Our favourite small mouse-like aliens with their unmistakable sound are back! And the Clangers knitting pattern is very cute
Clangers have made a comeback this year with a brand new series on CBeebies. You can even make your own pink creature with a free Clangers knitting pattern from the BBC website. We knitted a Clanger in the Woman’s Weekly office and here are our 15 top tips for Clanger knitting success.
Based on characters from 1967 children’s story Noggin And The Moonmouse, Clangers were first brought to life by modelmaker/animator Peter Firmin and writer/animator/narrator Oliver Postgate.
Oliver and Peter worked on the models on a shoestring budget, in Peter’s cow shed at the bottom of his garden.
Peter is happy to be back on board the new show as Executive Producer. Originally narrated by Oliver Postgate (who sadly is no longer with us), actor Michael Palin is lending his soft and friendly voice to narrate the new series.
In the 1960s, Peter decided that as Clangers needed ‘to be nice and stretchy and to adapt to the movement, it would be a good idea to have them knitted’.
He presented his wife Joan with a sketch of what he had in mind and she created a Clangers knitting pattern for the lovable pink creatures we all remember from our childhoods.
Peter and Joan worked together on the Clangers’ clothing, opting for sturdy armour to protect the boys from space debris and softer outfits for the ladies.
First hitting UK tellies back in 1969, they’ve dusted themselves off with an updated knitted look and have a brand new wardrobe for their long-awaited revival.
But despite a few touch-ups, the 2015 animation uses the same stopmotion technique as the original animators used – with meticulous and precise adjustments.
Modern computer generated imagery gets quicker results but would have sacrificed the quirky and charming way Clangers move around. We love them just the way they are!
Don’t miss Clangers on CBeebies (Freeview 121) weeknights at 5.30pm and Saturday mornings at 6am.
Peter Firmin created a great many creatures for children’s television including that old cloth sack, Bagpuss! You can still get your Bagpuss knitting pattern in our February 2014 issue from our back issues website.