The year 2007 is the year of the red fire pig. According to Chinese astrology, children born in the year of the pig will be happy and honest.
Pigs have a bad reputation in Australia. They were introduced in the 1770’s, as domesticated farm animals as a food source for the new colony. Due to a lack of fences and pens, and inadequate control in these times, feral pig populations were soon established in the wild. Because of this “pig shooting” or “boar hunting” became a pastime as officials tried to reduce the number of feral pigs. When I was a kid I can remember my Dad and uncle would load up the ute, go bush and go pig shooting. I can't think of anything more revolting, except perhaps for roo shooting.
The feral pig has a huge impact on the Australian environment and is considered one of Australia’s worst pests. Feral pigs erode the soil and waterways; they kill farmed animals such as lambs and carry disease which affects our native wildlife. Feral pigs will eat animals and plants, in particular small mammals, frogs, birds, lizards and eggs. When they wallow in the billabongs and creeks they destroy the water vegetation and disturb the ecosystem. They pose a huge threat to our native animals and wildlife. There is nothing cute about a wild pig!
Our daughter, (believe it or not) worked part time in the pig industry for the Pig Board eqivalent here while she was at uni. She told me everyone had piggy things on their desks. She also told me that even farmed pigs are pretty nasty. We had pigs on the farm when I was a small child and I always remember my younger brother being bitten on the belly by an aggressive sow. People would ask hin "where's your belly where the pig bit you?" and he would show them. He still has a scar.
So I decided that number 6 in my rugalugs series would be pigs, albeit a feral animal, but also in honor of the Chinese year of the pig. The pigs alone make great little brooches for a piggy party, and I reckon with a magnet glued on the back they could become fridgies. My son who is always full of bright ideas suggested doing the pigs bum with the tail, and this looks good on the back of the hat.
I think they turned out pretty cute, despite my reservations.The chocolaty brown hat looks good for an older child. Again I have this predisposition to do things for boys because I also have 3 sons. I reckon crochet for boys is always a bit ho hum so I put a bit of effort into making it a bit blokey but also with attitude.
When worked in a 4ply baby yarn they are pretty special. I reckon these would make a different sort of baby gift for bubs born in the year of the pig. While red isn't every ones cup of tea for a baby, I think it is quite effective. Certainly a change from the pinks and blues.
I designed a baby's beanie, and then went on to make a matching pair of booties. These are really something else! I hadn't designed booties before, but once I worked out what to do with the pig I was on a roll. When worked in 4 ply they are perfect for a newborn bub.I have just listed this little lot on etsy. It is the complete patterns set from pig motif, 3 types of squares - pig face, pigs bum and a contrast square. Also included are full instructions for the heat and booties. This is a bumper set but I felt it worthwhile to achieve something different for year of the pig.
So while they are feral beasts that stuff up the ecosystem, being on a babies beanie and booties is a good place for a pig to be!
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Happy Chinese New Year!