Monday, 28 April 2014

Little Yellow Duck Project

 Have you heard about The Little Yellow Duck Project?  Handmade yellow ducks are left in public to be found and taken home, with a little label directing their new owners to the website.  They can add to the duck map where they've found their duck and find out more about what the project is all about.  It is to raise awareness of the need for people to become donors, how this simple act can transform and save lives.

I personally donated blood for years before falling into the "you can no longer donate" category.  I'm on the organ donor list too, and more importantly, I've made it very clear to my family that if parts are usable after my demise, then I want them used.  In the UK, next of kin can still override the decision to donate or not.

On to the fun part - the ducks!  There are free patterns on The Little Yellow Duck Project website.  Alan Dart has designed a knitted duck, Lisa van Klaveren has a crocheted duck and Jessica George offers a sewn duckling.  All the patterns are easy to make and take very little supplies and time.  I set myself a target of 6 ducks to release - 2 each of knitted, sewn and crocheted.

I used the patterns on the website for the crochet and fabric ducks.  My fabric ones have rather interesting head shapes, but I'm happy enough with them!  I made two of the crocheted ducks, and I prefer the size of the larger one, hooked with DK yarn held doubled and a 4mm hook.

The knitted ducks were made using this free pattern from Susan B Anderson.  Because they're knitted in the round, there's no seaming.  I modified the pattern to just knit the duck with a flat bottom:

CO 6, divide onto dpns -3 stitches on each needle. 
Increase into last stitch on each needle (kfb) on every round until there are 27 stitches. Continue as pattern is written.

Finally, I tied labels on with ribbon.  There are cute free labels on the website to print off and use.  I wanted ones that also said "not suitable for children under 36 months" as they all have beads for eyes.  I thought it would be fun to add a QR code too, which links directly to the Little Yellow Duck website.  

My labels print 6 to an A4 page, and if you want to use my labels too, here's the pdf (long pause whilst I try to work out how to get it in this post.....):

Labels for ZoeJC, with "made with acrylic yarn and polyester fill" added Zoe Duck Labels pdf

I just need to find some courage to leave them in public places now!  Update: All my ducks are now wild!