Introducing Little knitted Nel (and how you can win her!)

I don’t make comics but I love them. In fact I love them so much that I share a studio with three fabulous comic creators (one of whom is my lovely boyfriend). So when all three of them took part in creating one of the most fabulous graphic novels the world has ever laid eyeballs on I was incredibly proud to watch it all happen.

Nelson is a graphic novel created by a herd of British comics’ brightest stars. It tells the story of the main character, Nel Baker, from birth to the present, told by 54 amazing artists. Even better all proceeds from the book go the the Shelter charity for the homeless.

Here’s what I wrote over at The Fleece Station blog:

“At the end of last week an epic KABOOOOOM was heard in the world of comics and a comic legend was born at last after months of hard labour. Nelson has landed.

Nelson is a graphic novel created by not one, not two, not even three but 54 of Britian’s best comic creating talent squished into one amazing life story. The basic idea is that each creator helps tell the life story of the book’s main character, Nel Baker, by showing what happens on a single day in their particular year of her life. Each done in their own comic style.

The concept was the crazed ‘wouldn’t it be great if this actually works’ idea of Fleece Station friend Rob Davis, who teamed up with our pal Woodrow Phoenix to see if it could be done. Enter 52 other comic artists kindly agreeing to create their part for free, and the infamous Mr Kenny Penman and Blank Slate Books who agreed to make it all happen in print.

Nel Baker finally stepped from the pages on November 18th and jaw-droppingly lovely she is too. From 1968 up until today she lives and breathes in inky comic brilliance, and happily for the Fleece Station we’ve been three of the proud parents.”

Nelson signitures so farI began the Nelson Badge Quest at this point. My mission is to deliver a custom made badge to each of the Nelson creators, snag a signature for my copy of Nelson, and help the Nelson team promote their lovely book. You can follow my quest and find out more over at The Fleece Station blog. But there’s more…

After I’d told him my Nelson badge idea, Martin Steenton, working his socks off as marketing monkey for Nelson, asked me if I might like to join the ranks of Nelson creators.

Did I want to stitch to life a little knitted Nel? Hell yes I did!

Since seeing Nel brought to life in the strips made by Ellen, Gary and Sarah I have fallen head over heels for the feisty lass. The chance to create my own part in Nel’s story was an honour that had me Snoopy dancing around the room.

So ladies and gents of the comics and craft world, here she is. My little knitted Nel Baker:

Knitted Nel - Nel

Little knitted Nel

And I didn’t just make Nel. I conjured up the whole story and addition to the tale of my own.

Knitted Nel - knitted Nel

Nel and her little handmade world

My Nel is the Nel of 2012 a year after Rob Davis’ final strip at the end of the book. I thought it would be nice to tie in the loose Nelson ends and give Nel a little bit of success with a graphic novel of her own.

Sonny by Nel Baker is my little wave at the original book. The cover and back of the book are exactly the same except for a little magic with the title and author name. I figure Nel loved two things, her brother Sonny and her crazy doodling, so I shoved them both into a book I hope Nel would be proud to have created.

Oh Sonny boy...

Knitted Nel - book clutching

It's a known fact that authors should carry a copy of their book at all times

I then sat my little Nel down with a floor full of memories. There’s a tiny polaroid featuring a panel from every single strip in the book.

Knitted Nel - polaroid carpet

Polaroid carpet. You'd think she'd have tidied a bit.

Nel is sporting some rather fancy clothing too. A handsewn cashmere Nelson jacket, a Nelson hat, authentic John Smedley knitwear (she obviously got a pay rise at some point) made from actual designer knitwear pieces, and a tiny Gnasher badge. DING! She even has a tiny pair of knickers on. For some reason people always insist on checking if my little knitted folks have pants. Well, she does. Hers are purple.

Knitted Nel - hello Nel

Where did you get that hat? Why I made it myself, sir.

Knitted Nel - baby got back

Fancy tails like a proper admiral

Knitted Nel - to the left

DING! Teeny tiny Gnasher badge

Knitted Nel - hat's off

You can take the hat off and wear it yourself. Might be a wee bit small. Perfect for a passing kitten though. Hours of fun.

Knitted Nel - DING

Win me! Win me!

My knitted Nel will be auctioned at the Nelson launch party at Gosh Comics this Friday 25th November from 6pm. I’ll be there, as will dozens of Nelson creators and a whole crowd of supporters.

All proceeds from the knitted Nel auction will go to the Shelter Charity for the Homeless. Gosh say you can bid online too! So if you want to get your paws on Little Knitted Nel email Gosh with the subject heading “I want to bid on Knitted Nel!” and your bid and contact details in the body of the email. Email bidding closes at 7pm. Hurry!

Little Knitted Nel is totally one of a kind and I will never make another one. It’s your chance to own a Whodunnknit original for a brilliant cause.

Come and join the Nelson fun, meet the Nelson creators, see some original artwork, look for the badges, get your copy signed, marvel at the book, say hello to me (I’m the one with the blue hair) and bid on Little Knitted Nel at Gosh this Friday. I want her to go to a good home.

Nel has already been created as a fantabulous book plate by Frank Quitely. So this makes me the 56th Nelsonite. I’m very proud to be part of the team.

Now go buy yourself a copy of Nelson. It’s all for charity and it’s truly historic and an utterly beautiful book. Get one, or spend the rest of your days Nelsonless. Poor you.


  1. bonnie
    November 23, 2011

    “Knitted Nel” is so cute and what a brilliant way to combine 2 of my favourite things (dolls & comics) with a way to do good for the holidays!

    • Deadly Knitshade
      November 23, 2011

      Glad you like her. Comics are grand things, especially when I get to make them come to life in yarn. 🙂

  2. Sophie
    November 23, 2011


  3. Dave Shelton
    November 24, 2011

    That’s proper fabulous, Lauren. Not just a beautiful thing but a fabulous coda (or an epilogue or something) to the book itself. I feel as if whoever wins the auction will be the only person to possess the whole of Nel’s story. Wonderful.

    • Deadly Knitshade
      November 24, 2011

      Thanks, Dave. Very kind of you.

      Whoever she ends up with will be the envy of me at least. I really want to keep her! 🙂