Jul 31, 2014

FO | Whimsical Woodpecker

A busy little Downy Woodpecker seems determined to deconstruct the six-foot cedar privacy fence that encloses the backyard. (To read the backstory, go here.)

So far, the damage is relatively minor but visible. In an effort to prevent more damage and stop that persistent tap-tap-tapping noise, I'm trying behavior modification techniques.

Every time I catch her in the act, I shoo her away. (Yep, my nemesis is female.)

Because she's clever as well as determined, she's developed a predictable pattern: She leaves her favorite "work site" and perches on the fence, studying me intently to see if I'm serious or just shooing for the fun of it. Her look says it all: Silly woman, stop that crazy clap-clap-clapping and stop flapping your arms. You can't fly, but I can!

To prove her point, she flits away. A little time passes, then: Tap-tap-tap.

Downies are supposed to be somewhat shy but this little girl has a single-minded focus that's admirable. And annoying. For her own amusement and perhaps mine as well, she likes to pick up her mission of destruction on the opposite side of the yard in what is clearly her second favorite site.

I shoo. She flits. The whole cycle starts all over again.

In an effort to retain some semblance of sanity (and to divert my attention away from that darn noise), I tap-tap-tapped into my creative side:

My little woodchipper is clearly female, so her natural coloration is black and white. Because the knitterly version clamored for a dash of color, I valiantly resisted the urge to give her demonic red eyes and opted instead for the red crest found on males.

This whimsical woodpecker is an adaptation of my reverse miter seed stitch coaster-cloth pattern and you can see the basic two-color version here. The yarn (Cotton Fleece) and buttons are of course straight from stash.

Meanwhile, the verdict is still out. Cute? Quirky? Or completely crazy?

Let's pretend it's a whimsical mix of all three.

NB: I feel compelled to point out no Downy Woodpeckers were harmed in the making of this whimsical knit. Also, stay tuned for my upcoming tutorial: How to Train a Downy Woodpecker in 3 Easy Lessons. (Just kidding.)

For more fiber talk, visit Wisdom in Wonder and Natural Suburbia.


  1. Cute and quirky. Maybe just a little crazy :) My mum has a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers that visits her bird table on a regular basis and now baby has started visiting, too :) It's wonderful to watch them.

  2. I love your sense of humour x

  3. So clever. The story and the knit.

  4. So clever. The story and the knit.

  5. Cute! I love the story behind the knit.


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