As a child, my very favourite books were Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Danny the Champion of the World. My children still have the musty paperbacks, complete with my name proudly scrawled inside the front cover, now over 30 years old. As a parent I've discovered a lot more Roald Dahl books that I love, including Esio Trot and The Twits. These are even more special as they have been read to me by my son, who has also been a big fan since he was four and first became a bookworm.
When I was contacted by Puffin books and asked to take part in the #CraftyTwitsChallenge for this year's Roald Dahl Day, it took about three seconds before I sent my reply - a resounding YES! The brief was to create a beard for Mr Twit, as there is a new 'bearded' edition out now as part of the celebrations and the people at Roald Dahl HQ have launched new apps and activities around the book (which you can find here - they are a lot of fun). This is what I came up with, thanks to some absolutely perfect yarn supplied by Scheepjes, and a very willing model.
If you're a knitter and crocheter, and fancy making your own beard and wig (which could also be used for other literary characters or general fancy dress) this is what I did and should help to get you started...
- 4 balls of Scheepjes Peggy in black
- 12 mm knitting needles for the beard
- 10 mm crochet hook for the 'hair'
1. Using Scheepjes Peggy and 12mm needles, cast on 8 stitches and knit four rows
2. Increase at the start and end of the next row using kfb increase (10 sts)
3. Knit four rows
4. Increase at the start and end of the next row using kfb increase (12 sts)
5. Knit four rows
6. K4, bind off four stitches for the mouth opening, k4 (8 sts)
7. K4, cast on four sts (using backward loop cast on), k4 (12 sts)
8. Bind off
9. The beard base looked far too neat to belong to Mr Twit so I cut differing lengths of yarn and tied them on (randomly) to make it look as scruffy and disgusting as possible
10. Using the 10mm crochet hook, crochet a basic 'hat' until it is to the desired size. As the yarn is very thick, I did some 'freeform' crochet after the first few rounds, and simply worked until it was the right shape and size (not too neat!)
11. Tie the beard to the wig
12. I used small quantities of Scheepjes Catona in various colours, toy eyes, felt and nylon thread for the pair of mice and other disgusting beard adornments which were (knit and crocheted, and then) tied on. This way they can be rearranged or removed entirely to re-use the costume
13. My son's eyebrows are very blonde, so I trimmed a small length of the 'Peggy' yarn and stuck it on his face with pieces of low-tack tape (if wearing for the whole day, I'd have used false eyelash glue)
And there you have it. A beard (and wig) fit for a Twit. You can find other activities and crafty projects online by searching the tag #RoaldDahlDay - there is also a cute video here. Have a great day!