In a KNUTshell
- The Thestral is approximately 24cm tall.
- Their body, arms and legs were crocheted in (vegan) Scheepjes stone washed yarn.
- Their wings and hooves are crocheted in Stylecraft grey yarn.
- Their grey eyes are attached safety backs, to ensure they can’t fly off.
- The Thestral comes with a custom book-page badge, as with all other beasties!
- 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.
I have always felt a deep connection to Thestrals - and not because of the likeness to death. Rather, I think this identification came during my own struggles with mental health; I reread the series while in hospital, and came to see the Thestral as a metaphor for the misconception of mental illness.
As Luna says, people judge them because they're a little different - yet they actually prove to be a huge source of light in the series, helping Harry and Co get to London and show huge levels of intuition. Moral of the story? Don't judge a book by its cover!
The Design Story
Given this personal connection to Thestrals, I have wanted to crochet one for many years now, yet admit that Procrastinating Perfectionism got the better of me - what if they didn't live up to expectation? What if I didn't do them justice? Yet after receiving a custom order request at the end of 2020, I decided to sock it to those 'mind muggles' and find a way... come what may!
I had already decided on my yarn, which comes from the Scheepjes 'stone washed' range in the shade 'Black Onyx.' I loved how the strands of white against the black create the effect of bones appearing through the black flesh - as the book describes.
Yet on that note... I was conscious that I didn't want them to appear too scary! This is where I looked very carefully at my eye choice and settled on these Grey 'Owl' eyes. I very much feel that the word in '...' there is a misnomer, as I personally don't feel they look like Owls at all. However, the subtle marking give this depth to the thestral and equally soften it - as if she's looking into your soul and saying "I see you, I hear you, I understand you"... or perhaps this is just my imagination projecting!
Onto the design itself, this is by far the most technical crochet pattern I have ever created. One detail that unites and characterises nearly all my beasties is that the pattens are seamless - this means that there is a minimal amount of sewing at the end, as the legs/heads/tails are all connected to the main body using short rounds.
A year ago, I made the closest thing to a thestral - a hippogriff - and made the head and body/neck as to separate pieces, yet for the thestral I was determined to crochet this all as one piece. After several days of trial and error, I was able to devise a pattern that begins at the back of the head and doesn't stop until you get to the legs, all thanks to short rounds and a lot of yarn joining to continue this seamless patch.
Finally, I wanted to ensure that the wings truly stood out, so I used a contrasting dark grey yarn and - as with my Occamy - wove craft wire along the scalloped edge of each wing. This means that they're fully posable, so can fold down flat against their body, stretch out horizontally or shoot for the stars.
As with all other Spew Crew beasties, each thestral 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 thestral 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 Thestrals Shadow and Storm, 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.