It’s that time of year again! Baby animals are venturing away from mom and into trouble! For the past couple years, Bay Area animal rescue and rehab experts, WildCare have run a birds nest collection program! They use knit & crocheted nests to give baby birds a soft, cozy place to recuperate, until they’re released back into the wild.
I don’t have any birds to test my nest, but buddha is pretty happy in there!
Here’s the info directly from WildCare themselves! They’ve also got a Facbook page with loads of pictures of the nests in action! (I’ll admit to stalking their fb and instagram accounts looking for nests with ugly little birds in them…no luck yet though!)
These little nests whip up in no time at all. They’re great stashbusters for nearly any yarn! Washable or felted, knit or crochet, the only real requirements are a stiff fabric that will hold it’s shape and no novelty/boucle/eyelash yarns, only smooth yarns so little bird feet don’t get tangled.
I used my leftover yarnbomb Red Heart, held double, size 7 needles. My nest turned out a bit larger that I intended (thanks to ‘worsted’ being the most useless label ever…but that’s a rant for a different day!) Turns out large nests are still put to good use! WildCare rescues lots of small mammals, so a variety of nest sizes comes in handy!
Last year’s campaign was so successful (nearly 4K nests collected), WildCare shared the love with rescue organizations all across the country! If you’re interested in doing a little stashbusting yourself, check with your local wildlife rescue…they may already be using knit & crocheted nests! If you’re a bay area local, you can deliver nests yourself (and tour the San Rafael facility) or drop them off at Atelier Yarns & Atelier Marin for donation! If you donate a nest through Atelier, you’ll get a free pattern for a hat with a couple cute birds on it, designed by yours truly!
Here’s the pattern for my nest:
Red Heart Super Saver, held double throughout, size 7 needles
CO 54 sts, join in the round, knit 4″, work a purl round as a turning ridge, knit 1 round. Decreases: R1: (K7, K2tog) around, R2: (K6, K2tog) around, R3: Knit, R4: (K5, K2tog) around, R5: (K4, K2tog) around, R6: (K3, K2tog) around, R7: (K2, K2tog), R8: (K1, K2tog) around, R9: K2tog around. Cut yarn, pull through remaining stitches, weave in ends! Voila! Baby bird nest!