The next project for North Gower and Kars area knitters (and crocheters!) is to create knitted nests for birds in the care of the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.
Volunteer Marg Penniston spoke to the Knitting Club on April 21st, and talked about the work the sanctuary does for injured and orphaned wildlife in our area. Almost 4,000 creatures have been helped since 2005, including chipmunks, squirrels, all kinds of birds, turtles (Including the endangered Blandings Turtle)…even snakes.
The knitted nests will be used for abandoned birds who are then fed by the Sanctuary volunteers until they are strong enough to return to their true home in Nature. For more information on the Sanctuary, or to donate, please visit www.rideauwildlife.org
Below is the pattern provided by the Sanctuary for a 4-inch nest.
Keep the tension tight on the yarn to ensure a tight knit with no loose loops
Using 2 strands of yarn, cast on 54 stitches, then divide evenly among 4 double-pointed needles (dpn’s)
Work in stockinette (all K) until the nest is approximately 3 ” tall.
Purl one row the start to decrease:
Row 1) K7 K2 together-repeat to end
Row 2) K6, K2 toge-repeat to end
Row 3) K5, K2 tog-repeat to end
Row 4) K 4, K2 tog-repeat to end
Row 5) K3, K2 tog-repeat to end
Row 6) K2, K2 tog-repeat to end
Row 7) K1, K2 tog repeate to end
See tip # 4 below to determine if you want to continue on 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.
1. make sure nest is tight, and washable. Use two strands of yarn, using two different colours to make counting stitches easier. Use 3 strands if yarn is very fine.
2. Use double-pointed needles just about any size from 5-9, depending on weight of the yarn. You can use circular needles if you prefer.
3. 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.
4. 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 hat may make the nest unstable.
5. Directions are given for a nest 4″ across. Cast on fewer stitches for smaller, more for larger. They knit up so quickly, it’s easy to experiment.
6. The yarn should not be fuzzy, so little toes don’t get caught.
Thanks to Barbara Johnson of Native Songbird Care and Conservation for designing the knitted nests.