Saturday, 31 October 2009

The Jewel Keeper

I bought this adorable little swan puff many years ago. Infact I bought two and sent one off to a good home.
I have been searching the internet and book stores to find a pattern to make my own little brood but to no avail!

It doesn't matter in the slightest that I can't yet crochet or knit, or read the patterns but I will soon learn and I am sure that the beasties that appear will all be quaint and loveable! (as only a mother can love!).
I got this one from a charity shop in North Berwick. There was a small wicker bowl filled with them and I took my time choosing. I used it daily in my handbag to hold lip balm and other small what-nots until I decided that the neck was too delicate to be untangled from my keys every day.

So I now have her in my display cabinet. If you come across a pattern I would be ever so grateful for the link so that I can purchase it.
Swans are such elegant birds and always very regal. This one is most like a Mute Swan with her bright orange bill, though she does lack the black colouration on it too.
One of my favourite ballets is Swan Lake and I just love the musical score too. So dramatic!
In Britain all swans are protected by Royal Order and 'belong' to the Queen, and The Worshipful Company of Dyers are the carers of the river Thame's Swans in London.
In Scotland at Aberlady Bay there have been Whooper Swans. I have seen them fly overhead in their posses, calling, and they are truly magical to watch and hear.
They differ from Mutes in that they have yellow and black on their beaks and are slightly smaller in size.
There are many collective names for groups of swans - I've listed some here by my swan watercolour ACEO - though I did make up posse! - but it sounded right!
Another swan breed similar to Whoopers is Bewicks. They have more black on their beaks and are also known as Whistling or Tundra Swans.
This is the little pocket to store your jewels and forms the swan's base. I am hoping that all the crochet and knitter experts will be able to tell me if this is knitted or crocheted! I did see a swirly twirly ball in a crochet pattern book called an everlasting ball and it looked similar to the swans body. And I've always believed 'nothing ventured nothing gained'.
If you live in Britain and come across a swan in distress then get in touch with The Swan Sanctuary in England or the SSPCA or Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Trust in Scotland. Hessilhead do amazing rescue work with all wild animals in distress and are experts at this. They have a blog that they update with their rescues. Just go to Gay's Diary on their site.

The Swan Sanctuary also have sponsorship of Sanctuary swans. If you wish to sponsor a swan it costs from £12 a year though they will gladly accept larger amounts.

My swan is happily on display now (away from my keys) and beside her best friend a hob nosed goose, which incidentally was the inspiration for my baby swans in my etsy shop. As soon as I saw his huge fluffy bum I knew I had to make cygnets the same!
Behind them is my treasured vintage plastic flying swan tray and some rose quartz chunks. They all sit on my Scottish made porcelain gold and royal blue dish that I got from Ullapool, NorthWest Scotland.
- and remember - only 4 weeks left to buy your lucky raffle tickets to help the rescue rabbits at Buckeye House Rabbit Society to win the original painting of Pey's rescue bun Charlie.
good luck!


  1. I cant answer your knitting questions because I know nothing about that stuff but the little swan is adorable. I love to watch swans, such grace in their movements. I did see a video once of a man trying to fish and a swan attacked him. It was hilarious. He ran like a little girl and the swan seemed very proud of his accomplishment.

  2. My mother nows more about knitting from those swans, she has make very beautiful creatures when I was a younger ..... ;)
    Thanks for the lovely post today !!

    Have a wonderful weekend
    Kareltje =^.^=
    Anya :)

  3. It's crocheted, and doesn't look that complicated to do, even without a patter, but the neck par is what has me puzzled...looks to me like it's, you've got me curious... I will try to make one and show it to you and see if you think it's the same. I'd be able to do a better job if I had it right in front of me. I do a lot of work just freestyle by either looking at something or, like with my bees, just make them as I go and whatever will be, will be ;-)

    Swans are such gracefully beautiful cratures. My Om (grandma) always had porcelain swans, one was a boat type for flowers (it was hollow inside) and the other was a smaller trinket, but nothing as elaborate and large as yours in your curio.

    Have a lovely day and I'll see what I can come up with pertaining to your swan purse or container.

    Doris :-)

  4. Christina swans are indeed very powerful animals and more so if they have young around or territory to defend. They are very impressive!

    thanks Anya, your mum sounds so talented!

    wow Doris! that's amazing! thank you :)
    the neck is a small pipecleaner with wool wrapped tightly around it. Now that I look at it closely I can see that the body is 3 separate riply edged discs that have been sewn in the centre and with more ripples up front for the breast. The jewel case is a 2 round pats that have been made together as I can't see any edging and with a hole at the back!
    The neck base it where it has all been held together with the seam down the back to make the long body shape.
    wonder why I couldn't have written all that in my post :)
    Your grandma's ones sound delightful,
    many thanks, Annette

  5. Annette, I tried to send you a reply from the e-mail notification, but that didn't work, so I'm answering here.

    I thought that it might have been a pipe cleaner and yes, a couple of more close ups would help, especially now that you're talking about the 3 discs on top...I don't really write patterns, that gets too complicated for me (too many laws involved) and God forbid, someone will step forward and say I "stole" their pattern because I was making the swan, but I'd be happy to give it a go - and maybe you can too and maybe together we can come up with a nice little swan that's not too difficult to make. If you have an e-mail addres, please let me know. You can write to me on

    Have a lovely evening,

  6. A clever little design, could be converted into a rabbit, it seems. I have to say a a weakness for black swans....

  7. sounds good Diana! like the idea of black too.
    I shall have to learn this crochet stuff!

  8. Well, I did some searching but didn't find anything. this pattern might help with the neck part.

  9. I must apologize for not having made your little swan. I suddenly and totally unexpectedly became swamped with sales and a big custom just took my breath away and obviously wiped out part of my memory bank (he, he, he) because it wasn't till just now that it ocurred to me that I've not even started on your little swan as promised. So, now, as a reminder, I set that swan photo as my computer's desk top so that it will be in plain sight every time I start up my computer...I will make it my priority to get started on it PRONTO - please, forgive me?

    Doris and pets :-) (hugs)


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