In honor of put a bird on it month, I thought I’d dig a bit into the Lark archives to see if I could find out when people, um, started putting birds on it. And maybe, just maybe, I’d find the evolutionary mama of the put-a-bird-on-it craze.
I dug through a myriad of crochet and knit books from before the turn of the century (the early to mid nineties). These early bird projects were mostly confined to representations of ducks and chicks—tho I did find one dinosaur, which, while technically the mother of all birds, is probably not the mother of all bird motifs.
ducks and chicks
Continuing my excavation, I found an early fiber project, Lithuanian Songbird, from “The Book of Wheat Weaving and Straw Craft.” Though it’s a bird itself, and not technically something with a bird on it, it may well have been an important precursor to the put a bird on it craze. (Lark’s very own “Lucy!”) I found another rare early bird appearance on a Walker Carryall from“Terrific Totes and Carryalls.” Perhaps the first instance of truely putting a bird on it.
But what I consider to be the most interesting finding was a turn of the century put-a-bird-on-it population explosion. I found at least 10 T-shirts with bird motifs in just one book. Of course, it was “The Ultimate T Shirt Book,” but still… bird motifs aplenty: wrens, cardinals, flickers, parrots. And then a crash. A classic case for students of population dynamics.
a few examples
and for the scientists out there…