Tina Barrett Knitted Dinosaurs

We recently had the opportunity to do a blog interview with Tina Barrett, the clever designer behind the adorable book "Knitted Dinosaurs". We just love how cute these guys are--perfect for the little ones in your life...or even your dino-loving friends! Here is what Tina had to say about her book, knitting, and life in the UK:

JBW- Can you give us a description of Knitted Dinosaurs for our readers who might be new to you and your work?

Tina- Knitted Dinosaurs. How to describe it? Hmmmm…..Fifteen well known scary dinosaurs which are simple to knit and assemble with loads of scope for you to stamp your own personal mark on their fearsome

Photo courtesy of STC Craft
JBW- What was the inspiration for the book?

Tina- I cannot tell a lie, my publishers GMC asked me to do it. It was their original idea but having said that, I had total control over the type of dinosaurs featured and also the design input. My five year old daughter, Lily at the time, was totally obsessed with dinosaurs and wanted to keep every single beast that came off the needles. I had to explain they were going on a long trip to be photographed but that when they came back home, she could definitely have them for her bedroom.

JBW- Do you have a favorite design (or designs) from the book that you’d like to highlight for us? What makes this design(s) your favorite?

Photo courtesy of STC Craft
Tina- Personally, I love the cute Pterodactyl but everyone I talk to seems to have a different favourite which I take as a great compliment. My eldest daughter loves the big Diplodocus, Lily loves the Triceratops and loads of folk love the Steggie the Stegasaurus.

Photo courtesy of STC Craft
JBW- As a designer and author do you have any advice for those folks out there who are just starting to design on how to make a living doing what they love? Have confidence in your work. Approach magazine editors and ask if they are looking for new submissions and if so what type (ie: accessories, socks, garments). If they are positive, send in some sketches (we are not talking Leonardo Da Vinci, just a clear thumbnail of the shape and idea of your design) together with a swatch. You will probably be surprised at how enthusiastic they are about your work. Once you have negotiated and completed one design job, they will probably ask you for more and you can then start building on these foundations.

Photo courtesy of STC Craft
JBW- What kinds of future projects are on the horizon for you?

Tina- I think I may be taking it a little easier this year, actually. I wrote two books last year (The Sewn Nursery and Knitted Dinosaurs) in addition to my usual load of design work for magazines and yarn companies. I reached a point where I actually wanted to burn my needles (yes I was that maxed out!). I kicked back at the beginning of this year and am now just finding the joy in knitting again. I am currently designing four children/baby knits for Blacker Yarns which is something I am really enjoying plus my usual design work for magazines such as Knit Today and Lets Knit.

JBW- Now, let's get a bit more personal! We'd love to know a little bit more about you! For example, where did you grow up?

Photo courtesy of STC Craft
Tina- In sleepy rural Devon which is sited right down at the bottom of England on the sticky-out leg bit.

JBW- What time do you start work?

Tina- I have to get my youngest to school and then vacuum the house, shove washing in the machine and sort dinner for that evening first so I usually manage to get to my desk around ten thirty and work on till about three when it’s time to pick up Lily and get stuck into the evening round of household chores. See, it’s not all glamour.

Photo courtesy of STC Craft
JBW- Do you prefer coffee or tea?

Tina- Coffee but it’s always decaff.

JBW- Tell us about your previous life—you know, before designing…

Tina- I was originally a hairdresser before I gave that up to have my four children. Then, I wrote children’s books for Working Partners (Animal Ark, Midnight Library) before developing my knitting career which began as a hobby.

JBW- What is your favorite hobby?

Photo courtesy of STC Craft
Tina- My favourite hobbies are knitting and sewing which is the expected answer but true, none the less. I am currently sewing curtains and cushion covers for our VW campervan which I am
soooo excited about!

JBW- What is your dream job?

Tina- A children’s collection for Rowan.

JBW- A little known fact about you…

Tina- I worked as a man’s barber years ago and I love trimming and shaping beards and moustaches! Bizarre but true.

JBW- Your favorite book?

