"Vulture, Bronx Zoo" is a free knitting pattern. Made in New York City, 2004.


To make "Vulture, Bronx Zoo";


The sweater is knitted on 6mm needles.Due to the volume of stitches around the neck, a 100cm, 6mm circular needle was used for that section.This is optional.
The yarn was purchased from School Products Company, 1201 Broadway, New York, USA.
The yarn is a chunky merino 100% wool, called “New relax” spun by Botto Paola in Italy.
Body Colour “Marrone”, Text Colour “Beige”
Quantity of yarn
Seek advice for this from your yarn supplier.The quantity will vary according to what yarn you use. It is imperative, though, that you work to the tension below. Change your needle size accordingly.Do select a chunky (pure wool optional) yarn appropriate to 6mm needles.
15stitches and 20 rows= 4 square inches. If you do not work to this tension, there is no guarantee that your vulture sweater will turn out at the correct proportions.
SL1K1PSSO= slip one, knit one pass the slipped stitch over.
K2tog= Knit two together.
yf=yarn forward
The garment is knitted in one size. The simple shape will allow for adjustments should you require to make it drastically bigger or smaller. The sweater pictured can fit up to a 36 inch chest.

Cast on 73 stitches.
Row 1: *K3, P2, rep from * to last 3 stitches, K3.
Row 2: *P3, K2, rep from *to last 3 stitches, P3.
Continue in rows 1 and 2 until rib measures 3 inches(7.5cm).
Next row:(right side facing) Knit to end.
Next row: Purl to end.
Continue in plain stocking stitch until work measures 15 inches(38cm).
Next row (right side facing): Cast off next three stitches, K to end.
Next row(in purl) Cast off next three stitches, P to end.
*Next row: K2,SL1K1PSSO, K to last 4 stitches, K2tog, K2.
Next row:P


Continue from * decreasing on every knit row in stocking stitch until 35 stitches remain. Slip these stitches onto a spare needle or length of yarn and begin front.
Note: the decreases are made two stitches in to form a nice ridge on the raglan seam.

Work the rib as for the back, ending on a wrong sided row.
Next row. K1, increase 1 stitch, K to end (74 stitches).
Continue in stocking stitch until work measures 7.25 inches (18.5 cm), ending on a wrong side row.
Next row: See graph. Work letters in 2nd colour using separate strands for each section. It is not advised to carry 2nd colour yarn across the back as work may become bunched up. Use intarsia method (remembering to overlap yarns between joins). It may also be possible to swiss darn the motif. If using swiss darn method, do some tests first.

Continue to follow graph, shaping armholes as indicated using same decrease techniques as back.
Once graph has been completed,darn in all ends and continue in stocking stitch, maintaining decreases at arms until you have 44sts ending on a purl row.
Divide for neck as follows:
Next row: (right side)K2, S1K1PSSO, K8,turn, (slip the remaining stitches onto a spare needle).
Next row:Purl
*Next row:(right side)K2,S1K1PSSO, K to last 2 stitches, K2tog.
Next row:Purl
Continue from * until you have only one stitch remaining (when you get to the final 5 or so stitches you can omit the k2 at the sleeve side raglan and decrease accordingly.)Fasten off.
With the wrong side of your work facing you, slip 12 stitches on to your needle. Leave the remaining (middle)20 stitches on a spare needle to be picked up when you are starting the polo neck.
*Next row: (right side facing, starting at neck edge) K2tog, K to last 4 stitches, K2 tog, K2.
Next row:Purl
Continue from * and work left hand side (as for right) until only one stitch remains and fasten off.


Cast on 38 stitches and work in 3X2 rib for 3 inches as for back and front.
Next row:(right side facing) K1, increase 1, K to end. (39 stitches)
Next row:P to end.
Continue in stocking stitch until sleeve measures 9 1/2 inches, (24cm), ending on a P row.
Next row: K19, yf, K1, yf, Kto end.
Next row: PurlNext row: Mark the centre stitch, and working in stocking stitch,continue to bring the yarn forward before and after knitting this stitch, making 2 new stitches on every knit row until you have 59 stitches.
End on a purl row.
Next row:K19, S1K1PSSO, K8,yf, K1, yf, K8, K2tog, K to end.
Next row: (and all other alternate rows)P.
Next row:K19, S1K1PSSO,K16, K2tog, K to end.
Next row:K19, S1K1PSSO, K14, K2tog, K to end.
Next row: K19, *K1S1PSSO, rep from * twice, K3, K2tog , K2tog, K3tog, K to end.
Next row: K19, K1S1PSSO, K1S1PSSO, K1, K2tog, K2tog, K to end.
Next row: K19, K1S1PSSO, K1, K2tog, K to end.
(mark this central K1 stitch as a guide)
*Next row: K to 2 stitches before central marker, S1K1PSSO, K 1(the marker stitch), K2tog, K to end.
Continuing in stocking stitch, working this decrease on the K rows 3 more times.
Next row: K1, K2tog, K to 2 stitches before central marker, S1K1PSSO, K 1(the marker stitch), K2tog, K to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1.
Continuing in stocking stitch, repeat this row after the next purl row.
End on a purl row.
Hold the remaining stitches on a spare needle.


