head, angling the needle downwards to come out at the bottom. Repeat with the second tail end. Both tail ends should now be hanging out of the Chicklet's bottom (please excuse the brutal sounding nature of these procedures!)
6 :: Snip off the ends very close to the crochet so that no orange yarn ends show.
Wings :: Make 2 :: Ch 4, join with a sl st in 4th ch from hook to form a ring.
Ch 1 (does not count as st), 5 dc into the ring. Ch 2, sl st into 2nd ch from hook (picot point made). 5 dc into ring. Sl st in 1st dc to close the round. Fasten off leaving a 20cm tail end for stitching.
Position the first wing half way down the side of the chicklets body with the tail end at the top and the picot point at the bottom. Secure with little stitches around the top curve of the wing, leaving the bottom of the wing un-stitched. Fasten off securely and darn in ends.
Repeat with the second wing on the opposite side. Take care to position and stitch it evenly to mirror the first wing.
Embroidered Flower :: This is completely optional and only necessary if you really love to embroider, I know not everyone does. I've used very small scraps of DK yarn in purple, pink and green, but use whatever you have to hand.
The flower petals are embroidered using Lazy-Daisy stitch (see here for a clear illustration of the stitch)
All embroidery stitches are started and finished from the bottom of the Chicklet. Insert your needle up from the bottom (as shown in the above picture), bringing your needle out in the centre of the Chicklets tummy ready to make your flower petals.
Make four diagonal lazy daisy stitches to form the flower petals....
....and when you've finished the last one, angle your needle downwards to bring it out at the bottom of your Chicklet where you can snip off the ends close to the crochet work.
Start and finish all your embroidery stitches in the same way, inserting your needle up from the bottom, and bringing it back out at the bottom to finish. Work a few little contrasting stitches in the centre of the flower, and two straight stitches in green yarn either side for leaves.
Eyes :: You can either sew tiny tiny black beads if you have them, or use black yarn as I have. Same as before, start and finish the stitching from the bottom.
If you are using DK weight yarn, you'll only need to make one tiny straight stitch for each eye - don't overdo the stitching or your Chicklet will look a wee bit menacing!
The lovely thing about making these little birds is that no two will be the same.
They all end up with their own unique little faces and characters....
....with an overall cuteness factor that's pretty hard to beat.
Happy Easter little Chicklets!