In a KNUTshell
- Moonstrals are approximately 20cm tall.
- Their body, arms and legs were crocheted in Scheepjes 'Stone Washed' yarn.
- Their wings and inner ears are crocheted in Scheepjes 'Chunky Monkey' yarn and have craft wire running through the edge, which makes them posable!
- Their fluffy manes are embroidered on with Peter Pan 'Precious' yarn.
- Their sparkly grey eyes are hand-painted and attached with safety backs.
- Each Moonstral will come with a custom book-page badge.
- They are stuffed with recycled polyester filling.
- Crochet beasties are made to order, so please allow 4-6 weeks from the point of adoption, before they will be ready to fly free.
Ever since I began making my "hybrid beasties" in 2019 (starting with the Puffcorn), I've been thinking about how I could tie this into my favourite Holidays - namely, Halloween! After debuting my Thestral at the start of 2020, I felt that he was the perfect Beastie to draw from... the question is, who would be their chosen companion? Enter the Mooncalf!
I have always had a special place in my heart for these big-eyed, web-footed beasties and, in my headcanon, they are Luna's kindred spirit. Historically, the term "Mooncalf" means "monstrous birth" - in other words, something that doesn't belong in this world. Thestrals are similarly deemed monstrous by many in the Wizarding World; however, just as Newt says, there are "no strange creatures, only blinkered people." What better way to honour those words than by combining the two? And thus the MOONSTRAL came to be... along with their very own beastie backstory!
(Disclaimer: the following story came from an imagination entirely of my own, so cannot be considered canon; however, as a wise man once said, why should that mean that it is not real?)
The first human sighting of a MOONSTRAL was reported on All Hallow’s Eve, 1997. It was the height of the second Wizarding War, and Lord Voldemort was known to recruit Werewolves - often assigning Fenrir Greyback to prey on young, vulnerable witches and wizards. The tragic result was that many of those newly bitten were out of control, and deperived of the chance to access the Wolfsbane potion. What’s more, there was a dramatic rise in werewolf attacks, both on humans and forest dwelling magical creatures, namely Unicorns & Mooncalves.
No one knows quite how it happened - some branches of magic are beyond our comprehension. Yet on that Halloween night, during a full moon, the parent of a child who was killed by Greyback reported seeing an otherworldly creature stand between a young werewolf and a herd of Unicorn foals. Instinctively, they realised that this creature - with the giant eyes and body of a Mooncalf, but the skin and wings of a Thestral - was acting as a guardian… for both the orphaned foals and the equally innocent Werewolf. For this latter creature was not the true monster - that title belonged to the human who sought to weaponise him (Greyback)
Like Padfoot in 1994, the Moonstral appeared at a full moon to protect a werewolf from himself, alongside its potential victims. On that note, Moonstrals are estimated to have saved 100s of orphaned creatures over the years, who had previously lost a parent to a werewolf attack. These creatures may have seen death, but still had a life of possibility in front of them to live. The magical Moonstral saw this, and solemnly swore to keep them free.
The Design Story
From a design perspective, these are the two crochet beastie patterns that I am most proud of. They were both such a labour of love, and I also hadn't seen anything quite like them on the Wizarding Wireless Web. So the idea of combining the two naturally filled me with joy... and "just a smidge" of fear. For how could I possibly choose which elements to take from each, and still maintain their individual magic?
I started with materials; specifically, which aspects of my two designs I treasure the most. For my Mooncalf, this was undoubtedly their eyes, smiles and little webbed feet, while for my Thestral it was the yarn and wings. I didn't feel too sentimental about my Mooncalf yarn - it is a pretty basic grey, and I'd already switched it up for my Moonicorn. By contrast, my Thestral yarn is one of my favourites to both look at and work with - the Scheepjes 'stone washed' range combines brushed cotton with a tiny strand of white thread, which in this instance creates the illusion of bones). I also decided very early one that the Mooncalf eyes were a keeper, only this time painted in silver instead of blue.
Onto the main design, after a bit of trial and error trying to combine the two body patterns (which included a siriusly questionable tail), I concluded that it was best to stick with one - and considering that I had already settled on my mooncalf eyes, their body pattern was also the chosen one! What's more, this didn't involve compromising on my "keepers list", as I was already using the Thestral yarn and could easily attach their wings to my original mooncalf body... with a few alterations!
My original Thestral is quite a bit taller than the Mooncalf, as one of the things that endears me to the latter is how short and stumpy their legs are (particularly in comparison to the neck.) I therefore had to alter the wings a bit, otherwise they would have dragged across the floor when pointing downwards. However, shorter doesn't mean any less detailed, as the wings still have the two points along the edge, and also contain craft wire - this means that they can point down to the ground, up to the sky and jet out sideways.
Additionally, the wings can be straight, or curled - as show in the photos. I personally love the pose in photo one, where they are curled slightly at the end. As his maker mum, I may be a bit biased, but I feel he is truly model-worthy!
As with all other Spew Crew beasties, each Moonstral is handmade to my own pattern, so is 100% exclusive to Bumble and Be. As they are made-to-order, it means that no two will be quite the same, but I like to think that is part of their magic - just like an Ollivander wand!
Every single Moonstral adopted will also come with their own exclusive adoption card and "beastie book badge", which I make from the secondhand pages of Harry Potter books. Before your beastie flies off to you, I will ask if you have a name in mind and - if so - put this onto the adoption card. On that note, this name will often form the basis for the book badge too; for example, past customers have called Mooncalves Luna and Star, so I have chosen passages with these words included!
My makes are inspired by the Wizarding World, but are unlicensed and have no affiliation with Warner Bros/JK Rowling.