Lining up the raglan seams on the body with the straight seams of the arms, join three of these seams leaving one back seam open.(right hand seam of back). Pick up stitches for neck thus: (right side facing)

Pick up 35 stitches from stitch holder for back, (marking first and last sleeve stitch)Knit up remaining sleeve stitches, Pick up 13 stitches from diagonal neck edge, Knit up the 20 stitches held at centre neck, Pick up 13 stitches from opposite diagonal neck edge, (marking first and last sleeve stitch) Knit up remaining sleeve stitches.
Work the neck in K3 P2 rib as for back front and sleeves. For the first few right side facing rows of the neck, work k2tog stitches between sleeve markers instead of rib. The aim here is to work these decreases internally to gather the sleeve at the neck without sewing.Work K2tog decreases in this section on the right side rows until only 3 stitches remain and these three stitches can be absorbed into the rib. Try to ensure that you have P2 rib stitches either side of the sleeve markers so the remaining 3 sleeve stitches can make the K3 component of the K3 P2 rib.Use your discretion here.
Work the neck rib until it measures 13 inches(33cm) from back neck. Cast off in K3 P2 rib. Join polo neck seam and continue down into final raglan seam. Join underarm and body seams and darn in loose ends.

At the Bronx Zoo in New York City, a pair of cinereous vultures are neighbours to a solitary golden eagle. I have visited them several times. They are two outlandish Isabellas next to the clichéd classicism of the eagle (which no-one really pays that much attention to because the vultures are more arresting.) This particular eagle looks kind of dumb actually. It reminds me of the Muppetshow eagle, the anchorman newsreader who always failed to bring an air of solemnity to the mob of Muppet dilettantes.

When we look at a vulture we know we will die, and if we were to die and if the vulture was there, it would most certainly eat us. Many creatures might satisfy their appetite by gnawing us in some species-specific way. A wolf might come to the door,a colossal army of soldier ants could make a temporary nation to delineate our borders in death.

But it’s the vulture that we imagine can almost supernaturally sense our dying, circling the lost, water starved cowboys we are. It’s the vulture who is endowed with the evolutionary tools, the bolt-cutter beak to open up our carcass and feed inside our body cavities. The vulture can smell carrion for many miles, and stomach it, no matter how decomposed. It’s the vulture who has dressed for dinner.

The vulture’s trademark collar of feathers acts like a bib to prevent the rest of it’s body becoming soiled by putrid flesh. Rancid meat won’t cling for long to the bare skin of it’s head and neck. The vulture defecates on it’s own legs to form an antiseptic barrier. The shitty legs also act as a cooling device and a defence mechanism. This “vile” behaviour deters predators.

All seven species of vulture are missing a voice box so they are essentially silent birds.
In America, their territorial span followed the new arterial throb of highways and automobiles. Attracted by road-kill, they went, to put it bluntly, where the work was.

In Texas, if you have a pet horse, tiger or elephant that has passed away, you may be obliged to send them to a vulture sanctuary for a “sky burial” before their bones can be interred.

The vulture has been described sometimes as a lazy bird. It soars at great heights, drifting, sniffing.

The cinereous vultures at the Bronx zoo are super-cool, striking birds. Beside the eagle, a symbol of supremacy, the motif of the avenger, the vulture signifies more than this nation. In a time of hawks and doves, the vulture is a mute itinerant.

Mandy McIntosh 2004


‘Vulture, Bronx Zoo’ worn by Crystal at Elite Models, New York. With huge massive thanks to her and her mother Princess. Thank you to Calvin at Elite Models and thanks to Ham for all his feedback. ‘Vulture, Bronx Zoo’ was made for The Travelling Gallery exhibition TGOZ. It was made whilst Mandy McIntosh was resident in New York, 2004. She is the first recipient of the new residency award from the Scottish Arts Council which gives the opportunity to spend six months in New York on creative research and development. The Travelling Gallery is funded by the Scottish Arts Council and the City of Edinburgh Council.

©Ham and Enos 2004. This garment may be made and/or adapted by anyone. Not for commercial purposes.If you experience any difficulty with this pattern please email info@hamandenos.com. If you do make it, we would love to see a picture of your version.