March 12, 2009

Knitted, Felted Nest Tutorial




Here is a project I think you will enjoy. I have received a lot of comments on my knitted, felted nests...we all seem desperate for a sign of spring!
You will need a bulky wool for the base yarn (I like the "Lamb's Pride Bulky", heavy singles with lovely muted colors), or some thick hand spun, and any other carry along yarns that you'd like to add for texture. I've used eyelash, confetti, silk ribbon, fabric selvedges and scraps. Beginning and ending them with little care about weaving them in. The felting process later will secure them. You do not want this to be to perfect (love that!). It should look natural and interesting. Hobby Lobby has many interesting, inexpensive novelty yarns to choose from. This project does not use a lot of yarn. Depending on the size you choose to make, you should be able to make two nests from the bulky wool, at least. Experiment with color, it is a fantasy nest, after all. The novelty yarn will go a lot further. You will use double points, but only for a few rows at the end, which I find easier to do then starting out with them. Remember, felting hides a multitude!
You could also make these larger, (cast on 65, starting dec with 9 stitches) and add handles (I used curly willow) to make these nests into easter baskets like I did here.


Felted Nest

Size 15 circular needles, 16 inch
Size 15 double points
1 skein Lamb's Pride Bulky or equivalent 100% wool chunky yarn
1-3 skeins novelty type yarns and/or 1/4-1/2 inch fabric strips any length
wool fiber, optional
curly twigs, optional
quail eggs, felted eggs, chocolate eggs, vintage rhinestone jewel, optional

With the circular needles cast on 35 stitches. Place a marker and join in the round.
Continue knitting each row (stockinette stitch) for 5 inches, or 4 if you want a shallow nest.
Begin decrease.
Row 1 SSK, knit 5, K2tog to end.
Row 2 Knit.
Row 3 SSK, knit 3, K2tog to end 
Switch to double points, I usually do this here
Row 4 Knit.
Row 5 SSK, knit 1, K2tog to end
Row 6 Knit.
Row 7 SSK, K2tog, to end.
Cut yarn leaving enough to weave through remaining stitches, pull tight and secure.
Weave in ends.
Felt in washer with small load water level, hot water, 1 T. dish soap and some old jeans for agitation. Check after first agitation cycle, before rinse to see if it has felted enough. Let washer finish cycle. Remove and shape allow to dry thoroughly.
Dress nest with optional embellishments as desired.

I have added a Flickr group for finished Meli Melo Art projects here.
Please post your photos of any finished projects, I would love to see them!

10 comments:

  1. I absolutely LOVE your nests. I will knit one up this weekend for the grandbabies nature table. Thanks!

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  2. Oh, they will love it, mine do! I visit your site often, the little gnomes and houses have my heart. Thank you...

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  3. I have been looking for ideas on how to make a nest for little ones at daycare and this is perfect! I love that they'll be able to handle it and fill it with eggs. :)

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  4. I've just posted my felted nests to my blog. http://betulaloo.blogspot.com/ They turned out well & the kids loved them!

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  6. I am so thrilled to have found this post! I saw a nest like this on another blog, but she wasn't giving up the pattern. Thank you for so generously sharing. I absolutely cannot wait to make this and to join your blog. :)

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  7. It's hard to believe its been a full year since I first saw this project. Sadly, I still haven't gotten one knitted, although I'm actually writing it on my to do list now! Just wanted to let you know, I'm sharing it today on Facebook. Thanks again for a lovely tute!

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  8. Thank you so much for this brilliant pattern! My brother-in-law rescued two baby squirrels who's mother had been hit by a car and I wanted to make them a nice cozy bed. I knitted up a felted nest for them and lined it with a fuzzy soft padded insert. They love it!!

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  9. Kathy,
    Oh, how adorable! I would love to see a picture and I am sure my readers would also! Thanks for commenting.

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  10. What a cute idea! These definitely give a nice dose of Spring even in the dead of Winter :)
    Thanks for sharing!

    I've recently been adding some Spring projects to my site as well if you want to check them out:

    http://www.allfreeholidaycrafts.com/Spring-Crafts

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