Cats wreak genocide on baby birds
Earlier this year a new study found that we’d been underestimating by billions the number of birds and small mammals our cute little kitties ravenously kill every year. Oh noes! Bad bad kitties! Fortunately, the country is also full of wildlife rescue centers. These are the places where sensitive nature-lovers like you and me deliver injured birds and other animals in the hopes that they’ll be nurtured back to health and released back into the wild.
Play the Easter Bunny for a fledgling this year
This time of year baby bird nurseries are aflutter, not with marshmallow peeps, but tiny robins, jays, towhees, and thrushes all orphaned, injured, or separated from their parents. When a family member in Seattle emailed me about a local rescue center’s call for knitted nests for baby bird season, I knew it was the perfect Easter craft to share with you all. Look how cute they are!
How to knit a baby bird nest
You’ll enjoy every stitch, thinking of the little feet and feathers flopping around in your nest! The pattern is so simple that after just one, you’ll have it memorized and won’t be able to stop making more. Well, as you can see, I certainly couldn’t!
Here are the details from the call for nests from the West Sound Wildlife Shelter. Please click over and read for more information. Thanks to Barbara Johnson for the pattern. Ship your finished nests to West Sound Wildlife, 7501 NE Dolphin Dr., Bainbridge Island, WA 98110. Please note that they are not open to the public. If you live in the area and want to deliver your nests, call 206-855-9057 to arrange an appointment first.
- To make sure the nest is tight and washable, use two strands of washable yarn (using two different colors to make counting stitches easier). Use three strands if the yarn is very fine.
- Use double-pointed needles—just about any size, from 5 through 9, depending on the weight of the yarn. You can use circular needles if you prefer.
- When doing K2tog, it seems to be easier to knit through the back loops rather than the front. If you’re still having problems with K2tog, try using a crochet hook to pull the yarn through.
- Only decrease to the point where you have a small, easily closed gap in the bottom of the nest; otherwise there can be a bump on the bottom that can make the nest unstable.
- Directions given are for nests that are about 4” across. Cast on fewer stitches for smaller nests. They knit up so quickly, it’s easy to experiment. (If the nest is much smaller, start the decrease with K6, K2tog.)
- The yarn should not be fuzzy so toes don’t get caught.
- Using 2 strands of yarn, cast on 54 stitches; then divide evenly among 4 dpns.
- Work in stockinette (all K stitches) until the nest is approximately 3″ tall.
- Purl one row, and then start to decrease:
- Row 1) K7, K2tog—repeat to end
- Row 2) K6, K2tog—repeat to end
- Row 3) K5, K2tog—repeat to end
- Row 4) K4, K2tog—repeat to end
- Row 5) K3, K2tog—repeat to end
- Row 6) K2, K2tog—repeat to end
- Row 7) K1, K2tog—repeat to end
- See tip #4 above to determine if you want to continue in this pattern for one more row. Cut yarns, leaving a 6″ tail. Slide yarn on needle, draw tight to close up end (put a few stitches across the gap if need be.) Weave in yarn and cut off.
Ready, set, stashbust!
I love how they turned out in this Lily Sugar ‘n Cream cotton yarn. I’ve had it for years and always rip out the projects I use it for. Something about the color pattern and stiffness of the cotton was never satisfying, but it’s such cute yarn that I hung on to it. What a perfect match for this project! I held it double and used 3.75 mm needles.
What part of your stash is this project perfect for busting?I hope you have some quality creative time (and chocolate and ham!) this weekend and can dedicate a little of it to this wonderful rescue center. Share your nests with me on Instagram by tagging them with hashtag #knitsforlife, or tweet them to me @knitsforlife!
Coming up next week is a fun crochet bracelet tutorial, so stay tuned by following me on Facebook, or your favorite RSS feed.
Happy Easter to you all!
Yey! What a brilliant concept. I’m loving this; wish I could knit!
Do you crochet?
No, sorry. I could make a clay birds nest, I guess!
I heard one shelter lines raspberry baskets. So cute! I was just wondering because I offered the shelter to write a crochet pattern.
I would like to help out with the nests, but I crochet, do you have a crochet pattern for the bird nests?
Wonderful, Cindy! You read my mind. I asked the shelter if they would like me to design a crochet version and they just said yes. I’m planning to have the pattern out in a few days. I’ll let you know when I update this post!
If it helps at all, you can find a crocheted version of the nests here: http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/nest.html
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