Wildlife Nest (Pod Version)

The shelter I make wildlife nest for asked if there was a way to solve an occasional problem they have.  Sometimes baby bunnies are brought in and they just don’t feel safe enough in the open top nests and try to jump out.  I’ve started creating these nests with a hood that offers a little more security if needed.

Notes:

  • sc (single crochet) – Insert hook into stitch and draw up a loop, yo, draw through both loops on hook.
  • exsc or esc (Extended single crochet) – Insert hook into stitch and draw up a loop, yo, draw through 1 loop, yo, draw through 2 remaining loops.
  • sc2tog (single crochet decrease) – Insert hook into stitch and draw up a loop. Insert hook into next stitch and draw up a loop. Yarn over, draw through all 3 loops on hook.
  • Use multiple strands of yarn together.  Either 3 strands of worsted weight, or you can use 1 bulky strand and 1-2 worsted weight.
  • Size 8mm hook (L)
  • The number of strands and hook size are up to you.  Just make sure the stitches are tight.  We don’t want little legs and feet falling through gaps in the crochet.
  • Bowl is created in a spiral, not individual rounds and joins, so if you are more comfortable using a stitch marker to know what round you are on, do it, but it’s not required.
  1.  Create a slip knot (whatever method you want, just make sure it tightens up when you pull the tail, not the working side of the yarn)
  2. Ch. 2, then work 7-8 SC in the slipknot.  (The last SC should meet back up with the first one, making a circle.  Basically, just do as many as you can fit nicely) – For me, 8 SC.
  3. Pull the yarn tail to tighten up the ring.  You can also crochet over it in the next few stitches, or weave it in later…your call.  Now do 2 ESC in each stitch, going around in a spiral.  This is more intuitive than an actual count, but you want to do this for each stitch in the first round, at least.  So if your 1st round had 7 stitches, you’ll have 14 in the next round…if your 1st round had 8 stitches, you’ll have 16 in the next round…get the idea? – For me, 16 ESC.
  4. For your next round, you’ll work (1 ESC, 2 ESC) in each stitch around.  For me, 24 ESC.
  5. For your next round, you’ll work (1 ESC, 1 ESC, 2 ESC) in each stitch around.  For me, 32 ESC.  It should be about 4″ across now (more or less).  NOTE:  If you want a smaller bowl, just skip to Step 6 as soon as your base is the size you want.  If you want it larger, keep going adding 1 ESC for each additional round.
  6. At this point, we want to start building up the sides.  This is easy.  Just do 1 ESC in each stitch until it’s as tall as you want.
  7. When you are ready to create the ‘hood’, turn, then ch. 1, then repeat (1 esc, sc2tog) until you’ve gone around about 2/3 of the way.
  8. Turn, ch. 1, repeat (1 esc, sc2tog) to the end of the previous row.
  9. Continue this until the hood is created.  Mine always come to a point, and this is fine because the shelter staff can shape it depending on how much privacy the babies need.

Super squishy baby blanket

I saw this yarn recently and thought, “I have GOT to use this stuff for something…it is SO squishy!”

Fortunately my cousin is having her 3rd baby in a few weeks, so I got to make her a blanket!  I didn’t follow a pattern, so I thought I’d post it here.  It’s very basic and very easy to make and works up fast.

The finished size is about 32″ x 32″.

I used Bernat Blanket yarn.

Ch. 80 (using white)

HDC 9 rows in White.

Change to Teal colored yarn.

HDC 9 rows in Teal.

Change to Lt. Gray colored yarn.

HDC 9 rows in Lt. Gray.

Change to White colored yarn.

HDC 9 rows in White.

 

Dog Cape

Materials:

  • Red Heart Super Saver
  • 6.5mm Tunisian crochet hook (needs to be at least 12″)
  • 2 – 5/8″ Parachute clasps
  • Yarn needle

The cape is made in 3 separate pieces using Tunisian Simple Stitch (TSS) and then sewn together using a single crochet (sc) stitch.