Tina- Three men in a boat by Jerome K Jerome. It makes me laugh out loud every time I read it.

JBW- What was the last crafty project (knitting or other) that you created?
Tina, in her craft room.
Photo courtesy of Tina Barrett

Tina- A new set of sewn cushion covers for the front room- a mix of fun fur, flowers and cupcakes. It may not sound great but it does work- honest.

JBW- If you be any animal (besides human), what would you be and why?

Tina- A cat. They have their owners trained for their ultimate convenience if you ask me. Waited on hand and foot- what a life.

JBW- Favorite possession?

Tina- Our VW Campervan. It has flowers all over it. You can’t help smiling when you are riding in it. People always wave and smile at you too.

Thanks so much to Tina for granting us the interview! It was so much fun getting to know you and hear all about "Knitted Dinosaurs" and your other projects! To read more about Tina's work, be sure to check out her website: http://www.tinabarrett.biz/homepage.html. Also, you can view all of her designs on her Ravelry designer page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/tina-barrett. Lastly, you can see more of Tina's Knitted Dinosaurs in the "I Love Dinosaurs" group on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/i-love-dinosaurs/1961370/1-25

To win a copy of Knitted Dinosaurs, please leave us a comment on this post telling us what prehistoric pal you would knit first! We will select a random winner and announce it in next Wednesday's blog post. You have until 11pm (PST) on Tuesday, 7/17 to enter! Be sure to check back here to see if you've won!

I hope you all have a great rest of your week, and happy knitting!

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Tina Barrett


  1. I would let my nearly 3 year old pick the first one...he's crazy about dinosaurs! :)

  2. The Diplodocus is too cute! (and it's name is fun to say too!) It'd be that one to start with, then a Triceratops following close behind.

  3. Love these! The Triceratops is a favorite of mine.

  4. Ohhhhh, the Pterodactyl!!!! They're all super cute, but I'd have to do that one first!

  5. I would have this book sent to my friend, Red Da Lefty Knitter. She has been knitting some COOL monsters. Maybe she could knit some dinos too. :)

  6. Oh I am a geologist and I would love love a book like this! I would definitely knit diplodocus first! My favorite and most studied dinosaur.

  7. I would make T-Rex first for my son. That's his favorite dinosaur! <3

  8. I would have to start with the T-Rex. I just starting a small monster making business and I looooooove dinosaurs :D

  9. Pterodactyl! My favorite dinosaur. :D

  10. Of course I would have to knit these dinos for my Huckster!!!

  11. The velocoraptor would be my first choice.

  12. Brie Clendenin (Brie7641@aol.com)July 11, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    The Pleiosaur is sooo cute, but I'd let my nephews each pick out one.

  13. I would start with the stegosaurus but I would have to knit the whole book. My grandson would need them all to have battle.

  14. T-Rex for sure. Thanks for the contest!

  15. I'd do the Velociraptor, simply adorable!

  16. I think I'd start with Diplodocus and do more from there. What a nice change from the knit teddy bears, etc.

  17. I'd start with the Diplodocus. I can just see my son making him hide his head in the pocket over and over! And then the T-Rex to make him roar!

  18. They are all adorable! Would make the T rex first then the ankylosaurus.

  19. The stegosaurus looks fun. Thanks for the giveaway and for sharing the interview.

  20. T-REX without a doubt

  21. The first one would be T-Rex. they are all cute!

  22. I think the Ankylosaurus is the cutest

  23. I would knit the Velociraptor first. I love that seriously fabulous pose!

  24. I would knit the anklylosaurus. It is adorable!!

  25. My grandson is crazy over dinosaurs! I would knit him the t-rex first.


  26. i love dinosaurs! and knitting! what a combo :)

  27. I'm pretty sure it would have to be the velocoraptor. He looks so fierce, and I love his fuzzy legs. They are all just adorable. What a cute collection!

  28. sorry I missed the cutoff for the drawing, just
    wanted to say your dino's are delightful. I'll
    be looking for a copy for myself. Great Work!