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knit nestKnit Nests for Baby Birds

Please help us care for the baby birds that come into West Sound Wildlife by knitting nests! These nests can be made of ends of yarn, and they're a quick project for experienced knitters. Thank you so much for your help!

Tips and Notes:

  1. 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.

  2. Use double pointed needs - just about any size from 5 through 9, depending on the 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 that can make the nest unstable.

  5. 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.)

  6. The yarn should not be fuzzy, so toes don’t get caught.

baby birdInstructions:
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, 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.

Many thanks to Barbara Johnson, friend of Native Songbird Care and Conservation, for designing these magnificent knitted nests!

baby bird


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