 

 

Abbreviations and stitches:

TSS (Tunisian Simple Stitch) = insert hook under next vertical bar, yo and draw through keeping loop on hook.  (There are several really good tutorials already on the internet, so I won’t include photos for this stitch)

DEC (Tunisian Decrease) = Insert hook in two vertical bars, YO, and pull up a loop.

INC (Tunisian Increase) = Insert hook in next horizontal bar, YO, and pull up a loop.

RP = Return pass

SmallMediumLarge

Center piece

Row 1:  Foundation Row: ch 10, pick up loops in back loop of each ch, RP

Rows 2 – 10:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 11:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Rows 12- 13:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 14:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 15:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 16:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 17:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 18:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 19:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 20:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 21:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 22:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 23:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 24:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Rows 25 – 26:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 27:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 28:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 29:  SS finish

Side Pieces (create 2)

Foundation Row: ch 15, pick up loops in back loop of each ch, RP

Rows 2 – 10:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 11:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Rows 12 – 13:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 14:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 15:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 16:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 17:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 18:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 19:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 20: DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 21:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 22:  TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 23:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 24:  TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Rows 25 – 26:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 27:  DEC one stitch by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 28:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 29:  SS finish

Straps:

Foundation Row:  ch 3, pick up loops in back loop of each ch, RP

Rows 2 – ?:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Continue until straps reach desired length (2 – 5″-6″ straps and 2 – 6″ – 7″ straps)

Center piece

Foundation Row:  ch 15, pick up loops in back loop of each ch, RP

Rows 2 – 15:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 16:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Rows 17 – 18:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 19:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 20:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 21:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 22:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 23:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 24:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 25:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 26:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 27:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 28:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 29:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 30:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 31:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 32:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 33:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 34:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 35:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 36:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 37:  SS Finish

Side Pieces (create 2)

Foundation Row:   ch 20, pick up loops in back loop of each ch,  RP

Rows 2 – 15:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 16:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Rows 17 – 18:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 19:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 20:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 21:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 22:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 23:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 24:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 25:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 26:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 27:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 28:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 29:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 30:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 31:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 32:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 33:  On the 1st piece, DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS in each stitch to end (don’t dec at the end of the row).

On the 2nd piece, TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. (don’t dec at the beginning of the row).

Both:  Return pass across all stitches.

Row 34:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 35:  DEC one stitch by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 36:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 37:  SS Finish

Straps:

Foundation Row:  ch 3, pick up loops in back loop of each ch, RP

Rows 2 – ?:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Continue until straps reach desired length (2 – 5″-6″ straps and 1 – 7″ strap, and 1 – 11″ strap)

Center piece

Row 1 – Foundation Row: ch 20, pick up loops in back loop of each ch, RP

Rows 2 – 20:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 21:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Rows 22 – 24:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Rows 25:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Rows 26 – 28:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 29:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Rows 30 – 34:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 35:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Rows 36 – 37:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 38:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 39:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 40:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 41:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 42:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 43:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 44:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 45:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Row 46:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 47:  Work TSS across all stitches

Row 48:  INC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling up a loop in the 1st horizontal bar, then TSS to the last horizontal bar before the edge, INC one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. RP.

Row 49 (Finishing row):  SS finish

Side Pieces (create 2)

Row 1 – Foundation Row: ch 21, pick up loops in back loop of each ch, RP

Rows 2– 20:  Work TSS across all stitches

Row 21:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Rows 22 – 24:  Work TSS across all stitches

Row 25:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Rows 26 – 28:  Work TSS across all stitches

Row 29:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Rows 30 – 34:  Work TSS across all stitches

Row 35:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Rows 36 – 37:  Work TSS across all stitches

Row 38:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 39:  Work TSS across all stitches

Row 40:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 41:  Work TSS across all stitches

Row 42:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 43:  Work TSS across all stitches

Row 44:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 45:  Work TSS across all stitches

Row 46:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 47:  Work TSS across all stitches

Row 48:  DEC one stitch at the beginning of the row by pulling the loop through the next two vertical bars, then TSS to the last two loops (the stitches before the edge), decrease one stitch, then pick up the last stitch. Return pass across all stitches.

Row 49 (Finishing Row):  Finish with ss across.

