Tuppence A Bag

Spring nesting material for little garden birdies. Just imagine a baby sparrow or robin pecking their way out of an egg into a soft cuddle of cashmere.

Garden birds in our bigger cities are getting rarer and rarer. Little sparrows used to flock in huge numbers but are now scarcely seen. Anything we can do to help, we do of course. Bird feeders, seed, fat balls, peanuts all help them survive though the harsher winters.

This simple little bag contains a handful of snippings from  your gorgeous hand made finishing  pile, and will provide little layers of finest cashmere, alpaca and merino to even the coldest concrete jungle.

You will need:

Several lengths of unwanted yarn for making the little bag

a pebble from the beach

your saved snippings from the finishing of all those garments.

dpns in 4 sizes  – 4mm, 5mm, 6mm & 7mm are ideal but use whatever you have.
crochet hook
blunt ended needle

Here’s How:

c/o 3 sts on your smallest needle, push the stitches to other end of the needle, K 1 around
put one st on each of 3 dpns, join to work in round
kfb in each st = 6 sts
k1 round
kfb in each st = 12 sts
k one round
kfb in each st = 24 sts
k 1 round
kfb in each st = 48 sts
K1 round.
Adjust to put on 4 dpns, 12 sts on each.

Next round:
K1, YO and repeat finishing with a K1.
Repeat 4 times (on each dpn).
K1 round.
Go up a needle size
K1, YO repeat finishing with a K1.
K1 round.
45 sts on each needle
Go up a needle size
K1 YO K3tog repeat ending each section with a K2tog
K1 around
Go up to your biggest needle
K1, YO, K3tog around ending with a K3tog
Go down 2 needles sizes (ish)
K1 around
K1, K2tog around
K around (approx 14sts on each needle)
K2 tog around
K2tog around
K two more rounds
Cast off.

Sew in each end (your cast on, and your cast off) tightly. Snip, and keep the snippings!

Slot a loop of aran or chunky yarn in running stitch just under the cast off, and leaving a length of about 8-12” on either side, knot together, making two loops for hanging.

Make an excuse to go to the beach and find a nice pebble. Or borrow a big marble from your favorite child’s toy box. Drop that into the bottom of the bag to help weight it down.

Stuff your bag loosely with short snippings of yarn, pulling the ends through the holes with a crochet hook, and snipping any loops that appear. You do want the yarn to be easy to get out, but do remember, these are tough little birds, so not too easy or the next gale will sweep it all away.

Hang up securely in your garden right next to the bird feeders.

Give to your mum or grandma as an extra mother’s day pressie.

Improvisations including crochet versions, and ones using all those swatches you have lying around would work too. Here’s a little lace swatch which is going to make the next one:

I’m going to seam the short edges together, run a simple in-out running stitch along each of the long sides, gather one of the sides tight and the other loosely. It’ll hang up in the same way with a handful of snippings inside. A very practical way of using up swatches.

Remember this?

Robert Sherman died at the good old age of 86 on March 5th. Thanks for all the pretty songs, Robert.

The pattern isn’t tuppence, it’s free. Please make a donation to any wild bird charity or nature reserve in your part of the world. This one‘s my nearest.


2 thoughts on “Tuppence A Bag

  1. Whatever the wandering, crochet/knit-blog-surfing path that led me here, to this page, I feel blessed to have stumbled across it. The reference to that scene from Mary Poppins had me crying. It’s mid-October, 2014, and I’m three months into owning my own house, and one of the true joys in this new life is the daily visits from the birds. There was an old bird bath in the garden when we bought the house, and our first day here we were visited by dozens of birds…and I couldn’t help but think they were all hoping the new people would take care of them like the old people had done. Suddenly, it seemed the most important thing to clean the bath and buy some feeders and seed. Now I sit in the garden every single day and count the birds like blessings. I don’t think I realized until I read this post that maybe this new-found joy has its roots in a far older memory.

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