Straps:

Foundation Row:  ch 3, pick up loops in back loop of each ch, RP

Rows 2 – ?:  TSS in each stitch to end, RP

Continue until straps reach desired length (2 – 6″-7″ straps and 1 – 8″ strap and one 12″ strap)

Finishing (all sizes):

  • ‘Kill’ the yarn.  (I find that doing this before joining the pieces together is easiest.) Click here to see how to do this.
  • Join pieces with SC. (this makes a nice decorative ridge)
  • Work SC edge around entire cape.
  • Sew Straps to main piece.   Attach straps as shown in photo.

 

 

How to ‘kill’ acrylic yarn

I like Tunisian crochet.  The downside of this technique is that it tends to curl at the bottom of the piece.  Sometimes I like the look, with blankets, for example.  But with some items, it’s just not very pleasing to the eye, or the functionality.  I mean, who wants to use a dishtowel that’s all curled up??  Not me.

There are a lot of techniques out there for blocking your crochet pieces, mostly used with wool yarn.  And there are also warnings about killing acrylic yarn.  I actually love doing it.  I think it really improves the overall softness of the yarn, and also the draping.  But you do have to be careful.  If you do it wrong, you risk ruining your crochet and also your iron.

Since acrylic is a synthetic fiber, it will not burn…it melts.  So when using an iron on it, be sure to always have something between the iron and the acrylic crochet.

Here’s how I ‘kill’ acrylic yarn.

ironsetting

First, I turn on the iron.  I set it to the lowest ‘steam’ setting. (see photo)  We aren’t using steam though, so you don’t need any water in your iron for this.

Next, I wet a towel.  You don’t want it dripping wet, but not damp either.  I just run it under the faucet and then ring it out.

Lay your crocheted item on the ironing board in whatever shape it is supposed to be.  Lay your wet towel on top of the crocheted item.

Now just iron the towel.  It doesn’t take long, so just smush the iron on a section for a couple of seconds, then move on to another section. Seriously, don’t overdo it.  You’ll see how quick the process is when you try it.

 

 

Wildlife nests aka ‘baby bowls’

As I was browsing the web for charities to crochet for (yes, I have now crocheted so much that I am looking for places to give it away, hehe), I came across an idea for making nests for wildlife groups.  This is great because it serves two purposes.  One, it provides a nice, warm nest for all those baby birds, opossum, squirrels, etc. to snuggle down in while they are being raised by their human caregivers.  And two, it allows me to use up all that extra yarn left over from other projects.

I’m putting the steps I used here because I did mine slightly different, but you can also find the original patterns here.  It has both a crochet pattern and a knitting pattern.

Materials:

  • Use any yarn you want.  I have used much of my scrap, leftover yarn, holding 2 or 3 strands together.
  • 8.0 mm crochet hook
  • Yarn needle (to weave in ends)

Abbreviations:

sc = Single Crochet

ss = Slip Stitch

Instructions:

– Ch. 3, join with ss to form a ring.  (option 2:  Ch. 3, then work your 8 – 10 single crochets into the 1st chain.)

– Begin by working between 8 – 10 single crochets into center of ring (option 2: see previous step).  The number will vary depending on how thick your yarn is, but I generally made between 8 and 10 before meeting back up to the 1st sc.

– Continue around the circle by doing 2 SC in each of the previous stitches.  After you’ve gone around once, then do 1 SC in the next stitch, then 2 SC, then 1 SC.  Repeat this *1 SC, 2 SC, 1 SC* until you have gone around a couple of times.  You are making a spiral.

– You’ll notice that as you go around the spiral, you may need to adjust to *1 SC, 1 SC, 2 SC* repeated.  After making a few you’ll see how to gauge it.  One way to tell is if the edge starts getting wavy, you need to put more SCs in between each 2 SC, but if it starts curving upwards, you need to do more 2 SCs between your 1 SCs.

When your base is the right size, start working 1 SC in each stitch.  This will make the sides of the nest start to form.  Continue this until the nest is about 2″ – 3″ deep (or as tall as you want to make it).  Join and fasten off.  Weave in any loose ends.